Trinny Woodall shares her top Christmas tips including how to get glowing skin in SEVEN days and makeup advice for that all important festive party

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Trinny Woodall, founder and CEO of make-up and skincare brand Trinny London, shares her top tried-and-tested tips to help you feel your best throughout the festive season

Last weekend was spent getting my house in London decked out for Christmas. My daughter, Lyla, is so excited about this time of year (even though she’s 20!) and came back from university in Spain for the occasion.

Now the tree is up and decorated, ornamental reindeer are in the garden and polar bears that light up and flash are outside the front door.

I used to have a massive Santa’s sleigh the length of the house, which I got from Costco — though not this year. With my beauty business and the launch of my book, Fearless, 2023 has been crazy for me, so I’ll be giving myself ten days off — and I can’t wait.

However, as much as I love Christmas, I know it can also be an expensive, stressful and exhausting time.

What do you wear on the big day? To the office party? And can anything be done to quickly transform dull, parched winter skin?

Trinny Woodall, founder and CEO of make-up and skincare brand Trinny London, shares her top tried-and-tested tips to help you feel your best throughout the festive season 

It’s why I’ve put together some of my top tried-and-tested tips, that I hope will help Femail readers look and feel their best this season.

PUTTING AN END TO YOUR PARTY ANXIETY

At Trinny London we’ll be having a huge Christmas party for 200 people with lots of dancing and silly games.

But I know how easy it is to talk yourself out of going to a Christmas bash when you’re feeling tired or unsure. I used to go to parties alone and then hide in the loo because I found them so difficult. But since I’ve had to do public speaking, I’ve become more confident.

If you’re worried about going to something, then ask yourself why. Do you think nobody will talk to you or that you might wear the wrong thing?

Don’t let those worries stop you from going to an event that could lift your spirits. In my book, Fearless, I talk about something called ‘the 99 per cent rule’. It’s a reminder that 99 per cent of the things you are worried about will never actually happen.

I go to a lot of parties alone and I’ll always seek out someone else in the same boat and go up and say ‘I’m Trinny, what’s your name?’

If the idea makes you cringe, then look at it another way. How would you feel if a friendly stranger came up to you and said hello?

When someone talks to me I’m so happy. It’s such a lovely, kind thing to do, so don’t let your shyness or embarrassment hold you back.

HOW YOU CAN HAVE GLOWING SKIN IN JUST ONE WEEK

It’s not unusual for our skin to look a bit dull and lifeless this time of year, but it is possible to get it glowing again in seven days. Understanding the difference between dry and dehydrated skin is crucial to how you treat it.

Dehydrated skin lacks water while dry skin lacks oils. Breathing life back into dehydrated skin can be easily done.

A good experiment to see if your skin is dehydrated is to give up coffee for a week and drink double the amount of water. If you notice a big difference you will know your skin was dehydrated.

You need hyaluronic acid and peptides — the combination of these ingredients will bring hydration back into your skin.

We lose 2 per cent of collagen in our faces a year post-menopause. Not only is there less plumpness, but it also takes far longer for the new skin to come through.

A skin cycle is 21 days in our 20s, but it’s upwards of 60 days by the time we’re in our 50s. We end up with all these dead cells sitting on the surface and presenting as dry skin. Instead of getting rid of it, we slap on endless moisturiser. It’s like polishing a table with the dust still on!

What you want here is liquid exfoliation — not granular. Liquid acids (don’t be alarmed by the word acid!) can be left on the skin to do their work but it’s important to find the right one for you.

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Sensitive skins should use a PHA (polyhydroxy acid), which will be gentle, hydrating and won’t irritate the skin.

Oily skins should go for a BHA (beta hydroxy acid), which helps reduce breakouts, and normal skins should go for an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) where the molecules are smaller and will penetrate more deeply into the skin.

Apply these exfoliants three times a week, then follow with a good serum containing hyaluronic acid or peptides.

Trinny's daughter, Lyla, was so excited to get the house decked out for Christmas that she came back from university in Spain especially

Trinny’s daughter, Lyla, was so excited to get the house decked out for Christmas that she came back from university in Spain especially 

The serum is then going to do its job, as it won’t be fighting to get through a barrier of dead skin cells. After seven days you’ll reveal better, brighter skin.

GIVE YOURSELF A CHRISTMAS FACELIFT

Our faces change as we go down the path of life, but there are small, easy tweaks that can make all the difference — and getting our brows right is the simplest.

Take a look in the mirror. Are yours framing your face or dragging it down?

Our brows can become sparser with age and if yours are thicker towards your nose and then thinner towards the edges, it can create an ageing ‘furrowed brow’ look.

Balancing out the width of your brows and making the colour even with a good brow gel will make frown lines less noticeable.

