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If there’s one word you can use to describe Mariah Carey, it’s “glamorous.” So how did the usually put together diva handle her character’s toned down look in Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire? Not that well, she revealed at a press conference Sunday at the Toronto Film Festival. “It is a fright,” she explains of her look in the film.

Mariah plays a social worker who tries to help a young, abused girl, a role that didn’t call for her usual red carpet persona.

“You can thank [director Lee] Daniels. He had a very specific look. I brought in all my wigs for the character, and he was like ‘No. This is not happening,” Mariah jokes. “It really brought up that what everyone was going through was not about that.”

“I don’t believe in makeup; I don’t like makeup,” added Lee.

Mariah teased her director back, saying, “Lee — come on — you threw makeup underneath my eyes, and the overhead lighting was not my friend. You knew what you could do to me, and you loved it.”

“We were in our end scene, and I’m looking at Mariah with my peripheral vision, and I see her putting on blush,” Lee reveals.

“It was a little bit,” Mariah admits.

“I was just trying to give it a little something,” Mariah adds. “Someone said the makeup for me, they said ‘This is a Mariah Carey nightmare because it’s everything that you hate going on right now.’ “

Mariah was pleased with the end result, makeup or no.

“But it was cool because a lot of people in the film don’t recognize me — they don’t notice me — and that to me, was a great gift that Lee gave me, to be able to go that far away from who I am.”

Reporting by Valerie Nome

MARIAH IN TORONTO:

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