06/27/2016 at 11:59 AM ET
Last month, the singer penned an essay for Lenny about the moment she realized she no longer wanted to hide behind a full face of makeup. She had just arrived to a photo shoot for her new album — sans-makeup — when photographer Paola insisted on taking photos of her right then and there, just as she was.
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“I was shocked,” Keys writes. “Instantly, I became a bit nervous and slightly uncomfortable. My face was totally raw. I had on a sweatshirt! As far as I was concerned, this was my quick run-to-the-shoot-so-I-can-get-ready look, not the actual photoshoot look.”
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But for Keys, the outcome was eye-opening. “I swear it is the strongest, most empowered, most free, and most honestly beautiful that I have ever felt,” Keys admits. And it shows: The star arrived to the BET Awards without any visible makeup on her face — and though her makeup artist hinted that she may have been wearing “#nomakeupmakeup,” Keys was radiant, glowing and looked incredibly comfortable in her skin.
“I hope to God it’s a revolution,” Keys continued in her essay. “‘Cause I don’t want to cover up anymore. Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing.”
What do you think of her no-makeup movement? Tell us below.
— Jillian Ruffo