On Friday afternoon, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Linda Rodin at her apartment--a real live jewel box on the edge of Chelsea; each room painted a powdery hue and filled with various vintage gems--countless sea shells, floral trinkets and flea market kitsch. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised by her charming and unique aesthetic. Linda's reputation for great style is renowned. A fashion icon in this city, she started her career modeling in Italy in the 1960's, pioneered the first clothing boutique in SoHo, trail blazed as an editor at Bazaar and most recently, has been beautifying the beautiful as one of the city's most respected fashion stylists (annual Victoria Secret ad campaigns as just one example among many).
[caption id="attachment_126" align="alignnone" width="460" caption="Linda\'s exquisite living room"][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_126" align="alignnone" width="460" caption="Vintage finds"][/caption]
Fashion and design aside, the real reason I went to visit Linda was to talk to her about her hugely successful skin care line, Rodin. What an impressive story it was. Her first product--the now famous Olio Lusso--was developed in her apartment after a trip to Paris to visit her best friend, model Laetitia Casta. The two had been playing around with essential oils in France and, when Linda returned, decided to start experimenting with more oil combinations. Working on set as a stylist, (alongside the industry's top makeup artists), she tried all of the latest skin care must-haves, though was never completely satisfied with what was out there. As she started to combine the various oils--chosen for their beneficial properties--a great concoction was created.
The end result, Olio Lusso for face, contains just 11 ingredients. Happy with her mixture, Linda started handing out this magic potion to friends--mostly those who worked on set with her or in the industry. The friends quickly became addicts of the stuff and started to spread the word. Many had connections to celebrities and magazine types--who helped spread the word even further.
After the face oil came one for body--composed with just 8 ingredients. The body oil joined the face oil as a huge hit and was in such high demand, the operation had to move out of her apartment, to a local manufacturer. As Olio Lusso became more established, Linda decided to create a hair oil. She thought about developing it on her own, like she had for the other two products, but decided that instead, she'd collaborate with long time friend (and esteemed hair dresser) Bob Recine. Enter Rodin by Recine luxury hair oil. From what I gather, this is similar to Moroccan hair oil--producing healthy, lustrous and glossy locks. Naturally, of course.
[caption id="attachment_124" align="alignnone" width="460" caption="Linda (and Winky) hard at work..."][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_122" align="alignnone" width="460" caption="This is where the magic happens...an nyc closet turned office. Genius!"][/caption]
Linda gave me some samples to take home and try. I have to admit, I was a little hesitant to put the oil all over my face--given my history of breakout prone skin. Linda had told me that all skin types benefit from the oil. One fan had recently written to her and shared how it had completely cured her acne, when nothing else could. So, I did my evening cleansing routine and slathered on a few drops. The oil went on smoothly and literally absorbed in minutes--no greasy residue. It felt amazing, but the real magic was the intoxicating scent (from the jasmine oil). I'm also usually wary of scented products for my skin, but this serum felt natural and pure, and so did the fragrance. Instant happiness.
When I asked Linda about the benefits of the oil, she told me the bottom line was to "make your skin the best it can be, naturally", a tag line she has stuck to since the beginning. As she does not have any formal training in dermatology or skin care, she said she isn't promising miraculous results, just to give your skin a nourishing, moisturizing treatment using oils historically (and scientifically) known for their beneficial properties. I've been using the face oil for three days now and am really excited to use it every morning and night. I haven't noticed any signs of breakouts and my skin has been soft and just the slightest bit dewy underneath my makeup--that perfect glow.
With articles in the who's who of publications--from French (Paris) Vogue to InStyle to Bazaar, Olio Lusso seems to be on the fast track to the beauty hall of fame. The next product to hit the market (just released) is the softly tinted pink lip balm--the same delightful scent in a base of beeswax and shea butter.
The entire collection is available at various stores in and around the New York area. West Coasters, Canadians and other International pals will have to order online. Give it a try--you won't be sorry!