I love this song!I love this braid that Nai’Vasha did for me. Keys Soulcare Skin Transformation Cream [goes] on cheeks, lips and forehead, then [I] steamed the face for five minutes for a natural from within glow.” Related | Kacey Musgraves Literally Set the VMAs Stage on FireBrown says she was “inspired by peach tones that flow beautifully with gold,” so decided to brighten the center of Keys’ face with Chanel Healthy Glow Sheer Colour Stick in No.22 on her cheeks and eyelids, with a dab of Chanel Rouge Coco Flash in Sunbeam on her lips. “I then applied a heavy dose of Keys Soulcare Comforting Balm on [Alicia’s] lips to create a mask. It fits the vibe of “LALA” and exudes elegance. It’s sleek, sexy and the gold butterflies give it that extra elegance. Photography: Ramon Rivas
Styling: Jason Bolden and John Mumblo

Hair: Nai’Vasha Grace
Makeup and skin: Tasha Brown For Keys’ eyes, Brown wanted to give them a “strong performance, budge-proof gold liner” using Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Eyeliner in Or Antique. It gives me the perfect glow for the stage.One last check in the mirror before I head to the stage to perform “LALA” and celebrate my beautiful city, New York. The cooling obsidian helps soothe the skin, but also helps me feel relaxed and calm during hectic moments like tonight.This [Keys Soulcare] Nourishing Body Cream is IT! Alicia Keys had the big night at the 2021 VMAs, where the music legend debuted her new single, “LALA,” alongside collaborator Swae Lee. Before a show I always light my sage and oat milk candle, and take a deep long breathe to center! Swae on my new song, “LALA,” is such a vibe! And I love the way Tasha prepares my skin. I feel completely myself!I am a lip balm FANATIC! It’s like the best massage for the face, and helps stimulate and energize my skin. My favorite mantra is, “I shine at full wattage.” Lesss gooo!I am in LOVE with this custom Carolina Herrera by Wes Gordon dress. He brought such great energy to the song and performance at the VMAs. The top of her cheekbones were finished with Chanel Les Beige Highlighting Fluid in Sunkissed to “let the skin mimic the shine of the dress,” which Brown also applied to Keys’ hands “to highlight fingers as they danced across piano keys.” Watch Alicia Keys and Swae Lee perform “LALA” at the 2021 VMAs, above, and go behind the scenes of her getting ready process, below. I love how it feels and it smells amazing, too.I’m obsessed with the Keys Soulcare Obsidian Facial Roller. I use Keys Soulcare Comforting Balm every day to keep my lips nourished and moisturized. “I opened up the makeup to be more blendable with [Keys Soulcare] Aura Mist,” she adds. In a tribute to New York City, Keys called on viewers to celebrate its “magic and strength” during a mashup of her latest sultry track and the Big Apple anthem, “Empire State of Mind,” all while wearing a gold sequin gown made custom by Wes Gordon for Carolina Herrera and Wempe earrings (courtesy of stylists Jason Bolden and John Mumblo). Click here to shop all the products mentioned. She wore her hair pulled back in a long chunky braid, decorated with golden butterflies to match her dress and natural glowing makeup that relied heavily on proper skin preparation for Keys to feel “completely herself.” “[Keys Soulcare] Aura Mist was applied to wet skin to create calming environment,” Brown tells PAPER of her VMAs skincare routine. Every major live performance calls for a full glam overhaul, and Keys’ team set her up for success, with hair by Nai’Vasha Grace and makeup by Tasha Brown. I’m not holding back tonight!