Little Mix talk trolls, feel-good TV and the importance of being kind to yourself

'No matter how drunk you are when you get home after a night out, get that make-up off, hun'

Little Mix

'No matter how drunk you are when you get home after a night out, get that make-up off, hun'

Welcome to Beauty Bytes: a place where I chat to celebrities about all things beauty – from their favourite products, to their biggest beauty disasters. Plus I grill them on everything from their social media habits to their favourite cheat meals. You know, all the important and essentials things that we need to know about.

They're one of the biggest girl bands in the world right now (in fact, probably the biggest), and Little Mix aren't stopping any time soon.

Ahead of the launch of Simple's Choose Kindness campaign with anti-bullying charity Ditch the Label, I sat down with Jade, Leigh-Ann, Jesy and Perrie to talk all things beauty.

LA: What's the best way to spread a bit of kindness?

JN: Pay a compliment to someone when they least expect it. I think it’s so nice if you genuinely see someone in the street and you think, 'oh, she's pretty', or I like her hair, you should say it. Because they could be having the shittest day ever and by telling them you could completely change their day and mindset.

LA: And how do you make sure you're kind to yourselves?

JN: I'm not very kind to myself, I'm quite critical. We all are, actually. We all have our days where we're mean to ourselves.

LP: I think we're so critical! Do you know what I find really helpful? One day, I had a really bad day, and I was looking in the mirror and I was like, 'You're beautiful.'

PE: Awww that's cute!

LP: I said it to myself so many times, and it worked!

Little Mix

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(Image credit: Getty Images)

PE: This is the problem with our brains: when you're having a shit day, you make such a thing of it, thinking 'I'm having a shit day, my skin's awful,' this and that. But when you're having a good day, you don't make the most of it, you don't embrace it, and you don't compliment yourself. If I feel good I'm like, 'god you're a peng ting, mate,' and then other days, I'm like, 'You're hideous.' You just go through the motions. But like Leigh-Anne said, you have to make yourself feel special because if you don't, who will?

LA: Very true. I think you guys are known for being quite body positive – I'm sure you have your moments where you feel shit, everyone does. But what do you do to pick yourself up when you're feeling a bit rubbish about yourselves?

JN: It's really hard. It's really hard to get me out of a bad mood when I feel crap about myself, so I just try to do things that make me happy. Which is eating chocolate.

LA: Same.

JN: Or being with my boyfriend, whatever makes me happy. Sometimes it's just watching a good series.

ALL: Ohhhh yes!

LP: That is the best time of my life, being on my sofa!

JN: Yes, with Andre [Gray, Leigh-Anne's boyfriend], watching a series.

PE: When you're watching a series, you escape. Best feeling.

LA: Bit of Queer Eye.

ALL: Yeah!

JN: You've just gotta do what makes you happy. You only live once.

PE: And, go out and about, get some fresh air, go for a walk.

LP: There is nothing better than a good cuddle. Whether it be a mum cuddle, a boyfriend cuddle, or a friend cuddle. A doggy cuddle!

JN: Yeah! They say that cuddles release endorphins.

LP: Well, there you go.

Little Mix

LA: That's so true. And... How do you deal with trolls?

JT: Trolls!

LP: Ugh, trolls.

JT: We've had to get a thick skin being in this industry – but I think trolls are very sad people.

LP: Yessss.

JN: Very sad.

PE: It's a shame that some people are like that. Why are they like that?

JN: You really have to try and get in that mindset [to deal with it]. If you've never experienced it before then you don't think, 'oh god they must be really sad.' You just take on whatever they've said to you and it really gets you down. But [you feel better] once you start thinking, you must have so much time and energy on your hands and feel really crap about yourself to actually want to sit there and think, 'I want to target that person and I want to make them feel really shit about themselves.' Or, just feel crap about yourself. Because why would you want to do that? Why would you want to spread negative energy on to someone you don't even know?

PE: When you compliment someone and you see their reaction, and it makes you feel good inside – think how you would feel if you're sat there saying, 'You're fat, you're ugly, you're this, you're that.' Imagine what you must feel inside to be that negative.

LP: You would just feel horrible!

LA: You would never say it to somebody's face, right?

LP: The reason why they're hiding behind a screen is because they don't get to see the reaction of what they're doing to that person.

PE: It's odd though! People like that must enjoy it, they must get something out of it in a creepy way that makes them feel good. I dunno.

LA: I guess it's the not seeing what it does to that person.

PE: Yeah exactly, but even if they did see it, they don't care. That's what I mean, I think it's weird... Do you know what I mean? Most of the people that troll, know what they're doing, they know the effect that they have on people, but they still do it. That's scary.

LP: I dunno you know, because if someone says something and we've ever replied and had a comeback, they come back and say 'Oh! Um!'

PE: But that's people who say things that they don't necessarily mean and it has come across wrongly. But when people are like 'You're a fat, ugly, whatever,' they want to hurt you, you know what I mean? They know that you might see that and it's gonna make you sad. They get a weird thing out of it.

JT: They re-troll over and over again because they're never quite satisfied. They're trying to do something that's not ever gonna make them feel better.

