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 blond. 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 Papercover 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.