Christina Aguilera gave up the clown makeup for Paper Mag: lovely & unrecognizable?

The National Board of Review Awards

This won’t break the internet, but it’s nice to see anyway. Christina Aguilera covers the latest issue of Paper Magazine, and she’s doing a more natural look. To be clear, she’s still wearing makeup, but this is so much better than the orange clown makeup she was wearing for years and years. Aguilera has been extremely quiet for a few years – she left The Voice, she’s been working on an album and hopefully she’s been taking better care of herself. The interview with Paper isn’t breaking news, but she does sound healthy these days. You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

She’ll never give up her makeup: “I mean, I’m a girl that likes a beat face, let’s not get it twisted.”

Growing up in an abusive household: “I watched my mom have to be submissive, watch her Ps and Qs or she’s gonna get beat up… You can either be, unfortunately, so damaged by it that you take a turn for the worse, or you can feel empowered by it and make choices to never go down that route… I hate when people say, ‘Why doesn’t she just leave?’ There’s psychological damage and mental abuse that comes with being in a situation like that. A lot of people don’t have the ability to vocalize it themselves or have the know-how to get out.”

Always changing: “I can’t stay in a stagnant place for too long, which is why I think the position I was in with television just became very stifling,” she says, referring to her six-season stint on The Voice. “I need movement, I need to go explore, be an artist, create and transform.”

She wants to be cast in a comedy: “My ultimate would be to do something with Will Ferrell. Just super funny, just laughing and being stooges.”

The music landscape today: “They don’t have as much backlash when they come out on the scene. And I did. It was a very interesting and controversial time for me.” She points out how much more accepted it is now for an artist to take risks and to also be sexually empowered than it was back then. “Either women are not sexual enough or we’re not fulfilling enough of a fantasy for you, but then if we’re overtly sexual or feeling empowered in a certain kind of way, then we’re shamed for it.” She’s proud of herself during the “Dirrty” era, even with the harsh criticism she received. “Madonna had to go through it in her day, and she paved the way for my generation to come up. And paying it forward, now a younger generation is coming up and I’m loving what I’m seeing. It’s so incredible.”

[From Paper Magazine]

Thinking back on Aguilera’s career, it’s more than possible that she just came around in the wrong era. They tried to cast her a Britney (but one who could actually sing), then she recast herself as the anti-Britney, the Dirrty Era X-Tina. And then what? Aguilera changed her look and vibe about a dozen times over the years but nothing really stuck (at least not to me). In a different era, she could have been more like Halsey or Adele, you know? And she absolutely could have been Lady Gaga.


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Cover and photo courtesy of Paper Magazine.

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64 Responses to “Christina Aguilera gave up the clown makeup for Paper Mag: lovely & unrecognizable?”

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  1. Rose says:

    Woah ,she looks gorgeous!

    • NightOwl says:

      I agree. Beautiful.

      • Eleonor says:

        I am always surprised how YOUNGER all the celebrities look without too much makeup.

      • MagicalDay says:

        I liked her whole lotta make up thing. Everyone has a right to feel their own beautiful. But she looks so cool here, from
        My POV. I love expression so whatever she prefers.

    • imqrious2 says:

      I did not recognize her! If I hadn’t seen her name, I NEVER would think it was her. As it is, I had to look a few times lol (and I’m *still* not convinced! lol).

      She looks so young and vulnerable; I wish she didn’t feel the need to spackle on so much makeup. She looks gorgeous without it!

      • Kit says:

        Maybe this is the point, she probably gets away with strolling the neighbourhood, make up free and unrecognisable, then puts the mask on for her public persona. Her skin must be getting some direct air and sunlight some time to get those cool freckles.

    • Steph says:

      I literally said holy crap she looks beautiful when I saw her.

  2. equalitygadfly says:

    She looks amazing. Sensational, even.

    • V4Real says:

      I love her freckles. She looks beautiful and fresh with a clean face. I know there’s light makeup like powder for lighting and photography purposes but this is pretty much her naked face.

    • otaku fairy says:

      The black and white picture of her on the bottom looks the prettiest. She’d probably look even prettier without the light blond hair.

  3. LadyT says:

    This is sooo much better. I remember on The Voice seeing her makeup smeared all up into her hairline and discoloring her hair. Pretty horrifying.

  4. Veronica says:

    Unpopular Opinion: Her bad makeup was always slightly charming to me. It gave her a level of ridiculousness that I enjoyed in a pop star.

    I’m curious about what her new music will be. She’s got the vocal talent, but there’s a lot more competition in that area of pop now.

    • PPP says:

      I like it too. It’s Dolly Parton-ish. She looks great without makeup too, but I like that she has just decided what she likes, come hell or high water.

    • DianaB says:

      This! she likes what she likes. To me, she looks good either way and I like she doesn’t apologize for liking what she likes.

