Beauty press events tend to be glamorous, but are often guilty of taking themselves too seriously.
Not so this morning, when Trinny Woodall arrived at Brown Thomas Dublin to launch her make-up brand, Trinny London, over breakfast. Her flight landed a little later than expected – the trip to Brown Thomas straight from the airport left no time to change, but this was no problem for Woodall. She changed in the taxi on the way, and applied her make-up with her own products in the car. You can catch the whole thing on her Instagram stories today.
Incidentally, Woodall is one of the best follows on Instagram. Exuberant, adventurous and with unshakeable confidence, she can frequently be seen getting up to various high jinks on Instagram; if she isn’t changing in a taxi, or topping up her lipstick through a raised helmet visor on the back of a moped while speeding through London, or wearing a sheet mask while using a derma roller and springing about her bathroom, she is chopping up trousers to make them work for her, or wearing tops backwards for the same reason, or finding outfits in Zara that work for everyone while giving advice on how to wear them.
When I ask her about her famous confidence, she replies: “I’m 54. Confidence fluctuates at different points in a woman’s life. When I was in a bad relationship in my 20s, my confidence was floored, when I was trying to have a baby my confidence was floored. But I have got to this point in my life; I care about what is important to me and the people I love. The rest of it? I just don’t give a damn.”
For a woman known for her love of a good sequin, Woodall is eminently practical and refreshingly relatable; her beauty brand, Trinny London, is an exercise in pragmatism. Online sales from Ireland already account for a decent chunk of the brand's revenue, so it makes sense to launch the brand here, though in a limited form, online at Brown Thomas.
The products are all cream textures – Woodall notes that this is the most flattering texture for everyone. “Creams are more forgiving as you age, but they are also easy to apply on the go and allow you to reveal what you love about your face and disguise or distract from what you don’t. Everyone can wear them.”
The products come in stackable pots, allowing you to carry a full face worth of make-up in even a small handbag without being weighed down. The stack is discreet, the textures soft and forgiving, and the shades range from delicious nudes and naturals that suit every skin tone, to pops of effervescent colour.
Woodall says, when someone comments on the travel friendliness of the products, that this (though true) was not her aim in developing the brand.
“My life is mobile, so are most women’s lives. I do my make-up in cars, in loos, on the way to and from work or events. I love make-up, but I’m not carrying a kit bag around with me. I want make-up I can apply without a mirror and without brushes and know it will look great.”
The brand is ideally timed. There is an industry backlash against the full-coverage, matte-look drag-style make-up which has dominated for the last several years. Trinny London is something different – a rebellion of sorts in make-up terms, a brand for people who enjoy make-up, but only insofar as it fits into their life. I was charmed entirely by the products; wearing them feels more like an act of revealing the best aspects of your face than covering those you don’t like (though of course they also serve that purpose). The attention to detail of the packaging, the ease of use, and the practicality of the colours have converted me.
There are not all that many beauty industry figures I would recommend seeing in person, but Woodall is one. She will be hosting in-store events at Brown Thomas today at 6pm and this coming Friday at 10am. Until Saturday, you can visit the Trinny London pop-up at Brown Thomas for a colour match consultation and to try the products in person. After that, the brand’s best-sellers will be available to buy at brownthomas.com. This is a brand to watch.