In her hit song “Money,” Cardi B sang “nothing in this world that I like more than checks,” and, listen, she hustles hard for every single deposit in her bank account. This year alone she won her first Grammy Award, headlined several major music festivals, launched a second sell-out Fashion Nova collection, and celebrated her first Mother’s Day — and the Bronx rapper’s reign is nowhere near complete. This weekend, she’ll add actress to her list of accolades, as she makes her debut as Diamond in the movie Hustlers.
The rapper’s first big-screen appearance is a fitting one. Cardi’s character arc in the film closely resembles her real life. For starters, Diamond is a stripper that hails from the Bronx, an origin story that aligns perfectly with Cardi’s. Secondly, their go-to makeup style is nearly identical.
We spoke to Cardi’s go-to makeup artist, Erika La’ Pearl, who did her makeup for the film. “Cardi was very laid-back and trusted me to create her look for Hustlers,” La’ Pearl says. “We had only one day to film all of her scenes, so she came in, closed her eyes, and let me get to work.”
It was a long 24 hours for La’ Pearl, so she started Cardi off with a neutral look that could be easily built on. “The off-stage scenes were more raw and natural, so I created a bronze smoky eye, and as taping progressed, I was able to add deeper shadow and lashes for her on-stage scenes,” La’ Pearl explains.
When it came time to highlight Cardi’s body — an important part of the glam since she shows a lot of skin in her on-stage scenes — La’ Pearl’s motto was: go hard or go home. “We used a lot of body highlight on Cardi, especially for on-stage scenes,” she says. Cardi’s co-star Keke Palmer also told Refinery29 that body shimmer was in abundance on set.
To capture that money glow, La’ Pearl primed Cardi’s body with Pond’s Nourishing Moisturizing Cream. “It keeps the body hydrated but not too greasy or oily,” she says. Once Cardi’s skin was moisturized, La’Pearl used MAC Iridescent Powder in Golden Bronze to make her glisten. “I applied a lot of this all over her body with a brush, so when the set lights hit, her skin would be like bam!” According to La’ Pearl, Cardi’s skin is “already flawless,” so moisturizer, highlighter, and that candid personality were all she needed to bring Diamond to life on screen.
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