January 17th 2019
Trinny Woodall: menopause, staying sane and loving life over 50
January 19th 2018 / 0 comment
Last month, beauty entrepreneur Trinny Woodall opened her 97 drawers of makeup up to Susannah Taylor. This month she talks about the menopause, staying sane, putting on two stone but feeling better now than in her twenties
In our interview last month, Trinny Woodall gave Get The Gloss an exclusive sneak peek into her incredible knowledge of products and her personal beauty stash (all 97 drawers of them). Here she opens up about how she dealt with the menopause, her gut issues, gaining weight (not that you'd know it), nutrition and how she juggles her team with life and her work, the brilliant stackable beauty business, Trinny London.
“When the menopause started I was in a dodgy place in my life - I’d separated from my husband and I was getting hot flushes and feeling really down.”
"I started going through the menopause at 45. I couldn’t work out whether these feelings of being down were life or the menopause. I saw a few 'experts' in the UK who did bioidentical hormones, but thought they were talking out of their ar*es. I then asked a friend in New York for their recommendations and they suggested Dr Erika Schwartz who I went to see. She gave me a whole day of tests on my memory, my skin density, the way I reacted to things, my bloods etc.
"It was brilliant because she told me that 80% of my symptoms I could label as the menopause. I could then deal with the other 20% of feeling sh*t as I felt there was now a solution. She gave me bioidentical oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone hormones, and supplements - and I felt so much better. She also told me to take magnesium which I still take loads of at night."
“I started self-diagnosing my gut problems a few years ago.”
"I have had a lot of problems with my gut and I wanted to look into all the different digestive enzymes. I learnt a lot of information from Julia Hunter who treats my skin but also the body as a whole, but this year I also met a delightful woman called Danielle Shine from Chef Shine, and she is the most joyous woman who is so generous with her knowledge. I was eating very unhealthily and she got me to send a list of everything I ate. Rather than saying 'You have to cut out this or that' she sent me a list of healthy substitutes. For example I love salted caramel chocolate but she got me onto Halo salted caramel raw chocolate instead, which is the most delicious stuff I’ve ever tasted, and she made me have healthier peanut butter (I literally have half a jar of peanut butter a day).
"I take many digestive enzymes for my gut, and I take a high dose of biotin for my hair every day which I think makes a difference – I think my hair is much thicker now."
"I was 9 stone for 20 years, now I’m about 11 stone."
“I haven’t weighed myself for about three years. I really don’t give a sh*t now. I only care if I have to go up yet another size in trousers. I’m now a size 12 and I used to be a size 8 - I was really thin - but my schedule was mental and totally erratic at the time.
"I’m trying to avoid dairy as I suffer from bad bloating, so in the morning I’ll usually have porridge with oat milk. I have nuts on it, seeds and berries with maple syrup plus a green tea. At about 11am I’ll have a cappuccino and oat cakes with butter and jam. I just need that sweet hit.
"For lunch generally if I’m going out, I’ll go to the Italian restaurant opposite my office and have the same every time – minestrone soup with chicken paillard, zucchini and spinach. If I have lunch at home I’ll have avocado on toast.
"Then in the afternoon I may snack on peanut butter with an apple and in the evening I may have something like pesto pasta. I don't drink but when I go out I have pudding instead."
“I want to die with my body working and not have my body kill me.”
"I did Pilates for 20 years but I got a back problem about three years ago and had to have a disc replaced, so I did medical pilates from then on, but nothing strenuous – forget breaking out in a sweat! Then this June I got a trainer who trained me three times a week, and I felt really well but I have no time now with the business and everything. I’m going to try to get into a habit. My mother is 87, and very immobile and sedentary, and I want my body to always work for me."
“I use visualisation techniques to stay sane.”
"I have a man called Sanjay who I see once every three months. He used to be an accountant and then he became a meditator. I will go and see him and have a brain dump, and then I’ll put my phone on record. He’ll then get me to visualise the success of my brand and people using the products. He will also ask me to visualise sitting on top of the world with the universe in front of me and how limitless that is. So rather than feeling the fear of failing I turn this into faith.
"Another thing he has taught me is if there’s someone in my life making me feel out of sorts or I'm not being myself then I have to imagine them sitting next to me getting smaller and smaller until their feet don’t touch the ground, until they are like a doll on a grown-up chair. The aim is to make their power over you insignificant. It really works!
"I often listen to the recording when I'm walking through the park, or I listen to it in the car. I remember once going to a meeting with an investor and I had been listening to the recording in the car and by the time I got to the meeting I was so full of the glow of it that I think I put out something very positive (this investor led me to another investor who then invested in Trinny London).
"I'm quite erratic in doing it but I think the key is to try to maintain this sort of practise daily and not when my back's against the wall and I feel awful. I don't do anything else to stay sane."
“Sometimes I email at 3am to stay on top of work.”
"If my emails I haven't answered get to over 100 in my inbox then I can’t leave the house until I clear it. I’ll set my alarm for 6.30am and plough through them lying in bed so that by the time I get to the office I’m not catching up on emails, I'm doing things that will always forward my day. I also sometimes email my colleagues in the middle of the night. I don’t expect people to reply but I just want to get it out of my head!"
"I'm not good at padding emails out to be palatable. Sometimes I forget to 'nice' them up - before I send an email I have to make myself think twice. But I want to get to a place with people where we are just getting down to what needs to be done. I don't think I'm going to change so I'm afraid people will have to get used to me being direct, it's just the way I am."
“Now that I'm older, I’m probably the best in myself I’ve ever been.”
"I’m so much more confident and happy in myself now I’m older – I think because I’m more sure of myself. I now have a sense of where I want to get to and from past experiences I’ve also got a better sense of what’s going to work and what isn’t. Body-wise I also feel very comfortable in how I look – sometimes I think I look super tired and I’m definitely getting older – but generally I look in the mirror and don’t feel ‘ugh’ too often. When I was in my 20s I just felt I was full of acne.
"When I was younger I was also always obsessed about not showing my legs (now I really have a reason not to as I haven’t exercised at all - I’m very cellulite-y), but I was over-aware in my youth."
“Keep showing yourself off, as there’ll be a time when you really can’t any more.”
"This was great advice given to me once - to show off the good bits while you can. Equally however, I was just watching The Apprentice and there were three women business-owners who were over 50, and some wore very short dresses and a lot of makeup. I think if you cover the right parts of the skin your face will look younger. The same goes for clothes - sometimes I feel it’s best to cover certain bits in order to look younger.
"It's a case of knowing what suits you. I wear sequins a lot because they reflect on my face and make me look brighter, but if I wear black it really drains me. I have also put on two stone but I layer my clothes so you won’t see the bits I don’t want you to see!"
“I think a woman in her 30s turning 40 is a much bigger deal than a woman in her 40s turning 50"
"I think by your 40s you should have found the fundamental basics in your style to carry you through. Whether it’s the proportion in your clothing or a certain dress shape that suits you, find your basics so when you want to go into a fashion fad, it will suit you, rather than looking like you're slavishly following fashion."
"If you know that black isn’t your colour then stop wearing it top to toe."
"If it doesn't suit you then I would also say find your equivalent black, whether that’s an aubergine, navy, or charcoal grey and build up your wardrobe of staples in that colour."
"My long black Zara gilet is one of my best purchases ever."
"It glides over my body shape and you can’t see how low my bottom is. I also love my black classic Piazza Sempione trousers and I love brogues. I always used to wear Prada brogues but now I love the Stella ones. I also have about forty bits of sequin now (designer and high street). I challenged myself to wear a bit of sequin every day over the month of December!"
Follow Susannah Taylor on Instagram here