Style

My Beauty Uniform: Linda Rodin

My Beauty Uniform: Linda Rodin

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…

My Beauty Uniform: Linda Rodin

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.

My Beauty Uniform: Linda Rodin

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.

My Beauty Uniform: Linda Rodin

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.

My Beauty Uniform: Linda Rodin

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.

My Beauty Uniform: Linda Rodin

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.

My Beauty Uniform: Linda Rodin

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.

My Beauty Uniform: Linda Rodin

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.

Even inside?
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.

My Beauty Uniform: Linda Rodin

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.

My Beauty Uniform: Linda Rodin

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.

My Beauty Uniform: Linda Rodin

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.

My Beauty Uniform: Linda Rodin

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.)

  1. I’m returning to this beauty uniform because it caught my eye, and I adore Linda and her attitude towards aging and her authenticity and bright spirit. I love her eclectic bathroom and bright lipstick and that she seems to really know herself and own it.

  2. Paige says...

    Wow, what a beautiful woman. I am truly inspired. I am 35 and have a lot of gay hairs coming in. I’ve tried to find a kindred spirit as far as letting my hair go natural, but have had no luck. I just don’t want to dye my hair, and have to maintain it. I would love to see other women, around my age, who have chosen to let their hair go gray.

  3. You know, I have absolutely no use for dips – don’t do parties, don’t do appetizers, any of that kind of stuff – but this dip seems like something I must make. I like the idea of doing it with some oregano sprinkled on top…peace and harmony

  4. Laura Filshtein says...

    What a beautiful woman with such great style! I am going to order that Uniqlo vest :)

  5. Jill says...

    Amazing! Thank you so much for sharing her with us!

  6. AJ says...

    How did I miss this last month?!?! Just… ❤️ The bath anecdote is my favourite bit.

  7. I want to be just like her when I grow up!

    • Kimberly Mack says...

      I want to be like her and I am grown up!!

  8. Ariannah says...

    I never comment but I love this! Linda is cool, fun, and gorgeous and adore her style. Also, her bathroom is the quintessential NYC bathroom (with way more plants and pizzazz, of course!). The subway tile walls, black and white checked floor, toilet a few inches from the bathtub… strangely, makes me nostalgic.

  9. This was such a wonderful interview! It’s like seeing myself in 29 years! Well, I’d be a brown version. Lol ;-)

  10. Aimee says...

    This is my favorite beauty uniform post! I love her sense of style and freedom to be exactly who she is. I feel like she is me fast forward 30 years!

  11. An inspiration :-)

  12. nancy scantlebury says...

    I am 84 and like Linda I find that life is more fun and easier. If I don’t dress as others and my hair is different they just think–she is old.Ha!Ha! Linda is great I would love to see more of her and more old people stories like this.

  13. Laura says...

    When I first saw this I was a little bit disappointed as she’s been featured so many times on so many different blogs. But every time she continues to inspire – this time aroundI was, like some of the other commentators, on her sense of true freedom.

    By the way, this is an old article about her apartment. I find its fascinating that she once had a mid-century modern apartment but decided it wasn’t her and reinvented her apartment in it’s wonderfully wild, bohemian style

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/23/garden/the-odd-couple-on-the-15th-floor.html?mcubz=0

  14. Holy cow this profile was just so inspiring and beautiful. What a classy and sassy woman! I love her and hope to be just as confident as she is one day. Thank you for sharing such amazing women in this space.

  15. Jill says...

    LOVE her. What an inspiration!

  16. Lisa A. says...

    She’s such an inspiration! 51 here and going through some difficult changes of life, but she gives me hope for the future – thank you!

    • Jen says...

      43 and difficult changes here, too. Best of luck.

  17. f says...

    wow, love this woman! thanks for sharing such a stylish, fun person!
    future goalssss.

  18. Holly says...

    I would love to hang out with her! And I hope to develop a similar philosophy on beauty and aging. Right now I feel the same way about being pregnant — despite my huge and uncomfortable belly and the scary number on the scale, I love being pregnant because people overlook things they’d normally judge. Wacky but comfy outfits, forgetfulness, unfiltered comments, snacking while grocery shopping, you name it and they’ll laugh and chalk it up to pregnancy. :)

  19. Ash says...

    I love her!
    I’m 33 and I feel the same way as she does in so many ways!
    She’s so beautiful!

  20. Kim Janzen says...

    I loved, loved this post!

  21. anne says...

    Une délicieuse et charmante personne
    Quelle élégance!
    Trés inspirante

  22. nidhi says...

    LOVE! this beauty uniform is amazing. This woman is amazing!
    Thank you for sharing.

