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Christina Aguilera Kicks Off Her New Era With A No-Makeup ‘Transformation’

She's almost unrecognizable on her first magazine cover in years

Christina Aguilera has posed for her first magazine shoot in years, and you’d be forgiven if you don’t even recognize her. The 37-year-old singer is shockingly understated in her Paper magazine spread, scrubbing all the makeup off her face in a series of bold images. That means no eyeliner, no mascara, and lots of freckles. Behold:

In the accompanying interview, published Monday (March 26), Aguilera spoke about embracing her “raw beauty,” saying, “I’ve always been someone that obviously loves to experiment, loves theatrics, loves to create a storyline and play a character in a video or through stage. I’m a performer, that’s who I am by nature. But I’m at the place, even musically, where it’s a liberating feeling to be able to strip it all back and appreciate who you are and your raw beauty.”

Still, the Stripped singer admits that she’s “a girl that likes a beat face, let’s not get it twisted,” and the rest of her Paper spread does manage to get increasingly dramatic, as Aguilera rocks Twiggy-esque eyelashes, emerald lipstick, and a wet, sheer dress.

Aguilera’s new cover story comes just a couple months after she teased her upcoming eighth studio album by promising fans, “It’s coming bitches.” Unfortunately, she remained tight-lipped about her new music in the Paper interview, which instead focused on Xtina’s makeup preferences, her fondness for DVDs, and her desire to make a buddy comedy with Will Ferrell. She did, however, mention the artists she’s currently listening to, describing Childish Gambino as “a genius,” praising the “charismatic” Chance The Rapper, and openly stanning Cardi B (“She makes people really crack up just by being herself, and it's genuine”).

Hopefully, we’ll find out more about Aguilera’s upcoming album soon enough. In the meantime, these new pics should whet your appetite for the pop veteran’s sure-to-be-shocking new era.