Cardi B is a real one. Her personality is as magnetic as it gets, and it comes out not only through her salvo of bars, but through her arsenal of distinct looks. She can rock damn near anything — a floor-length feather coat and sleek locks with soft makeup is worn with the same attitude as when she opts for a pantsuit and sophisticated coiffure with a striking lip.
It takes effort to look as good as she does, and by that I mean there's a dedicated team behind her whose duty is to routinely make her look like a goddess. With the release of her debut studio album Invasion of Privacy, Team Cardi — which consists of makeup artist Erika La Pearl, stylist Kollin Carter, and hairstylist Tokyo Stylez — has been dishing out killer looks for their girl as seen on her album cover, the "Be Careful" single art, and the video for "Bartier Cardi." Team Cardi needs to be internationally recognized for its outstanding work, but until then, read up on each member's aesthetic contribution to Cardi's journey, below.
Makeup Artist: Erika La Pearl
Erika and Cardi go way back to when the rapper was on Love & Hip-Hop. Their origin story was a love-at-first-sight situation: Erika did her makeup, the two immediately hit it off, and they’ve been working together ever since. That was three years ago, and since then Erika has almost exclusively been the hand responsible for Cardi’s flawless makeup moments — she’s a master at the bolder looks Cardi rocks on the Invasion of Privacy album cover and in the “Bartier Cardi” video. She knows how to bring out the softer side of the rapper, like through the elegant nude smokey eyes Cardi wore at iHeart Radio Music Awards and the Marc Jacobs NYFW show, both pictured below.
It's worth noting that Erika's a ride-or-die — she once beat Cardi's face to perfection in the backseat of a crammed car during Fashion Week. When Erika isn't busy beautifying Cardi, she works with other hip-hop contemporaries like Afro-Latinx Love & Hip-Hop: Miami star Amara La Negra and Atlanta wunderkind Kodie Shane.
Stylist: Kollin Carter
Kollin Carter is one of the most hardworking stylists in the game. In between his gig as a contributing style editor at Elle Indonesia, Kollin is Cardi's right-hand-man, making sure she looks consistently fly in her constant cycle of photoshoots, red carpet events, and performances. What elevates Kollin to the crème de la crème is his keen eye that styles Cardi into the best fits without ever limiting her. A ball gown that earned comparisons to Cinderella at Rihanna's Diamond Ball? Check. Sleek, body-hugging suits while making an appearance at Christian Siriano's NYFW show? Of course. Avant-garde designs with serious bite? You know it. Larger than life looks to match her personality, like the throwback, color block fit in the "Finesse" video? You get my point.
Beyond curating her looks for red carpet events as well as album and single covers, Kollin’s dedication to Cardi really came front and center with his styling for “Bartier Cardi.” He secured the video’s scene stealing Mark Fast gown — a stunning, white chunky-sequined number with a show-stopping feather train — flying it in with 24 hours to spare until shooting began. That’s love.
Hair Stylist: Tokyo Stylez
If you’ve seen a flawless weave on a celebrity in the past year, chances are it was the work of Toyko Stylez. The hairstylist is an A-list favorite — his clientele includes the likes of Nicki Minaj, Kylie Jenner, and Paris Hilton as a Kim Kardashian clone for Yeezy Season 6, but it’s with Cardi that his work shines the brightest.
As part of Team Cardi, Tokyo is responsible for it all: the long, pin-straight locks to her immaculate updos. The 1920s finger-wave in an electric dijon on the Invasion of Privacy album cover is an instant classic, but even Tokyo’s more subdued works stand strong. An angelic bun with wispy, free-flowing tendrils at the Grammy’s or a polished I-Own-This-Company power bob for Cardi’s Superbowl Alexa commercial never felt forced or dated, and always stayed true to her essence.
Thumbnail courtesy of Erika La Pearl's Instagram.