When I asked Trinny Woodall, author, former TV show host and now beauty entrepreneur, if I could interview her about her health and beauty regime, I actually had no idea quite what a beauty aficionado she was. It’s no wonder she has tip-toed her kitten heels into the world of cosmetics with her new stackable makeup range ‘TrinnyLondon’ - the woman has tried more beauty products than possibly the entire Get The Gloss team put together.
What she doesn’t know about skincare and makeup isn’t really worth knowing - she’s totally down with ‘product penetration’, ‘skincare delivery systems’ and ‘molecule size’ and rolls off every latest beauty ingredient as if she had a degree in biochemistry.
One look in Trinny’s bathroom where she films her zany, off-the-cuff, beauty videos confirms her status as most devoted beauty addict ever. There are quite literally, floor-to-ceiling Muji boxes labelled ‘Cheekbones’, 'Pore Minimisers,' ‘Primers’, ‘Chubby sticks’, ‘Glow serums,’ 'Immediate Effect Serums,' 'Glycolics,' ‘Renewal Masks’, ‘Nude Lips’ and ‘Lip Treatments’ to name just a few. I count roughly 97 drawers of products lining her bathroom walls which puts my own two cupboard beauty stash to shame - and I write about this stuff for a profession.
I can see where Trinny’s beauty obsession stems from. Having devastating acne in her 20s (she's now 53) lead her to research every skincare solution in the book. Since her hit TV makeover show ‘What Not to Wear' which she presented with Susannah Constantine from 2001 to 2005, it has been her job to look good. Now with her own makeup line, it doesn’t look like her obsession will show any signs of abating.
TRINNY ON SKIN
"I had acne so badly in my 20s that people would talk to my spots, not me.”
"It made me go through every single skincare product to try and sort it out. The first route I tried was Clinique’s 3-step skincare system – I even went to America to get it before it came out here in 1979. I went on to try lots of pills, from Minocin to Tetracycline and finally Roaccutane which was what I ended up with. At the time it was very expensive to get and because it was such a big deal to me, I spent half my salary on the drug (they were £500 a month as I took 60mg a day and I was only earning £1000 a month) but it worked. It was quite extreme as it really dries your skin out – my lips were chapped, my hair never got greasy and I couldn’t exercise as my joints were so stiff. I wouldn’t recommend Roaccutane to everyone.
"After my acne cleared up, I went to see Dr Sebagh when I was about 34 who had just started doing Botox in the UK – I was on TV at the time and the lines on my head moved like a second mouth which he sorted out. However, I had really bad pitting because I’d picked my spots a lot and he recommended a CO2 laser. I was really nervous about it as I had to go under a general anaesthetic but after I had it done my skin was smooth straight away – it was amazing. Sebagh told me my skin would go redder and redder and over the next few weeks and it did, so I literally didn’t go outside. Ultimately though I didn’t care if the end goal was better skin.
“About seven or eight years ago I totally stopped using any kind of over-the-counter product.”
"I decided that cosmeceuticals are the only way (although occasionally I like good organic products too). I want to spend the money because I know I’ll get the quality. I looked on the back of products at what were the active ingredients and read up on which things worked and which didn’t. I also looked at the delivery system of the products, the size of molecules and how it would penetrate my skin."
“The biggest mistake women make is buying expensive serums but they haven’t exfoliated, so the product isn’t going to go through.”
"Don’t spend £100 on a serum if you’re not exfoliating your face enough to take away all the dead skin cells otherwise those products can’t penetrate.
"I looked into how products can penetrate more, so about four years ago I got into microneedling which I do myself with a hand-held skin roller available at The Swiss Clinic from £42. I use a 0.5 size roller once a week and a 1.0 on my neck and body all the time, especially the backs of my arms which is where it becomes rough and ageing.
“My morning routine: I use two Foreos to cleanse my skin.”
"I like to stimulate my skin so I dry body brush every day. On my face, I always use two Foreo’s, £169 each, which I’m currently using with the Electrogel Cleanser from Lixir, £25 (I think those whizzing electric cleansing brushes are the most appalling things ever invented). The reason I use two is so I am moving my facial muscles with symmetry like a facialist. It’s an investment but I’ve had my Foreos for two years.
