When Alicia Keys announced that she was ditching makeup, a lot of people (including me) thought it was wonderful—but also easier 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: "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 Mask:
Éminence Organics Clear Skin Probiotic Masque: "To start, we might do a mask to get some moisture in the skin." — Dotti
Éminence Organics Rosehip 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 Organics 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 Oil:
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: "There's a beautiful brand called MV Organic Skincare and they make beautiful oils and rosewater. 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
8. Freckle Pen
Anastasia Beverly Hills 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 by Anastasia in Universal Light and Universal Dark that helps bring them out in a very natural-looking way." — Dotti
9. Cheek Stain:
Tarte Cheek Stain: "If I bring any colour to the cheeks, it's just to highlight that youthfulness. Blush really helps bring a glow that people don't realize is a little bit of makeup. The products I use change around a lot, but I do recommend Tarte's stain. What you're left with is the look of blood coming up to the skin like right after you've been exercising." — Dotti
10. Lip Balm:
3LAB Healthy Glow Lip Balm: "When we're done, I do her lips with balms from 3LAB or Lanolips. I like both of those a lot because it's the hardest thing to keep the lips hydrated and protected and they both work so well." — Dotti
Alicia's Skincare 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.'" — 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." — Alicia
"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. My favourite is pound cake; it's really rich and so much butter is used to make it. So, no, I am not strict to the point where it's not fun, it should always be fun." — Alicia
"Alicia isn't raw or vegan or anything, but she looks after her diet and eats in a very balanced way." — Dotti
"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 Routine
What do you think of Alicia's skincare routine?
Have you tried any of the products she uses?