Supermodel Skin Secrets! Emily DiDonato Launches Three-step Routine ‘Covey’

by Freya Drohan

With millions of beauty obsessives hanging on to her every word via Instagram and YouTube, it makes sense that Emily DiDonato would one day launch her own venture. Answering everyone’s prayers, the New York-native has teamed up with her best friend, Christina Uribe, to create an edited three-step offering that solves their own frustrations with overly complicated routines. The result is Covey: the hydrating and deep-cleaning First of All Cleanser, brightening Vitamin C Serum, and the light-but-luxe Last But Not Least Moisturizer. Formulated in partnership with board-certified derm Dr. Julie Russak, it not only makes use of DiDonato’s decade-long experience working alongside the best beauty pros in the game, but also seeks to answer the most often asked questions and concerns from her social media audience. The Daily hopped on the phone with the model ahead of the launch (on the day of her 30th birthday no less!) to get the scoop. 

Tell us all about Covey! How did you narrow down which three steps to focus on?
It’s been in the works for over three years. As a model, my skin is so important and I have invested so much time into my skincare routine. But while I had all this access, I was still making so many mistakes and I would mix and match the wrong things as I never knew the right order. People would always call me out on YouTube and I felt so overwhelmed and confused! My business partner, Christina, is an executive at Google and while she loved products too, she was also making these fundamental mistakes. Everyone on my social media platforms also seemed to be facing similar issues so we knew we needed to lay it out in a way that was digestible—without doing 10-12 steps, which has been such a big trend. Dr. Julie Russak helped us identify the three products and the key ingredients. It was nice because I was able to use my social platforms as a focus group and hear what people’s issues were.

Tell us about the Vitamin C Serum—that’s such a buzzy ingredient in the last few years!
It’s such a hard working and multi-tasking product that has been getting so much airtime. We opted to use tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, which is more powerful and has a longer shelf life than what you’ll find in most vitamin C products. It’s also why it has a milky consistency and once it’s open, it won’t oxidize. It doesn’t have a smell either! It’s perfect for targeting fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots and it’s way more gentle, so it can be used day and night.

 

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A post shared by Emily DiDonato (@emilydidonato)

One thing everyone is complaining about right now is the dreaded maskne. And tried-and-true tips for us?
Simplicity is key—that’s also Covey’s mission. With maskne, we’re all inclined to go crazy with products and treatments, but I find just sticking to a simple routine is key, and washing my face immediately when I get home and not putting my skin into overdrive and irritating it even more!

What does the name Covey mean?
A covey is a small flock of birds! We really liked the word, as we consider ourselves a covey and we think of the three products like a covey too.

How did you meet your co-founder (and CEO) Christina?
We’ve been best friends for 10 years. We met through our husbands. I knew I had to have her as my best friend! She’s so smart and organized.

Christina Uribe and Emily DiDonato (Courtesy)

How differently do your days look since you started work on the brand? Do you have a routine nailed down?
My days look so different. We have a great team, we’re on Zoom all the time now that we’re gearing up for the launch. I’m always chatting to the social media manager and I’ve gone a tone of boxes here as we’re getting the product out to influencers and people in the industry. When I was, quote unquote, just a model, I would just show up to set and everything would be done for me. This is a welcome change. I’ve been in the industry for such a long time; I knew I wanted to be more than just the face of something.

Did you always know you’d launch a brand? 
I don’t know if it was creating a skincare brand, but I had focused so much on social and growing platforms so I knew if I started something, it would be something helpful to that audience. That’s why Covey is perfect; because I’ve always created so much beauty content.

What’s your go to outfit for a day out and about in NYC? Are you wearing a lot more Zoom-ready business attire now? 
I think, generally, even outside the business, I’m trying to get dressed for my mental and spiritual health. But yeah I’ll break out the blazers and play that corporate game! In terms of fashion, just feeling put together is key.

 

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A post shared by Emily DiDonato (@emilydidonato)

What’s your favorite topic to cover on your social media channels? What does your audience relate most to?
Like we were just saying, I’ve been honest about getting dressed and how helpful it’s been for my mental health. When I’m honest it seems to resonate with people. Hair, makeup, getting dressed…it mightn’t seem that important, but taking time to feel good—I think people have found that relatable!

You also love sharing your OOTD recreations—who’s your go to for style inspiration?
My number one style inspiration is Rosie Huntington Whiteley. She nails it! What she does, the community she’s building…I’d love to get lost in her wardrobe!

Besides your golden doodle Izzy, what’s been keeping you sane during this very strange past year? Any new hobbies?
Working out is a big one for me, that’s a core thing. I’ve been playing tennis and reading more. I promised my therapist I would read every night. With so much screen time and my brain going from one app to another, I needed something to ground me.

 

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A post shared by Emily DiDonato (@emilydidonato)

What about modeling—what projects have you been working on recently? Anything exciting in the works?
I’m still modeling and still with IMG, but I’m a little more selective these days as it has to be really worth the time and travel. But I definitely have some exciting stuff coming up! I’ll always be a model….as long as I’m accepted! Haha!

You’re a NYC native! Give us your top small local businesses that we must try out.
One thing I’ve been doing is supporting a lot of restaurants. Like Odeon in Tribeca and 1665 the coffee shop. I like getting out and going for a walk and going to cute spots for take out. I love Catbird in Brooklyn and Frankie Shop; they’re doing so well and I love going to their store.

You’ve been in the city for over a decade, have you seen it change a lot?
So much change! It’s quiet right now. Tribeca is particularly quiet, because families are in the suburbs. But the East Village…it’s so vibrant over there! I’ve definitely seen some major changes and I’ve been reflecting on what I’d be doing right now and what the city felt like during New York Fashion Week. I’m praying that things get back to normal and it’ll come back stronger than ever.

Is there anything in particular you’re really yearning to do? 
I would love to go to super crowded bar! A birthday gathering; any gathering even! Even though I probably would have usually passed on it. Just being merry and being in a crowded bar.

 

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A post shared by Emily DiDonato (@emilydidonato)

Speaking of, how will you celebrate your birthday tonight?
My husband has something planned. He’s surprising me as I love a surprise. I imagine it’s a dinner.

If you were to have a cocktail and a meal anywhere in the city right now, where would it be?
It was so new down here, but Manhatta! It’s one of my favorite and it feels really New York. I’d love to have a margarita there.

What else is in store for you in 2021?
I can’t talk about one of the main things…yet! But Covey is keeping me busy and we’ve a lot of work to do. I’ll also be creating lots of content and have some travel coming up too.

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