Nicki Minaj Gets a Make-Under, Plots World Domination in ELLE

Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj is stripping down in the pages of ELLE. The queen of the Barbz trades in her colorful wigs, makeup, and eccentric wardrobe for a more natural look in the magazine’s April issue.

The rap diva struts for the camera in some designer threads including a Jeremy Scott bathing suit, Dolce & Gabbana bustier, and leather Tom Ford jacket. Inside the issue, she talks about her dramatic “make-under,” being bullied as a child, her advice to women, and plans for world domination.

On her “make-under”: “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.”

On being bullied as a child: “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.”

Her advice for 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.”

On her plans for world domination: “My goal in the beginning was to buy my mother a house. Now I realize, Okay, if I really focus and become a key player in business, then I can build an empire. I’m thinking of a legacy that I can be proud of and wealth that my grandchildren can use to go to college. So world domination—in terms of providing for my family—is absolutely my goal.”

Read the full interview in the April issue, which hits newsstands March 18. See more pics from her fashionable shoot below and watch Nicki go one-on-one with herself in a behind-the-scenes clip.

Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj

Photo credit: Thomas Whiteside/ELLE



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67 Comments

  1. Layla

    Ugly.

    [Reply]

    Jaye Reply:

    @Layla, you mother ugly…. Dumb hoe

    [Reply]

    @Lewis_Lewinsky Reply:

    @Jaye, She looks a-fucking-mazing! UHHH I just fucking love this shoot!!

    [Reply]

    #BEENTRILL Reply:

    @Layla,

    NICKI IS LIKE A 4 IN THE FACE AND WITHOUT THE IMPLANTS A 0 IN THE BODY… POOR GIRL!!!

    [Reply]

    JustCoastWitHa Reply:

    @#BEENTRILL, and you look like ? oh

    [Reply]

    #BEENTRILL Reply:

    @JustCoastWitHa,

    BOO NICKI AIN’T SHIT!

    [Reply]

    TheQueenIsHere Reply:

    @#BEENTRILL, I knew it wouldn’t take long for her haters to act up lol She’s in a photoshoot wearing designer shit while you are stuck behind a computer being a negative nancy. Do your homework and go to school sweet peas.

    [Reply]

    TIFFANY Reply:

    @Layla, i actually kind of love her, does that make me a lez? i think i’m having homosexual desires.

    [Reply]

    HelloKitty Reply:

    @Layla, damn DID ALL YALL KNOW THT EVERYTHING ON NIKKI MANAJ IS FAKE
    I LOOKED IT UP AND EVEN HER FUCKING FACE IS FAKE

    [Reply]

  2. Keisha

    Her hair look like a wet mop.

    [Reply]

    Jaye Reply:

    @Keisha, you mad cause your mom Still wear those old ass lace fronts

    [Reply]

    Ursula Reply:

    @Jaye, Well damn. lol.

    [Reply]

    StarsAreBlind Reply:

    @Keisha, You wouldn’t know what your hair looks like wet because you’d end up with more naps than a kindergarten class. #staymad

    [Reply]

  3. Mat

    Natural BEAUTY. No overstatement. My fav ROCKS.

    [Reply]

    Glamazon Reply:

    @Mat, Its Time For All The Barbs To Be Changing Their Twitter’s Icon,Header And Background

    [Reply]

  4. Jaye

    Fucking love Nicki Minaj. She is unstoppable and ain’t none of these other rap bitches fucking with her. Love the new look, it is very stunning!!!!!

    [Reply]

    TIFFANY Reply:

    @Jaye, I’m having homosexual desires over her

    [Reply]

  5. Jaye

    Beautiful!!!!!! Love the new look!!!

    [Reply]

  6. Zack

    Looks good!

    [Reply]

    BEYONCELAND Reply:

    @Zack, She Looks Like A Wet DOG! LMAO

    [Reply]

    Zack Reply:

    @BEYONCELAND, at least she looks human this time

    [Reply]

  7. keys is my homie

    she looks terrible…lay off of the makeup and surgery

    [Reply]

    Jaye Reply:

    @keys is my homie, fuck you and who the fuck is keys???? Y’all both look horrible

    [Reply]

    Jaye Reply:

    @keys is my homie, you and keys look horrible!!!! Lil Kim looking bums

    [Reply]

    TJ Reply:

    @keys is my homie, Bitter…

    [Reply]

  8. Nix

    This is genuinely my favourite look of hers. She looks like a woman with a pure soul. Like they just picked her up from some wilderness and put clothes on her. I love it.

    [Reply]

    TJ Reply:

    @Nix, !!!

    [Reply]

  9. DR

    SHE LOOKS LIKE A WHITE GIRL

    [Reply]

  10. Lily

    Beautiful a$$ woman

    [Reply]

  11. TJ

    This photo shoot is gorgeous! Less really is more with her.

    [Reply]

  12. Kelvin

    She really looks good here. Without all the make up you can actually tell there is no surgery done to her face. Im so glad she is more toned down and womanly this year. Good job Ms. Minaj

    [Reply]

  13. mumi

    That’s the first time I think she looks beautiful on a picture. She really needs to get all the make up off her face. It makes her look like a clown.

    [Reply]

  14. boom

    She really is gorgeous “NATURALLY”.. Meaning I’m glad she ditched the “OVER THE TOP SHIT” because this look does her beauty justice..

