There are conflicting opinions on whether women of a certain age should wear bright lip shades, but you would be hard-pressed to find a woman more qualified to challenge this ideal than stylist turned beauty entrepreneur Linda Rodin. One glance at the 69-year-old style icon shatters all preconceptions of what mature women can or cannot wear. It’s obvious Linda is a fan of the bold lip. And she always pulls it off.

From her effortless and timeless style, a laissez-faire attitude to beauty which involves never wearing foundation or dyeing her early onset grey hair, the accidental mogul has low-key approach to beauty that is a refreshing change from the hype and greed of the industry at large.

Linda is a mainstay of the New York fashion scene. After 30 plus years as a model and stylist, she started the now famous Soho boutique Linda Hopp in 1979 before taking on the role of editor at Harper’s Bazaar. Today, she enjoys mogul status in the world of beauty, having turned her signature low-key approach to make-up into a line that disrupts the youth-centric industry.

With her striking white hair, her statement eyewear, and ever-present bright lipstick, she has garnered a social media following that is the envy of many a Gen-Z Instagrammer, though she humbly attests her look evolved naturally, rather than the result of painstaking procurement.

It happened because my hair started turning grey at 35, and I never dyed it; I never thought of dyeing it. And I started not being able to see, so I started wearing glasses quite early. The look found me out of necessity.

She also attributes her style to the influence of her late mother Billie. A glamorous and distinctive woman with classic 50s style, Billie would never leave the house without a helping of lipstick, even for an early morning school drop-off, and even while still wearing her robe. But Linda admits, ageing isn’t always as elegant as stories of her mother in the morning. In her refreshingly unfiltered candor, she insists – ‘There is nothing graceful about it.’

Although she admits to hating her wrinkles, she has learned to work with them. After once starting a course of fillers, and finding that she was beginning to morph into someone she didn’t recognise, Linda stated, ‘I find young people getting injections absolutely frightening; it’s like science fiction to me. You’ve got to grow up and see what you’re going to look like!’

She is firm in her belief that too much make-up can make a woman appear older, instead she maintains a minimalist approach consisting only of mascara and lipstick, and famously rejects the use of foundation – It’s not going to take my wrinkles away, so what’s the point?

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Though her unrelenting commitment to wearing lipstick dates back to her sixteenth year, for Linda, lipstick is ageless; and, like her mother Billie, she never leaves home without it. It’s her steadfast belief that wearing lipstick negates the need for much other other make-up, and she passionately encourages women of all ages to experiment with lipstick. Hot pinks are her go-to shades, as she feels it works best with
her fair complexion and white hair. She recommends pink hues for women with light-medium skin tones; deep reds, plums and chocolate tones look fantastic on darker skin; but bright red she attests – looks good on anyone. Of course, the old rule of thumb still applies, you should always tone down the eye make-up if you’re going bold on the lips.

Lipstick just finishes everything off, and it doesn’t even have to match. If your outfit is red, your lipstick can be hot pink!

Linda is not hesitant to admit that maintaining a bold lipstick throughout the day is an undertaking, and has several tried and tested tips on how to keep your lip colour in check. To achieve a lasting, punchy shade, Linda swears by just three products – starting with an application of Fran Wilson Moodmatcher in Green (which not only helps stain the lips but also has SPF properties); then, she uses a pencil, such as the Make-Up Forever Aqua Lip in Cool Candy to line the lips before filling them in completely; and, lastly, she applies her very own Rodin Olio Lusso in Winks on top.

She stresses, however, that not all lipsticks are created equal. For women with older, often thinner lips Linda recommends steering clear of anything with a dry, matte finish that can settle into cracks and fine lines, and end up looking chalky. Her very own line of Rodin lipsticks was developed with this in mind, following the growing success of her luxury face oil, Olio Lusso.

To those close to her, Linda had been renowned for making beauty products herself when couldn’t find something off the shelf up to the task. Having discovered the benefits of essential oils she had picked up during travels to Morocco and Rome, she began mixing her own concoctions at home in a coffee cup, claiming it gave her face a level of dewy hydration no store-bought lotion could provide.

She also began gifting vials of her home batch to photographers and make-up artists she worked with on set whilst still working as a stylist. Despite never having commercial intentions for the product, it gained quite a grassroots following in the industry before her nephew convinced her to turn her hobby into a commercial enterprise. Her Olio Lusso Absolute Face Oil has evolved from its cult industry status, into one of the most coveted beauty products in the luxury segment.

Although the brand was purchased by Estee Lauder in 2014, Linda still has a hand in overseeing in manufacturing to her exacting standards. She has helped expand the range to include face and hair oils, soaps, and colognes, and is currently working to develop a range of lip liners to go with her lipsticks. She believes the reason for the brand’s ongoing success is that it allows your skin to be the most beautiful it can be naturally. That there is beauty in simplicity, and your beauty regime should be simple enough to commit to.

After all, true beauty is often found in simplicity – ‘Following a good night’s sleep each and every night, I wake and wash my face with warm water. I then apply a few drops of my face oil, a good sunblock, my lipstick and mascara and I’m out the door for a cappuccino,’ – she says.

With Rodin’s five statement shades, each inspired by certain childhood memories and personal influences, there is a colour to suit everyone. Containing a blend of essential oils, Vitamin C and E, Rodin’s non-drying lipsticks have a creamy non-gloss finish perfect for women of all ages.

Linda Rodin is a stylist and beauty entrepreneur living in New York. You won’t find a blog penned by Linda or even a Facebook page, but you can follow her adventures with beloved poodle partner Winks on Instagram.