Cover Girls: Beyoncé vs. Christina Aguilera For 'W'

Beyoncé and Christina Aguilera on the July 2011 cover of 'W' magazine.
All Photos Courtesy of W Magazine

There comes a time in every magazine's existence when the images from within the publication's sacred binding is leaked by some disgruntled employee on a one-way train to Fired-ville (*cough* or the marketing department *cough*). It's happened to V Magazine, Rolling Stone, and Vogue among MANY others, including this month's victim, W magazine. Not one but TWO covers leaked featuring Beyoncé (who is no stranger to the premature reveal) and Christina Aguilera as the faces of the mag's July "Music & Style" issue. And thankfully, W uploaded the REAL covers and spreads to their website, so that we no long have to strain our eyes at the bootleg image quality of scans and snapshots of the glossies against linoleum floors. WEE!!!

For their respective shoots, Bey and Xtina assumed roles seemingly contradictory to how we usually see these ladies. Beyoncé, who's all "HALO" and stuff, dons this S&M lace-up bodice, evoking comparisons to Charlotte Rampling from The Night Porter to where you're sure if they had only panned the camera down 2 feet lower, you'd see her holding a bridle and a riding whip. Also handcuffs. Meanwhile, the long-standing DIRRTY girl cleaned up and combed her hair for her soft, feminine, artistically nakie, Birth-of-Venus-esque cover (though, she does seem to be channeling an earlier Lady Gaga and we haven't forgotten what piercings she's hiding with those roses). While the actual fairy godmother image-leaker is unknown, what I do know for sure is that when this hits newsstands, coworkers beware, these pages will be decoupaged ALLLL over this EA's desk. Now, peruse some of the in-book pics (with fash and beauty credits from W!) from their spreads below and read Bey and Xtina's cover stories while I order a few dozen drums of glue and goldleaf.

Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci’s angora sweater, crinoline and wool skirt, cap, and shoes. Lorraine Schwartz’s 18k white gold and emerald earrings, David Yurman’s 18k yellow gold and diamond ring

Beauty: L’Oréal Paris EverSleek Humidity Defying Leave-In Crème

By Lynn Hirschberg

Photographs by Patrick Demarchelier

Styled by Alex White

Marc Jacobs’s silk organza top; Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci’s silk satin bra; Atsuko Kudo’s latex briefs. Prabal Gurung gloves; Marc Jacobs headband; Ofira’s 18k black gold, sapphire, and diamond earrings; Louis Vuitton belt, socks, and shoes; Wolford hosiery

Beauty: L’Oréal Paris Studio Secrets Professional Color Smokes Eye Shadow in Blackened Smokes

Dolce & Gabbana's dress with sequins and paillettes. Philip Treacy beret, Munnu/The Gem Palace’s 18k gold, silver, emerald, and diamond earrings

Beauty: L’Oréal Paris Double Extend Eye Illuminator Mascara

By Lynn Hirschberg

Photographs by Daniele Duella & Iango Henzi

Styled by Giovanna Battaglia

Dior’s silk chiffon dress. Chopard’s platinum and diamond earrings and bracelet.

Beauty: MAC Prep + Prime Fortified Skin Enhancer SPF 35.

Hair by Luigi Murenu for John Frieda; Makeup by Tom Pecheux for Estée Lauder; manicure by Bernadette Thompson. Set design by Stefan Beckman; digital technician: Brendan Burke. Photography assistants: Joan Gibbs, Rob Massman, and Evan Lee. Fashion assistants: Michaela Dosamantes and Solange Franklin.