    “LET’S ALL PRAY & HOPE SHE DOESN’T RUIN HERSELF LIKE KIM DID, CUZ THE QUEEN BEE IS LOOKING FUCKED”

    [Reply]

  15. opd2

    Nicki is beautiful,i was a fan from the get go and i remember her on the come up DVDs,were she wasn’t wearing any makeup and she was still beautiful,mainstream js don’t now that side of nicki thats why most is so surprise to see this part of her and she is still beautiful.

    [Reply]

    Jake Reply:

    @opd2, thank you lol… NIGGAS ARE LATE!!

    [Reply]

  16. carlos

    I normally hate the way she looks but I like her a lot without all the makeup and crazy stuff

    [Reply]

  17. kate

    i hate her music but dont lie she is realy beautiful here

    [Reply]

  18. RemiBLANCO

    Ill be honest, better than her look last year, she looked like a kindergartner.

    She actually looks decent here, not sure if i’m feeling the lipstick though

    [Reply]

  19. King

    As much as I hate to admit it, she does look good without the pink lips and big ass lashes.

    [Reply]

  20. Jonathan

    Nicki Beautiful Queen Minaj.. Girl you are flawless.

    [Reply]

  21. ...

    I’m not really feeling most of these pictures. She looks dried out or tired. I don’t understand why people choose this look. Natural is natural. She has on makeup it’s just nude. She did dress crazy but that was who she was. Beyonce wore natural very good. This reminded me of Kim’s shoot. But if this is an accomplishment for her, what can I say. Just my opinion.

    [Reply]

  22. jake

    okay Nicki you’re pretty with no make-up but when we gonna see you w/o wig?

    [Reply]

    channelPink Reply:

    @jake, The warning video.

    [Reply]

    Jake Reply:

    @channelPink, That video is 6 years old. I want a recent pic of her w/o wig

    [Reply]

  23. ...

    She has on makeup and that is not her real hair. She has on nude everything. She doesn’t look like this without makeup and we all know that. I’m not really feeling most of these pictures. She looks tired or maybe dried out but if she sees this as an accomplishment, nobody can tell her nothing.

    [Reply]

  24. :)

    She has on makeup it’s just nude. I’m not feeling this, though. She looks more like she needs moisture. Oh well.

    [Reply]

  25. AAA

    My girl is beautiful

    [Reply]

  26. JustCoastWitHa

    She looks tf Amazing

    [Reply]

  27. nicko

    OMFGGG ! SHE LOOKS AMAZING !! :OO

    [Reply]

  28. infamous

    She needs to stay with this look!

    [Reply]

  29. Tamar

    Does anyone else see a light skin Meagan good in the third photo? Anyway, she’s beautiful and that advice was spot on

    [Reply]

  30. KeepinIt100

    So a word to the haters:

    A great way to express yourself politely and effectively.

    –These pictures are not the best I’ve seen of her.
    –I don’t think I agree with the opinions of others about Nicki, but that’s just my opinion.
    –It would have been nice to see… I would like to see Nicki… Right now I’m not a fan.
    –You know, I may not be a fan, but I’m happy to see her find success although I may not approve of her decisions.

    See folks, the difference between not agreeing / not being a fan and HATE. What you all do is hate.

    [Reply]

    Andy Reply:

    @KeepinIt100, THANKS! I appreciate your opinion and I agree that is not her best shoot but she’s still very hot.

    [Reply]

  31. C94B

    Why didn’t she take out the contacts though ?

    [Reply]

    TMOE Reply:

    @C94B, in her eyes? Nigga those are HER eyes. She got laser eye surgery years ago.

    [Reply]

    C94B Reply:

    @TMOE,

    Oh really ? Damn. The color of her eyes’ kind of strange then. She’s beautiful though.

    [Reply]

  32. channelPink

    I don’t know how I feel about this. I like the more natural look she’s been sporting and I like the sound that she’s been giving us lately. But, I do feel because of people’s close mindedness she’s not able to give her all. But I do understand what she’s going through right now cause I’m going through it to. We’ve been so high and mighty but in reality we were lacking in something, something called reality. And it takes being at the bottom to realize that. And I’m not talking about completely failing but not as good as you though you were before. But that’s the part of life and growth. I respect it.

    [Reply]

  33. BOOM

    She’s a STUPID HOE just like her song…lmfaooooooo

    [Reply]

    FoxyRemiKim Reply:

    @BOOM, okay then… that was irrelevant to this news article. You stay hating and she stay winning

    [Reply]

  34. sharp tongue

    I fucking love it.

    [Reply]

  35. selle

    Now that’s Onika. Beautiful.

    [Reply]

  36. Nicki Minaj Goes Au Natural For Elle US' April Cover | Ms. Drama TV

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  37. Third eye tre

    Make under? bull shit your hair stylist quit and that over the top shit got tired a long time ago.

    [Reply]

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  41. yoyo

    That is some cold BULL SHIT!!!!!!! This Bitch needs to sit her bithch ass down somewhere. This is NOT HOT, at ALL!!!!!!!!!!
    Plus, she is very bi-poler. First, figure out who or what you want to be then go with it, because this bitch does not know who the fuck she is or who she wants to be. And, this is being said with love…

    [Reply]

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