  23. Ana says...

    I feel a lot like Linda inside, but I’m still 38. Amazing how liberating aging sounds.

  24. gin ebony says...

    this is my favourite beauty uniform so far, thanks for sharing!

  25. jenna says...

    I want to be besties with Linda!

  26. Alicia says...

    Her glasses immediately stood out to me as I also suffer vertigo from vestibular migraines. I used to get made fun of at work for wearing my theraspecs indoors. Although it’s a beauty column, I was surprised such a disabling condition was glazed over quickly! Would have loved to hear how she copes with this and odd stares from people who don’t understand.

  27. Kim says...

    You just know that if you went to her apartment it would smell great and feel great and you’d never want to leave.

  28. Dianna says...

    As a 53 year old, happily married, without kids, petite strawberry blonde woman, I like that you cover a variety of women. And when I saw Linda I was thrilled. Love her spunk and attitude. How can you not love that she wears and does what she wants even though she is past 30? She is true inspiration for someone like me. Love her and Winky on IG.

  29. Lisa says...

    Love it!
    I’m really jealous of her bath routine, it sounds so relaxing

  30. You’re the best, Linda!!! Love your style and your home :)

  31. Kate says...

    Oh my god, she is #GOALS

  32. Amanda says...

    Loved this post. She is absolutely gorgeous and I love unabashedly she loves herself.

  33. This might have changed my bad hair day or any hair day for life. I’m traveling in France right now and after reading this, I immediately put hair pins on my list. I am obsessed with them already and don’t know what I’ve been doing messing around with bobby pins for so long!

  34. Samantha says...

    It’s so important for women to see how wonderful getting old can be. Thank you!

  35. gemma says...

    oh my! i love this woman. this is my fave beauty uniform yet. she is my idol! what a stylish, independent, whip-smart woman.

  36. Raissomat says...

    As soon as I saw the picture I scoffed…to feature Madame Rodin, that’s just too easy!!
    She’s in the beauty business and photographs like an original Über-model..it’s just unfair to all other “beauty uniform”. But halfway though I was conquered again. She is just great. There’s nothing one can do or say about that..she’s just grand.

  37. Sheri Hamilton says...

    Thanks for posting a mature woman.

  38. What a beautiful woman – truly a Grey Goddess!

  39. Elise says...

    Oh, my heavens. I love this!!!! Linda is wonderful. At 72, I enjoy Cup of Jo very much, though have not felt quite connected until Linda appeared today.

    Thanks so much,

    Elise

  40. Emily says...

    This is GREAT. Well done Cup of Jo!

  41. Kim says...

    Love the natural style and sense of confidence she exudes!

  42. What an incredible woman. She ages so gracefully.

  43. Tara says...

    Thank you!!! You don’t have to be frumpy just because you become a certain age. You can be bold and stylish at any age. :)

  44. Laurel says...

    A week of outfits please! What an icon, Linda is such a badass.

  45. Angela says...

    Bloody loved it. Love the diversity of women you feature. Well done. Keep it coming.

  46. Jen says...

    I adore this woman! Her style, her bold lipsticks, her outlook on life – I want to be just like her (but also me) when I grow up. XO

  47. Tina Beanie says...

    Love her to death! <3

  48. Kimmie says...

    She is such a vision. I have to note, that’s a pretty well sized goldfish in her tub, Ha. I could not be more charmed.

  49. kaela says...

    I simply adore Linda and Winks. I’ve followed her beautiful Instagram ever since someone in one of your posts mentioned her/her fragrances. She is so lovely, independent, unique, insightful, and present. I hope I flow as gracefully as her as I age. Her comments on gray hair and enjoying relationships but not feeling pressured to get married hit home. Thanks for featuring her! Didn’t want this post to end! xoxoxo

  50. Emmie says...

    Love love love. Please post about her again! So wonderful. (Also the house is a freaking pig sty), but nice of you to stay “cluttered”.

  51. Lynn McKoy says...

    By far my favorite Beauty Uniform to date…I didn’t want the story to end. She is absolutely beautiful, stylish and she is my friend (in my head).

  52. Maria says...

    LOVED reading this!!! This 36 (soon to be 37 in one week!) year-old, extremely independent woman relates to Linda in SO many ways! Very inspirational read, love love love CoJ.

  53. margaux says...

    “Getting old gives you freedom. You can be cranky; people just say, oh, well, you’re a doddering old lady.” ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

  54. Ashley says...

    this gave me a pang of nostalgia for my apartment before I got married! Too many plants, book/postcard clutter, kitties staring at me while I use the bathroom, and total silence…. wonderful, weird, whimsical states of mind from hours of solitude and silence!

