Since emerging on the hip-hop scene, Nicki Minaj quickly positioned herself as a style icon. From her collection of wigs in an array of candy-coated colors and geometrical shapes to her outrageous fashion sense, the Caribbean lyricist is giving Lady Gaga a run for her money — and the world is on notice.

The animated rapper and cover model for the current issue of V Magazine, was photographed both glammed up and toned down. Although we love the artistry behind the Día de los Muertos inspired look, the simplicity of her flushed cheeks and signature pink lipstick is beautiful. Dramatic makeup is fun every once and a while, but we’ve come up with four reasons why Nicki’s tamer look works.

hope_in_a_jar_re_a1Exhibitionism is freeing. Let’s get naked!

No, we aren’t talking about streaking. Going without a face full of makeup can be liberating. Not only is it a chance to learn to embrace your natural beauty, it saves time. Makeup can enhance what you’ re already working with, but if you aren’t careful, it can cover it too. Reintroduce yourself to the natural you! Instead of focusing on the right shade of foundation, opt for a light moisturizer that gives your skin a natural glow like Philosophy’s Hope In a Jar ($15).

MarcJacobsMost men prefer women that wear less makeup.

At C+C, we strongly believe in looking good for yourself. A woman’s beauty and style regime is more authentic when based on her own personality — something Nicki has a lot of — but every now and then it’s nice to look sexy for the man you love. It’s flattering when your boo prefers you sans the cover up. Try combining a fresh face with a fresh and feminine scent like Marc Jacobs Daisy ($20-75). Not only will he think you look pretty — but you’ll smell pretty too!

lippmanncollection_2145_406066-1Makeup isn’t a necessity.

Let’s keep it real. Sometimes you just don’t need it. Who wants to worry about runny eyeliner while vacationing at the beach? We don’t! Certain situations call for ditching your makeup kit and going au natural. Turn the focus to your fingers and toes by investing in a new shade of nail polish. A warm and sultry color like Deborah Lippman No More Drama ($16) or a bold and bright shade like Essie Coral Reef ($7) are both great reasons to spend some bread on a mani and pedi. When you have perfectly painted nails you don’t have to worry about painting your face.

Ocean_Salt_490f2f3267f2bHealth skin is always in style.

Just like hair, your skin needs a break from the constant primping. A healthy skincare regime is essential. Daily cleansing, moisturizing, and exfoliation not only keep skin looking and feeling young, but promotes a more even complexion. To help wash away the days impurities and freshen dull skin try a natural exfoliator like LUSH Ocean Salt Cleanser ($35).

So, say hello to those cute freckles or that interesting birthmark. After all, they are what make you special.

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