    • Betsy says:

      It was just so orange!

  5. Defaultgirl says:

    She looks so much younger. I never knew she had freckles, I love this look!!!

  6. Slowsnow says:

    She looks 25 years old. And her freckles are adorable.
    But she does warn us that she loves make-up so no chance she is going down this route. Which is a shame because the no make-up make up look fits her really well.

  7. pwal says:

    She looks lovely. I hope she’ll gain some perspective about her freckles, which are likely the reason behind the Oompa Loompa makeup.

    Seriously, she looks decades younger without all of that makeup. And the freckles help with the youthful look.

  8. LeaTheFrench says:

    She looks so youthful and healthy on the cover ! I hope she sticks to this look for a while. Her natural beauty really shines through.

  9. Happy21 says:

    She looks beautiful.
    I’ve always thought that Christina was such a fantastic singer but she needed to stop trying to be a big pop star with catchy Top 40 hits. Her voice speaks for itself. She could easily find a huge market among the Celine Dion type fans (is that called Adult Contemporary still). I’ve thought this for years about Mariah Carey as well. Like they are such fantastic singers but they’re a little older and they just don’t rock the dancey-auto tuned pop crap that is so popular these days. And because of that they should try their talents elsewhere. Their talent is still there, it’s just not being projected to the appropriate market.

    • holly hobby says:

      She can actually sing country really well. She guested on Nashville (ABC not the current version) and her singing was just wonderful. Nothing fancy and over the top. Straight singing. I’m sure it’s on Youtube so just look for it.

      She should keep this look. She is very pretty here.

    • Silent Star says:

      Yes, she is one of the few in this area who has Aretha Franklin level chops. She should be legendary.

      “She could have been a Lady Gaga?!?” Don’t let her catch you saying that! Don’t you remember when Gaga first came up and someone asked Christina what she thought of her and she said “I don’t know that person”!

      Gaga is incredible in her own right, but she’s derivative of Christina, among others.

  10. Ninette says:


    • heh says:

      should’ve taken the FAKE nails off.

      • Olive says:

        @heh it’s not like they’re 1 or 1.5 inch long fake nails, they’re fake but they’re still a natural length for nails. i wear my natural nails longer than that.

  11. Nicegirl says:

    I love Christina. I’d see her in concert. This is a lovely set of pics! She is beautiful, no matter what we say.

    • Notsoanonymous says:

      I’ve seen her live. She can’t dance worth anything (and this was during the Dirrrty days, she was expected at that point to be a full on pop star) but her voice is INCREDDDDDDDIBLE. I’m a forever fan.

  12. Pho sho says:


  13. Len says:

    I love the cover! She looks beautiful underneath those clown make up she likes to put on. I’ve always been more of a fan of Christina than Britney back in the days. She was just more talented (vocal wise) and Beautiful is such a beautiful song.

    I hope she can make a comeback hit but that would be hard in this era where they value auto-tune and popularity than pure talent.

  14. Naddie says:

    She is naturally beautiful, but one of the most obnoxious celebrities ever. Oddly, her songs saved my life many times.

    • SKF says:

      Yeah I have some friends who worked on The Voice as part of the team looking after her and she is a nightmare-level diva. The stuff they told me was hilarious and insane.

  15. Ankhel says:

    Oh, wow. Very pretty. Christina could easily take this look and make a country or folk album. “Real”, you know. She’d sell in droves. She still has the voice. That she still has the looks too was more of a surprise to me.

  16. naomipaige says:

    Wow! To me, it doesn’t look like her at all. I wouldn’t have known it was her.

  17. Harryg says:

    So much better!

  18. Frosty says:

    Whoa what a difference. She’s gorgeous without the drag.

  19. passerby says:

    Love her! Her best album was/is Back to Basics. imo. That album helped me in so many ways!

  20. lucy2 says:

    I’ve always thought she had a really beautiful face, and couldn’t understand why she piled so much make up on (and bad hair and clothes). She looks stunning here (and really young!).
    She’s an amazingly talented singer too, she’s never needed all the gimmicks, though she’s often done them. I’d love to see her do an album of classics or ballads or something, and transition into a more grown up career.

  21. Alexis says:

    She looks so pretty!

  22. Valerie says:

    I agree Xtina is an incredibly talented singer. I don’t agree that she could have “absolutely been Lady Gaga”, though. Gaga’s musicianship extends to songwriting (more than just a writing credit. Gaga writes her own lyrics and melodies) and some pretty solid piano chops. I don’t think the same is true of Christina at all, unless I am mistaken.

    • pan says:

      she writes too… in fact, she sorta tweaked genie in the bottle a bit but didn’t want credit (she should’ve taken it lols). but yes, i don’t think she has the musicality (instruments) like gaga.

