Mary J Blige was ''afraid'' to go make-up free for her role in 'Mudbound'.

The 46-year-old singer was forced to ditch the cosmetic items for her role in the historical period drama, which sees her portray Florence Jackson in the movie, but the star was so fearful of going au naturel she ''fought'' with the creative team to keep her false eyelashes, long fingernails and wigs because she felt ''really low''.

The 'Family Affair' hitmaker told Variety: ''Florence came at a time when I was really low, feeling super insecure, not sure of my life, not sure of even who I was. I didn't really realize that I was hanging onto so many things of the world that made me feel beautiful.

''I was fighting to keep lashes. I was fighting for fingernails, and fighting for wigs and things like that. And I just didn't want to strip down, because I just was afraid.''

And the reason Mary was hesitant about baring all was because she wanted to be ''beautiful'', and she thought such niceties would help her see that.

The 'Just Fine' singer - who filed for a divorce from her estranged husband Martin 'Kendu' Isaacs earlier this year - said: ''I was struggling because I was going through some real heavy... things in my mind. And I wanted to be beautiful for someone. I wanted to be beautiful. I thought that these things made me beautiful to this person. So I was afraid to let it go because I was trying to save something that was already dead.''

Once Mary followed the advice of film director Dee Rees and scrapped the beauty products, she felt ''really liberated'' and realised her own ''inner beauty''.

She explained: ''Once I trusted [Rees] and let Florence live, she really liberated me. She really opened me up to my own inner beauty for real. Not what I thought I'd learn, but really truly who I am. And that none of this matters.

''Now I'm running around with my own edges out. I want to wear my own hair out. It is what it is. My forehead is what it is. My edges are what they are. The texture of my hair is what it is. The colour of my skin is what it is. I am what I am.''