Keys opted to appear at the awards show completely makeup free, her skin glowing and her hair pulled back in a messy up-do. It was pared back beauty at it’s best and follows her announcement earlier this year that she was ditching makeup. Writing in Lena Dunham’s newsletter, Lenny, Keys explained her move:
"Every time I left the house, I would be worried if I didn't put on makeup: What if someone wanted a picture?? What if they POSTED it??? These were the insecure, superficial, but honest thoughts I was thinking. And all of it, one way or another, was based too much on what other people thought of me
"I walked into one of my first shoots for my new album… I’d just come from the gym, had a scarf under my baseball cap, and the beautiful photographer Paola…said, "I have to shoot you right now, like this! The music is raw and real, and these photos have to be too!… Once the photo I took with Paola came out as the artwork for my new song "In Common," it was that truth that resonated with others who posted #nomakeup selfies in response to this real and raw me. I hope to God it's a revolution."
Rita Ora, on the other hand, went full tilt glamour at the VMAs with her make-up artist Kathy Jeung revealing to The Daily Mail that the Brit songstress’ sultry look required 26 (count ‘em, 26) products to create. To go with her sheer, beaded and feathered Marc Jacobs frock, Ora rocked a sexy smoky eye and rock-chick up-do.
Both Keys and Ora looked fantastic – they were both sexy modern women doing their thing. And that’s the moral of the story – when it comes to going out, you do you. There’s just no better look.