Nicki Minaj UNZIPPED for the Cover of ELLE

Nicki Minaj for ELLE
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Nicki Minaj UNZIPPED for the Cover of ELLE
Nicki Minaj on the cover of ELLE Magazine.
Nicki Minaj for ELLE Magazine.
Nicki Minaj for ELLE Magazine.

Nicki Minaj got a dramatic make-under when she covered ELLE's April 2013 issue, "unzipped," like you've never seen her before!

Sans bold hair, bright lips and dramatic eyes, readers are able to see Nicki looking natural, and looking gorgeous.

She tells ELLE "to go in front of the camera, without pink lips or big ol' crazy lashes – you know, nothing – I felt naked. It was scary!"

We can totally relate: sometimes you become so used to wearing your hair a certain way, or feel like you always need that pop of color, and to go without it feels weird. But we feel so strongly that women should embrace their natural beauty (and really just use makeup to enhance it!) that we're excited to see Nicki doing so with ELLE.

The one thing she felt was the most difficult to give up was her lip color: "I'm so, so attached to my pink lipstick," she said, "I feel that it's become a part of me."

She also spoke to ELLE about the importance of women commanding respect, encouraging a state of mind that will show others "okay, I can't play games with her. I have to do right by this woman."

Minaj talks more about women's empowerment, her experiences with bullying, and plans for world domination (and so much more!) in the April issue of ELLE, hitting newsstands on March 18, 2013.

Read more from the Nicki Minaj ELLE Cover Story here.

More from ELLE:
40+ Statement-Making Heels to Wear This Spring
The 50 Most Beautiful Celebrities in America

Photo Credit: Thomas Whiteside; style by Joe Zee, Courtesy of ELLE
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