27 Jan Nicki Minaj’s Offers Up Her Beauty Secrets
The perpetual chameleon may be many things, but sheâ€™s never low-key. When it comes to beauty, she mixes the bold with the basic.
Many a megastar will turn up for an interview clad in denim or a casual dress in order to appear more down-to-earth. Not Nicki Minaj. When we meet in a hotel room overlooking New Yorkâ€™s Union Square after the unveiling of Minajâ€™s M.A.C Viva Glam lipstick, the diminutive chart-topper looks as though she just beamed down from planet Express Yourself. Itâ€™s hard to know where to look first: the shoulder-length blond wig dotted with pink leopard spots, the strappy peach-hued HervÃ© LÃ©ger dress, or the fox-fur-embellished Louboutin stilettos. Minajâ€™s fondness for wackadoo fashion, Day-Glo makeup, and cartoonish wigsâ€”so many wigsâ€”has established her, along with Gaga and Katy Perry, as one of the most flamboyant and fun-to-watch ladies currently leading the hit parade.
Have long have you been into experimenting with your look?
I was always inspired by people who did wild stuff but didnâ€™t always have the balls to do it myself. Now I canâ€™t leave it alone. Even with my wigs, I get bored. I canâ€™t believe I used to wear the same hairstyle every day of the year.
When did the wig love begin?
When I met a person who could do them. I donâ€™t want a wig that looks like a wig; I want one that could pass for a weave. And I have an amazing hairdresser [Terrence Davidson]. I could literally tell him to put a jukebox on my head, and he would figure it out.
Whatâ€™s the most high-maintenance part of your beauty routine?
My eyes, because theyâ€™re the one thing I need my makeup artist to do. I donâ€™t have the patience, my hands shake, and I mess everything up. So my makeup artist has to do my brows and lids and lashes. Everyone knows Iâ€™m a lash girl by now. When I donâ€™t have my lashes, I feel naked.
Are they extensions or strips?
Today Iâ€™m wearing strips. I used to wear the individual lashes, but those became so time-consuming. We needed to figure out an easier way, so my makeup artist has been experimenting with cutting lash strips in half and piling them on top of each other.
Whatâ€™s the best tip a makeup artist has taught you?
I contour by using a lighter shade of foundation under my eyes instead of concealer. I take it down in a triangle by the sides of my nose, and then apply blush on top. I donâ€™t do round, rosy cheeks; thatâ€™s for old people. Itâ€™s played out. I like the color to be like a diagonal line across the cheekbone up to the temples. It really changes the shape of my face.
Whatâ€™s always in your makeup bag?
I canâ€™t see myself without pink lipstick. I can go without it for a couple days, but if there was no more pink lipstick in the world, Iâ€™d be useless. Seriously. And a good white pencil for under the eye, just inside the rim. It helps you look like youâ€™re on.
How do you keep your skin in good shape while touring?
I take my makeup off immediately. If I donâ€™t, Iâ€™ll wake up and be like, â€œOh my God!â€ because Iâ€™ll have breakouts.
And on days off?
Iâ€™ll still wear pink lipstick, and maybe some lip conditioner.
Your nails are surprisingly simple.
My nails used to be, like, a mile long, with all these crazy designs on them. The reason I stopped doing that was because one time, when I was driving from New York to Atlanta, I hit my hand on something and it ripped off the nail and the skin. I had to pull over I was in so much pain and stay in a $50 motel where the truckers sleep. I vowed I would never get long nails again.
All sales of ultrapink M.A.C Viva Glam Nicki will go to the M.A.C AIDS fund; Minaj keeps her limbs soft with cocoa-butter-infused lotions such as Vaseline Total Moisture Cocoa Radiant and always has Skintimate Extra Gentle Moisturizing Cream Shave in her showerâ€”â€œIt smells so good!â€; Minajâ€™s collaboration with OPI Nail Lacquer has resulted in six vibrant shades, including the cerulean Fly; she uses M.A.C Pro Longwear fluid foundation on both her face and legsâ€”â€œIf you change your makeup a lot and want coverage without wearing something heavy, put that one on. Itâ€™s really lightweightâ€; â€œIf you donâ€™t bring me Dove, weâ€™ll probably be fighting,â€ says the rapper of her favorite cleansing barâ€”â€œI have supersensitive skin, and itâ€™s very gentleâ€; though sheâ€™s open to trying any rainbow-bright shade of eye shadow, Minaj says she â€œcanâ€™t live without M.A.C black liquid eyeliner.â€