Alicia Keys, a leading proponent of the “no makeup movement”, is getting back into cosmetics.
Under her beauty and wellness brand Keys Soulcare, launched in partnership with elf Cosmetics in 2020, the artist will launch a makeup collection including blush, brow gel and lip balm.
Dubbed “Color Care,” the cosmetics line will make its Met Gala red carpet debut: After six years of (almost) going makeup-free in public, Keys will don her new products on fashion’s biggest night. (According to WWD, she is dating Ralph Lauren.)
Keys’ abrupt pivot reflects changing attitudes towards makeup. A growing number of beauty brands are marketing cosmetics as tools for self-expression and self-care, rather than ways to “correct” perceived flaws.
But why? The wildly creative looks Euphoria helped fuel this shift towards beauty as self-expression, spawning the rise of colorful, maximalist makeup more concerned with creativity than perfection.
And during the pandemic, “no-makeup makeup” has flourished, inspiring many to streamline their daily routines and embrace a less groomed appearance.
Euphoria and “makeup without makeup” may seem antithetical, but both examples show how beauty has become less about hiding and correcting, and more about accepting one’s identity.
As Keys herself said of her former rejection of makeup: “I was adopting these extremely oppressive standards of beauty that I thought somehow applied to me when it came to perfection, and I obviously rebelled against that,” she said. Eventually, however, she realized, “I can create my standard of beauty, I can choose what is beauty to me and how I want to express it.”