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The Eclectic World Of Linda Rodin

Linda Rodin is one of those multi hyphenates that make you suddenly realize exactly what—or rather whom—you want to be when you grow up. The New York stylist and founder of the beauty line RODIN olio lusso has such an effervescent air about her, it’s no wonder she’s one of the most sought after people in the industry.

I sat down with Rodin in the Chelsea flat she shares with her beloved dog Winky to discuss everything from her eclectic personal style, to her signature lip color, to why you’ll never see her in platforms.

 

“I was always searching for something my face would love, having tried everything on the market,” said Rodin.” I just couldn’t find it, so I decided to create RODIN olio lusso and make it myself.”

Rodin in her bedroom wearing glasses (throughout) by Miu Miu, top by Nina Ricci, dress by Tamara Jaric, and boots by Joe Fresh.
Rodin in her bedroom wearing glasses (throughout) by Miu Miu, top by Nina Ricci, dress by Tamara Jaric, and boots by Joe Fresh.

“I started RODIN olio lusso at home in my bathroom. I found bottles online and brought them to photo shoots.  Everyone on set just loved it! It was a grassroots, word-of-mouth type of thing.  I didn’t plan to ever make it a business, but here we are!”

A shelf in the bathroom packed with linens picked up at markets, and photos of Rodin.
A shelf in the bathroom packed with linens picked up at markets, and photos of Rodin.

“I think every woman needs to find her way, figure out her favorite products by trial and error, and find a routine that suits her.”

Rodin's nail polish collection of blues, greens, and golds lines the bathroom shelf.
Rodin’s nail polish collection of blues, greens, and golds lines the bathroom shelf.

Rodin’s approach to beauty is much like her company motto: simple. “I cleanse my face, then pat it dry, then apply RODIN olio lusso Face Oil.  I cannot live without my oils.”

Rodin's bathroom sink boasts the entire RODIN olio lusso line.
Rodin’s bathroom sink boasts the entire RODIN olio lusso line.

“On the days when I’m not styling, I am constantly working on RODIN olio lusso…whether that means working on new products, having press meetings, working on packaging, you name it. A lot goes into this line, and I’m very hands on.”

Rodin wears a top by Edith A. Miller and pants by Damir Doma.
Rodin wears a top by Edith A. Miller and pants by Damir Doma.

Rodin sees the brand expanding in the future. “I have three new projects in the works,” she said with a coy smile. “At the risk of sounding too proud, I think we’ve definitely achieved a simpler approach to beauty than anything that’s on the market now.”

No surface is left untapped in Rodin's home.
No surface is left untapped in Rodin’s home.

“My goal is to look a bit unique, yet simple too,” said Rodin of her personal style.   “I don’t like anything too attention-grabbing. I am always a fan of Prada and Miu Miu. I’m a big fan of concept stores like A Détacher, Creatures Of Comfort, Maryam Nassir Zadeh, Warm, and Gabriela de la Vega.  I love places that only have one or two of each thing, they’re so much more interesting for me.”

Winky looks on as Rodin shows off a dress by San Francisco designer Tamara Jaric.
Winky looks on as Rodin shows off a dress by San Francisco designer Tamara Jaric.

“Classic red lipstick is too harsh for me, I don’t look good in it. I adore hot pink, so why not wear that instead?”

Rodin favors a Make Up For Ever lipliner with a NARS lipstick or a drugstore favorite–Fran Wilson Moodmatcher Lipstick.
Rodin favors a Make Up For Ever lipliner with a NARS lipstick or a drugstore favorite–Fran Wilson Moodmatcher Lipstick.

“I don’t wear anything but my lipstick and a little Maybelline mascara. My eyelashes are like wild weeds, so they look a bit crazy with mascara, but I like the look. Sometimes, if I want to feel glamorous, I put Vaseline on my eyelids for a 1930’s look.”

Rodin's monogrammed Smythson date book and iPad.
Rodin’s monogrammed Smythson date book and iPad.

“I don’t get the high, high, high-heeled platforms women wear.  There was a great skit on SNL last night. Melissa McCarthy came out for her monologue in them and tripped over herself in those ridiculous shoes. It was hysterical. I just don’t get it!”

A collection of vintage bottles in the bathroom.
A collection of vintage bottles in the bathroom.

“I am inspired by so many things: books, movies, museums, places, and people. Last week I got to go behind the scenes at the Museum of Natural History. It was totally fascinating to see where the dioramas are made, how tiny scale models become the huge and fascinating shows. I was in heaven, it was so inspiring.”

