Stylist Linda Rodin lives in a colorful, cluttered-in-the-best-way Manhattan apartment with her beloved poodle, Winky. She also created an eponymous beauty line — including face oils, fragrances and lipsticks — which has garnered an international cult following. Here, she shares her love of baths, thoughts on aging and a French hair tip…
First of all, your hair is gorgeous.
My hair turned gray at 35! But I never dyed it. Honestly, it never occurred to me; I thought it was nice. People would tell me I should dye it to look younger, but I said, so I’m going to dye it and I’ll look 39 instead of 40? It’s too much for me.
Do you have a go-to hair stylist?
I actually cut it myself by pulling two sides around to the front and snipping. The ends aren’t always even but I don’t mind. I wear my hair up all the time anyway.
How do you style it?
My hair is very curly and frizzy, so I wear it in a ponytail or twist. I use Shimmer Lights shampoo for my grey hair, and then I use French tortoise pins to hold it up. I get them at a drugstore when I’m in Paris, where they’re cheaper. I buy 10 packs at a time.
Big question: Bath vs. shower?
I have a fabulous shower in my apartment but I much prefer the bath. My shower is now like a studio apartment — it’s filled with luggage and clothes.
What’s your bath ritual?
My poodle Winky sits right by my side. The minute I put a toe in, he stares at me, but I don’t make eye contact. If I look at him, he starts whimpering for me to get out. I need time to unwind — no magazines, no music, no phone. I pretend I’m at the beach; it’s very peaceful. In the tub, I feel like a poet; I come up with the most interesting ideas, the best answers to emails, the best ideas for things I want to do around the house, and then I completely forget the minute I step out of the bath. It goes down the drain with the water.
That all sounds so nice.
My apartment is my favorite place in the world. My mother was a social butterfly, and my father would stay home and read. So, I’ve become my mother from 9 to 5, when I love being gregarious; but at 5 p.m., don’t even call me. I eat dinner, have my wine and take a bath. I’m like a baby — feed me, bathe me and swaddle me. Then I answer emails, putz around the apartment, move a plant, there’s always something to do. I read the New York Times and watch something unwind-y on Netflix. I love I’m Dying Up Here about stand-up comics in the 70s, and Stephen Colbert makes me laugh before I go to sleep.
Does Winky sleep in your bed?
Of course! I end up half on the bed and half off.
Do you have any fragrances for your home?
I have three Rodin fragrances, and I wear one myself every day. I also love to spray my perfume around my house. The whole room smells good. And right now I’m burning a fantastic Big Sur candle.
What’s your skin care routine?
I rinse my face with warm water in the morning and then put on my oil and sunblock. At night, I cleanse my face with Rodin cleansing powder, and then put the oil on again. I wanted my routine to be really simple; that’s the point of it. As for makeup, I don’t wear foundation, but I use the concealer Touche Éclat to cover up the freckles on my forehead. Well, they’re really age spots, let’s be honest!
And, of course, you wear amazing bold lipstick.
I love bold lipstick. In my twenties, we were all natural and didn’t wear lipstick. But at 50, my hair got whiter and I got older and I could look washed out. Now I feel more awake with lipstick on. I also like bold nail polish. I’m into hot neon orange and dark vixen reds right now.
What about eye makeup?
I’ve been using Maybelline Great Lash mascara since I was a teenager. I love clumpy eyelashes; that’s how we wore it in the 60s. We even used to draw Twiggy-style eyelashes underneath our eyes — it looked absurd, but whatever beauty looks I’ve tried, I always thought they were right at the time. I also have a cheap Shiseido eyebrow pencil in gray. But my eye makeup doesn’t really matter because I wear tinted glasses.
I have vertigo and it’s disorienting to change glasses for indoor and outdoor. Everyone says, why are you wearing sunglasses in the house? But I’m used to it.
Tell us about your tattoos.
I got one on my right wrist for my nephew Nick when he was in Iraq. The one on my left wrist is for my older sister Christine. She died seven years ago, but it feels like yesterday.
I’m so sorry, Linda.
We fought like cats and dogs our whole life, but I miss her so much, it’s crazy.
Okay, here’s a lightning round:
Travel essentials? Jeans, a pair of sneakers and a Uniqlo down vest.
Favorite NYC restaurant? Co. Pizza. The owner Jim Lahey also makes the best ciabatta bread.
Career advice? Be aware of the bigger picture so nothing comes as a surprise.
Bath pro-tip? I use an old-fashioned bath brush. It has a long handle, so you can wash your back.
Secret talent? I always seem to know the exact time without looking at a clock.
What do you like about being a single woman? I’m sure Winky prefers it.
I’ve always been a very, very independent person. I loved being in relationships with wonderful and really interesting men. I just never felt the need to marry them. I never felt convinced. And I never felt any pressure to get married. Still don’t.
Do you feel 69?
When my back hurts. And when I look in the mirror, I’m so wrinkled! But I can’t go the other route. I tried filler, and it was well-done and subtle but I felt like my face was morphing. I never did it again. Inside, honestly, I feel the same as when I was 20.
Was there a time in your life when you felt really beautiful?
Right now. Truly, more than ever. Getting old gives you freedom. You can be cranky; people just say, oh, well, you’re a doddering old lady. You don’t have to make excuses. If I don’t want to go out, I just say, I don’t want to, there’s a great show on TV. People say, tape it. I say, I don’t know how.
Any advice you’d give your younger self?
Take it all in. Life is interesting, take note.
Thank you so much, Linda!
P.S. A story I wrote about Linda’s closet; and more women’s beauty uniforms.
(Top photo via Jean Stories. Second photo by Advanced Style. Third photo by Tom Newton for Into The Gloss. Photo of Linda in her kitchen and Linda showing her tattoo by Sasha Israel for Bonberi. All other photos from Linda Rodin/Instagram.)