Mollie King talks self care, feel-good TV binges and kidnapping Greg James

'You would be really fluorescent and smelling of biscuits'

Mollie King Beauty Bytes
(Image credit: Getty Images)

'You would be really fluorescent and smelling of biscuits'

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 all-time favourite meals. You know, all the important and essential things that we need to know about.

We all remember her days in The Saturdays, but now Mollie King is probably best known for presenting The Radio 1 Breakfast Show on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays with Matt Edmondson. We at Marie Claire see her as a walking definition of 'cool girl blonde', so we sat down with her to talk all things beauty (and everything else in between).

LA: So how are you, Mollie? You've had a pretty busy week kidnapping Greg James.

MK: Yes, I have had a busy week! It was good to get him out of the box, he was in there for 39 hours I think. We had so much fun doing it, it gained so much momentum. It was so good, everyone who was listening got on board.

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LA: So fun! Now, let's chat beauty. What's the worst beauty trend you've ever tried?

MK: The worst beauty trend? Gosh. I know that I made this mistake a lot, I think it was over fake tanning. It’s not a good look, I think it’s really ageing. Obviously, real sunlight can be really damaging, so it’s better than that. A spray tan is a lot better. But it’s about finding that colour that works for you. We’ve all had those fake tans where we’re like, ooh I’m slightly orange here, and it’s just not a good look.

LA: Quite luminous.

MK: You would be really fluorescent and smelling of biscuits. Not a good look, but we’ve all been there.

LA: Delish. What’s the best beauty advice you’ve been given, from anyone in your life?

MK: To not do a strong eye and a strong lip at the same time. I think it’s way more effective to just do the one. At the moment I’m really liking having a pop of colour on my lip and keeping the eye really simple, whether it’s mascara with quite a sheeny eyelid, or doing the opposite and have a nice heavy, 60s flick and keeping everything else nude and natural.

LA: What about the best product recommendation – is there something someone has put into your hand and you've thought, 'I can never live without this again?'

MK: I love all the Kérastase hair treatments and stuff, I think they’ve really got it down. The shampoos are really good, the conditioner is really good at taking out any brassy tones. So I love Kérastase. With make-up I love the Estée Lauder under eye concealer and illuminator. I’m also using their day cream at the moment, which is really good.

Kérastase Blond Absolu Masque, £28, Lookfantastic

Mollie King Beauty Bytes Kerastase Blond Absolu

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LA: What else is in your make-up bag in the minute?

MK: A lot of Tilbury, especially when it comes to the lipsticks. I love Pillow Talk. There’s an Illamsqua contouring set, which I really like. It’s a sort of dull brown, which is really good for contouring. There's Maybelline mascara. It stays on throughout the day and it’s not half way down your face at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. I’ve got this thing at the moment with my cheeks, if I’m using a peachy lipstick then I'll put that on my cheeks as well. It’s good for a bit of sheen, I’m trying to be really dewy but it's that fine line between dewy and shiny. It’s hard to get the right mix.

LA: You always see those memes, 'I'm oily so I'm putting powder but then I need to be dewy so, highlighter'. What about the best make-up tips from a professional make-up artist?

MK: I think it’s about really understanding and knowing your own skin tone. There are obviously so many amazing foundations out there, but it’s about finding the right one for you. I’m quite yellowy-skinned as opposed to pinky undertones or anything like that. I think it’s about finding a foundation that is really your colour. Also, to never test a foundation on your hand which seems to be what you're taught when you're younger! You’ve got to actually test it on your face.

LA: And how do you take care of your skin? Do you have a day and night time routine?

MK: I actually quite like mixing up my products. I probably stick to one regime for about six months and then I move onto something else. At the moment I’m using the Estée Lauder day cream in the morning and then their night serum in the evening and their eye cream and stuff. I also love Murad skincare. I do like to keep it simple, you can get a bit bogged down with all the products and what goes where. But if they’re good products, I don’t think you need to go overboard and pile them all on. I mostly stick to moisturiser in the morning, an SPF, and then in the evening a night cream, maybe a serum and an eye cream as well.

LA: It's good to keep it simple. The seven step routine is great if you enjoy the seven steps. It doesn't need to be a stress.

MK: It can all just be a bit overwhelming. My bathroom wouldn't be able to cope!

LA: What would you say your three favourite beauty brands are?

MK: I love L'Oréal. I know they look after so many brands and products that I like. I like the Elnett hairspray, I love the Kérastase shampoo and then probably Charlotte Tilbury for make-up. The lipsticks are so good, there are so many shades and I love with Pillow Talk how there's a matching lip liner. It's great and it just makes you feel like you can actually do it and understand it.

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in Pillow Talk, £25, Cult Beauty

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LA: There's now a Pillow Talk Medium that I would recommend. Slightly darker, it's so nice.

MK: Oh I saw this, is it nice? How similar is it?

LA: Darker, but not too dark that you wouldn't want to wear it during the day. A bit moodier.

MK: Oh, nice!

LA: How do you look after your hair?

MK: So, the Kérastase Blond Absolu range, what else do I do? I don’t do masks often as my hair is quite fine. I think the best thing to do is not wash it every day, but I’m quite bad at doing that. I’m good at using heat protecting spray and I’ll sometimes put an oil in that helps keep it soft.

LA: I know Patrick Wilson does your hair sometimes too which always looks amazing.

