Nicki Minaj isn't just known as Barbie because of her 5′ 2″ frame, y'all. The Grammy-nominated rapper is the queen of switching things up. When she broke out onto the scene in 2009 with her bright wigs and brighter lipstick, everyone paid attention. When she opted for long raven-coloured hair and muted, nude tones in 2014, everyone dropped their jaws at her natural beauty. Since then, we've been treated to a healthy balance of extremes. We still get the pink hair, but now it'll be a rosy gold with blonde highlights. And we'll get straight hair, too – except it goes all the way down to her ankles.
But for her T Magazine cover story and spread, the icon appeared like we've never seen her... all powered by a beauty dream team trifecta: Pat McGrath and Sheika Daley on makeup, and Tokyo Stylez on hair. "Channeling #Sade," Minaj captioned an Instagram of her look. And that she does: long, low ponytail, deep red lips, glowing skin, gold hoops, and all. We've reached out to McGrath to see if Minaj is wearing a lip color from her eponymous line — we're guessing that the sheer colour is one of the new creamy LuxeTrance shades.
And you already know that the Barbz are flipping over this one. As one put it on Twitter, "Mona Lisa is shaking in her frame." The fans also think that this quieter look is an indicator that Minaj's long-awaited fourth album is coming soon — and that this is a way for everyone to focus on the music more. "I went so far to the other side that there's only one place to go from there," Minaj told MTV in 2014, after her first make under. "You can either continue doing costumes or you can just say, 'Hey guess what? This will shock them even more. Doing nothing will shock them even more.'" Mission accomplished, Onika.
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