When Alicia Keys announced that she was ditching makeup, a lot of people (including me) thought it was great—but also easy to do when you have skin that flawless!
So you'll probably be as surprised as I was to learn that it wasn't always that way.
"It took me forever to get this skin," Alicia recently told Elle UK. For many years she struggled with acne, triggered by a combination of heavy makeup and hot lights that made her sweat for hours. "I know how it feels to have a face full of bumps and pimples. I lived through that in the public eye."
But now, her skin is clear and radiant, thanks to diet and lifestyle changes, a natural routine and her trusted makeup artist, Dotti... who happens to be more passionate about skincare than cosmetics.
"I am very, very much behind women stripping back and, embracing their beauty and wearing their skin front and centre," Dotti told People. "Don't get me wrong: I am a makeup artist so I can do from the lightest to the heaviest look. But it's my belief that we don’t need to paint ourselves to make ourselves beautiful. Her healthy glow is very much a reflection of how she looks after herself—healthy eating, exercise, facials. And basically all I do is bring the beauty she delivers to me and look after it to make sure the skin is in great condition."
Amen to that! Here's what's behind Alicia's glowing no-makeup look:
Alicia’s Skincare Routine
MV Organic Skincare 9 Oil Cleansing Tonic: "There's a beautiful brand called MV Organic Skincare and they make beautiful oils and rosewater. People get freaked out about oils. They think if they've got oily skin they don't want oil. But yes you do! MV has always been a staple in my kit." — Dotti
2. Face Masks:
Éminence Clear Skin Probiotic Masque: "To start, we might do a mask to get some moisture in the skin." — Dotti
Éminence Rosehip & Maize Exfoliating Masque: "Éminence also has a nice rosehip mask that she'll do." — Dotti
SK-II Facial Treatment Mask: "You look like a lunatic, but your skin feels amazing. [They] are ideal for a flight as they instantly hydrate skin, but I usually forget to use one and fall asleep." — Alicia
3. Lip Treatment:
Éminence Lip Trio Kit: "We do this lip treatment as well from Éminence—it's three steps, so it's nice to do if we have time. Alicia has the most incredible lips, so I just use a really great treatment on them." — Dotti
4. Face Oils:
MV Organic Skincare Pure Jojoba: "It's so close to the natural sebum we produce in our skin." — Dotti
MV Organic Skincare Instant Revival Booster: "Sometimes I use the Instant Revival with the Rose Mist as a treatment. That alone makes her look really glowy and beautiful." — Dotti
5. Face Mist:
6. Eye Cream:
Valmont Prime Contour: "I love trying different under-eye creams; one of the best is Valmont Prime Contour." — Alicia
Vita Liberata Self Tanning Anti Age Serum: "It's great when you love your skin but you want to add that hue of life to it. It just makes the skin look more alive—it gives a tan, but in a very natural way. A very golden hue." — Dotti
Kosas Tinted Face Oil: "If I want to warm the skin up, I think about how am I going to do it so it doesn't look like it has anything on it, yet it looks finessed and polished. These tinted oils are amazing. They do refine the skin and it does cover, but it doesn't weigh the skin down and you don't see it on the skin. It has a semi-satin finish and it comes in beautiful shades. It does set quickly, so you've got to work with it really fast." — Dotti
Burt's Bees Goodness Glows Liquid Makeup in Walnut and Deep Maple: "I like to break down foundation by mixing it with face oil until it literally becomes translucent." — Dotti
9. Freckle Pen
Brow pen: "When she does come to me for makeup, I always work on bringing the texture of her skin to the front. And also with her freckles! I just enhance what she brings to me. I have a thing for freckles. I'm obsessed with them. There's this great felt pen... that helps bring them out in a very natural-looking way." — Dotti
10. Cheek Tint:
Cheek tint: "If I decide to do a cheek, it's all very see-through, transparent, and as close to the yellows and pinks that our skin naturally produces. It's just to highlight that youthfulness. Blush really helps bring a glow that people don't realize is a little bit of makeup. What you're left with is the look of blood coming up to the skin like right after you've been exercising." — Dotti
Rae Morris Invisible Mattifier Invisible Face Powder: "This is called a powder, but it doesn't feel like a heavy powder on the skin. It has more of a rubbery, silicone feel. It's great for taking the shine off and for sensitive skin. It doesn't clog, make you look dry, or capture creases—it just molds and moves as you move, which I love." — Dotti
12. Lip Balms:
3LAB Healthy Glow Lip Balm: "When we're done, I do her lips with balms from 3LAB or Lanolips." — Dotti
Lanolips 101 Ointment Multipurpose Superbalm: I like both [3LAB and Lanolips] a lot because it's the hardest thing to keep the lips hydrated and protected and they both work so well." — Dotti
Kjaer Weis Lip Tint: "If I decide I want a tint on the lip without really doing a lipstick, I use something that has a lip balm quality. I love the beautiful, organic formula of this lip tint."
Alicia’s Skin Treatments
Jade roller: "Right now, we're doing a lot of ice work to tighten skin, bring the blood to the surface. To basically give it the pop that you need. I stick a jade roller in ice, so it's basically freezing when I roll it over her skin. I really, really work into all those areas where I want blood and water and energy brought to the surface. It brings her skin to life, it practically makes her skin say, 'Hi. I love you.' [It also] helps makeup sink into your skin for a more natural glow. I think makeup looks best an hour or two after it's settled onto your face—this does that instantly. You'll get makeup on your roller, sure, but that's fine. It actually helps remove any excess." — Dotti
"On some days, I'll look at her skin and say, 'You need cucumber today,' so I'll grate a full cucumber, then place the pulp no higher than her brow bone and no lower than her under-eye bone, not going near sensitive parts of the eye. If we've got time, I'll put the pulp all over her face until it draws the heat out of the skin and brings the blood to the top. That's what most of the cooling agents do." — Dotti
Nichola Joss: "Alicia gets regular facials." — Dotti
Alicia’s Diet, Exercise and Lifestyle
"When I first got pregnant, I started to eliminate dairy from my diet and drank a lot more water, which made a huge difference to my skin. I don't eat meat, so I stick mainly to fish, vegetables and grains, but I think everyone should have a treat once in a while. So, no, I am not strict to the point where it's not fun, it should always be fun." — Alicia
"I exercise three or four times a week. I do different things each time: boxing, kickboxing, yoga, weight training, running, swimming. I keep it varied so I don't get bored." — Alicia
Massage and Acupuncture:
"Massages are my favourite indulgence, and acupuncture helps me to balance energy in my body and unwind." — Alicia
Shop Alicia’s Skincare Routine
What do you think of Alicia's skincare routine?
Have you tried any of the products she uses?