When the latest cover of Paper magazine was released yesterday afternoon, I—like many others—had to do a double take when I saw the name “Christina Aguilera” printed across a close-up shot of a freckly, bare-faced blonde. My internal monologue rambled through the stages of recognition: “Wait, who? No, it couldn’t be. Christina has freckles?!? She looks so pretty. I never thought I’d see the day.”
The public image of Christina Aguilera—the one she’s mostly stuck to since she burst onto the music scene in 1999 with “Genie in a Bottle”—has been one in which makeup plays a big part. She has definitely been a “go big or go home” girl when it comes to beauty, long a fan of dramatic eyelashes, contouring, and a bold red lip. And that camp vibe is part of what makes Christina, Christina. The cover and coinciding photos inside, however, indicate that perhaps a different Aguilera era is upon us, and that new music is likely on the way. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a pop star take this route prior to a musical shift. See: Taylor Swift’s brow-heavy Wonderland cover where she ditched her famed winged eyeliner and red lipstick.
Still, Aguilera said fans shouldn’t expect her to ditch her signature red lips any time soon.
“I mean, I’m a girl that likes a beat face. Let’s not get it twisted,” she said.