  23. Rachel Phelps says:

    Another unpopular opinion: while part of me wants to give her mad props for this look, I feel the anti-clown-makeup statement of this look is completely negated by the overly-inflated lips and noticing she’s on easily her third nose by now. She may not have much makeup on, but this look isn’t “real” by any means.

    • otaku fairy says:

      I agree about the lips, but I don’t think she’s had more than one nose job- I think she’s been contouring on and off over the past two decades.

    • pan says:

      if you check out her nose in older pictures it really does look the same (if not bigger cause weight gain)… the upper lip though… meh, it’s subtle and if she feels better about it, awesome. she always had a nice shape of the mouth (i am sure there is a name for it).

    • Carmen says:

      Thank you! I’m not sure about her nose and I totally agree with everyone else that this look is SO MUCH better than her other look (she’s gorgeous), but it’s not natural by any means. Because even if you consider that she’s wearing some natural makeup and there are studio lights and all that, there’s a lot of photoshop and .. enhancement going on.

      Christina is what.. 37 now? And yet nobody comments on the fact that there is not a wrinkle in sight, no nasolabial fold, nothing to suggest that she’s not in her early 20s. The result is great, absolutely, but it’s still the result of fillers, botox and some professional photographer/retouching magic.

      • CairinaCat says:

        I’m 48 and I have zero wrinkles and folds and sags
        I frequently get told I look mid thirties.
        My mom is 68 and looks in her 40’s
        We have no Botox, fillers, work, ect.
        I am a So California native and grew up on the beach and in the sun. Tons of bad sunburns.
        I have very clear white skin now. So you’d never know I was a dark tan for a couple decades.

        It really just comes down to genetics

  24. ines says:

    She looks so pretty!

  25. Karli says:

    That’s a great cover – stunning woman.

  26. JenJen says:

    Lovely : )

  27. Lucy says:

    Fantastic cover. She explains the mechanisms of domestic violence perfectly. If only more people would understand that nothing is as simple as “just leaving”.

  28. Mrs. G says:

    She recently puted her first boyfriend as gay the dancer She dated for years Jorge Santos

  29. Larelyn says:

    I want to know how in the world she can wear so much makeup and have such a natural complexion? No red marks, even pores… I know the photo had to have some Photoshop, but you’d think years if pancake would have left some evidence… right?

    • Domino says:

      I think she has had lots of spots in the past. Don’t know about now.

    • Carol says:

      You’d be surprised how nice just a tinted moisturizer can make your skin look – it looks more natural than foundation but does a decent job of coverage.

      plus, photoshop.

    • Carmen says:

      I think it’s a combination of everything modern cosmetic treatments, fillers, botox and photoshop can offer. I doubt she looks like that naturally (I mean.. there are no wrinkles or anything, she looks like dewy 20something) and I also doubt the original photos before they went through some very heavy retouching looked like that.

  30. SLP says:

    I thought she was gorgeous in the Mulan music video she did around the time of her breakout song Genie in a Bottle. I love how she can transform, and it is nice to see her face again in a different way.

  31. serena says:

    Holy s* she looks gorgeous!!! She needs to step away from heavy make-up and do this kind of look, it looks perfect on her. Love it.

  32. No Doubtful says:

    The freckles are cute. Less is more sometimes. The lips are distracting though. I wish that trend would go away along with oversize fake rears.

    Still waiting for another album! Her career flat-lined way too early. I think it’s good to switch up styles, but I always found that she never really knew what she wanted to do musically. Stripped and BTB had clear direction, but Lotus and Bionic were a little messy. Plus her over-singing grates on the nerves.

  33. Betsy says:

    Oh my god she’s glorious! Like a 1930s chanteuse! I’m actually getting excited for her album.

  34. Domino says:

    She looks like Julianne Hough’s sister.

  35. Loca says:

    They photo shopped her face to look smaller because that definitely isn’t the size of her face or the size of her body. Still some minimal make up there. As far as The Voice her comment made no sense being once Gwen and Blake happened there was no return of Christina. Of course she would be back if they wanted her back. She ain’t fooling no one with that. Her interviews are about the same topics and answers everytime.

  36. jammypants says:

    Just want to say I enjoyed a very obscure song she released called Telepathy with Nile Rodgers produced for the underrated and prematurely cancelled The Get Down.

  37. Dawn says:

    Cut it out. She looks like a blowfish with a duck face. If her beauty was authentic, these praises wouldn’t sound delusional. No matter how much plastic surgery one has……you will never be the prototype.

    • Silent Star says:

      As long as it looks alright, I have no problem with beauty that is a result of surgery. In fact, I’d rather compliment someone on looks that were planned surgically than looks they were born with. When you are born with beauty, you did nothing to earn it, so why would anyone deserve accolades for it?