A Day In The Life Of: Trinny Woodall

From much-loved style guru on our television as one half of the sartorial duo ‘Trinny and Susannah’, to beauty entrepreneur: here’s how Trinny Woodall has built an eponymous brand that is changing the way we shop… 

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR CURRENT CAREER?

I’d say entrepreneur.

WHAT TIME DOES YOUR ALARM GO OFF AND WHAT’S THE FIRST THING YOU DO?

I don’t usually need an alarm and wake up about 6.15 and I look at my emails for 10 minutes in bed and then if I fit in the gym before work it’s a 7am class. If I’m doing telly I get my hair done, if I’m not doing telly I get to the office about 8.15/8.30.

TALK US THROUGH A TYPICAL DAY IN YOUR LIFE…

We have an open work environment, so I sit through all my emails and then we stand up and check in around the table and say what we’re all up to today, we all do a stretch whilst were doing that! Then something might need to be discussed in marketing, social media – I might film something with Chloe and Zara for my Instagram and then I might film a live in my bathroom about a new beauty bit I’m trialling. Then I might have a lunch with someone, usually I have lunch at the office and one or two people make lunch for everybody else as we do a big Waitrose shop up at the beginning of the week. There’s a nice feeling around eating properly which I like. And then I have one-to-ones with my COO about fundraisers, or work with designers looking at redesigning some of our website pages plus a meeting about product development every other day, going back and forth with the Italian labs about some product or formula. I usually leave the office around 7 and home is about 5 minutes away. I see my daughter if she’s at home and then we have dinner and hang out a bit. If she’s not there, I will just have my dinner and veg in front of the TV until bedtime. I probably go out once a week and then once at the weekend.

WHAT DO YOU WEAR TO FEEL YOUR BEST?

Whenever I’ve gone to a fundraiser I wear my lucky colours, so silver and yellow. I’m very driven by colour. And I never ever wear black. I never really dress down much, layering is my thing. I wear a lot of evening things in the daytime and I’ll wear a trainer. If I’m on the telly then I’ll wear something to do with that theme, like today we were doing leopard print, so I wore a Joseph leopard print dress and then I came back it was so hot I literally stripped naked and popped another dress on!

YOU LOVE TO RE-WEAR LOVED PIECES – HOW DO YOU GET MORE LIFE OUT OF THEM?

With all my clothes, I treat them well. They’re all on a hanger, they’re all well taken care of and it’s all about the cut, quality and fit. It’s about making things feel fresh; one thing I tend to do a bit is to change the sleeve proportion. Where I once had a tight sleeve, I might think that doesn’t suit anymore, so I ask whether I can take some volume from the skirt and add to the sleeve or things like that, to make it a more Balenciaga type sleeve and add some drama. But I like doing that because it gives them something that takes away the old-fashioned-ness about it.

As you age, things change in your body so I make them longer at the knee or a dress with trousers underneath it. Ten years ago, I would’ve worn it alone but, in the way, I dress now, I like to have a graduation in my clothing and I like to cover up more of my skin because its more elegant. I’m never someone to do sleeveless, tight or sexy. I love going into my wardrobe and finding something I loved and thinking “Right what can I do with this?”

Masterclass w Trinny London in Stockholm 2018

YOU’RE A STYLE GURU, BUT HAVE YOU ALWAYS HAD A PASSION FOR BEAUTY?

I’ve always had a huge passion for beauty and make up and continually excited when I find something that works. Or a tool that really works; it still never ceases to excite me and I’ve been doing it for 30 years. And I love the feedback from women where we made them rethink something. Shifting someone’s perception of themselves is powerful.

WHEN IT COMES TO BEAUTY, ARE YOU TREND-LED OR CLASSIC?

Apart from my twenties when I wore too much fake tan and lots of sparkles, I’ve always been led by trend. In cream-based products – I hardly ever wore powder – once my skin cleared up at about 30 I wanted to wear something that didn’t look like you were wearing make-up. That’s always been my nirvana. As I’ve got older I noticed certain things like I have more lines around my eyes. I’ve never been in to bronzer really, I only use blush, but we have made a gel bronzer which is much easier to apply than a powder. We rely on our bronzer to make us feel better, but it can flatten a face – get a concealer and a great blush, and you’ll look so much better. My look is not a classic look as I love a bright lip, but I can take either a lip or an eye. I have quite big lips so sometimes I do an eye to re-proportion my face!

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF WITH YOUR BRAND TRINNY LONDON?

I think what I’m most proud of is the amount of woman who have trusted us enough to do their make-up online. When we started only about 16% of women bought make-up online, so that’s been the biggest challenge too. It’s a growing market its about 20% now but still small – but our age range is very varied. Of those women in their 40s or 50s who say they’ve never found their foundation match in store but have done with us online, that’s a huge achievement for us. I love the amount of feedback we get from women who feel so confident in their make-up. And that’s equally true of young women who just haven’t learnt from anyone. We’ve been going 8 months and ship to 62 countries, and 40% of people repurchase and we have a 0.6% return rate – I think that’s pretty cool.

Masterclass w Trinny London in Stockholm 2018

WHAT’S BEEN YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE?

The biggest challenge is building a team and getting the right people in. Giving each of them enough time that is always a challenge and everyone is doing 3 jobs. As we grow, people get more of a team to work with, so they can fend for themselves, but that balance is always a daily challenge because you want them to fly by themselves but guide them still. Making clever hires with a start up is key. You want to keep that energy and passion of a younger team, but you want them to also feel like they’re learning, and they can’t just learn from you but people you build around them. The heart of a good business is a team that works well together.

WHAT THREE BEAUTY PRODUCTS FROM YOUR RANGE DO YOU USE EVERYDAY?

BFF for sure because I always want to wear SPF, and now weirdly Lip Love in Sacha which I put on my lip and cheek, its very fresh and pretty. It’s a great colour to lift you up. Lip Glow in Lyla because it’s my daughter’s name and if I didn’t say that she’d kill me!

WHAT ADVICE HAVE YOU PASSED TO YOUR DAUGHTER?

It’s tricky because you want to give somebody a great life, but you want them to appreciate how hard you must work for that. My mother never worked, and my father was always away working. Lyla’s the opposite, her mum works a lot, but I want to show her it can be fun the journey of doing it. I always wonder if she takes anything on board but then sometimes she will confound me with her wisdom. If I come home one day and say that I’m having a hard time with someone she’ll say “Mummy, you must swallow it up or you must get rid of them, you can’t keep talking about it” and I think “Where did you get that from?!” But she does pick it up and she’s such a great girl.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES?

99% of everything you worry about doesn’t happen. Worrying can take over your day. In terms of business life, you just don’t know what is behind a closed door. You can get yourself so worked up about what life can’t bring you and who won’t believe in you especially when you’re just starting out, but you never know what can happen. We presume to know the answer, but you just never know.

Trinny London has been awarded The Butterfly Mark – click here to discover more about the brand…

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