"I then use Dr Sebagh’s Vitamin C Powder, £79 or Lixir’s Vitamin C paste, £32. I also do De Mamiel’s Atmospheriques, Intense Nurture Antioxidant Elixir, £80 which I love.
"I always do different skincare layering. My latest thing that I feel makes a huge difference to my skin is the Copper Amino Isolate from Niod, £130 . They have a 2% and a 5% but I always go to the highest percentage – my skin is like a piece of old rope so it will take anything. Any sensitivity has totally gone because of all the products I’ve tried through having acne."
"At night I use a maximum strength peel."
"At night if I’m giving my skin a break I will clean my skin with a Foreo and might use Bioeffect EGF, £125 or the Active Botanical Serum by Vintners Daughter, £175 which is made of organic and wild-crafted botanicals. If I think my skin needs it I will use an American dermatologists brand called Julia Hunter – I use her Maximum Strength Peel, her Maximum Strength vitamin A Plus Serum and her Maxium Strength Night Regeneration (see picture above and info below).”
“I used to be very bad and had a decade of sunbeds until about 30.”
"From age 40 I started wearing SPF 30 or 50. I love Heliocare 360 SPF 50, £25.56 and my Trinny BFF Cream, £35 has SPF 30 which is broad spectrum
“My favourite products of all time are by Julia Hunter."
"I absolutely love Julia Hunter products. You can order it online from the States. She’s quite a mad dermatologist and comes over here for a month a year. The packaging isn’t great but the formulations are amazing because it comes from her own lab. She also introduced me to the world of interesting skin supplements as she believes in whole body health."
“What I don't think works: hyaluronic acid pills, collagen pills, and neck creams.”
"I was taking hyaluronic acid and collagen as pill form, but I went to see Dr Sebagh once and he said ‘It’s crap, it cannot penetrate you are wasting your money.'
"There is also no neck cream that actually works. I've tried them. "
"Twice a year I’ll do the Platelet Rich Plasma treatment."
"And afterwards I’ll do a glow Fraxel with Dr Diana Piana-Mariton at Dr Sebagh, which I feel makes my skin look great.
TRINNY ON MAKEUP
"My number one bugbear is people putting a foundation on to look tanned."
"I think it takes away all the glory of people’s skin. Another is hard eyeliner when people shouldn’t be wearing it. Another no-no is when people use a bronzer all over their faces because they think it will make them look healthier, there are so many other ways to look glowier and younger. People use a bronzing brush without thinking where the sun hits their face – the sun doesn’t go under your chin!"
“Castor oil is phenomenal for eyelash and eyebrow growth”
"Other budget products I love are Una Brennan’s Rose Exfoliator, £5.99 . You can’t beat Lait-Crème Concentre by Embryolisse, £20 from French pharmacies now available at Cult Beauty. Also Lavera’s Organic Eyebrow Styling Gel, £7.99 is amazing – it just comes in one colour, Hazel Blonde. I also love Talika Lipocils eyelash conditioning gel, £31 – I believe mascara makes eyelashes brittle so you have to keep them hydrated to make them thick. Castor oil is also incredible for lashes and brows which I apply at the base with a Q-tip. I gave this tip to my hairdresser and the next time I went back to the salon her lashes were incredible."
TRINNY ON HAIR
“I am probably 80 per cent grey”
"I have to get my hair coloured every two-and-a-half weeks at John Frieda as I’m quite dark. I also have a real problem with blowdries – I hate my hair being too curly, I hate it not looking beautifully broken and I hate it looking like it’s been obviously tonged. Greg at Josh Wood does the best texture I know."
"My favourite hair products..."
Oribe Dry Texturing Spray £41 , System Professional Volumize Aerolifter Wella, £23.60 , and I love Kerastase Elixir Ultime Masque D’Huile Sublimatrice, £25.65 as a conditioner and their products generally.
"I take Biotin for my hair every day which I think makes a big difference – I think my hair is much thicker now than it ever was."
Trinny's stackable makeup line is available at www.trinnylondon.com
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