    But how tricky is nostalgia? My husband and I are newlywed and living with my father-in-law until sometime in the next few months. Five adults are living in the same house with one bathroom, and life feels like a big sitcom. There’s my father in law, semi-hoarder, quirky, always gregarious, who talks on the phone all day with his buddies about the past, famous distant-distant relations (does it count that you’re related to Celine Dion if it goes back 6 generations?) and says weird things with great authority like, “You know, the professional clowns HATE that movie” (It). I can’t wait to move to our own place… with a functional kitchen… but I already know I’ll miss living here!

    anyway, what a delightful profile! thanks for gems like this!!

  55. sherry says...

    Just incredible, and gorgeous inside and out. Thank you so much for this Beauty Uniform–your best yet. I also leave my hair natural, and younger women frequently stopped me in the streets of New York to ask who my stylist is. Bold lipstick is in my future…..

  56. Tracie M. says...

    This beautiful woman is incredible! I love how she is embracing her looks even as they change. What a great example! I’m 41 and my hair is turning grey. People keep telling me to dye it, but I actually love it! Thanks for featuring her!

  57. Claire says...

    Her hair is gorgeous, and those are some good looking shirts she is wearing. She sounds like a very interesting person, and I admire her independence. And she’s right about aging- you feel the same inside. Go to sleep, wake up, another day- that’s all aging is. I wish sometimes we could move past the idea that it happens (it’s normal life)and find other things beneath the surface of it to talk about.

  58. Kelly says...

    What a wonderful interview with such a magnetic woman! I love her take on baths, lipstick, and accepting your body as it ages.

    I have to say–I love that your blog features woman of varying backgrounds, ages, races, and ethnicities. There is so much more to learn in life from people who are different from you.

  59. Kristie says...

    At 47 I’m older than many of your readers and thinking often of time. This was so, so useful. Thank you. Gorgeous, eccentric, happy: perfect.

    • Emily says...

      I’m 47 too. No need for me to comment because you said it so well:)

  60. Amy says...

    I’d love it if you did a style / weekly wardrobe post with Linda. I LOVE everything she’s wearing in fhis. Honestly – maybe the best personal style of any of the ladies I’ve seen featured.

    • Jennie says...

      Seconding an outfit post with Linda!! Loved every bit of this

  61. chris says...

    I would love to know where she gets her shirts from? The denim one with a pop of color in the sleeves, the gingham shirt and then the striped one. I love them all (but specially the pop of color!).

    Love, love this interview.

    • Alice says...

      Yes, me too!

  62. Kerry says...

    Truly inspiring!

  63. Laura says...

    I LOVED this one. I love the idea that you can be bolder and more out-there (lipstick and wonderfully otherwise) as you get older. I think aging is scary when it’s a settling, a giving up of life, and this is a clear alternative to that mentality. I love it.

  64. Michelle Ruetschle says...

    One of my very favorites. Thank you.

  65. Mandy says...

    I want to like her when I’m 69!

    • I want to be like her right now!!

  66. I think this has to be my favourite beauty uniform stallment ever. I love this woman. It’s one of my style icons. I love her style because it’s relaxed and casual and she wears jeans and makes me feel fine with myself because years pass by but I still love jeans and tshirts and flats. Some people tell me I have to dress up and look more like a woman in my age but I feel young and, most of all, I want to feel comfortable!
    Have a lovely weekend!
    xx,
    E.

    • kddomingue says...

      And exactly what is a woman “of your age” supposed to wear? That’s one of those statements that is guaranteed to get my dander up! I’m almost 58. I recently cut my hair ala a young Audrey Hepburn, I wear Chuck’s (Converse sneakers), jeans, tees or button down shirts with the sleeves cuffed and hoop earrings. I also wear tunic tops, leggings and ballet flats with bold eyeliner and bright lips. I rock a tailored Calvin Klein dress, pumps and pearls. I love a great bohemian/gypsy look when the mood strikes me…..a great peasant blouse, long tiered skirt, a unusual piece of jewelry, smoky eyeliner, rings for ears and hands and comfortable flats…..or bare feet…..for dancing!

      Just because we’re older doesn’t mean to have to fade into the background and become “proper” old ladies…..whatever that’s supposed to look like. You rock those jeans and tees!

  67. So beautiful and inspiring. Thank you for sharing her advice and wisdom. But I have GOT to ask… What does she do with the goldfish when she takes a bath??? XO

  68. I love this article. What an inspiring lady owning her own life, and I completely love her style!

  69. I adore her — my favourite of the series so far. Please do more beauty uniforms with older ladies!!

  70. SCG says...

    I want to grow old like Linda Rodin.

