From the moment Trinny leaps on to the couch, clad in a figure-hugging royal blue dress with her trademark gleaming white kicks, it’s clear as sunshine: expect the unexpected.
“Sorry to hold you up,” she beams, her thick glossy locks bouncing effortless back into position as she tucks her legs beneath her. “Jetlag constipation is the worst.”
And there we have it: Trinny’s trademark honesty, one that has forged a legion of loyal Trinny Tribe fans, is utterly disarming.
Nobody can flick between discussing bowel habits and blusher with total strangers as naturally as the TV stylist-come global beauty boss and, before we’ve had a second to settle in for a chat, she whisks me off for an impromptu peek in her travel wardrobe: Big Bird-yellow adds signature colour among all the silver sequined razzle dazzle, broken only by a single pop of fuschia; neutral bags (white and navy) and shoes (white sneakers and silver platform heels) are lined up with military precision; her attention-grabbing accessories are neatly packed into Trinny pouches, as are the vitamins and post-menopause hormones she never leaves home without.
“I take lots of supplements, I believe in them emphatically and I love them,” she says, rifling through her neatly organised stash.
“Siberian ginseng for jet lag… 300mg of liposomal vitamin C… It’s a lot but I built up over a few years and I think it’s one of the best antioxidants,” says Trinny, who was inspired to start taking vitamin C after reading a book by American chemist Linus Pauling.
“My newest favourite thing is glutathione. It’s an amazing antioxidant but also anti-inflammatory.”
Fighting inflammation, both inside and out, is a topic very close to Trinny’s heart. An acne sufferer from age 13 to 30, she spent her first precious pay checks on experimenting with department store skincare.
“I think it makes you far more obsessed from an earlier age to find actual solutions,” says Trinny. “When you’ve had a skin issue you can tell immediately what works on your skin. You don’t put up with second best.”
At 58, Trinny’s skin is plump and youthful, but she is refreshingly honest about how she has achieved such an enviable complexion.
“I’ve had an interesting aging journey as I started doing telly at 35,” she says.
“My forehead, which is a deep forehead, moved a lot and I was very self-conscious. Somebody said to me that there was a new thing called Botox that will stop your forehead moving. I was like, give it to me! I have so much expression everywhere else… it was the biggest relief to me. Because I did Botox from 35, I haven’t aged here, I don’t have any lines [on my forehead].”
Tweakments have clearly helped (she’s a big fan of fractional laser and microneedling) but Trinny is adamant that her skin has mostly retained its bounce and energy through her religious use of skincare (retinol, vitamin C and SPF).
“Peptides are the future of skincare, they are incredible, they can literally stimulate the growth of collagen and elastin [the building blocks of youthful skin]. We did clinical trials and the results were incredible,” she says.
“As you go towards menopause that side kind of stops because we lose 1 per cent of collagen a year and post menopause we lose 2 per cent of collagen a year. You can be 50 and have lost 50 per cent of your collagen.”
Although Trinny never shies away from pointing out her own flaws (“I’m well aware that because I had very bad acne, I have that separated skin around my chin”) she does it as matter-of-factly as someone discussing the weather.
“Some flaws you need to just embrace and realise they are a part of you, part of the character you are,” she says, though she hints at not being entirely immune to self-judgement.
“Some days I’m under a downlight and I feel I have more ripples than a raspberry ripple. Other days I don’t care.”
Out of the blue, she suddenly turns her attention squarely to my complexion. “Let’s look at your skin,” she says, enthusiastically squeezing four pumps of cleansing balm on my hands. I instinctively reach for the tap to add water.
“Dry your hands! I want you to really feel your skin and if you wet your hands first it’s too slippy.”
True to character, Trinny even cleanses with vigour. Working at lightning speed in robust fashion, she explains that a waterless massage is the best way to ‘wake up skin’.
“You need to get in touch with your skin… really get into your lymph,” she says, reaching over to massage the skin under my cheekbones, just in front of the ear, in small, circular motions.
“If this area is blocked nothing will drain …can you feel a tingling? That’s your lymph waking up.”
