Linda Rodin: Trust Yourself and Your Choices

As told to Amber Katz.


Linda Rodin shares her beauty story with Yahoo Beauty. (Photo: Instagram)

Known for her “spare elegance” aesthetic, model, freelance stylist, and Rodin beauty creator Linda Rodin spent her teens and twenties studying in Italy, and is a life-long Italophile as a result. This was in the mod ‘60s, when Rodin rocked Twiggy lashes, over-the-knee boots, and a five-inch skirt “that was more like a handkerchief.” Returning to New York City in the ‘70s, Rodin then ran a boutique in SoHo, preceding a stylist stint at Henri Bendel and a fashion editor position at Harper’s Bazaar. She later became a stylist, dressing models and celebrities like Gisele Bundchen, Laetitia Casta, Madonna, and Halle Berry. Despite having access to the very best in skincare, Rodin was unimpressed with most anti-aging claims and complicated regimens on the market, so she launched her own line, beginning with cult favorite Rodin Olio Lusso. In May, her bergamot- and jasmine-infused olfactory ode to her mother, Bis, will be sold exclusively at Barney’s in a limited-edition set including Rodin lip balm for $300. Here, Rodin shares what she learned about beauty from her mother, her early 20s beauty trajectory, and her advice to 20-somethings today.

My mother looked glamorous in a bathrobe! She was beautiful, creative, and always ahead of her time. From her, I learned to wear simply what suits me—not what was necessarily in style. She also said to never leave the house without lipstick on, which I rarely do. When I created my new Rodin Bis Scent, I used my scent memories of her to compose the fragrance. She smelled so beautiful and sophisticated, a combination of Juicy Fruit gum, powder puffs, 1950s lipsticks, some burnt sugar, and pepper. The fusion was uniquely my mom.

I didn’t use skincare products in my 20s, just soap and water. I wore a lot of eye makeup. I loved it then, but it’s too much for me now. In my late teens, I painted on twiggy lashes and shiny eye shadows. In my twenties, I became more natural and wanted to look like Joan Baez—more of a beatnik look: Long hair, big hoop earrings, and black eyeliner inside my lower lids. No lipstick and never any face makeup. I had wonderful freckles on my nose and upper cheeks, and the natural look felt perfect for me. I became more spare as I got older. The simpler I look it feels more comfortable to me. I love simple clothing and very little jewelry, so as not to attract attention to myself by wearing a lot of trends. Less is more in that arena.


Linda Rodin in her 20s. (Photo: Instagram)

When one is young, one feels a bit invulnerable and what lies ahead seems infinite; possibilities seem to be everywhere.  As one gets older, the reality of going on forever clearly disappears. One step informs the next. I’ve learned to be myself, follow my instincts, and not spend time second-guessing myself.


Linda Rodin shares her beauty story with Yahoo Beauty. (Photo: Instagram)

Career-wise, I always went a day at a time with no big picture in front of me. I wanted to be a fashion photographer, but my sister said, “Linda, you don’t take the greatest photos, but you do find the greatest clothes. Maybe that’s a job.” We’d never heard of a stylist or knew that that could be a career. So, I became one and was able to be creative with clothing and that was a revelation to me. I’d tell 20-somethings today to be self aware and accepting of yourself. Know with whom to surround yourself to bring out the best in you, and know your limitations and boundaries. Don’t be self-conscious! Trust yourself and your choices.


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