To get there, Carey told StyleList in a candid interview, she's had to overcome her own insecurities:
"Growing up and being half-black, half-white, I felt weird; I didn't look like anybody. My friends were all different from me. No one knew how to fix my hair. My facial features stood out. And I know we [mixed people] all say that. But even though I've grown since, some of those things still remain with me."
Now, at 40, the same confidence that's allowed her to be refreshingly frank about her anxieties has also launched Carey into what may be the most successful chapter of her career.
Forever by Mariah Carey, her third fragrance, debuted this month and she is garnering critical acclaim for her role in the movie "Precious," which opens in theaters on Nov. 6.
The film was produced by Oprah and required Carey to courageously face cameras wearing zero makeup.
Not this glam girl's usual style. Her go-to lip shade? "I like NARS... like a clear, pinkish gloss," she told us.
And her biggest beauty addiction won't fit into a makeup bag -- it's the man who puts the fab in her honey-blonde locks.
When we asked about her beauty must-have, Carey had one answer: "Rourke [Ken O'Rourke] to do my hair!"
Today, Carey also made a soulful return to her R&B roots with the release of her new album, fittingly entitled "Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel."
The record, a musical manifestation of a mature Carey, reveals a bolder, put it all on the table attitude -- media scrutiny be damned.