  71. I LOVE HER SO MUCH IT MAKES MY TUMMY SQUIGGLY. She is the best.

    • Brooke says...

      Luisa, that’s EXACTLY how I felt! She is such a true, juicy, peaceful free person it made me shiver with joy. How cool that *one wonderful woman* makes us all feel so excited about being FREE.

  72. Reem says...

    I wish I could pull off glasses like hers! What a beautiful lady.

  73. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  74. Such a wonderful read, and an amazing lady!

  75. ECH says...

    I really loved this one! She’s awesome!!! XO

  76. Linda is GORGEOUS. I wish I could be that cool NOW. ; ) Thank you for this post — it’s inspiring and wonderful.

  77. Sophie says...

    How cool is she??? And how cool are you featuring a woman over 60? THANK YOU, and more please. Mature women have so much wisdom to share….

  78. Nicole Fanelli says...

    Love the beauty uniforms so much but this one is my favorite! She’s so self assured, confident and fascinating! Wonderful read.

  79. Stephanie says...

    I am so in love with her style, her hair, and her beauty! How refreshing to aspire to look like a 60something instead of a 20something. Beauty and style is ageless. Thanks for sharing!

  80. Mariana says...

    My favorite profile so far!
    Such an inspiring free spirit !

  81. Nan says...

    We need our icons of all ages and she’s such a great one for what lies ahead. So cool, beautiful, confident, funny and optimistic. Bless her!

  82. Susanna says...

    I love this Beauty Uniform. In a culture of women terrified of aging, I find myself jumping on the bandwagon and each new wrinkle or white hair I behold on myself makes me way too anxious. To see a woman who has not only embraced aging but made it look so incredibly beautiful is SO inspiring! I’d love to see more like this!!!

  83. Stephanie says...

    Just clicked through to the NYMag profile and ahhh! She loved “Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid,” too. One of my all-time favorites. Super charming, especially if you are a Turner Classic Movies kind of person.

  84. wb says...

    Love. Beautiful woman.

  85. Cara says...

    I absolutely love her. So much inspiration here. She has so much flair that can be embraced at any stage of life!

  86. Oh wow, I love this. She is beautiful, inspirational, and made my soul happy. I shared it with my special women.

  87. justine says...

    Beautiful, timeless style. Clearly a woman who knows herself and feels confident. I loved this one.

  88. Wow, what a beautiful, beautiful woman.

  89. Sarah says...

    I would love to see a week of outfits from Linda Rodin– I would like to know where all her tops are from, especially the gorgeous dark blue check one. That is my dream shirt.

    • SFord says...

      Ditto!

  90. mika says...

    Linda Rodin is a hero of mine. It’s so unique and inspiring to read about a woman who doesn’t prioritize men or kids when it comes to happiness! I love her so much!!

  91. Suzanne says...

    Favorite profile of all time. Love her!

  92. I would love to read the extended version of this.

  93. ALI says...

    I love her! I am 30 and still feel 23 at heart. I always wonder to myself if I will be 23 on the inside forever – good to know that is likely!

    Thanks for the gorgeous post x

  94. Elysha says...

    Linda, you are SPECTACULAR!

  95. Claire says...

    This captures so much of what I love about Cup of Jo…the pursuit of the spirited, thinking woman after her best and truest self.

  96. I’m IN LOVE and completely obsessed with this lady!! I want to steal her wardrobe, glasses, makeup, everything! Actually felt kind of proud to see her denim on denim outfit with a red lip, as I wore that exact same outfit yesterday :)

    This was so inspiring, I think I’m going to go ahead and print it out, as another reader did. Thanks, Cup of Jo team!

    • kaela says...

      Print it out! I love this idea! Full of charming reminders. :)

  97. Rachel Simmons says...

    She’s a doll. I hope I’m half as cute as she is. I’m a minimalist so that clutter gives me anxiety!

  98. Lily says...

    What a woman! Linda if you are looking for a new bff please let me apply.

  99. K says...

    Ha! Anyone click on her instagram?
    187k followers
    Following 0

    She’s amazing.

    • kaela says...

      I’ve been following her on IG for awhile. I searched and read about her life and fell in love with her as a style and human icon. She astonishes me with her quirky independence and IG gives you beautiful glimpses into her life. :)

  100. K says...

    She’s so charming. I’ve always hoped I can cruise into grey without ever dying my hair. I’ll have to practice that bold lip though.

  101. She is so lovely! Talk about goals for my older self.