Alicia Keys is not only beloved for her Grammy-winning voice, but also her relaxed, soulful vibe that radiates every time she addresses a crowd on stage. Now, the singer-songwriter is entering the beauty space with the launch of Keys Soulcare, a skin-care and self-care brand that focuses on the mind-body-spirit (and skin) connection. Today, the first three products in the collection make their big debut. On a recent Zoom meeting, Keys shared what inspired the brand, the message she hopes to project and her thoughts on each “offering.”
“At its core, Keys Soulcare is really about knowing that you are enough,” says Keys. “And that’s something I’ve also personally struggled with too. Always looking for validation and people’s opinions—do they match with mine, and if they do, then that’s OK, but if they don’t, am I brave enough to stand on my own? And self-care, which, to me, is also self-love, really has always important to me and now I think I understand it more. We want Keys Soulcare to be a destination where we can all embrace our light, our power, we can connect deeply, we can laugh, we can share. This is what we’re building. We are calling and bringing together those who bring energy, who bring individuality, who bring light into the darkness, and who are warriors of light—I love that, you know what I mean, because there’s a lot we have to fight for, ourselves first.”
One thing unique to the brand is that Keys doesn’t want to call the products “products.” Instead, “I like to call them ‘offerings,’” she says. “I don’t resonate with the word product very well. I don’t personally want to sell you a bunch of things. I want us to be building and growing and creating together. I want us to find things that are enhancing our wellness and reminding us of who we are and who we want to be.”
The first offering is the Sage + Oatmilk Candle ($38), which Alicia created with the help of perfumer Catherine Selig from Takasago. “I’m big on rituals. I always feel like I’m looking for them, and I don’t feel we actually have enough rituals built into our lives. That’s why I’m very fascinated by Ancient cultures and native cultures. To me, candles are a big part of a ritual that’s easy to create. It starts with just lighting a candle and making an intention. That’s so powerful in itself. The scent of this signature candle is me in a bottle. It has a smoky, calming warmth from the sage and also a clarity, which I’m always looking for. The oatmilk helps to soothe the mind and body and has a sweet, nutty fragrance. I’m all about the kind of woodsy, nutty fragrances as I create music, in my studio, wherever I am. I feel like scents are a beautiful way to bring an energy to you.”
Each of the Keys Soulcare offerings also has a powerful mantra attached to it, written by Keys herself. “It’s something you can read daily that you can hopefully say out loud. I’m a big big believer that we have to speak what we want. We’ve got to say what we want, even if we don’t feel it, we don’t believe it, we don’t know it. Otherwise how is anybody going to answer you if they don’t know what you want. On the candle, it says ‘I shine at full wattage.” We have to remind ourselves to shine—no dimming down, no holding back. On my new album Alicia, I have a song called ‘So Done,’ because I’m so done with dimming down.”
To create the skin-care offerings, which Keys says is at the heart of her beauty routine, the singer teamed up with dermatologist and cofounder of W3LL People, Dr. Renee Snyder. The first product—there will be six more to come in early 2021—is the Skin Transformation Cream ($30).
“Who doesn’t want to transform? That’s what we’re here to do—we are here to constantly grow and constantly transform,” says Keys. “But, creams are scary to me, I’ll be honest. You give me a random cream and I’m like ehhh because our skin is such a delicate thing and our largest organ, and it’s going to take in whatever we put on it. And because I’m terrified to try something new, I’m sure you might feel the same way, so we worked a long time to really make this one was not only beautiful and really hydrating but also thin and very simple. When you put it on, you feel great—it doesn’t feel like a grease effect, which I like on my body, but not on my face.”
The cream features ceramides, antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, and also bakuchiol, a plant-derived retinol alternative. “This is a skin-loving moisturizer that calms, nourishes and brings radiance,” Keys says. “It has ingredients that I trust—obviously it’s from a dermatologist. I didn’t have a dermatologist very early, but later on I did recognize that I needed some assistance.” The mantra for this offering is: “I welcome all circumstances as a catalyst for change,” which Keys stresses is a mantra we all need right now as we’re experiencing so much change in the world, especially due to the pandemic.
The cream also complements the third product in the trio, the Obsidian Facial Roller ($25). “I’ve had a lot of fun exploring rollers,” says Keys. “I love the feeling of this on my skin. It’s wonderful for congested-prone skin, which I do have, and many of us have. It can relax the facial muscle tension and reduce the appearance of puffiness. You can use it with the cream—I also love to put it in a bucket of ice and use it in the morning. And all the powerful properties stones offer, too. This is bringing you wellness and goodness.” The affirmation connected to the roller is “I am strong, capable and unstoppable,” which Keys recommends saying as you’re using the roller in the morning to start your day.
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