She's known for her outrageous wigs and bright pink lipstick, but Nicki Minaj is taking her new look in a different direction.
Beginning with her Elle cover, fans noticed that the American Idol judge sported a much more subdued style. And even on the hit Fox series, Nicki has refrained from wearing over-the-top outfits.
So what gives?PHOTO: American Idol judge Nicki Minaj reveals au naturel hair
"Towards the end of last year I just wanted to have a more natural look, and that's what I was explaining to my team," Nicki revealed to MTV [see video below]. "I knew that I was about to start doing covers of magazines and I wanted a more relatable look. I knew that I was about to launch a clothing line and I want women to know that I'm just a regular woman and I'm not some weirded-out character all the time."
In March, the 30-year-old hip-hop songstress began her transformation, even showing off her real hair on Twitter to her 16 million followers.
"I made that conscious effort to tone it down and to try new things. And when I started seeing what my hair looked like, I just fell in love. I was just like, 'oh my gosh where has this been all my life?' Because even my fans went crazy, I feel like the whole world went crazy," she says, adding. "It felt like I took off this mask — it didn't feel like that to me — but to the world it's almost like, 'oh now we see the real her.' It was weird."
PHOTO: See American Idol judge Nicki Minaj without makeup
Though she's ready for a change, Nicki's not giving up on her love for makeup altogether. In fact, she's still wearing just as much — it's just not as noticeable.
"I think people were under the assumption that I was wearing a lot of makeup because I was wearing pink blush and pink lips," she shares. "In the ELLE shoot we definitely did hardly any makeup, but when people see me on Idol now for instance, I'm not wearing less makeup, I'm just wearing nude colors."
Speaking of Idol, Nicki hasn't had a problem giving the contestants her honest opinion. During rock 'n' roll night on April 3, many performances left the singer "bored." When the crowd booed her the first time, Nicki responded, "Hey, what's the night without a good boo?" Later, when she made another critique, she encouraged the crowd to "Boo!" before they even got a chance to respond.
Love her or hate her, this much is certain: Nicki loves herself on the show.
NEWS: Nicki Minaj deems herself "spectacular" as American Idol judge
"I don't have a worst Idol moment," she recently confessed. "I've been spectacular. Yes, I am going to toot my own horn."
See which contestant goes home — and if Nicki does anything or says anything shocking — tonight on FOX at 8 p.m. ET.
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