Without pausing for breath she swiftly launches into the facial exercise routine that her grandmother taught her. “We’re going to do our AEIOU’s so that you really feel the muscles in your face because it does work. But it is work. Tomorrow you’re going to wake up and think, did someone hit me in the jowl? You’re going to feel the tension in the muscle. Are you ready?”
Not even slightly to be honest, particularly as every whirlwind moment is captured on camera. While Trinny pulls off the vowel over-enunciations with all the alluring theatrical drama of a seasoned performer, the enthusiastic stretching, frenetic grunting and chesty moans are a smidge beyond my interview comfort zone. If her long smooth neck is anything to go by, perhaps the pay-off is worth the comedy – there is no sign of slack collagen or saggy elastin on Trinny’s complexion, despite having been through menopause.
“My mother went into menopause at 55 and I always thought you follow the route of your mother but I went into menopause early at 45…16 rounds of IVF took about ten years off my egg life,” she says.
“Whenever I begin to suffer, I’m on a mission to quickly not suffer. There are women who suffer too long and then there are women who are like, no, I’m going to actively find a solution. I had gone into it earlier than a lot of people that follow me and I’ve talked about it for the last 10 years. Now lots of my contemporaries are talking about it.”
This no-nonsense solution-driven approach is the driving force behind the successful self-named skincare and makeup label, Trinny London.
“It’s about giving women the tools to help them do it themselves,” she says. Her makeup, a series of clever stackable pots in finger-friendly formulas bucked the pandemic trend, inspiring women in lockdown to play with colour even though they had nowhere to go.
“The idea that you can take a bit of this and take a bit of that…they see me do it every day and they think, well I can do that. They experiment and they’re so excited.”
Colour, according to Trinny, is an easy way to fight the feeling of obscurity that creeps in when youth fades.
“The hardest thing is when you feel you are becoming invisible. To my family. To myself.”
It’s hard to imagine, given her exuberant outfits and charismatic positivity, that Trinny has experienced feeling unseen but she is certainly proof that age is no barrier to retaining a youthful kind of energy.
“It’s about not being defined by my age but by who I am,” she says. “I look at women of 70 with incredible energy in their face and I’m so much more drawn to them than a woman of 40 with dead eyes.”
Trinny readily acknowledges that the idea of being ageless is hugely appealing to women over 40. It’s certainly a concept that has struck a chord with the Trinny Tribe who regularly tune in to YouTube for her honest styling advice.
“I once put on all the outfits that made me feel cool without trying to be my daughter,” says Trinny. “I tried to work out what it was about each outfit that made me feel cool. Sometimes it was a plumpy shoe or putting a shoulder pad in a top or having a jacket that was cut correctly.”
And that right there is precisely what makes Trinny so likeable: she’s the epitome of ageless cool but is not afraid to share the behind-the-scenes effort that goes into achieving it with any human in cooee of the internet. As her rigourous facial workout to camera proves, she sees no point in fretting about what others think. Her focus is on finding the tools and time for self-care.
“After 50 you stop worrying what people think so your inhibition, your self-judgement, diminishes and you kind of feel a freedom to be your full self… There’s no battle with aging for me but if I put my glasses on there is also a sense that no-one should ever have their vision totally corrected,” she says with a deadpan expression.
“God is kind to us, he gives us slightly failing vision incrementally over each year.”
TRINNY’S TOP 3 TIPS
Cleanse thoroughly: Trinny recommends using a cleansing balm, such as Trinny London Be Your Best Enzyme Balm Cleanser, $60, on dry skin. Place a warm towel on the face for a moment before wiping off cleanser.
Peptides are the future: “They can really deal with aging on the skin but not have anything in it that will counteract rosacea.” Try Trinny London Plump Up Peptide HA Serum, $122.
Smile more: “Smile a lot, even when you’re on your own, to keep your cheekbones up. It’s better to have a laughter line and a higher cheekbone than no laughter line and a downturned mouth. These things are free.” Do like Trinny and choose a lip colour that sparks happiness, like Trinny London Lip Luxe in Swainy, $40.
You can read this story and many others in the January issue of The Australian Women’s Weekly – on sale now.