Anyone my age and above will recall What Not To Wear, the TV programme that gave everyday-women make overs. I watched avidly, besotted with Trinny and Susannah, hanging on every brutal word they said in an attempt to figure out my own body shape and style (the show aired while I was in my twenties), and I laughed at the witty, sarcastic, almost-sisterly repartee the two shared.
Fast forward 10+ years and now I’m watching Trinny giving skincare, beauty and fashion advice on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram – she’s a social media influencer with over half a million followers (her videos are hilarious), and a successful business woman who started her own beauty line Trinny London in 2014.
Watching her talk about skincare and style in her videos, I find myself completely buying into her way of thinking. She’s so knowledgeable (albeit, mostly from a personal experience point of view) and convincing in what she says and does, that I believe in her completely. I find her totally relatable even though she must spend a small fortune on her beauty regime (she does everything from pretty standard stuff like lash extensions and vitamin c to the slightly more serious, like Botox). She lives a completely different lifestyle to me (and probably to most of her followers) and yet she comes over as entirely genuine. (She’s also slightly nuts which I find appealing – she’d be great fun to hang out with over a chilled glass of Sauvignon.)
TRINNY LONDON – THE BRAND
And so, after watching many videos, I found myself desperate to join the #TrinnyTribe by trying her make up range. The idea behind Trinny London is to provide versatile, wearable make up that can be applied with just your fingers for a speedy application, in order to enhance rather than cover your features. Her products come in stack-able ‘T-pots’, the most perfect idea for women who like to carry their make up with them for touch-ups, or for those who travel a lot. I took my stack of five products (plus my BFF Cream and my Clinique mascara) on our last mini break and I felt totally liberated by the reduced size of my make up bag. It was also quite nerve wracking, not having a bag stuffed full of makeup products and brushes, but mostly it felt surprisingly good.
The brand celebrates women and their busy lives and that’s what speaks to me most, but halving my products and brushes from around fifteen down to a stack of five, a tube of cream, an eyebrow pencil, and a mascara is definitely out of my comfort zone, and it’s taken the last six weeks of using the products to really re-adjust my make up drawer and my way of thinking when it comes to wearing and applying makeup.
BFF CREAM (£35 for 30ml and comes with a T-pot to add to your stack) skin perfector
The BFF Cream gets a lot of amazing reviews on the website, and I can see why. It’s a light, almost reflective cream with SPF30 and works well as a moisturiser as well as sun protection. That said, I use my regular SPF30 (Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream Broad Spectrum SPF30) to ensure enough hydration for my drier skin and then layer the BFF over the top, using it more like a primer (which I’ve never used as part of my skincare/beauty regime).
Trinny often wears hers with nothing else, and on makeup free days I’d be happy to do this (those days spent largely at home, walking the dog – with sunglasses – or nipping to the shop for milk), but it doesn’t really provide any coverage whatsoever in terms of evening skin tone, concealing blemishes or giving warmth or colour. It’s more about brightening, from my own experience. However, the BFF Cream now comes in medium (taking the count of BFF shades up to five, from ‘lightest’ to ‘dark’) so I’d be keen to try that when I repurchase this. And yes, I’d buy this myself because it’s a great all-rounder, and it has slipped seamlessly into my skincare and makeup routine.
Top tip: If your makeup needs refreshing but you don’t have time to reapply, lightly massage a pump of the BFF Cream across your cheeks – it added a luminosity and glow to my eight-hour plus makeup when I couldn’t be bothered to re-do it for an evening event last week.
JUST A TOUCH (£28, intended to last 6 months)
A two-in-one foundation and concealer, Just A Touch provides moderate coverage on those areas that need a little help – under the eyes, around the corners of the nose, on blemishes and redness. I don’t need much of this, four to five dabs of my finger – one for under each eye, one or two dabs around the nose, and another dab for any bits that need some love. I have to admit that I am still using my Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder foundation, but much less of it – I’m only using a small pea-sized amount for the centre of my face, blending outwards, so the Trinny London concept has changed my way of using my makeup, helping me to reconsider my approach to skincare as well. The Just A Touch and BFF Cream have been instrumental in this process and I feel much better having clearer skin visible through my makeup rather than a fully covered face.
Top tip: If you love this product, you might want to choose a darker hue for your face and a lighter hue for under eyes and concealing. It does work as both but, personally, I like a bit of warmth to my face and a brighter concealer to disguise shadows and blemishes.
