Alicia Keys defends bare-faced stance

The 35-year-old singer has made a string of public appearances recently without any cosmetic enhancement.

FILE: Singer Alicia Keys and husband Swizz Beatz. Picture: Alicia Keys via Instagram.

LONDON - Alicia Keys finds going without make-up "really empowering" and "really freeing".

The 35-year-old singer has made a string of public appearances recently without any cosmetic enhancement and she finds her bare-faced look "really freeing" and thinks it spreads a similar message to her music.

Speaking on Today, she said: "[It's] really freeing. The thing is... it kinda came from because we put so many limitations on ourselves, we put limitations on each other, society puts limitations on us, and in a lot of ways, I'm sick of it, I'm over it.

"And that's in a lot of ways, what the music is about, it's about being our own unique selves, because we each have something that no one else has and it would be so amazing to embrace each other, how we are."

Though the Empire State of Mind singer "loves" her cosmetics, she doesn't want to feel obliged to paint her face whenever she goes out in public.

She explained: "I love make-up! I love my lip gloss, I love my blush, I love my eyeliner.

"It's not about that. But at the same time, I don't want to feel beholden .... to have to do it."

While Alicia - who has sons Egypt, five, and Genesis, eight months, with husband Swizz Beats - is happy with her decision, she insists she isn't planning to urge other women to follow in her footsteps.

She said: "I just wanna be honest to myself, and all of us should be honest to ourselves.

"Just be yourself and have a great time, and do what makes you feel good as opposed to trying to please every damn body."

The No One singer made her decision after arriving for a photoshoot and the photographer insisting on taking her picture before she had begun getting ready.

She previously recalled: "I was shocked.

"Instantly, I became a bit nervous and slightly uncomfortable. My face was totally raw. I had on a sweatshirt! As far as I was concerned, this was my quick run-to-the-shoot-so-I-can-get-ready look, not the actual photoshoot look."

But after seeing the pictures, Alicia had never felt more "honestly beautiful".

She admitted: "I swear it is the strongest, most empowered, most free, and most honestly beautiful that I have ever felt."