Bare-faced Alicia Keys makes me wonder why women wear makeup


We’re used to stars baring all, but not always from the neck up.

When Alicia Keys walked the red carpet sans makeup at the VMAs, people responded in a couple of ways.

Some were inspired: Good for her; there’s a strong woman making a statement.

Others were annoyed: Well of course she can get away with it; look at her perfect skin.

If it’s so refreshing to see women bare the skin they were given, why do we feel the desire to cover it up or add to it? Photo credit:

The makeup-free look is something she started back in May, saying she didn’t like feeling that she had to cover up to be beautiful. Even cover photos for her new album, In Common, were shot without all the dolling up we’re used to from major artists.

Alicia Keys has said many times in the past few months that she’s not against makeup; she’s just making a personal decision to be more raw and go against the grind of what society deems beautiful.

It’s made me wonder about my own reasons for “putting on my face” before I go anywhere that I might run into people I know.

There was about a year in high school when I wore hardly any makeup, and I’ve experimented with it at work, too, when my skin is cooperating. But more often than not, I turn to some light makeup to enhance what’s already there, blur imperfections or to fool people into thinking I’m more awake than I actually am. It makes me feel more confident and put together.

Sure, it can be a hassle, potentially pricey and time consuming, but I usually like the way I look better with it on. (Although there have been some disasters I don’t care to repeat.)

On the other hand, it can be nice to skip a step in my morning routine and let my skin breathe.

A couple of articles I read in response to makeupless Alicia Keys said in a society where the pressure is on for women to look a certain way, we can forget what they look like naturally. I spent a good 20 minutes earlier this week scrolling through pictures of celebs without makeup and was delighted to find how normal they look—like women I might see at the grocery store or Walgreens.

As I battle my own insecurities, it’s nice to know that they don’t all wake up with dewy skin, rosy lips, defined eyelashes and every hair in place. (Well some do, but let’s not dwell on those.)

So ladies, what are your reasons for wearing makeup? Could you go makeup free for a day? A week?


2 thoughts on “Bare-faced Alicia Keys makes me wonder why women wear makeup

  1. I’ve pretty much decided to stop wearing make up regularly. Someone in my small group said recently “I’ll wear make up when I want to wear it, not because I have to” and I liked that.

    I loathe make up–truly–loathe! I feel like I can never get it quite right and it often ends up magnifying problems that I’m trying to hide; not to mention the life long struggle to get the right color. Thoughts that frequently plague me as I shop for foundation;
    “It looks too orange in this light”
    “I’m not tan, but I do have a lot of freckles that kind of make me look like I am, I think”
    “What about being tan while having pink tones, in my skin, what color for that?”
    “They matched me with a completely different color last time, I don’t think they know what they’re doing”

    God really did make me unique, and i’m exhausted trying to find a shade in a bottle to match me. Besides, I find that my skin seems to be and look healthier when I don’t put anything on it regularly.

    I’ve started to appreciate makeup like I do jewelry, as an accessory. If I’m in the mood for colorful eye lids and rosy checks, a litter shimmer on my lips then I’ll indulge. If I feel like a little cover up would be good for my self-esteem today, then sure, I’ll wear it. But I’m done feeling like it’s a requirement for life.

    And I won’t even get started on the feminist tangent I could go on here as I stare at male co-workers daily who I feel would benefit from a little bit of foundation, but aren’t judged for not wearing it. Just sayin.


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