In a 2016 essay for the now-inoperative Lenny Letter, singer Alicia Keys declared that she no longer wanted to cover up—with makeup, that is. Years later, Keys has re-entered the world of makeup through her own beauty and wellness brand, Keys Soulcare. Though getting ready with her is more about the spiritual experience (yes, there are mantras) and soley focused on swipes of makeup.
This Sunday, ahead of opening night for Keys’s loosely autobiographical off-Broadway musical Hell’s Kitchen, the singer (and now playwright) walked us through her current relationship with makeup and what getting ready for an important night looks like now.
“I’m at a point in my journey now where I’m able to see own my power,” she shared while makeup artist Ayako Yoshimura dabbed the It’s Like Skin 2 in 1 Concealer Tint onto her face. “Getting ready is all about feeling good, and I love the getting ready part. The affirmation ‘I own my power’ is something I’m carrying with me in the beautiful, celebratory evening.”
The inspiration for the night’s beauty look is the ‘90s, according to Keys. “Hell’s Kitchen takes place in the ‘90s, so we had a lot of fun exploring the clothes and the vibes of that era which were so good, so fresh, and had that masculine, powerful New York energy,” she says. “So that’s the inspiration for my look. A, super fresh, unbelievable version of cool NY sh*t.” To complete the beauty, she wore a denim Schiaparelli skirt suit.
Co-written by Keys and Pulitzer Prize-finalist playwright Kristoffer Diaz, Hell’s Kitchen is a coming-of-age story inspired by Key’s own childhood in Manhattan. “To think: All of the time you put into things, realizing that at any point it can go in any direction. And now to watch Hell’s Kitchen flourish in this direction where it is opening officially tonight Off-Broadway at the Public, it just feels like a dream. It took 13 years for us to get to this moment and I’m good with that.”