Beauty Entrepreneur Trinny Woodall on Makeup that Instills Confidence


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Photography Courtesy of Trinny London

The style maven and founder of Trinny London has a keen understanding of what women want.

With two decades of making over thousands of women from across the globe under her belt, Trinny Woodall says there’s one thing she can often determine the minute she meets a new client: the decade in which they learned how to do their makeup.

“I’ve noticed that women tend to stick with a look that makes them feel their most appealing,” says the 58-year-old former fashion journalist who came into stardom as one-half of the straight-talking duo on the BBC series What Not to Wear. “As they go down the path of life, that look reminds them of a feeling they once had—of power, success and confidence in themselves. Their makeup becomes an automatic thing. But when you wind your movie forward 10 years, your face’s shape, texture and colour have all changed. The things you did then are not ideal for the face you have today.”

Woodall’s jetsetting career has also helped her recognize the frustrations that women—particularly those over 35—commonly feel. “I’ve learned that all women—no matter their skin colour, religion or context of life—have the same mindset. I could be speaking to a woman in the West Bank in Israel or a Hindu lady in India and I always find her thinking ‘I feel lost at this stage’ or ‘I feel I’m not being spoken to and I don’t know what products to use.’”

With “the voices of 5,000 women in [her] head,” Woodall would eventually birth the fast-growing digital-first beauty line Trinny London in 2017. Her finger-friendly stackable pots of lip and cheek stains and shade-adapting skin tints have taken the makeup market by storm, and earlier this year, the direct-to-consumer brand entered the skincare space with refillable staples that include cleansers, exfoliating acids, moisturizers and serums.

“I’m not appealing to the glossy Charlotte Tilbury girl,” says Woodall. “I’m appealing to the woman who might have confidence in many areas of her life—in being a mom and in her career—but would like somebody to guide her on what she should be doing beauty-wise. I love that kind of woman!”

It’s a guide made simple thanks in large part to a short quiz, dubbed Match2Me, on the brand’s website that directs customers to the products and colours that suit them best rather than to the trends of the season. “We don’t sell ‘rock chic’ looks or ‘femme fatale’ moments, and we’re not about making products confusing or difficult to use,” explains Woodall. “We’re about the emotional connection women have with Trinny London—feeling better about themselves after an experience with us.”

Below, Trinny Woodall shares the go-to staples on her vanity.

This article first appeared in FASHION‘s October issue. Find out more here.

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