Linda Rodin, Stylist and Entrepreneur

For too long youth has been synonymous with beauty, particularly in women. So, when a silver maned 68-year-old becomes a beacon in the fashion and beauty world, we eagerly take note her gumption, promoting a fresh and mature approach to growing older with grace. Linda Rodin – veteran stylist and founder of cult beauty brand Rodin – started the range modestly in her home, and is now sitting on an empire. The brand - which started with the to-die-for Olio Lusso facial oil has recently landed in Mecca Cosmetica. To celebrate, we chatted with the ever-chic Rodin in her apartment in New York, uncovering a beauty minimalist motto, her love of lipstick and why she says no to hair dye. 


From the stylist to the styled... 

From the stylist to the styled... 

"I modelled in Italy when I was very young.

Styling was something I fell into when I came to New York because I like clothes and I wasn’t a very good photographer. I would never have modelled again [except that] people started asking me to, about eight years ago. I thought, sure why not? 

 
rodin's apartment is filled with cleverly curated curiosities and objet's d'art

rodin's apartment is filled with cleverly curated curiosities and objet's d'art

I hate foundation…

… so I only wear lipstick and occasionally mascara and I fill in my eyebrows because they have gotten whiter and thinner. If I have a blemish or something I’ll spot it with Kevyn Aucoin to take away the spot immediately. I don’t put it all over. 

 

I don’t know why everyone wants to look like a doll…

…I don’t understand [overdone makeup], especially on young girls. They have the most beautiful skin, they should enjoy it while they have it. They aren’t going to have it forever. It’s like a mask and it also can’t be good for your skin. I also think makeup on older women looks just as bad. I think when you get older it gets cakey. It’s tough!

Portrait drawing by New York Illustrator, George Gozum

Portrait drawing by New York Illustrator, George Gozum

 
Her love of beauty is a hereditary trait 

Her love of beauty is a hereditary trait 

My mother was very beautiful and always wore lipstick. 

She was forever wearing it. I think that’s where I got my love of lipstick. She wouldn't leave the house without it. In high school we wore frosted lipstick, and then in my 20s I didn’t wear it at all. I didn’t start wearing it again until I was about 50.

 
A keep it simple mantra works with her expressive style

A keep it simple mantra works with her expressive style

I am very simple. I don’t like to fuss. 

I don’t like to take too much time on it, I just want to get out the door. I think it's because hair and makeup [on shoots] can take so long. I have always been simple. 

 
Proudly dons her famous (naturally) silver locks

Proudly dons her famous (naturally) silver locks

I started going grey at 35, and it has never occurred to me to dye it. 

As I got greyer and older I felt I needed something to lighten myself up. I use a blue shampoo that’s great for grey hair and blonde. It takes the yellow out of it. I use many different kinds; I’m using Aveda Blue Malva shampoo now. It’s very nice. I just think [being grey] is easier. I don’t know if it looks better or worse. For me, I could never dye my hair every two weeks. And now 20 year olds are dying their hair grey!

 

I haven’t had a professional haircut in 10 years…

I just cut it off myself when it’s in a ponytail. I had very curly hair. But I don’t even straighten it anymore. I let it do its thing. When I wash it I pull it tight so it gets straighter - the easier the better. That’s why I always wear it up. 

She is the epitome of effortless chic

She is the epitome of effortless chic

 
A lover of trinkets, her vanity is an eclectic curation of her favourite accessories - for home and her hands. 

A lover of trinkets, her vanity is an eclectic curation of her favourite accessories - for home and her hands. 

The old fragrances smelt the best…

…I wore a Givenchy fragrance that doesn’t exist anymore. They don’t smell like that anymore. You can’t even buy it because a lot of the ingredients are illegal.

 

Lipstick doesn’t have to match your outfit…

I don't like it to clash, but I would rather it be a bit off. If I'm wearing purple maybe I'll wear a red lipstick, or if I'm wearing orange maybe it's a berry coloured lipstick or hot pink. 

Blending lipstick shades together looks really chic.

The nude is a great one because it tones down every colour. And I’ll mix the orange and the red if I want a more orange red. Or I might even mix the berry with the red which makes for a deeper purple. You can just play around and make the five [of Rodin's lipstick shades] into ten.

Lipstick artwork by Donald Robertson

Lipstick artwork by Donald Robertson

 
Linda's famed frames...

Linda's famed frames...

I don’t eat lunch, it makes me want to take a nap.

I am not a big lunch person. It makes me sleepy. If I do eat lunch, I might just have a smoothie or something. I'm a very healthy eater. I really like good food, so it’s not a problem. I have never been a junk food eater and I have never been a between meals eater. So I have been lucky. I like good, healthy food, I always have. It’s never been a struggle for me. I’ll have a cappuccino and a banana and a yogurt or something. I usually skip lunch, but I eat dinner about 5pm. 

 

I walk my dog Winks many times a day. 

It could be half an hour, it could be 15 minutes or it could be an hour if I am doing other things at the same time. And if I am not home he has a dog walker because he needs to go out several times a day. He gets plenty of exercise.

Linda's beloved pooch, Winks

Linda's beloved pooch, Winks

 
Off duty chic...

Off duty chic...

I wear jeans everyday… 

…so the bottom half is done, and then I just change my shirt, my shoes and if it’s winter I’ll pick the right coat. I usually use the same handbag all the time. I don’t like to change, otherwise I leave something behind. So I use the same bag for a long time. Living in New York can be a nightmare. I don’t have a lot of closest space. No lavish big walk-in cupboard. I can barely see anything I own.

 

I started making my own makeup because nothing appealed to me… 

I used to try every product makeup artists and models recommended in photo shoots, but they weren't for me. I was exposed to everything and realized how simple I really was.

Linda's home is full of oil concoctions she plays with to create new beauty products

Linda's home is full of oil concoctions she plays with to create new beauty products

 
Immortalised on the window of Mecca

Immortalised on the window of Mecca

I started [Rodin’s] Olio Lusso range by accident.

I was trying to make something myself, something that was simple. I always loved oils and I just experimented with the ones I really liked and mixed them together in a cup. That was it. A bit of trial and error, and I got the perfect formula. I knew what I liked and I knew what the goal was and I just kinda managed to do it, luckily."

 

Story by Rikki Hodge-Smith; Interview by Sigourney Cantelo; Photography by Rebecca Pollak and Linda's Instagram