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Charlize Theron is Esquire‘s July 2014 cover girl, and she’s in a pretty different look than what I’ve come to expect from her. While this isn’t the best styled cover of all time, Theron looks typically remarkable, and her hair and makeup should some awards.

Let’s start with the good. The black nails and dark lipstick is an awesome change of pace for Theron, and I’ve never seen her vamp it up like that before. Her big hair is pretty great, too, and together the hair and makeup strikes this balance between blonde bombshell and Lorde. It’s a pretty solid argument for the wearability of black nails, which are less hardcore aggressive these days (sorry, goths), and a hell of a lot more wearable. Anyone can pull them off, even if you’re the type of girl who mostly wears pale pink.

In a slightly less positive move, the outfit choice is a bit bizarre. While I’m happy to look at Theron in lingerie of any kind because she is painfully attractive, this circus performer runaway costume is a bit over the top. Of all the clothes in all the world, they had to put her in this leotard? It seems like they could have tried a little harder. Can’t you see her twirling a flaming baton or directing an elephant to dance on its hind legs?

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The shoot is reminiscent of an old school American Apparel ad, which makes sense given that our least favorite person, Terry Richardson, shot these photos. I was wondering why Theron looked so overexposed and like a teenager trying to convince a bouncer that she’s old enough to get into the 18+ club.

On the whole, I like these photos, because Theron would look fantastic wearing a sweatshirt as pants. The hair and makeup are really interesting, and I’d love to see her do more stuff like this. I especially enjoy the vampy thing when it’s in contrast to light blonde hair, and she should definitely consider making this a regular thing. She should feel free to skip the circus costume.

Photos: Esquire