What is Trinny Woodall doing now?
- Credit: Anna Martensson
Trinny Woodall has just launched her newest Trinny London makeup and skincare concession, in Harvey Nichols, Manchester
Trinny Woodall, with her friend Susannah Constantine, tumbled onto our screens in 2001, with the first of five series of What Not To Wear, where their fashion makeovers, backed by ‘harsh but true’ commentary and fruity language, made women across the UK rethink their fashion choices – advised to aim to dress for their shape, and the colours that work best for them, not to slavishly follow the trends. A global career in fashion advice followed, but in 2017 Trinny took what might seem to be a sideways leap into skincare and cosmetics, launching Trinny London, a brand that grabbed hold of social media and made it its own.
‘It was out of the box for people who had last seen me on the telly, giving style advice, but I hadn’t actually been on UK telly for some years, I had been abroad making similar shows. And it was really interesting as it gave me a sense of women around the world and what we all have in common, and what I noticed is all the women - thousands and thousands from India to Israel to Poland, Australia, America - when we had completed the makeovers, the first thing every woman looked at was their face, their makeup, and seeing themselves refreshed and ageless, so I knew then that this is what it would be.’
Trinny says she’s always been somewhat obsessed with makeup and skincare since a teenager struggling with acne, which lasted into her 30s.
‘I had really bad acne from 13 to 30, then we grow out of the skin troubles but we don’t change the way we do our makeup. That’s the same for all women, in fact, bad skin or not – we learn to do our makeup when we’re young and vibrant and the time we find our sexual confidence, then don’t change it and it can age us, wearing the same makeup in our 40s as we wore in our 20s. It gave us security and it gave us confidence, and we want to stick with the things we know – and making the change around makeup is a difficult one.’
Trinny has always been one for the hard challenge, she says, so when deciding to launch a new business, she knew that just adding yet another brand to an already overcrowded market wouldn’t be good enough for her, she would create something that met her own challenging requirements, and really be of use to the thousands of women she had met, and the many more thousands of women just like them.
‘The question I have been asked most, is “does this suit me?”. I asked myself – how can I make it easy for women to come online and know what suits them? I really think that the greatest responsibility you have as a makeup brand is to demystify it, to get rid of the vast amount of noise in front of a woman in front of a makeup counter with hundreds of choices facing her. I spent a long time with hundreds of women really working on this and it led to the creation of Match2Me. ’
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Match2Me asks a few simple questions to get down to your colour ‘settings’ - hair, eyes and skin – and then makes recommendations for every single piece of makeup you could need.
‘It works,’ Trinny says. ‘We have 750,000 customers and 500,000 have bought, and re-bought, by using Match2Me online. So we have it, alongside our makeup artists, in store too.’
Which brings us to Trinny London’s newest permanent cosmetics store concession in the UK, in Harvey Nichols Manchester. A light and vibrant space, with Trinny’s signature colour yellow throughout, there are makeup artists in abundance, all trained in Trinny’s Match 2 Me and ready to show you the Trinny approach to makeup for women of all ages, but perhaps especially the over 40s, feeling a little lost, a little overwhelmed and a lot ready for change.
‘We want to demystify and simplify routines, with products that work really hard. Our Lip2Cheek, for example – if the colour suits you, you can use it on lips and cheeks. Women want to feel we can explore colour, like we’re in a painting class, but we also like to have some guidelines and some understanding of what it will do for us and where we should put it.
‘Match2me is a free resource for any woman who wants to know what colours will suit her, whether she then chooses to buy Trinny London, or not. I say don’t be scared of wearing colour on your face, as it just brings the face alive.
‘Women just want to navigate looking their best, and I am talking to those women.’