Leading Ladies: Linda Rodin
I could learn many life lessons from Linda Rodin, the former model, stylist, fashion editor and now beauty entrepreneur, but after interviewing the warm New Yorker, what resonated most was that its NEVER too late to begin. So reassuring for us middle years folk who can all to easily succumb to that slippery slope to negativity.
RODIN Olio Lusso
Rodin was 59 when she put the finishing touches on her first dream elixir, the original RODIN Olio Lusso face oil in 2007. This cult Jasmine Neroli face elixir contains 11 different oils including jojoba, rose hip and calendula. “It’s the alchemy of the 11 that makes the product so beautiful, hydrating, senatorial and wonderful," she says. “I had no idea this would happen,” she admits, “I’m not a business woman but have always lived by the mantra that one step informs the next. Ten years on Olio Lusso is still top of the beauty editors wish lists.
How it did come about was her through her freelance styling work with some of the world's top glossies, where she was privy to ultra-exclusive skincare lines but grew disillusioned with their anti-ageing claims and complicated regimens “What I longed for was something far simpler—products for the here-and-now, that caress the skin noticeably. Nothing out there did that.” It was this quest for simplicity that led to the creation of Olio Lusso, mixing bottles in her bedroom (as has happened with many of the world's top brands including Jo Malone and Aromatherapy Associates and many others).
Rodin feels that her age and authenticity are also key to her ongoing success (music to my mid- life ears). “I never dyed my hair, never had a facelift. I was real and didn’t make claims. I didn’t say my oil was anti- ageing, simply that it was luxurious etc.” (The actual blurb on the packaging describes RODIN olio lusso face oil as ‘perfect for anyone seeking hydrated skin and a luminous complexion.’)
Rodin's foray into perfume was pure chance too. “A year into making my face oil a handsome young man introduced himself, saying he loved my oils. “He told me he made perfume so I asked him to make some for me. He did and he still does. We work perfectly together.” That young man is David Moltz of the Brooklyn-based perfume house D.S. & Durga and their initial collaboration, RODIN, is a heady mix of Jasmine and Neroli, the oils that defined her face oil (it's fab!) The follow-up, bis, is an ode to Rodin’s mother. “She always smelled so wonderful and I wanted to recreate a scent that is a classic 1950's.”
Rodin’s brand (acquired by Estee Lauder in 2014) now carries a limited number of core products along with her recently launched Luxury Lipstick Collection in chic trademark shades. “I still approve ever batch and I’m still the creative director and founder and while there have been many challenges, I still really do the same thing.”
Rodin on life & ageing
Known for her sleek silver hair, vibrant lipstick, daring eyeglass frames and 'always jeans' the now 67-year-old is the epitome of old New York charm. She doesn’t have children and doesn’t do vacations per say preferring to stay home with Winks, her stylish miniature poodle, Instagram is her social media outlet in partnership with Winks (@lindaandwinks) - 117,000 followers and counting. She follows nobody.
“I never felt I looked old until I hit 60,” she admits, “but it’s hard sometimes in this youth fixated culture to resist the tide. While I do miss the beauty of youth, I accept myself more and feel wiser than ever before and that’s good.” This simple, low maintenance approach permeates her life and her beauty ethos is no different. Rodin's products (naturally) and sleep are her secret weapons. “I suffer from FOBI (fear of being invited) – like just don’t even call me. By 5pm I just want to unwind, read, watch Netflix and shut down. It’s all moving too fast.’