Rodin near her "elephant corner," one of many themed corners in her house.
Rodin near her “elephant corner,” one of many themed corners in her house.

Stylist Kate Young has said she hopes one day her hair is like Rodin’s. “It’s pretty boring, but I use Clairol Shimmer Lights. It keeps my hair shiny and silver-y,” said Rodin. “I fight my natural texture. It’s very curly hair, but I relax it. I find it much easier to deal with when it’s straight.”

A sneak peek of one of the new projects Rodin is working on.
A sneak peek of one of the new projects Rodin is working on.

“Hopefully in ten years Winky and I are on a beach somewhere, collecting seashells together.”

Winky takes a nap on a bench in the bedroom.
Winky takes a nap on a bench in the bedroom.

Rodin’s Chelsea apartment is littered with knick-knacks and treasures she finds at flea markets, antique stores, and on her travels. “Some of my favorite things in my house are all the seashells that I’ve collected from all over the world. I also love vintage sequins, and my late sister Christine Rodin’s amazing photographs.”

A bucket of seashells and a seashell toilet seat in the bathroom.
A bucket of seashells and a seashell toilet seat in the bathroom.

“I have always kind of looked the same, I’m very simple. I’ll wear all black sometimes or black with bright colors, but I always try to look nice for myself first. I think it’s important to find what works best for your shape and stick to that. I am lucky and have thin legs, so I can wear jeans well.”

A vintage dress hangs in the bedroom.
A vintage dress hangs in the bedroom.

“If I could live anywhere it would be in Rome, or on a quiet beach. Flooded with beautiful seashells, of course.”

Rodin wears a top by Edith A. Miller, pants by Damir Doma, and sandals picked up on a resent trip to St. Barths.
Rodin wears a top by Edith A. Miller, pants by Damir Doma, and sandals picked up on a resent trip to St. Barths.

This story originally ran on Elle.com. All photos by Elizabeth Griffin for Elle.com. Words and art direction by me.

How Kim Kardashian Became My (Unexpected) Role Model

Even as I sit to write this I feel like a hypocrite. I started working in fashion when Kimye was just a glimmer in America’s media-loving eyes. In fact, the Kardashians were one of few subjects that were off limits to my then editor-in-chief (along with the Hiltons and ever every other d-list reality television star). But then boy met girl, boy married girl (at Versailles no less) and well, the rest was history. All of a sudden it seemed like Kim was everywhere—including on the pages of the very magazine that previously labeled her a no-go—most of the time wearing little to no clothing.

My views on women choosing to be naked in public have always been a bit hypocritical—I applaud the tenacity and guts to do it and stand up for themselves, yet can’t help wondering if they’re doing it for the wrong reasons. To me a woman so overtly sexual was trying to make up for low self esteem, or trying to use her sexuality to get ahead—two things I couldn’t relate to. In fact, I was one of the only few of my circle of friends in my early 20s that didn’t get naked at some point or another for a living. I thought a woman’s brain and drive were much more important than her sexuality.

When you're like I have nothing to wear LOL

A photo posted by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on

But last week I opened up my Facebook only to see an Instagram photo of Kim making the rounds. Mind you, this wasn’t the first time my Facebook feed was full of her naked—least we forget her infamous internet-breaking Paper Magazine cover, or that spread in LOVE (no pun intended). It was however, the first time I viewed her nudity as ballsy and, dare I say, feminist. I watched as celebrities  (most notably Bette Midler, Pink, Pierce Morgan, and Chloe Moretz) jumped on her for posting that and I—surprisingly—got angry.

Here was a woman who was happily married, a mother of two, an entrepreneur, a sister, a daughter, an aunt, and above all confident in her own skin and we aren’t supposed to like that? Victoria’s Secret models can post themselves in wearing less than the censor bars Kardashian was and that’s ok? Talk about a double standard.

Turns out others felt the same way and jumped to her defense. Sharon Osbourne even went as far as to post an identical photo of herself tagged #liberated. Kanye’s ex Amber Rose even chimed in stating that if a guy were to do the same thing, we’d all be saying how hot and sexy he is, bonus if he’s a dad. Kardashian then took to her blog to leave a lengthly open letter in which she writes that she feels empowered by her body, stating that she doesn’t do drugs, hardly drinks, has never committed a crime and yet is a bad role model for being proud of her body.

