Minaj Makeunder! Nicki Gets Low Key New Look

minaj makeunder

Ostentatious American Idol judge Nicki Minaj got a makeunder (not makeover) for Elle magazine, and the star left behind her very, very heavy makeup and wigs and lashes for a more understated look — a move the Roman’s Revenge rapper admits was kind of scary.

The Minaj makeunder is in April issue of the mag, and while Nicki looks great, she says leaving behind her big, strong look was definitely not easy.

Speaking of baring all for the mag cover, Minaj explains that she’s become accustomed to the more MAC-style of beauty she embraces and says:

“To go in front of the camera, without pink lips or big ol’ crazy lashes — you know, nothing — I felt naked … It was scary!”

A look like Minaj’s makeunder is, she says, daunting after years of signature heavy lipstick, bright colors and an overall not-neutral style. She says it was strange to see the photos done in the shoot, given her regular style:

“When I saw myself with barely any makeup at, it was such a — like, I’m so, so attached to my pink lipstick, it’s hard. I feel that it’s become a part of me … So this photo shoot was a real accomplishment in my eyes.”

Over on Elle‘s website, Nicki Minaj’s makeunder pics are posted — as well as some quotes from the star about how she came to be the woman she is today.

Nicki says that growing up “different” was hard, and that bullying made her early years in the US tough:

“I went through a lot of bullying early on. Girls made my life a living hell. We had come to America from a different country. My brother and I had accents. It was very tough. So I’ve always put up this wall— it was a self-defense mechanism growing up— because I was almost expecting people to attack me. And I still have it. It’s sad.”

Nicki Minaj

But Minaj’s makeunder interview also reveals that the rapper learned from her struggles, and she offers this advice to other young women:

“My advice to women in general: Even if you’re doing a nine-to-five job, treat yourself like a boss. Not arrogant, but be sure of what you want— and don’t allow people to run anything for you without your knowledge. You want everyone to know, Okay, I can’t play games with her. I have to do right by this woman. That’s what it’s all about.”

Nicki Minaj’s makeunder in Elle will be on newstands on March 26.