Nicki Minaj Without Makeup In Elle: Says She Feels Naked When Makeup-Free [PHOTOS]

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Nicki Minaj goes practically makeup-free on the latest Elle cover.

This is her second cover for the publication, after she graced its May 2011 Music issue.

The 30-year-old artist shows a very different side, and the cover headline reads, “Nicki Minaj UNZIPPED: No Wig, No Costume, The ‘American Idol’ Diva Like You’ve Never Seen Her Before.” This is certainly true, as Minaj wears a demure blonde hairstyle, a black unzipped leather motorcycle jacket and black jeans. Gone are the fake eyelashes, pink lips and bright eye shadow.

Inside, Minaj spoke about her make-under for the Elle shoot. “When I saw myself with barely any makeup at all, it was such a … like, I’m so, so attached to my pink lipstick, it’s hard. 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.”

Minaj’s more toned-down look is the result of her firing her hair and makeup team, as part of an apparent effort to gain more respect.

A source explained to British tabloid The Sun earlier this month, “Nicki is desperate to be taken seriously as an artist.”

Though her hairstylist, Terrence Davidson, who worked with Minaj for three years, released a statement in January saying he was quitting, he apparently was axed.

“She’s fired her long-standing hairdresser who has been responsible for some of her crazy hairstyles over the years. She’s also fired her stylist,” the source continued.

Minaj has since hired veteran hairstylist Oscar James.

Check out the rest of her Elle interview here and view her photos from the shoot below:[[nid:1127181]]

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