Single Review: Runaway June, “Lipstick”

Runaway June

Written by Naomi Cooke, Caroline Hobby, Rebecca Lynn Howard, Elisha Hoffman, Hannah Mulholland, and Jennifer Wayne

Wait a minute. Wait. A. Minute.

Is this a song sung by women with the target audience also being women? A country song that actually passes two thirds of the Bechdel Test?

And it’s got a rootsy arrangement, beautiful harmonies, an original idea, and a hoedown breakdown at the end reminiscent of Alabama?

I’m in shock. The good kind!  More, please!

Grade: A




  1. How does it pass the Bechdel Test? I don’t ask that to say the song is bad – I like it – but it’s surely a song where girls are singing about men.

  2. Jason the lyrics “who ruins your Lipstick not your mascara” seem to heavily imply women and not men.

    Love this song, the harmonies the country instrumentation. That fiddle alone made me love this song instantly!

  3. I don’t know what it is about this one…but I don’t like it. There’s something about it that just feels so forced and empty. The “sahara/mascara” rhyme REALLY irks me, and the whole presentation makes it feel like something straight out of an “introduction to songwriting” class. There’s no personality and there’s no stickiness outside of the hook. Oh, and speaking of the hook, what sort of advice is “love somebody who ruins your lipstick, not you mascara?” How are you supposed to know which it is until it’s too late???

    But, then again, the production and instrumentation is pretty great (I wouldn’t call that barely ten second rev-up a hoedown breakdown, though…), so it’ll probably grow on me assuming it sticks around. I’m not convinced, but I might be persuaded otherwise.

  4. I first heard this song over a month ago on Pandora and instantly fell in love with it! Even as a guy, I feel like they’ve somehow managed to get me to relate to it, despite it being geared more towards women. I love the production, and their harmonies are off the charts good! Glad to see Jennifer Wayne found another group since Stealing Angels didn’t quite work out.

  5. Jason

    The singer is singing to the females. Just cause a song uses he means nothing. “You’ll forget like this when he falls right out of the blue, oh yeah I swear he’s out their somewhere looking for you too” All the time in the song she refers to the female who is feeling down on herself and how the singer knows their is a guy out there and is looking for a girl like her.

    Also if you ruin somebody’s lipstick, more than likely it’s due to kissing. Ruining someone’s mascara refers to a girl crying.

    The man in this song is used in a way. It’s to help out the women who is feeling down on herself. But the song is speaking directly to women as a whole.

  6. Jason

    Ah ok. I thought you said the song was speaking directly to males, which made no sense to me. Sorry for the confusion.

    It’s a shame no one is buying this beauty of a song. If this song can even make the Top 30 on the country airplay, I’d consider that a victory.

  7. I’m kind of on the fence on this–and it’s not because I’m a man. I have no problem with a song written, performed by, and performed for, women. I am not sure, however, even with all the traditional instruments included (Dobro; fiddle, etc.) that this is really quite the knockout. The lyrics feel a tad bit wobbly to me. And I wonder if there is any danger anyone recognizes in a three-woman group in country music, where the comparisons to the Dixie Chicks are at the very least a possibility, putting a little undue pressure on them.

    That said, though Runaway June are neither the Chicks nor The Trio, I have heard infinitely worse things than them or this on country radio the last ten years.

  8. I think the song is being overanalyzed – let’s just say it is a really good performance and recording and leave it at that

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