After a decade in the modeling industry, Emily DiDonato has learned a thing or two about skincare. She’s endured days of makeup for photo shoots while gaining expert insight into beauty products. Along the way the SI Swimsuit model realized that 10-step skincare routines just weren’t practical. So DiDonato partnered with Google executive Christina Uribe to develop and launch Covey, a signature three-step ritual that works across all skin types.
After three years of formulation research with Dr. Julie Russak, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of the Russak Dermatology Clinic, the duo created three foundational products: a cleanser, a Vitamin C serum and a moisturizer. Though each product can work on its own, the Covey routine is meant to have the trio combine to promote your skin’s inherent functions.
The Covey line releases on March 3. We chatted with DiDonato to get all the details of her latest venture.
Why was having a skincare line of just essentials so important to you?
“As a model, taking care of my skin has always been a top priority. Over the years, I had spent thousands of hours (and dollars) researching, testing products and building a 12-step skincare routine. Even as someone who was spending so much time learning about skincare and having access to the top industry experts, I was still making mistakes in my own routine and not seeing results.
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“I just wanted an uncomplicated routine that worked. After combing through thousands of comments on my skincare content, I realized I wasn’t alone in feeling this way. Christina and I decided that we wanted to create the solution.
“Covey is the answer to the most commonly asked skincare questions: What products do I really need? Do they work together? How and when should I use them? What order should I apply them in? Covey removes the complexity from skincare. The Covey routine is three simple steps that you use both day and night, no late-night Reddit rabbit holes or Google deep dives required.”
What are some of the biggest lessons you have learned about skincare from your career as a model?
“Great makeup starts with great skin. While you can use makeup to enhance your features and cover up as needed, achieving healthy skin through the Covey routine has given me the confidence to treat makeup as an accessory, not a necessity.”
Working with a Google executive isn't typically the partnership you think of when it comes to skincare. Why was Christina's input so valuable?
“Christina and I have been best friends for more than six years, but our lifestyles couldn’t be more different. We each bring something unique to both our friendship and to Covey. Christina is a lifelong marketer, so she takes an analytical, data-driven approach to Covey while I’m the more creative one. She’s left-brained while I’m right-brained. We would have never been able to bring Covey to life without each other’s individual skill sets and strengths.”
There are so many different skin types. What was the process like finding a simple solution for all of them?
“We worked closely with our consulting dermatologist, Dr. Julie Russak, to identify the essential products and ingredients that work across skin types and concerns. Each of our products are formulated with gentle yet powerful ingredients that work in harmony with each other and your skin. The ingredients we didn’t include were as important as the ones we did. All of our products are free of parabens, sulfates, fragrances, synthetic dyes, silicone, essential oils and phthalates.
“Along with Dr. Russak’s expertise, we also tapped into a focus group of 150 people of all ages, backgrounds and skin types to test and provide feedback on Covey products throughout the formulation process to make sure they truly worked across a spectrum of skin conditions and concerns.”
What was the hardest part of the process?
“The hardest part of developing Covey was what Christina and I call “spiraling.” We agonized over every tiny detail and decision that we made in creating the Covey products that you see today. The most rewarding part of the process has been preparing for launch and knowing that our philosophy on skincare is about to change how someone approaches their routine.”
What do you hope users take away from these products?
“A covey (pronounced kuh-vee) is a small flock of birds that protect and care for each other. Covey came about from one simple premise: to look after your skin the same way you’d look after and care for your best friend. We want Covey to become your ride-or-die skincare routine: No product roulette, no playing skincare scientist. Just three essential products, day and night, that work.”