Girl Talk….

Girl Talk….

Trinny Woodhall, star of the iconic fashion programme What Not To Wear, has been empowering women since the 90’s. In Newcastle for the launch of her make up range, Trinny London, she sat down to breakfast with our lifestyle editor Lea Eccleston to talk beauty, self-love, daughters and behind the scenes at Oprah…..

One half of the formidable duo behind the iconic TV show What Not To Wear, the impeccably groomed Trinny Woodhall is perhaps best known for her forthright style and ‘tough love’ in helping women get in touch with the best versions of themselves.

In the flesh she is certainly a glowing testimonial for her own brand. At 54, she looks fabulous and is dressed exquisitely. Sitting down to chat over a divine breakfast at Fuego in Fenwick Newcastle, where her make up brand has just been launched, my initial concern that she may be standoffish, or intimidating was soon put to rest. In person she is a far cry from the TV persona of the 90’s and is warm, chatty and clearly passionate about wanting women to feel good about themselves.

Her beauty brand, Trinny London, has received rave reviews and it’s easy to see why. She has put her decades of experience in working with women to good use and every aspect of the make up brand has been carefully thought through to help women achieve effortless good looks.

One of the features I loved the most was its beautiful packaging which boasts a unique stackable system. You can literally throw it into your bag and you are good to go for the whole day without any need for applicators or brushes.

“I wanted the range to be so easy for women to use, to be able to do it anywhere without the need for lots of kit and to have the freedom to do it quickly,” she says. This was the motivation behind her ‘Trinny’s Taxi’ which is currently whizzing round London where people try out the new products in the back of the cab, so they can see how easy it is to apply on the go.

Trinny London also has unique Match2Match technology so women can, with the click of a few buttons, understand what really suits them based on their skin tone, hair colour and eye colour. This then generates a personalised combination of products. It’s these nuances which set Trinny London apart from other make up brands.

“I want women to have the freedom to have a look which is bespoke to them, no copying other people, no wondering what ‘look’ they have to adopt in order to be acceptable but finding the make up which makes them their most gorgeous selves,” she explains.

At a recent La Di Da event featuring makeup artists and stylists, we’d heard from many women that they often felt intimidated by beauty counters and I wondered whether Trinny had taken this into account when bringing her brand to life.

“Absolutely,” she says without hesitation. “I want it to be a real experience for real women” she says. “There’s not a scrap of black involved in the brand. I want it to be a brand of bright colours, sparkly silver sequin uniforms, which the staff love to wear to work, and a colourful, inspiring stand. I want women to come to our counter and spend proper time having a full makeover by friendly professionals and leave transformed and feeling incredible.”

The message she would give to any woman who finds themselves stuck in a makeup rut is; “DO NOT BE INVISIBLE. Embrace your uniqueness and be the very best version of yourself.

“Take off every scrap of make up and look at yourself afresh, in the mirror, as if for the first time. What are your strongest features? Do you have beautiful eyes which you need to enhance? Or do you have beautiful full lips to accentuate? Remember that you are an entirely unique individual and accentuate your best bits,” she advises.

Her words are clearly heartfelt as she opens about times where her confidence needed a boost, particularly going it alone in business after such a successful partnership with Susannah Constantine, who is still her best friend.

“I remember feeling isolated on my own at the beginning. Getting out of bed and having that motivation each day is so important, ” she reflects. Trinny listens to motivational speakers like Gary Vee every day to keep her motivated. “Every day he will get you out of bed”, she says. “Everyone should listen to him”. She also believes you need a strong vision for your future and often listens to guided meditations to help her succeed in achieving her dreams.

“People see you having a tv career and seem to think that this brand just happens overnight but they forget I spent years working up to this, years doing a column for The Telegraph, years doing Granada television and the brand itself was seven years in the visualisation, four years in the making, prior to launch just over a year ago,” she says.

“Building a brand which will hopefully be around after you die is something entirely different. It’s your legacy. There were times when it was really hard, when I didn’t have any money. I had a great looking life, but you know, old sofas at home. I was determined to make this work, so I looked around and thought well what have I got? I’ve got my clothes! So, I set up a sale in my home, sold 80% of my clothes and raised £30,000 which kept me going for nine months, then I raised another £30,000.

“The point is, if you want it enough, you will do whatever it takes to make it work. If you want to grow a business it doesn’t matter how old you are or your life circumstances, it matters what you are prepared to do to get there. Believe in your gut. If you intuitively feel like this is the right thing for you to offer to the world, then remember that. Write it down and then on the bad days, and there will be bad days, you can remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing.”

One of the people who inspired her with their approach was Oprah, who she worked with in the states for two years. Trinny and Susannah had a regular slot on The Oprah Show which went out to 29 million people across America.

“Oprah was a really private person,” she says. “She would come into the studio in the morning with no wig on, a baseball cap pulled down over her face and a big baggy sweatshirt and would walk right past me without me even realising.

“We would do a pre-record show then a live show and there were 20 minutes on stage in between where we would just talk. She was great to watch. People would stand up and ask her to be their mentor and she would say ‘Do you think I had a mentor when I was your age? No! Get out of bed and just do it!’ She had it tough getting to where she was so her opinion was ‘You want to be like me then don’t take the easy route. Get out there and make it happen,’ and I love that about her.”

Her greatest achievement, she says, is her daughter Lyla. “My proudest achievement is having Lyla which took 14 rounds of IVF and a few miscarriages, which is above and beyond any work achievements, by about 1000%.” When talking about Lyla, Trinny develops a sudden softness in her eyes and discussing her thoughts on the influence of Social Media on young girls and the increasing scrutiny they are under, Trinny has a refreshing approach. She is a huge fan of social media platforms as a way of connecting women in real life, and for her daughter who is an only child, a way of connecting her with her friends whilst she is at home.

“It’s great for Lyla, as she can be home alone but feel like she is spending the day with her best friends on Snapchat and Instagram. Second to giving birth to Lyla, who is now 15, I’m most proud of building this brand.

“Often as women, we are just flying ahead, forever looking forward and we don’t give ourselves actual time to really reflect on just how far we have come. There were challenging times getting here and it’s so important to appreciate where we are sometimes,” she says.

I leave Trinny in the Fenwick Beauty Hall doing what she does best, surrounded by women watching her doing makeovers, and making each woman she talks to feel and look amazing. After meeting her, I have a spring in my step, a feeling I can take on the world and a renewed promise to myself to stop and smell the roses more. Gritty, determined, humble, hardworking and real, she absolutely deserves all the success coming her way.

Beauty Box
Trinny London is available at
Fenwick, Newcastle.

Lea Eccleston is the founder of Instasistas, which inspires women to consciously create their best lives. Check out @instasistas on Instagram.
The message she would give to any woman who finds themselves stuck in a makeup rut is; “DO NOT BE INVISIBLE. Embrace your uniqueness and be the very best version of yourself.

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