MK: Oh thank you, he's so good isn't he!

LA: How often do you workout? No judgement if the answer is, 'not at all'.

MK: It really varies, I try to do something about three times a week. At the moment I’ve got one of those Peloton bikes, it’s so good, I’m in love with it. I've found that exercise is something that's more for my mind. If I’m feeling a bit anxious, having an adrenaline rush in an anxious way, then I just go to the Peloton. The instructors are really inspiring and give out really positive messages out in the classes, and for me that’s just been really life-changing and helped me if I'm having an anxious moment. I try to do some boxing if I can with a guy called Mati Parks and then I go to the gym as much as I can. It’s quite hard to fit it in, but I’m finding that I’m just hopping on to the Peloton at the moment. They’ve got weight classes and yoga too, so it doesn’t mean that every day you’re on the bike.

LA: What about fragrance, do you have a signature scent or a few go-tos?

MK: I love Tom Ford Black Orchid. I love Sì Giorgio Armani. There’s one other by Miller Harris, Leather Rouge I think it’s called. It’s a nice evening one.

Tom Ford Black Orchid Eau de Parfum, £54.99, Fabled

Mollie King Beauty Bytes

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LA: How does your beauty regime change when you’re on holiday? Do you pare things down?

MK: In the summer when I’m going away I try not to take loads of products away with me. But in winter, when I know that I’m going to be hibernating, I actually use that as a chance to use different products. I think that if I have a bad reaction it doesn’t matter, because I’m just seeing my family and friends. Like if I break out in loads of spots then it’s OK. If I go away on a summer holiday I try and go really stripped back make-up-wise, I go for sunscreen and maybe a BB cream or something.

LA: So basting yourself in SPF 50.

MK: Exactly that.

LA: What are your three most-used emojis?

MK: The crying with laughter face, classic one. I also use the one with the girl where she’s lifting her hands up like ‘I don’t know?’, and obviously I've made her blonde.

LA: Oh yes, the shrug? Good sentence finisher.

MK: Yeah the kind of, I don't know, whatever one. I use a lot of the hearts to be honest, and I quite like the bulging bicep.

LA: Do you have a favourite book? Are you a reader?

MK: I’m not hugely because I’m dyslexic, so I find it a bit of a mission to sit down and read a book. But what have I read recently... I do love reading The Secret, I just think it inspires me and it’s a nice read.

LA: What about your last meal?

MK: I would go for Indian food. I just absolutely love it. I love all the different curries, the naan, the poppadoms.

LA: It's just a great excuse to eat loads of bread really, isn't it. 'Oh no, I have all this sauce left...'

MK: Yes, I’m going to have to mop it up with this naan.

LA: What’s the weirdest pick up line you’ve ever heard?

MK: That's really hard! I’ll get back to you.

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LA: Favourite TV show to binge watch? Are you a Netflix-er?

MK: I’m loving Love Is Blind, that dating show. I’m well and truly in the hole, it’s just so good. You don’t realise how many you’ve got through, you know how they start automatically? But this is really fast paced and you just fly through it, it’s just so good.

LA: And then Netflix is like, 'are you still watching?'

MK: Yeah, you're like, err, unfortunately I am! I feel like there’s a bit of judgment there.

LA: Shamed by Netflix. Favourite movie?

MK: That is Father of the Bride. Bit of a cheesy one, but I just love it.

LA: Favourite Instagram accounts to stalk?

MK: I love interior design ones. This one girl Becki Owens who just does the most amazing interior design. I also love a blogger called Leonie Hanne, I think she just dresses really well. Who else? I like looking at Hayley Bieber as well, that’s a good account.

LA: There's an account called Apartment Therapy that I feel would be right up your street.

MK: Oooh, I need that! I literally love those accounts.

LA: What’s the first thing you bought with your first pay cheque? Did you have a real treat yo'self moment?

MK: When I was in the band, maybe three years in, I bought a Nissan Figaro. It was made in the 80s but it’s designed to look like a 1950s car and oh my god, it’s my absolute dream. I’ve wanted one since I was about 15.

LA: What does the word 'wellness' mean to you?

MK: I think an overall wellbeing in your mind, your body and your lifestyle. I think that there is a lot of focus on going to the gym and keeping your body sane but I think you need to be putting a lot of work into your mind in being sane, happy and healthy. It’s a mixture of all the above really.

LA: Is there anything specific you do when you really need some time to yourself?

MK: I will run a bath and light some candles, maybe just put something on Netflix. Have my laptop out in the hallway. Or, I’ll take my dog out on a walk. If i’m feeling a bit stressed, sitting in my flat is not the best so taking him out and getting some air. He’s a toy poodle. He’s a cutie, I’m obsessed with him.

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LA: So cute! My mum has a cockapoo, she is very poodle in personality. They're great.

MK: Oh I love cockapoos! They have so much energy, don't they?

LA: A lot. Dogs just crack you up don't they, they're brilliant.

MK: Yeah, to just snuggle. He's a cutie, I'm obsessed with him.

LA: Do you have any tattoos?

MK: No, I don’t.

LA: Then I won't ask you to talk me through them! Who were you most starstruck meeting?

MK: Maybe J-Lo. I met her back in the band and I literally did not know what to say. I think it was the first time that all of us in the band were literally silent. She stepped into the lift and we all went dead silent. She must have thought, what is going on here?

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.