Alicia Keys has learned she doesn't need to "seek so much validation" from others.

Alicia Keys is 'comfortable' in her own skin and doesn't need approval from others

Alicia Keys is 'comfortable' in her own skin and doesn't need approval from others

The 42-year-old musician has no qualms with ageing because it has made her wiser and "comfortable" in making decisions for herself and not requiring other people's approval.

She told The Cut: "I love getting smarter. I love being more conscious. I love being aware of what I think.

"I love being in touch with what I think and being comfortable knowing that what I know is the right thing for me, that I don't have to seek so much validation from everybody else to decide if that's a good thing for me or not."

When the 'If I Ain't Got You' hitmaker started out in the music industry she used makeup and clothes to disguise her lack of confidence, but now she's happy to go makeup-free.

She said of growing up in the spotlight: "It opened my eyes to how I didn’t feel comfortable or beautiful if I didn’t have my armour on, and if I didn’t have all my face and hair and pretty things and nice clothes on that somehow I was less than beautiful or just less than. I realised, like, 'Whoa, what’s underneath all that?'"

On why she felt the need to hide her natural beauty, she explained: "I think it was just the awareness of how much we subscribed to social standards of beauty, and I didn’t really think of that before. I just hadn’t thought about it."

The 'Empire State of Mind' hitmaker previously explained that she stopped wearing makeup for public appearances and on album covers because of the "toxic energy" early on in her career.

She told InStyle: "I was just dealing with a lot of toxic energy and stress and things that I didn't really know how to handle or what to do about it or how to regulate. I think that the biggest thing that I really learned is having that relationship with yourself.

"So you know how to regulate these emotions or these stress factors. It's really one step to finding not only your peace but then your own inner beauty because it's coming from that space. I went through my own experience of really feeling rebellious about what people were telling me, what the world, society was telling me, what I was supposed to look like because I fell into that, I subscribed to it.

"When I had my rebellious moment, which obviously the world witnessed with me, I was just getting to know myself. You know what I mean? It's not about makeup or no makeup. It's not about mascara or no mascara. It's not about lipstick or no lipstick. That's not what it's about. What it's about is, how do you want to express yourself, and what space do you want to claim for yourself. And what boundaries do you want for yourself?"

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