Following up from her socially conscious single ‘Woman’ (2021), a powerful musical message of female empowerment and the double standards of a patriarchal society, ‘Ruin My Makeup’ sees 20-year-old South-Londoner Lola Young return to the more intimate and personal, showcasing how embracing your vulnerability can actually be a source of power and self-acceptance.
Lola writes in an Instagram post about the release ‘this one is a sad song at heart but still has elements of strength and power’ (@lolayounggg). The chorus contains the repetition of the line ‘If I cry about you, about love I’ll only ruin my make-up’, a strong statement which conjures up notions of power and defiance against giving in to one’s emotions. Yet, Lola states that she wrote the track whilst exploring how confidence can be impeded by vulnerability. The lyrics explore Lola’s personal conflict with acceptance, ‘whether that be through religion or friends or drugs or most importantly through love’ (@lolayounggg).
Musically, the track mirrors this struggle between vulnerability and confidence. It begins with an acoustic, stripped back instrumental, with Lola’s raw, South-East London voice highlighting her emotional openness. The track then builds in conviction in the chorus and second verse, filling out the production with thumping drums and powerful emotional vocals, showcasing Lola’s impressive vocal range and ability to shift in tone, whilst also indicating how power can be taken from being emotionally exposed.
Overall, when listening to ‘Ruin My Makeup’, we’re treated to Lola’s undervalued ability to express unadulterated emotion and tell stories through her vocals, which threaten to subsequently ‘ruin your own makeup’. With continued support from industry front-runners, such as Annie Mac on her BBC Radio 1 show, and working with prolific producers, such as Manuka and Paul Epworth, Lola Young is proving that she is a force to be reckoned with. A socially conscious songwriter with the ability to tell relatable stories through beautiful songs, Lola Young is one to watch…
Words: Leila McGrorty