Nicki Minaj: Less Was More on ‘American Idol’

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Nicki Minaj: Less Was More on ‘American Idol’

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(Nicki Minaj)

Rapper Nicki Minaj is known for her bright wigs and colorful costumes, but she actually toned things down for her one-season as a judge on "American Idol." She told Marie Claire that she learned a lot about herself during her short time on the TV talent show and that she has, "started feeling more comfortable with less."

"I learned so much about myself, like how perception is reality," she said in the August 2013 issue of the magazine. "The perception that people had of me completely changed because there are no cue cards, there's no script, it wasn't me performing a song. It was, 'Let's see your real personality.' My core is a genuine human being who roots for other people."

The rap diva added, "'Idol' made me seem more relatable to the everyday person. It's cracked that shell for my image. I've become something bigger than Nicki Minaj."

Bigger, but with less baggage, perhaps?

Of course, her make-under has been a work in progress. Back in April, a nearly bare faced Minaj graced the cover of Elle. She told the magazine, "When I saw myself with barely any makeup on, 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."

She elaborated in an interview with MTV on the roots behind her more natural look, "I knew that I was about to start doing covers of magazines and I wanted a more relatable look," she said. "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. I made that conscious effort to tone it down and to try new things ... 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.'"

Some of Minaj's most outrageous outfits from the past include the cheetah print ensemble she wore to the 2011 Grammys, complete with a bride of Frankenstein 'do, and a baubly getup that had her looking like a human gumball machine at NYC Fashion Week that same year. She's also been known to don tutus, blinged-out body suits, and has sported a wig or weave in almost every color of the rainbow.

Of course, some old habits die hard. The rapper recently told British Glamour that her hair is still the most high-maintenance part of her beauty routine, "I don't know many women who change theirs as often as I do!" she admitted. But she has scaled back in another department.

"One of the best beauty tips that I've had is that you can layer your false lashes," she said. "I used to wear three sets, but I'm down to two now."

More From This Contributor:

Nicki Minaj's Clothing Line: Tasteful or Tacky?

Jennifer Lopez Gets 2,500th Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Randy Jackson's 'Idol' Exit: Who's on the Rumored Replacement List?

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