As our eyes sag, what we don’t want to do is have the curve of our brow on too much of a downward angle. Instead, stop the outer edge of the brow a little bit earlier to give a lifted effect.

Brushing the eyebrows upwards will have even more impact and open up the eyes.

GET YOUR MAKE-UP TO WORK FOR YOU

Always do your make-up first before deciding what to wear to a Christmas party.

Once you feel well in your face it’s going to make you feel more inspired when it comes to choosing your outfit. I’ll sometimes do my face and then select a different outfit to the one I intended to wear.

When it comes to the colours and products we apply, I talk to so many women who have stuck with the same make-up routine for decades.

Our faces change over time and it is good to adapt accordingly.

We want the products we use to take away any tiredness and give energy and life to our faces. A heavy foundation, especially one that is not the colour of your skin but the one you want your skin to be, can take the life out of it. Tinted moisturisers and serums will look less harsh, with a dab of concealer around any redness.

If you’re stuck for make-up inspiration, then why not try one of my three quick party make-up looks.

If you’re going straight from your desk at the office to your Christmas do, then try this two-minute fix to wake up your face: apply some of my BFF Skin Perfector (£39).

It’s a lovely glowy product with a hint of tinted moisturiser that’s going to wake you up and blend all your existing make-up.

Then add a touch of cream blusher to the apples of your cheeks — you can even use the same shade on your lips — and you’re good to go.

THE PARTY LOOKS EVERY 40-PLUS WOMAN SHOULD KNOW  

STATEMENT LIP  

Trinny is wearing a metallic shade called Dalia from the Trinny London Lip Love range (£24)

Trinny is wearing a metallic shade called Dalia from the Trinny London Lip Love range (£24)

A bold lip is a great way to get noticed and a good mood-lifter that will project energy and boost confidence.

If you visit Trinnylondon.com you can try our Match2Me service where you key in details about your colouring and it will suggest shades that you are best suited to.

Here, I’m wearing a metallic shade called Dalia from my Lip Love range (£24). Pat it on with your fingers for a softer look or use a thin lip brush for more definition.

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With a statement lip, you want to keep the eyes subtle in complementing shades. I’m wearing two shades from my Eye2Eye cream-based eye shades (£18).

Fortune is the lighter colour that goes over my lids and Strength is a dark chocolate colour that I take on to my brow bone to open up my eyes.

SMOKY EYE 

Trinny achieved her smoky eye with Magician from Trinny London's Eye2Eye collection as a base shade across her lids, followed by a shade called Chalice in the crease and up to the brow bone. Finally, she added a shade called Universe to the outer corner and beneath the lower lashes for a touch of drama

Trinny achieved her smoky eye with Magician from Trinny London’s Eye2Eye collection as a base shade across her lids, followed by a shade called Chalice in the crease and up to the brow bone. Finally, she added a shade called Universe to the outer corner and beneath the lower lashes for a touch of drama

A smouldering, smoky eye is one of the sexiest make-up looks we can create and, contrary to popular belief, it isn’t hard to do.

The key is choosing two or three shades from the same family spanning from light to dark. I’m wearing Magician from my Eye2Eye collection as my base shade across my lids.

Then Chalice is the shade used in the crease and up to the brow bone with Universe added to the outer corner and beneath the lower lashes for a touch of drama. If you’re unsure there’s a tutorial on my website.

I’m hopeless at putting false eyelashes on but, when done properly, they can look fantastic. Half-strip lashes are much more flattering than a thick, full set that weighs the eye down and looks too caterpillar-like.

With a smoky eye, you must keep the lip neutral; here I’m wearing Eugenie from my Lip Luxe range (£22).

SOFT AND SUBTLE 

Here, Trinny is wearing a flattering apricot shade, ChaCha, from Trinny London's Lip2Cheek range (£26) and on top Maiko, Sheer Shimmer (£24), which brings the colour to life and adds a glow

Here, Trinny is wearing a flattering apricot shade, ChaCha, from Trinny London’s Lip2Cheek range (£26) and on top Maiko, Sheer Shimmer (£24), which brings the colour to life and adds a glow

This is a really good look to take you from day to night. As we age, a hard black eyeliner will not be our friend, because it will drag the eye down and make it appear smaller. Instead blend your eyeliner along the lash line to create a softer, smudged effect that will open your eyes and make your lashes look denser.

Your lashes will look so much better if you coat both sides with mascara. Close one eye and take the brush down the outside, then open your eye and take the mascara up the underside, wiggling the brush as you go. Always do the lower lashes too, especially the tiny little lashes on the inner corners.