CHEEKBONES (£25, intended to last 6 months)
Trinny’s Cheekbones is her contouring product (not pictured), and there are two ‘universal’ colours which are intended to frame the face. I love a subtle contour to suck in the natural hollows of your cheeks, giving the impression of great bone structure whether you have it or not! Cheekbones definitely creates this illusion in a very natural and convincing way (because of the grey tone, much ore natural for creating shadow). It’s also good for defining the bridge of the nose, but be careful, it’s a tricky one to perfect. The hollows of the cheeks are much easier to do, and I simply use one finger-dab of Cheekbones – I find the natural hollow by sucking in my cheeks. And then I blend, blend, blend, blend, blend – and blend again. The danger is that you can end up looking dirty, so make sure you stand where there’s natural light and build up the contour slowly. Once you’ve perfected it, it takes seconds to do and believe me, it makes your face really ‘pop’.
Top tip: Don’t be put off by the grey-ish colour – the point is to create a shadow where your natural contour falls, so use it as such and stick to bronzer or blusher to give life to the cheeks.
LIP2CHEEK (£25, intended to last 6 months)
Lip2Cheek is a versatile product that can be used on both the lips and cheeks, cutting your makeup products and time down even further. However, I haven’t used it on my lips – I’m not that comfortable with my braces – but I wear it on my cheeks most days. It’s easy and fast and there’s little danger of it going wrong because it really does need to be built up, so much so that it’s the one product I use much more of than the others simply due to the pigmentation. Like the other products it’s very natural and build-able due to its cream based formula but I do wish this held its colour just a wee bit more because it is SO pretty.
Top tip: Carry it with you. The colours are beautiful – very natural and complementary – but when used as blusher I had to apply quite a lot on first application (and again during the day) to really get the pigment to last on my skin.
EYE2EYE (£18, intended to last 9 months)
As with all of the products, the Eye2Eye is a cream based eyeshadow, making it easy to apply because cream shadows leave little room for error. That’s the beauty of Trinny’s makeup range; it’s for everyone, no matter how much experience or time you may or may not have. The eyeshadows come in an array of colours that will suit everyone, though some will look better on certain complexions, etc. I found them super easy to use, both when wearing a single colour alone or layering the two together to create a more intense, dramatic look. I still had to use my own eyeliner and eyebrow pencil and wonder if Trinny might create a liner/brow two-in-one next. Eye2Eye is another great product that can (and will probably need to be) topped up easily.
Top tip: Invest in two or three colours to suit your skin and hair tones; think natural day, something more earthy for a heavier day look, and then something dark and glittery for evening. They are easy to apply and make a smokey eye very do-able, even with the fingers – which means these are amazing for popping in your handbag and reapplying after a few cocktails without fear of stepping out like your kid did your make up. Which brings me on to say that I love Wisdom, already a classic Trinny London product, but sadly my curious toddler found my stack, took it apart, and has secreted my pot of Wisdom somewhere unknown.
My final thoughts on Trinny London is that they are amazing products for women on the go, women who don’t have the time (or inclination) to spend on a full face of makeup every morning, and women who travel a lot. Trinny London is so easy to use thanks to the cream formula which is worked seamlessly into the skin using the warmth of your fingers (where there is less bacteria than can be found on your brushes) and you can find your exact colour match suggestions online to help you get started.
The products and packaging are superb quality and they truly do make life easier in terms of time and space. They’re very sheer, so give a really natural look that allows your own skin to be seen, which as we get older tends to look much more youthful. I definitely have to feel better about the quality of my skin to wear only Trinny London – but each product is very build-able and very blend-able, which is a great way to really dial up your make up from less coverage to more coverage, or from day to evening, using the same set of products. And Trinny is all about maintaining a beautiful canvas, which is how it should be – a good base is the most effective ‘weapon’ when it comes to makeup application, so it’s worth watching some of her skincare videos as well as using her makeup.
Thanks to Trinny London for gifting samples of these products, and for the personal, handwritten note from Trinny which made me squeal with delight!
Some links are affiliate links, which means if you buy the products through my blog, I get a tiny bit of commission. It doesn’t affect the way you make your purchase, it just provides me with a bit of a reward for the time I spend blogging.
Images: Kris Miller.