Surprisingly, I found myself agreeing with her  As a society we teach women to be ashamed of themselves, to hide themselves, but that sex will get them ahead, that being pretty and skinny is more important than being smart and then when they have the guts to show that off, we pounce on them, slut and body shaming them in the process. Kardashian went on to say that she wants her daughter to ‘be proud of who she is’ and ‘doesn’t want her to grow up in a world where she is made to feel less-than for embracing everything it means to be a woman’. She closes the letter by stating she’s ‘a mother…a wife, a sister, a daughter, an entrepreneur and I am allowed to be sexy.’

It’s time we as women stand up together in support of that confidence. We should be encouraging each other, not shaming each other. Being proud and confident of yourself is one of the greatest gifts we could ever ask for and it’s not up to us to judge each other. Watching this whole thing unfold showed me a whole new side of Kardashian that I never expected to relate to. I’m still going to keep my obsession with the family on the DL (I secretly follow them all on Instagram and love their style), but I won’t be as ashamed to say that I support such a confidence move. You can be smart and still sexy, you can be successful and still get naked, even in public. I’ll add that to the list of things I learned from a Kardashian (along with how to contour and how to dress for my shape).

Inside Tata Harper’s Natural World

[This story originally ran on Beyond The Row . Photos by Elizabeth Griffin. Words and art direction by me.]


Tata Harper knows what she wants. “I couldn’t find anything I liked out on the beauty market so I started my own line,” she said. “It had to be 100% natural and nontoxic and deliver anti-aging benefits through high-performance scientific innovations.” The result is her wildly popular eponymous line of: you guessed it, nontoxic and natural beauty products.

 

To completely dedicate herself to all aspects of the brand Harper, who hails from Columbia, moved her family up to a farm in Vermont that also houses the lab. “It made sense to have everything up here because it gives us total control over the quality of the production process,” she explained. Quality and sustainability go hand and hand for Harper and co. “I’m not interested in using even one synthetic ingredient in my products,” she said. “Our brand is committed to being as environmentally friendly as possible, with a small eco footprint and conscious packing materials. Having the whole operation on our farm where we live allows us to do this.”

 

“It wasn’t until my stepfather was diagnosed with cancer that I started paying attention to what is in my skincare products,” Harper told us. “I took a closer look at the products that I use everyday and realized they weren’t safe at all because they were full of synthetic chemicals that had never been proven save for people. That really began my search for natural alternatives.”

 

As the demand for natural skincare grows, the Tata Harper line itself has expanded. “I used to be involved with every batch, but now that the process has become more routine I’m not needed in the lab as much,” Harper reflected. “It’s much more important for me to be in the field educating people.” That means Harper is constantly traveling to stores like Neiman Marcus, SpaceNK, Nordstrom, and Sephora as well as internationally while growing her sustainable business and spreading the word of a healthier, more natural approach to beauty.

 

“I’m very conscious of what I use and where it comes from, and I love supporting designers and companies that are doing good things for people and the planet.”

 

“Every day, I use my Regenerating Cleanser followed by my Hydrating Floral Essence and my Elixir Vitae anti-aging serum, which I use all over my face, neck and chest. Then, since my skin is on the drier side, I use my Repairative Moisturizer and Replenishing Nutrient Complex. That’s it – it sounds like it would take forever but it’s just two minutes each morning and night!”

 

“My morning routines have always been pretty quick, I’m fairly low-maintenance when it comes to getting ready and luckily I don’t have to commute far – my office is on the same farm property as my home. My beauty routine takes about five minutes each morning, and then I get up the kids.”

 

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The Beautiful World Of Lisa Salzer

[This story originally ran on Elle.com. Photographed by Elizabeth Griffin. Words and direction by me.]

I sat down with the designer behind the wildly successful jewelry brand Lulu Frost to get the inside scoop on her makeup routine, her biggest influences, and what it’s like having Jenna Lyons and Bobbi Brown on speed dial.

Lisa Salzer - Lulu Frost

“I’m so inspired by women with bold confidence like Linda Evangelista and Tilda Swinton, who was my inspiration when I cut my hair. It’s so incredible the way she embraces her quirky beauty,” said Salzer, who gets her hair done at the Marie Robinson Salon. “I used to see Jessie James, but she’s since left to start a juice company, so now I see Gardner Edmunds.”

face wash

“Over the past three years I’ve really honed in on a skincare regimen that works well for me,” said Salzer. “I wash my face with either Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser With Cottonseed or Kiehl’s Blue Herbal Gel Cleanser because it has salicylic acid. Twice a week I swipe these amazing 20% glycolic acid pads that I get from my dermatologist, Dr. Gervaise Gerstner. They keep my skin looking fresh and healthy.”

