She was best known as one half of the acerbic posh pair who counselled ‘fashion disasters’ on BBC makeover show What Not To Wear. But then Trinny Woodall underwent a transformation of her own – becoming one of Britain’s most successful beauty entrepreneurs.
Last year, it was disclosed that her brand, Trinny London, had more than tripled its turnover in 12 months to a huge £44.2million. One of her most popular products, a £35 glow-boosting suncream, was said to be sold every ten seconds.
Now, however, the first blemish has appeared on the face of the company.
I hear that key staff at Trinny London’s head offices were laid off last week as part of a major restructuring.
‘There have been a lot of tears,’ I’m told. ‘People who thought they had dream jobs have been given their marching orders. It’s very sad.’
Business: Trinny Woodall (pictured) has become one of Britain’s most successful beauty entrepreneurs
Success: Last year it was disclosed that her brand, Trinny London, had more than tripled its turnover in 12 months to a huge £44.2 million
A source at the company confirms that staff have been made redundant. ‘The nature of the company is changing,’ the source tells me. ‘It is transitioning from a start-up to a mid-sized company.
‘As a result, 16 members of staff are losing their jobs. That’s seven per cent of our total staff. However, 35 new roles are being created.’
The business, which Woodall set up in 2017, made a gross profit of £27.4million in the year to March 2021, a massive increase on the previous year’s £8.5million. Sales outside Europe soared from £1.9million to £13.4million, according to accounts filed at Companies House.
Social media has been key to the success of Trinny London, which has called itself a ‘digital brand’.
Woodall posts hours of content on her Instagram account, sometimes multiple times a day, promoting her skincare and makeup products to her million followers. She receives tens of thousands of YouTube views a week.
Often appearing bare-faced and not afraid to pull bizarre expressions with hilarious effect has helped her to win legions of fans.
Describing social media as ‘essential’, she said: ‘If anyone leaves a comment on my channels, I ‘like’ it and respond. The more you can create a two-way interaction, the better.’
Products: One of her most popular products, a £35 glow-boosting suncream, was said to be sold every ten seconds
But it wasn’t all plain sailing, with the business losing £800,000 in its first year.
Woodall, 59, has spoken of her tears at the first ‘appalling’ prototype of the Trinny London make-up products, which fitted together in a stack.
‘It looked cheap and clunky,’ she told The Mail On Sunday’s You magazine. ‘It was a horrible moment and I actually cried. But I kept going. Eleven prototypes later, we got it right.’
Described by friends as ‘the most self-sufficient person they’ve ever met’, she launched herself into the venture by selling her 20-year collection of designer clothes, raising £60,000 to tide the company over while she fundraised with investors.
The daughter of a banker, and educated at boarding schools from the age of six, she first ventured into business by selling velvet hair bows decorated with brooches with a friend at the age of 16. ‘We were stocked in Harvey Nichols, but it fizzled out,’ she said.
She later wrote a weekly style column in a newspaper with Susannah Constantine, which was turned into What Not To Wear. The show went on to win a Royal Television Society Award.
Woodall, who split up with super-rich art dealer Charles Saatchi, 80, earlier this year after a decade together, said the assumption he bankrolled her business behind the scenes got to her ‘more than anything else because it’s the furthest from the truth’.
Saatchi was previously married to television cook Nigella Lawson, who claimed that she was subjected to ‘intimate terrorism’ during their ten-year marriage.
Woodall’s ex-husband, Johnny Elichaoff, father of her daughter Lyla, fell to his death from a London car park in 2014 aged 55 after he ‘lost everything’ in a series of failed oil investments.
A Trinny London spokesman declines to comment.
Poppy takes the party whip
Poppy Delevigne enjoyed a quirky Halloween – and took her father to the party.
Chelsea property developer Charles Delevingne went dressed as seedy late Playboy founder Hugh Hefner. He’s pictured with Game Of Thrones actress Jazzy de Lisser and model Lady Mary Charteris.
Socialie Alice Naylor-Leyland hosted the bash in the cellar of her mansion near Cambridge. Dressed as Catwoman, Alice, 37, pretended to whip actress Poppy, also 37, who was in pigtails as Batman’s adversary Harley Quinn.
Costumes: Poppy Delevigne (left) enjoyed a quirky Halloween – and took her father to the party
Chelsea property developer Charles Delevingne went dressed as seedy late Playboy founder Hugh Hefner
Lord Bridgerton’s secret lover reveals her new man
She played Lord Bridgerton’s secret lover in the racy Netflix costume drama Bridgerton, but in real life Sabrina Bartlett is happy to go public with her new man.
The actress, 31, who was rumoured to have joined celebrity dating app Raya earlier this year, appears to have met her match with an Australian strategist called Lachie Stewart. And she’s shared this selfie of them together online.
The London-born star, who stepped down last year from her role in ITV’s The Larkins, previously went out with Peter Rabbit actor Tom Greaves for three years.
Public: She played Lord Bridgerton’s secret lover in the racy Netflix costume drama Bridgerton, but in real life Sabrina Bartlett is happy to go public with her new man
Downing Street officials have been desperate to insist Rishi Sunak and his staff have kept their distance from Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson’s foul-mouthed former right-hand man.
So a photo doing the rounds among Westminster insiders has caused much chatter. It shows Cummings at the wedding of Sunak’s chief of staff, Liam Booth-Smith, and Olivia Oates, a government special adviser.
Cummings is clapping eagerly as the couple perform their first dance at the reception, weeks before Sunak entered No10 with Booth-Smith by his side. The 36-year-old was dubbed the Travolta of the Treasury after wearing a leather jacket to work with Sunak when the PM was chancellor.
A blessing for Carol Thatcher after her Las Vegas wedding to Marco Grass – from her first great love, Cabinet minister-turned-inmate-turned-prison-chaplain, Jonathan Aitken.
‘I am delighted to hear the good news of Carol and Marco’s marriage,’ he tells me. ‘I wish them both great happiness.’ Aitken, who spoke movingly last year at the funeral of Elizabeth Harris, his second wife, whom he wed in his 60s, adds: ‘Late marriages can be great marriages – as I well know . . .’
John Boyega hasn’t appeared in a Star Wars film for four years, but the force is clearly still with him.
I hear the Peckham-born actor has added a further £1 million to the bottom line at Upperroom Entertainment Ltd, the performing arts company into which he channels his earnings.
Financial statements filed at Companies House report that it has £12.5 million in accumulated earnings for him held as of January. The firm is one of five Boyega, 31, has set up in the wake of his big-screen success.