JN: Also I think it's a lot of attention seeking. Like, you obviously want attention.

LA: How many likes can you get for being a –

PE: For being an asshole, yeah!

JN: And that's quite sad, if that that's how you live your life.

PE: Get a grip.

LA: What are your self care rituals?

PE: Oh a bath! A lovely bubble bath. Washing my hair, put my iPad on my little bath shelf, and watching a series until I'm, what is it, a prune? A wrinkly prune.

LP: I love a face mask, I love the sheets.

JT: I love the eye ones you put on like in the morning. Love those.

LP: Oh, I just thought of a really good YouTube series for us. Spa days!

PE: She just wants you to suggest it to the label because she wants to do it. That would be nice though, wouldn't it?

LA: What are the worst beauty trends or awful looks that you've attempted in the past? You know, when you're young and you're experimenting…

PE: That Dream Matte Mousse, all over the lips. Why?!

JN: I think the first thing was lip-gloss over the top?

LA: That kind of sheen, yeah, not good.

JT: The lack of eyebrows was pretty big. We liked to pluck our eyebrows a lot back then, so there was nothing there.

PE: I was never allowed to do my eyebrows!

LA: That is a good thing.

LP: I had to! Mine were so bushy!

PE: My mum didn't let me shave my legs until I was 15. Imagine!

LP: Wow.

PE: I didn't really have many leg hairs though and so my mum was like, 'once you do that, there's no going back'. But I didn't understand why she was so strict. I was like, come on, I'm prickly.

LP: I felt really sorry for myself because I could never find a foundation to match my skin. So I was always really orange-y. Bless me. There are so many more tips now, aren't there?

LA: Make-up is so much better now as well. I had the opposite problem, it didn't go light enough, so I had an orange face and white neck.

PE: Yes! Same! I used to get the palest one and it still wasn't enough.

Getty Images
(Image credit: Getty Images)

LA: Now there's so much more on offer. What's in your make-up bags right now? What are your staples?

JN: I don't do my make-up myself outside of work, cause I can't. So I've literally just got two concealer pen things for under the eye, then powder, contour, mascara and lip balm.

PE: Really? I've got so much make-up, I love it!

LA: Like a trolley's worth?

PE: Yeah, I did my own make-up on holiday and I did a flick for the first time. I did it all by myself! It only took me like, three hours. You need wipes cause it can go wrong and you need to neaten it up.

LP: What, so you've never done a flick on yourself?

PE: Nope. I've never even attempted it, cause I thought there's no point. But it took forever.

JT: I thought you'd had it done.

PE: Honestly it looked so good that even Alex [Oxlade-Chamberlain, Perrie's boyfriend] was like, 'Oh your make-up looks good, babe.' I was like, god!

LP: You're good at your make-up, babe!

PE: Never a flick, I've never done a flick.

JN: Jade's the best at make-up.

JT: I'm a make-up addict.

LP: Yeah, she's obsessed.

JN: I can't tell if Heidi our make-up artist [@heidinorthmakeup] has done it, or if Jade's done it.

JT: Me, I love it. I've actually got a trolley at home with a million things in it. I just love an eyeshadow palette.

LP: It's all very organised as well.

JT: Yeah, colour co-ordinated.

LA: Have you got proper acrylic storage and stuff?

JT: Oh yeah, yeah!

LP: I'm more about skincare.

LA: We'll come to that! Best bit of beauty advice you've ever received? Anyone from make-up artists to your mum.

JT: Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise.

LP: SPF, cause you want to protect your skin and also, vitamin C is very good for your skin.

PE: Is it?

LP: Very good.

LA: What about the best product recommendation you've ever received? Something that someone has put into your hands and you've been like, 'I can never go without this again.'

PE: Coconut oil. Everywhere. Hair, eyebrows, eyelashes, face.

Vita Coconut Oil, £7.69, Holland & Barrett

Little Mix Beauty Bytes - Coconut Oil

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LP: Castor oil.

LA: Oh yeah, that's good for hair. Makes it very strong.

PE: Castor oil?

LP: Babe. Yes.

PE: Where do you put that then?

LP: Hair, eyelashes...

PE: Same as coconut?

LA: Yeah, it's multipurpose.

PE: Wow.

LA: How do you guys look after your skin? What do you do day and night time?

JT: You have to cleanse. No matter how drunk you are when you get home after a night out. Just get that make-up off, hun. You'll live to regret it if you don't. I always cleanse. Cleanse, moisturise – I always forget to tone. I think it's a bit confusing.

LP: I just cleanse, moisturise, vitamin C and SPF.

PE: And it's nice to have a good scrub like once a week as well.

JT: I usually do a face mask once a week.

PE: For hydration, especially when you're on an aeroplane.

LP: Yeah, my skin is like the desert.

LA: You all travel quite a lot so whack those hydrating masks on. Do you guys have a signature scent or a few different perfumes you really like?

LP: Ooooooh.

JN: Quite a few actually. I have this signature scent at the moment and every time I wear it people ask, 'What have you got on?' It's, how do you say, Givenchy? Le something. The bottle's clear and the liquid is pink.

