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SISU Beauty of the Week: Trinny Woodall
August 29, 2018
Trinny Woodall is an outlier. At the age of 54 years old, she has managed to do what few celebrities her age have: build a modest level of fame into a media and business empire. Her secret ingredients? Determination, courage, and the willingness to show the world who she really is.
Trinny’s attitude perfectly reflects the concept behind SISU Clinics. We are named after sisu, a Finnish term representing perseverance, resilience, and the tenacity to triumph over any and all adversity. It is that refusal to give up no matter what, and the determination to create something beautiful out of life’s challenges, that fuel both Trinny and SISU. For that reason, Trinny Woodall is our Beauty of the Week.
“Wait,” you might be thinking. “Isn’t Trinny Woodall rich and famous? What does she know about life’s challenges? It’s easy to be beautiful when everything’s always come easy to you.”
Social Media Metamorphosis
While the BBC’s What Not to Wear made Trinny known for her honest and often self-deprecating manner, the style guru has been able to show off her humble side at a new scale thanks to her social media presence. With over 300,000 Facebook fans, 370,000 Instagram followers and nearly 65,000 subscribers to her YouTube channel, Trinny’s online footprint gives her the reach to resonate with people all over the world.
This wasn’t always the case. Trinny admits that a blunt, cold response in a business meeting gave her a sharp shock of reality. While pitching a business to a potential investor, Trinny boasted that she had 6,000 followers on Instagram. “I’m not interested,” the man said, promptly ending their meeting.
“And so I put down the phone and thought I’m 53, I need to understand every single technology like I’m a 20-year-old — that’s what it made me realise. I need to live and breathe it, and have a passion for it. Not just know it, but have a passion for it. So I then made it my passion to think ‘OK, if I’m going to really channel what I have to Instagram and Facebook — how am I going to do that? And how am I going to be different from all the other voices out there?'” Trinny says.
Standing Out With Authenticity
Her eagerness to be different is itself unusual in a world where most people just want to fit in and avoid undue scrutiny. But Trinny’s nonchalance about others’ opinions has served her well, racking up a loyal following online and the financial backing to launch Trinny London, the makeup line she’d always dreamed of.
Social media, she says, made it possible. “The joy for me is that I edit myself. What you see is what you get. So if somebody decides not to like me, there’s nothing I can do about it and there’s nobody I can blame, and I am what I am in front of the camera and off. So the joy and the freedom that brings is incredible.”
A Life Less Ordinary
Her upbeat attitude comes in the midst of much personal drama. Perhaps that is why people feel comfortable with Trinny. They know she might have a posh accent and live the life of a celebrity, but she’s had ups and downs like them – and some they can only imagine.
Her first foray into business, founding one of the world’s first online clothing shops with Susannah Constantine in 2000, failed miserably – to the tune of £10 million in debt. Next, Trinny and Susannah published a fashion book that flopped, selling only 13,000 copies.
Even more trying were nine rounds of IVF. Trinny finally gave birth after years of infertility treatments and miscarriages, only to divorce her husband a few years later. They remained friends, but in 2015 his life ended in tragedy.
No Shame in Self-Investment
It is natural to root for any woman finding new success after age 50, and it is especially heartening to see one succeed and keep a smile on her face as Trinny has. It’s a smile that seems to have been enhanced, like other areas of her face, with dermal fillers. But Trinny won’t be shamed by using nonsurgical aesthetic treatments like anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers and lip fillers. She admits to having used Botox preventatively since her 30s.
“I had it done before I even had lines, so what it did, it stopped me getting lines. I do it,” she says. But she wouldn’t risk going under the knife for traditional cosmetic surgery. “I’d never have a facelift, as I’ve never seen anyone who has one that looks good.”
Trinny isn’t afraid to admit she will continue to rely on anti-wrinkle injections to maintain her smooth, fresh look. “I’m still having Botox – I started at 35 – and I love it. I’m not ashamed of wanting to look my best and of wanting other women, of any age but particularly of my age, to look as good as they can.”
Looking good seems to come easy to Trinny, but fans of her beauty tutorials and reviews of products and treatments know how much effort she puts into showing the world the best version of herself. In addition to injectable beauty, she’s no stranger to facials, including oxygen facials, microdermabrasion, chemical peels and microneedling. It has also been reported that Trinny persuaded her boyfriend, 75-year-old art and advertising mogul Charles Saatchi, to have Mantox (Botox for men).
But Trinny’s passion seems to come not so much from a craving to perfect her own appearance than from a fervent desire to help other women look and feel their absolute best. Her hardships seem to have given her a self-assured, gritty yet feminine spirit that inspires women of all ages. “Watch me,” Trinny seems to be saying. “If I can do it, so can you.”
That outlook is accompanied by a fair amount of humour and refusal to take herself too seriously. (The average beauty influencer would never dare post a selfie with dirty hair – or be able to look fabulous anyway.) It’s a fearless mindset based on the knowledge that she’s survived and thrived through everything life has thrown at her, so having a wardrobe malfunction on a Facebook Live broadcast and taking bold risks in business won’t finish her off. Wouldn’t we all love to have that kind of self-assurance?
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