Trinny Woodall on bringing her successful Trinny London makeup range to Scotland

Her what Not to Wear days may be behind her, but Trinny is still a star

By Gaby Soutar
Tuesday, 1st March 2022, 4:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 1st March 2022, 5:11 pm

I’m a cornet, and have more tit than I thought.

That was the diagnosis I got when I interviewed Trinny and Susannah for The Scotsman, way back in 2007.

Back then, the ubiquitous What Not to Wear presenters were promoting The Body Shape Bible book, as well as ITV’s Trinny and Susannah Undress the Nation and their Original Magic Knickers.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Trinny Woodall

It was one of the most fun interviews I’ve ever had, and they were both completely batty, with no filters.

I feel like maybe I dreamt the moment that Woodall yanked up her dress, to show me her gusset and point out that her legs were about the same length as mine.

Fifteen years later, Susannah Constantine is off doing her own thing, while Trinny Woodall has become a successful beauty entrepreneur, launching Trinny London in 2017.

In a bid to have a physical department store presence, this rapidly-expanding brand has just opened a pop-up counter on the ground floor of Edinburgh’s Harvey Nichols. It’ll be there until March 27, and maybe beyond, with consultations that are bookable through their website.

Trinny Woodall

I’m completely new to the collection, though I don’t tell Woodall, 58, who I meet at the counter.

It seems that she has a picture of Dorian Gray stashed in the attic, as she looks exactly as I remember her, back in the noughties.

I, on the other hand, am as withered as Mr Burns. Of course, I’m excited to see what she’ll be wearing, and immediately regret my boring woolly polo neck and jeans when I see her looking like a sexy exotic snake in bright yellow and silver, including a fuzzy metallic Dries Van Noten top.

The shades match the packaging of her new skincare line, which includes a Be Your Best Enzyme Balm Cleanser.

Trinny London

“It is that moment”, says Woodall. “Though I think the brand matches me. I’ve always thought yellow brings joy, and I’ve am a silver girl. My top is Essential Antwerp and the Paco Rabanne skirt is probably the most expensive I’ve ever bought, but cost per wear is good. Even when I was making Trinny London, I thought about that. I want things that last forever, so our Lip2Cheek lasts two years”.

Woodall still loves her fashion, though these days she’s all about the slap.

As she speaks to me, her makeup artist, is tippety-tapping creams and lotions all over my face, as he opens and closes the stackable compacts. I steal the occasional glance at my face - looking good.

“I love skincare, makeup and fashion equally. On What Not to Wear, whenever we did clothing, we were doing makeup too”, says Woodall. “In the reveal they always noticed their face first. Back then I just worked with 20 different makeup brands and always had young teams who would put the same red lip on every woman. Before the show began, I changed things because it wasn’t how I felt that women should be represented, and that’s when I thought I wanted to do the makeup”.

In my interview, Woodall’s visage is looking immaculate. She has twinkly golden eyelids, long lashes and a coral-coloured lipstick.

There is no tideline, smudged mascara, or clumsy contouring, though she hasn’t always been an expert, has she?.

“Oh my god, in my twenties, I was very orange. I was an orangutan. It was disgusting,” says Woodall, whose late Scottish grandfather once ran British Steel. ”We get face dysmorphia with fake tan and there's some very good ones today. When I started wearing it, there was just No7 orange mousse”.

Nowadays, there are a trillion makeup brands, but Trinny London has struck a certain chord.

Not just in the UK either. Apparently, 16 per cent of their sales are in Australia, where they filmed Trinny & Susannah’s Australian Makeover Mission back in the day.

Although the products are great, part of their appeal is Woodall’s stardom, and the fact that she posts amusing, funny and relatable videos on social media, without using filters to change her face. The night before I speak to her, she’s staying at The Balmoral, and videos herself trying to play the bagpipes, while wearing a long sequin dress and tartan cap.

Later, she attends a launch event at Harvey Nichols, and the queue stretches up the street. She says hi to everyone.

After our interview, I posted a selfie of us, and I’m besieged with messages asking me what she was like, with people saying they’re “obsessed” with her and especially waxing lyrical about the BFF SPF 30 Cream. She may not have been on telly for a while, but she’s still extremely famous.

“I think having a TV background helped me a lot growing my social media channel because unlike influencers who create those personas for Instagram, I was me”, Woodall says. “I had kind of been me on telly too, even though I'd been edited to be the angular and tough one while Susannah was cosy and huggy, but fundamentally it was my character”.

Anyway, her personality is that of someone who could sell tea to China, or whisky to Scotland. However, she seems a lot calmer and more relaxed than she was back in the telly days. I will not be seeing her gusset today.

“I love being a businesswoman, though it’s ten times more stressful than being on television”, says Woodall. “Some people think all I do is Instagram videos, but it’s all about running and growing the team. It challenges me constantly, but I love it.

Harvey Nichols, 30-34 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh (0131 524 8388, www.harveynichols.com)

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.