TELL TRINNY: How do I stop my copycat friend?

A single friend has started copying everything I buy, from my choice of wallpaper to my new trainers. It feels as though she’s trying to steal my life – maybe my husband is next! We’re both in our late 40s, and she regularly comes over for Sunday lunch. She says my husband, children and I are her family.
Amanda, London

TELL TRINNY copycat friend
Vanessa Branchi

Perhaps, as a test, you should start buying some very tasteless items and see what she does. If she doesn’t copy you, you’ll realise that she does have good taste and isn’t desperately trying to be you – she just loves your style. Then you can go back to your usual labels.

But keep an eye on your husband. I suspect you don’t really think that she is after him – nevertheless, it might be time to check how close you feel to him. I think we women become more aware of potential threats if we are feeling a little uncomfortable about our relationships. How high is your self-confidence at the moment? Are you happy about your own appearance?

I also wonder if your friend has had a recent change of circumstances herself, something that accounts for this loss of identity. Are you being there for your friend, or just feeling annoyed with her? Perhaps it’s time to stop noticing how much she’s copying you and check that she’s OK.

Alternatively, I would just be flattered. Some women grow up without a style role model, or they never develop their own look. She’s learning from you, and feeling better for it. When I went to Ireland to launch my make-up brand, a third of the ladies at the department store Brown Thomas came in wearing different parts of my wardrobe. Although it was a little surreal, I hope they are getting as much pleasure out of that coat, brogue, lip colour or top as I am. You might let yourself enjoy the fact that you can help another woman feel good about what she buys; perhaps you can take her shopping and point out things that really suit her – and don’t suit you.

This week I’m bonkers about…

Evolve beauty

The Gentle Cleansing Melt is phenomenal. The texture is between a gel and a balm – I use it with a hot cloth. It beats Eve Lom cleanser hands down.

 

 Gentle Cleansing Melt, £22, Evolve Organic Beauty

 

Aurora Nutrascience

These liquid vitamins are much easier to absorb than pills. I take CoQ10 and R-Alpha Lipoic Acid, which are both powerful antioxidants.

Liposomal R-Alpha Lipoic Acid, £20, Victoria Health 

Function of Beauty

A US brand that uses a questionnaire to help you choose shampoo and conditioner to suit your hair type – you can even have your name printed on the bottle

From around £28, function of beauty.com

Vestiaire Collective

I love shopping at Vestiaire Collective (vestiairecollective.com) for used designer clothes and accessories. They’re all authenticated so you know you’re buying a Chanel bag, but at 25 to 40 per cent less than the original price.

Chanel Bag, £2,178.16, Vestiaire Collective

Klairs

I recently introduced this Korean brand’s Supple Preparation Facial Toner into my skincare routine. I don’t use a cotton pad to apply it; instead I gently press the liquid into my face. It hydrates, moisturises, balances the skin’s pH and reduces inflammation – and it also works well for oily skin.

Supple Preparation Facial Toner, £20.10, Klaris