A strong lip doesn’t necessarily need to be red; here I am wearing a super flattering apricot shade, ChaCha, from my Lip2Cheek range (£26) and on top Maiko, Sheer Shimmer (£24), which brings the colour to life and adds a glow.

PUT SOME SHAPE IN YOUR SHOULDERS

If there’s one piece of clothing that’s been life-changing for me this year, then it has to be my £17 Zara T-shirt with shoulder pads sewn in.

You’ll often hear midlife women saying ‘Oh my god, where has my waist gone?’ But what many fail to notice is how our shoulders become less defined too, as we lose muscle tone and our posture worsens.

I put my Zara T-shirt under absolutely everything now and it gives me fabulous straight shoulders instead of sloping ones.

It creates a really lovely frame and accentuation and — because your shoulders are broader — you look smaller in the waist.

I love my Zara T-shirt so much that I’ve made one in a stretchy cotton fabric. If you can’t find a shoulder-padded T-shirt on the High Street, then stitch some foam pads into one you already own.

’TIS THE SEASON TO GO MAD FOR METALLICS

Metallics light you up and bring you alive and they are everywhere this season, so nobody will have to look too far to find clothes with a little sparkle.

I think lots of women talk themselves out of buying clothes in gold or silver because they think they’ll be worn only once.

But consider how well they can be adapted for everyday wear. Before purchasing a party outfit, ask yourself if you can think of many other ways you could wear it when party season is over.

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That silver or gold skirt might look gorgeous in the summer paired with a white T-shirt and flat sandals. I often wear a sleeveless jumper over a sequin top so that all you see is a hint of sequinned arm.

Metallic shirts look great with jeans or unbuttoned with a polo neck beneath. And you can’t go wrong with a metallic shoe.

Sparkles aren’t just for Christmas, they can easily be adapted to be flexible daytime pieces.

Working out what shade of metallic you are can be tricky, but the rule of thumb is that if you have cool tones in your skin, hair and eye, you will suit silver. The warmer tones will suit gold.

Trinny is a big fan of metallics, which are everywhere this season and can be easily adapted for everyday wear

Trinny is a big fan of metallics, which are everywhere this season and can be easily adapted for everyday wear 

ONE I FOUR OF US SHOULD BEWARE BLACK

Most of us have a favourite black outfit we rely on for more formal occasions. We like it because it is easy to accessorise, but black doesn’t suit everyone. There are about 25 per cent of women who should avoid black because they have a hair, skin and eye combination that will be drained by black.

Black looks best on people with high-contrast colouring — someone with dark hair and alabaster skin for example.

It also suits those with ‘cool and neutral’ colouring — blonde hair and bright blue eyes and peaches and cream skin or ebony skin with a cool brown eye.

However, it can wash out anyone with warmer tones.

If you are drawn to black but think you might fall into the above camp then why not try navy, chocolate brown or burgundy?

They will be softer on your skin tone and more flattering.

HOST A CLOTHES-SWAPPING PARTY

Don’t worry if you’re not able to buy something new this year — I am such a fan of clothes-swap parties. They’re a great way of refreshing your wardrobe and having fun with your girlfriends.

Get six or eight of your friends together and make sure there are at least two people who wear the same size. Ask them to bring along three dressy items that they no longer wear and get them to cut the labels out.

In my experience, removing the labels is the key to success, as there’s no judgment about whether things are designer or a High Street bargain.

Then hang all the clothes on a rail. When I host a clothes-swap party we play a game of musical chairs and whoever wins the round gets first dibs at the rail.

With any luck, you’ll come away with a free party outfit.

SLIP SOME SEQUINS UNDER YOUR PINNY

This year I’ll be spending Christmas with my daughter, sister, stepson and his mum. A big, blended family — with lots of dogs, too.

I know many of you will be in the same boat, and there is often a great deal of eggshell-treading to be done at Christmas.

It’s also traditionally a time for dressing up and feeling nice, plus it’s important for our self-esteem to make a little bit of effort.

For those who are hosting, it’s fabulous to be able to whip the apron off and have something dazzling beneath it. 

Trinny advises those that are hosting Christmas this year to wear something dazzling underneath their apron

Trinny advises those that are hosting Christmas this year to wear something dazzling underneath their apron 

And that is why I believe emphatically in sequins on Christmas Day.

By Christmas Day we’re often frazzled, and a sequinned top will give that extra bit of glow to your face, especially when a full make-up routine is probably last on your list of things to do.

There’s a very practical side to sequins, too. If you’re in and out of the kitchen all day and you spill something down yourself then you just wipe it off with a damp cloth.

Bingo! You’re not going to ruin your cashmere jumper or your favourite silk top.

  • Fearless: Style. Beauty. Life by Trinny Woodall (HQ, HarperCollins)
  • As told to Claudia Connell.

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