Alicia Keys loves her "glow."
Sporting one of her own head scarves, a printed Max Mara top and stunning accessories from Paula Mendoza Jewelry and Esteban Cortazar, the 35-year-old singer stuns on the cover of Allure's February issue. In her accompanying interview with the magazine, Keys gets candid on her fresh-faced beauty look.
Keys explained that getting her makeup done for the inside images actually marked the first time she has painted her face in nearly a year. "I'm not a slave to makeup," she dished. "I'm not a slave to not wearing makeup either. I get to choose at [any] given moment. That's my right."
"I think makeup can be self-expression," she continued. "I have no intention to shame anyone at all [who chooses to wear it]. No one should be ashamed by the way you choose to express yourself. And that's exactly the point. However, if you want to do that for yourself, you should do that."
Keys revealed that back when she was just starting her music career at 20 years old "in this ridiculously invasive world," makeup artists would cover her in makeup, then "[throw] me under tons of lights" where she'd sweat for two or three hours. The result? Plenty of breakouts!
"It took me so long to finally say, 'Whoa! Who am I under there?' That is just my own personal quest," she explained. "I am all about a woman's right to choose. I think a woman should do anything she wants as it relates to her face, her body, her health. Whatever mode of expression that empowers you, that's what you should do. What I am not down for is this ridiculously high, unrealistic expectation about appearance that we as women are held to."
That's part of the reason why Keys loves when people refer to her au naturel look as glowing.
"I think there's something really beautiful about what resonates from within us. One thing I've heard more than ever is this glow that people refer to that I have. I kind of recognize that glow because I've begun to listen to myself inside," she said. "And I think there's something really powerful that happens when you start to listen to yourself. It makes you feel more aware. In touch. More confident."
"I'm not more confident because I think I'm better than, but because I've been hearing myself more, listening to myself more," she added. "And that's taken a little minute to arrive at that place. But there's definitely something powerful about the way your inner feels that reflects on the outer, on your skin. That, to me, is real beauty."
And don't expect Keys to quiet down anytime soon. The GRAMMY-winning singer has been very vocal about world issues, especially after becoming a mother of two. Keys shares two sons, 2-year-old Genesis and 6-year-old Egypt, with rapper Swizz Beatz.
At the Democratic National Convention last July, she even dedicated part of her performance to "Mothers of the Movement," a group made up of nine women who had children that were either killed by law enforcement or died due to gun violence.
"The We Are Here Movement will stand in support of Hispanics, refugees, people of color, Muslims, and anyone who feels afraid in the upcoming Trump era," she said of the organization she founded, and President-Elect Donald Trump. "I have a hope that President Trump, as a New Yorker, will have more liberal views than his campaign rhetoric suggests and that in the end our system of justice will prevail. But it does hurt that racism was not a deal breaker for millions in the election."
"However, as an artist, I expect to continue to use my voice for things that matter, as I have since the beginning of my career," she continued. "That won't change. As an activist, I will continue to fight for what's right. That won't change, either. It's time for all of us to be engaged. As a mother, I am a lioness."