Red Lipstick

Album: Talk That Talk (2011)
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Songfacts®:

  • This track from the Deluxe Edition of Talk That Talk finds Rihanna getting all heavy metal on us. The song samples the guitars from Metallica's "Wherever I May Roam," a track from the rockers' self-titled album, colloquially known as The Black Album.
  • The song was produced by the British dubstep duo Chase & Status and is based around "Saxon," a bonus track from the deluxe edition of their debut album, Nore Than Alot. Chase & Status previously helmed three tracks on Rihanna's fourth album, Rated R, including the UK single, "Wait Your Turn."
  • Want a brief history of red lipstick? Well, read on: Since time immemorial Red has been seen as a protective color. The ancients believed the mouth was an invitation to mischievous spirits to enter the body and take possession of it, so they used to paint their lips red to stop evil forces.

    In the Middle Ages it was thought rouge meant sex and sin. So, rather than incurring the wrath of the church, regal Italian women wore pink lipstick to show they could afford synthetic makeup, whilst in Elizabethan England, crimson-stained lips were popular and the queen herself painted on cochineal blended with gum arabic, egg white and fig milk. It was only in the 1920s that mass makeup marketing brought red lipstick to the fore and by the 1940s, most women were following the lead of actresses and other female celebrities by applying bright red colour to their lips.

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