LA: I think I know the one.

Givenchy L'Interdit Eau de Parfum, £69 for 50ml, John Lewis

Little Mix Beauty Bytes - Givenchy

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PE: I was on holiday the other day and the girls said, 'You smell really fresh, I love your perfume.' And then went, 'wait a minute, you can't smell so how'd you do that?' – Leigh Anne picks my perfume.

JN: Ohhhh.

PE: Jesy's picked it a few times as well, I don't know what I'd do without you guys.

LP: So, Giorgio Armani Sì is the one that I always get compliments on. I swear everyone loves that perfume.

PE: It used to be Jo Malone, Peony and Blush Suede.

LP: That's more of a day one, I think Si is like, MMM.

LA: Very sophisticated, that one. What are your holiday beauty essentials? What can you not travel without?

JN: Sun cream.

LP: Yeah, SPF!

JT: SPF, very important.

PE: Mousse, we've all got naturally frizzy or curly hair, so we need to tame it.

LP: Oil for your hair.

PE: Dry shampoo?

LP: Dry shampoo, yeah. Sunglasses! Key. A good, signature pair of sunglasses.

LA: Eye health is very important as well. They say we're not looking after our eyes and wearing sunglasses enough.

LP: Oh really!

LA: Apparently not. So, wear them, all the time. What are your three most used emojis?

PE: Loveheart eyes. 😍

JN: Mine’s the lady going... *facepalms* 🤦 ♀️

LA: Yeah, I was talking about this earlier, remember when you didn't have that one and you had to use the monkey?

ALL: Oh, yeah!

PE: Yeah, the monkey's all 'hehe', whereas that one's a bit more *eyeroll*.

JN: Jade loves an upside down smiley. 🙃

LP: The shady one, yeah.

JT: That's when I'm annoyed, but I can't show how annoyed I am.

LP: And also she loves the grey moon. 🌚

JT: It's a bit cheeky.

JN: You use that one when you wanna ask someone that you probably know you shouldn't, but that makes you feel like it's cute!

LA: What about your favourite books?

JT: Me and Leigh are reading a book at the minute called Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race. Incredible. It's honestly one of the best books I've read in a long time, it's very, very educational.

LP: It is indeed.

LA: It's in my 'to read' pile.

JT: Is it?! Honestly give it a read, it's so good.

LP: I'm so bad with books. I start, and then I just get distracted.

PE: I think the last book I read was Biff and Chip...

LP: No! Stop it now!

PE: No, I read a lot but I read weird books. Disturbing, real life stories, that's what I love the most. Something that I can't put down. I have a very short attention span, so if it's a bit boring or not fully interesting, I won't read it.

JT: I love to read, love it.

LP: This is it, I used to be obsessed with reading when I was younger! Every night! And now I'm just like not into it. For god's sake.

JN: Everyone's got Netflix now, that's why.

JT: What I like with reading is that you imagine it yourself. As soon as I watch a movie I'm like, that's not how I pictured it in my head. And it was better in me head, do you know what I mean? Also, I feel like if you don't read a lot, especially in this industry – do you feel like you get a bit dumbed down?

LP: Babe, YES! Even down to talking, I just know it'd be a lot better at it if I read more.

JT: Just read! I always see words that I don't know, then I Google them and learn.

LA: It's good to do that.

LP: It does make you a lot more articulate. Hundred per cent.

Getty Images
(Image credit: Getty Images)

LA: What about favourite films?

JT: Have you watched the Elton John one, Rocketman?

LP: No, not yet! Is it good?

JT: Phenomenal. It's so good.

LP: Is it better than Bohemian Rhapsody?

JT: It's more like artistic I'd say. It's a little bit like a musical, but it's so well done. So good. You should watch it.

LP: Titanic is my classic. It is my favourite film, I think it is incredible.

JN: I love it, up until the ship sinks.

LP: Oh my god.

PE: Spoilers!

LP: It's sad when I put it on but I just think it's so fucking romantic and amazing. It's wicked.

JT: I love Seven Pounds. Will Smith is great in it.

LP: Oh, yes. Every single film he's done, alright? And every film Denzel Washington's in.

LA: What would your last meal be?

JN: This is too hard. You don't know what mood you're going to be in!

LP: Just think, what do you fancy all the time?

JT: I think I'd have a Toby Carvery every day of me life.

LA: I haven't had one of those in years!

PE: Maybe an Indian, actually. An Indian or a Sunday dinner.

JN: Definitely would be an Indian for me.

LP: Nachos!

Lucy Abbersteen
Beauty Contributor

Lucy is a freelance beauty editor and contributor at Marie Claire, and has written for titles including Glamour, Refinery29, Popsugar, woman&home and more. She was previously Marie Claire’s junior beauty editor. During her career, she’s covered everything from backstage beauty at fashion week to interviews with famous faces like Drag Race royalty and Little Mix. As for her beauty ethos, she’s a big advocate for not having to spend a fortune on beauty products to get good results, and when she’s not got beauty on the brain you’ll find her reading or hanging out with dogs.