face oil

“I just discovered this wonderful product calledMUN No. 1 Aknari Serum. It is a fantastic, organic, and 100 percent natural serum oil that has super powerful healing properties,” said Salzer. “I was scared to use oil on my face at first, but I am a convert now. It is so light and has a relaxing aromatherapy scent. I look forward to using it every night.”

beauty products

“For daytime I focus on clean, matte skin with subtle blush, my signature winged eyeliner, mascara, and pale coral lip gloss. At night I will amp up my eye to be very smoky by using Bobbi Brown eye shadow in navy with black gel eyeliner layered on top. When I do such a heavy eye, I keep my lips really neutral and add a little sheen to my cheekbones and eyebrow bones with a highlighting powder.”

perfume

“I am in love with Bobbi Brown and her whole philosophy about makeup. I’ve had the privilege of working directly with her and some of her top makeup artists, including Cassandra Garcia. Cassandra gave me an incredible makeup lesson and now my entire routine has changed (for the better!). My favorite Bobbi Brown product would have to be the concealer and corrector for under eyes.”

short hair styles

“Having short hair is so much easier,” said Salzer, who recently cut hers. “I barely need to dry my hair and then I run a touch of LayRite Pomade through it. I love getting to shop in the men’s section of stores for my hair product; it’s pretty cool to do your hair care shopping at Freemans Sporting Club!”

red lipstick

“I love Bobbi Brown Creamy Matte Lipstick in Jenna—it has a touch of orange, which is more flattering for my skin tone.”

eyeshadow

“I use a yellow-based powder to set my makeup and erase shine entirely. I also love gel eyeliners. I apply them to my top lid in a winged-out, cat-eye style. That is my basic makeup look and so easy to build off of if I end up going out and want to turn it up a notch.”

design

“When it comes to decorating my home, I love shops like Sucre in the West Village for fantastic accessories andHaus Interior on Elizabeth Street for great finds for the home. In San Francisco, I loveGeneral Store in the Outer Sunset neighborhood for cool gifts and some quirky vintage finds. Sloan/Hallin Houston, Texas, has an amazing selection of clothes, as well as Ikramin Chicago for those high-fashion finds. My number-one shopping obsession has to be ABC Carpet and Home—I’m very proud to say that they just began carrying Lulu Frost for this spring with a lovely selection of vintage and antique jewelry that I curated specially for them.”

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“I’ve been a fan of Bobbi Brown since I was a teenager and last summer she contacted me personally to tell me she bought one of my necklaces in Telluride and absolutely loved it. That’s what kind of amazing woman she is; she takes the time to connect with people directly. I was incredibly flattered and invited her into my studio and we had an instant connection. I’ve designed more personal jewelry for her and there’s a love affair between our two companies that has resulted in a collaboration I can’t wait to share this holiday.”

personal style

“My main source of inspiration is the wonderful women who work with me at Lulu Frost. Everyone gives so much of their passion to the company and that keeps me feeling invigorated,” said Salzer. “I’m also inspired by other female entrepreneurs, designers, and writers as well, from Jenna Lyons to Rebecca Minkoff to Lesley M. M. Blume and many more in between.”

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“I’ve loved the experience of designing men’s jewelry along with my co-collaborators, Marlon Taylor-Wiles and Jon Sneden,” said Salzer, who recently launched the men’s line George Frost under the Lulu Frost umbrella. “There have been so many cute guys who have been dropping into the studio these days—who wouldn’t love that? After only one season, George Frost is in over 20 great accounts ranging from H.W. Carter’s in Brooklyn to Beams in Japan. We’re actually headed to Tokyo for a trunk show at Barneys.”

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“Working with J.Crew is simply incredible,” Salzer said. “I was lucky enough to be introduced to Jenna Lyons when our mutual friend Lauren Goodman spotted her wearing a Lulu Frost necklace. Lauren introduced us to each other, and from there on our collaboration began. It has been an ongoing and joyful design process for the past five years! I can’t wait for our newest collection to debut this May, followed by a another collection toward the end of the summer.”

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“I really love Suno. The designers have such a cool sense of style. Lanvin is by far my favorite brand and I try to snap up pieces whenever I’m able to do so. I also have the best time with vintage—almost all of my blouses are vintage silk pieces I find for about three dollars each in various Goodwills and thrift stores across the country.”

Photos: Elizabeth Griffin via Elle.com