How Cardi B Went From "Regular Degular" To Red Carpet Beauty Star

Everyone loves a good Cinderella story. Perhaps that's why Belcalis Almanzar, also known as Cardi B, has amassed over 11 million followers on Instagram and Twitter since 2015 — and the numbers keep boomin'. Some OG fans remember watching the college student-turned-grocer-turned-stripper's hilarious Instagram videos back in 2015, where she outlined her sexcapades, her plastic surgery procedures, and anything else you — or she — could imagine.
Her audience grew by multitudes once she landed a spot on Love & Hip Hop: New York. Even though that whole "love" part wasn't all that prevalent (her ex-boyfriend is incarcerated and they ended up calling it quits), America still loved the Bronx native's sharp wit, endless one-liners, and rainbow of colourful hairstyles.
As her spotlight grew brighter, Cardi's beauty game has become stronger. She'll still pull a wildcard by throwing on a fiery red, waist-length wig or a bright green lip, but lately, the star has been playing with softer looks, too. Of course, she's had ample opportunity to do so: She's become a red carpet and Fashion Week regular.
But perhaps the best part of this epic come up? Cardi has solidified her position as an artist, too: "Bodak Yellow" hit number one on the Billboard charts yesterday, making her the first female rapper to do so since Lauryn Hill's "Doo Wop (That Thing)" back in 1998. That means we'll be seeing a whole lot more of the "regular degular shmegular" New Yorker... forevaaa.
To celebrate this rising star, we're walking through her beauty evolution, ahead.
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Photo: Via @iamcardib.
Don't let the bright smile fool you. "I ALWAYS BEEN UP TO NO GOOD," Cardi captioned a throwback Insta post.
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Photo: Via @iamcardib.
Class of 2010's best bob cut goes to... (If only we were giving out the graduation accolades.)
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Photo: Via @iamcardib.
"Yes I did my own makeup," a pink-haired Cardi captioned a post in October 2015 — and she did a damn good job, too. We can't decide what we love most: the carefully-winged liner, expertly-placed shimmer, or that glossy red lip.
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Photo: Via @iamcardib.
Shortly after VH1 announced that she'd be joining the cast of Love & Hip Hop: New York, a raven-haired Cardi (with even shinier lids and chocolate brown gloss) made this unapologetic introduction: "For the new followers my name is Cardi. Im crazy, I spell fucked up, my teeth all chopped up but I got good pussy:)."
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Photo: Via @iamcardib.
Cardi, pictured in May 2015, once admitted that braids are her preferred protective style. "If braids didn't pull out so much of my hair I would go back to this," she wrote. "The Original Cardi with the braids. I can't stand rocking weaves and wigs."
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Photo: Via @iamcardib.
Bangs are obviously Belcalis' thing.
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Photo: Paras Griffin/BET/Getty Images.
Even though we love her in bright colours, Cardi's sleek, jet-black locks and light mauve lips were refreshing to see at the BET Hip Hop Awards in September 2016.
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Photo: Via @iamcardib.
If we could like an Instagram post more than once, well, it would be this one. "When I was a little girl I used to hate my hair. Now I loooveeee it," she captioned a photo in October 2016, letting the world see her gorgeous head of natural hair. Ditto, CB.
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Photo: @iamcardib.
If you asked us, we'd say that Cardi's short hair phase was one of her best. For example, it gave us space to really see her long lashes and pretty matte lip in November 2016.
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Photo: Via @iamcardib.
Back to bangs? Duh. Later that December, she opted for a blunt, shoulder-length cut, blue highlights, and soft makeup.
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Photo: Via @iamcardib.
The self-described "sexy alien forehead bitch" sported some poppin' highlighter in January 2017.
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Photo: Johnny Nunez/Getty Images.
When Cardi commits, she really goes for it. In March 2017, around the time she dropped her single "Red Barz," Cardi rocked a lot of red hairstyles: bobs, ponytails, and this waist-length wig were all in the mix.
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Photo: Allen Berezovsky/WireImage.
Hello, blondie! The "Bodak Yellow" rapper hit the 2017 BET Awards with a blonde, blunt bob. And she wasn't the only one...
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Photo: Prince Williams/WireImage.
For an August 2017 event, Cardi inadvertently channeled her fellow New York musician (and fan!) Nicki Minaj with these long locks.
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Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage.
Still riding the wave off the success of "Bodak Yellow," Cardi attended the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards with a wavy bob, Champagne eyeshadow, and light brown lip gloss.
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Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images.
A storm's a comin'! We're not sure if she meant to channel an X-Men character, but Cardi pulled it off perfectly at Christian Siriano's September 2017 fashion show.
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Photo: Gonzalo Marroquin/Patrick McMullan/Getty Images.
Followers compared Cardi B's Diamond Ball look to Cinderella — and rightfully so. Her elegant low bun and curly tendrils went perfectly with her ice blue Christian Siriano ballgown and Helen Yarmak diamond earrings. All she needed was the glass slipper.
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She may not have made history as the first woman to take home a Grammy for Best Rap Performance, Cardi B's look — from her white ballgown to her ethereal makeup — was easily the big winner of the night.
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Cardi B is the next celebrity — right after Beyoncé — to prove soft centre-parted curls are this year's raddest hairstyle on the rise. "We wanted to created create a look that was bold and fashion-forward," stylist Kendall Dorsey tells us. "The wig itself was provided by Real Exotic Hair. To prep and style, I used the Dove Style + Care collection, which accentuated the beautiful natural texture of the hair. Then, we used the Dyson to diffuse. I knew her hair would expand throughout the night to the perfect shape for a curly texture and style."
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Leave it to Cardi B to keep us on our toes. Soon after her curly bob came a belly-grazing look that was very blonde.
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In May, Cardi B stepped out with designer Jeremy Scott on her arm for the 2018 Met Gala, rocking one of her best looks yet. Celebrity hairstylist Tokyo Stylez is to credit for the brushed-out curls, and a big reason why her first appearance at fashion's biggest night was a huge success.
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Thanks to hairstylist @CLIFFVMIR, the mother-t0-be recently swapped out her brunette curls for something prismatic and (possibly) Pride-inspired.
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A post shared by Cardi B Official IG (@iamcardib) on

After giving birth to her daughter Kulture, Cardi B has now not only changed her nail shape but also her hair colour. Going back to hairstylist Cliff Vmir, she joined the many other celebrities going blue this summer and got herself some sky-blue, super-long hair of her own.
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BARDI ..Make up by @erika_lapearl_mua Hair by @tokyostylez

A post shared by CARDIVENOM (@iamcardib) on

For one of her boldest looks yet, Cardi stepped out in a hot pink wig with platinum blonde face-framing highlights from celebrity hairstylist Tokyo Stylez.

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