Nicki Minaj Gets A Gorgeous Makeunder For ‘Elle’

Nicki Minaj in Tom Ford on the cover of Elle.
Photo: Courtesy of Elle

It’s wild that seeing an incredibly recognizable, super famous woman without makeup could be described as anything close to shocking, but we have to admit, it sometimes is. We’re used to seeing Nicki Minaj done up with the bright pink lipstick, full lashes and flawless hair. Sure, she’s been simplifying her style in the new year, but it’s still nothing close to the no-makeup look she’s rocking on the April cover of Elle. With her long blonde hair loose, damp and wavy and not a single dab of color anywhere on her face, Nicki looks like she could have just (flawlessly) gotten out of the shower. Photographed by Thomas Whiteside and (of course) styled by Joe Zee, Nicki is wearing a Tom Ford leather jacket on the cover, and very little else, save for a pair of American Apparel leggings.

Nicki Minaj in Jeremy Scott for Adidas and Ferregamo in Elle.
Photo: Courtesy of Elle

The interior spread remains stylistically simple, although by no means everyday. A Jeremy Scott for Adidas bathing suit is paired with Ferragamo leather trousers, for example, looks positively normie on Minaj, but we know it’s all relative. In the accompanying article, Nicki talks about her makeunder, saying, “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.” She went on to elaborate on the importance of her makeup look, saying, “I feel that it’s become a part of me. To go in front of the camera, without pink lips or big ol’ crazy lashes—you know, nothing—I felt naked. It was scary! So this photo shoot was a real accomplishment in my eyes.”

Nicki Minaj in Dolce & Gabbana in Elle.
Photo: Courtesy of Elle

While we wish it wasn’t so rare to see a gorgeous woman without her face on, we totally get where Nicki is coming from, and we’re really glad she decided to take the plunge. She not only gets real in the photo shoot, but also in the text, where she opens up about everything from her experiences being bullied as a kid to her knowledge and struggles commanding respect as a woman. Check out the full interview here!

What do you think of Nicki Minaj’s Elle makeunder?