Beauty Mogul Linda Rodin Is Living Her Truth

If you were to ever catch a glimpse of Linda Rodin on the streets of Manhattan, chances are you would do a double take. At 69, Rodin is a rare breed; a true individual with long grey hair, and a sense of style that’s been getting her noticed for decades. But Rodin isn’t really out to get attention; she’s simply one of those people who comes by it naturally. “I feel like I’m kind of classic with a twist,” says the native New York stylist, who has had a storied career working with the likes of Madonna, Halle Berry, and Gisele Bündchen. “I might wear a bright orange coat, but I’ll wear it with black trousers.” As for her hair, which she let naturally grey in her early 30s, Rodin didn’t think twice about it. “When I was about 40, people said, ‘You should dye your hair, you’ll look so much younger,’ and I said, ‘Yeah, I’m going to look like 39!’” she jokes.

It’s just as well—the grey became a signature for Rodin, who launched her own luxury beauty line, Rodin Olio Lusso, in 2007 after years of experimenting with essential oils at home. The collection of face oils, lipsticks, and hair products, acquired by Estée Lauder and embraced by Karlie Kloss and Cindy Crawford, seeks to find beauty in simplicity. It’s the same approach Rodin takes to aging. “It’s not easy to not look like you once did, but I think internally you feel better, so I think you have to take the inside with the outside,” she admits. Though she’s not a proponent of facelifts, Rodin says she tried fillers, and didn’t like the look on herself. “My philosophy is just one day at a time. You get a new wrinkle every day, but all I really care about is my health,” she continues. Health, she says, is wealth. At the end of the day, it’s not her beauty or her style she wants to be her legacy. “I want them to remember me for being true to myself,” says Rodin. “I march to the beat of my own drum; I am who I am, and I’m an authentic person,” she continues. “What you see is what you get.”

“In my 20s, I would henna my hair this rich red—a beautiful auburn. Then I noticed in my thirties that my hairs weren’t red anymore—they were pink. The henna was turning the white hairs pink. I thought, “I don’t want pink hair!” so I stopped. Then it just started getting greyer and greyer. Luckily, it came in very evenly so it was never a shock.”

“I didn’t start out to make a business and all that. I was only making it for myself, and there were no naysayers because I just gave it to friends. It was a very do-it-your-self thing that kind of happened on its own. I didn’t care if the world didn’t like it, or if I was going against the grain. I didn’t need confidence because I wasn’t planning on being judged for it.”

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“My indoor gardening excites me most. I live in an apartment and have 110 plants. I have these very strange begonias that have leaves the size of dinner plates—they look like they’re from some surreal landscape. The problem is over-watering them. That’s how I’ve killed most plants. You can tell, though, they kind of talk to you, because when the leaves shrink up, you know they need water. I’m also very good with orchids. I never used to have a green thumb—I killed everything that could possibly live and now I have all these plants—so that’s why it’s so exciting to me.”

“I’m proud of the collaborations I’ve been able to make and the fascinating people I’ve worked with. A dear friend of mine who passed away at 94, Gösta Peterson, comes to mind immediately. He was a fashion photographer and my mentor. Whether they’re huge or not, I think you learn a lot from the relationships that you make. It’s a very interesting career being a stylist, and all the people that influence you along the way are the highlights.“

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“Don’t worry, things will work out for you. I didn’t plan on getting a degree, getting married, or having three children. I wish I’d had less anxiety at points in my life, but I’ve always let things unfold naturally. Organically, it’s always been my life.”

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“People dread it, but I think it’s exciting. You really get to know yourself. You can step back and see who you are, why you make certain decisions, and why you did what you did. It all clicks. Where I am now is a culmination of everything I’ve ever done, and that’s a beautiful thing.”

“I use Instagram as a visual encyclopedia for art, photography, and geography. I don’t follow anyone, but I’m always hunting around for interesting images. I love discovering new places, artists, and unusual things there.”