Giselle Chirinos and Rory Semple: “Be flexible and adaptable”

We are all about self-care and self-love! Love yourself for who you are, and be authentic. If you are feeling down one day, pamper yourself! There is no better feeling than that. Forget about stereotypes, there is no greater gift than being confident in your skin and owning who you are. We are all unique, so […]

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We are all about self-care and self-love! Love yourself for who you are, and be authentic. If you are feeling down one day, pamper yourself! There is no better feeling than that.

Forget about stereotypes, there is no greater gift than being confident in your skin and owning who you are. We are all unique, so thrive on your uniqueness and remember that you are special. You are beautiful just because you are being yourself.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Giselle Chirinos and Rory Semple. They are the founders of Overt, a skincare company that’s transforming the industry through transparency, efficacy, and charity. Throughout their lives, they have both struggled with different skincare problems such as acne, eczema, hyper-pigmentation, and anti-aging concerns, but unfortunately discovered that most of the “good” skincare products they found were actually ineffective while still being expensive.

After meeting in Spain while receiving their Master’s degrees, Giselle and Rory decided to create their own gender neutral skincare brand because they believe that we all deserve better. We all deserve a skincare brand that is honest about their process and ingredient-sourcing, and that produces high quality products for a fair price.

Rory grew up in Hong Kong and has an affinity for Chinese culture. When looking for a manufacturer that shared Overt’s values for their first collection of serums, it was a natural move to look for a respected factory in Guangzhou. For Giselle, who previously worked at Richemont in the fashion and luxury industry, customer experience and quality of products were her first priorities.

Coming from different backgrounds, Giselle and Rory wanted to combine their expertise to create a direct to consumer brand that empowers the consumer by giving them all of the information up front. From the sustainable processes, ingredients and sourcing, product benefits, charitable efforts, and more, Overt allows everyone to make the best decision for their skin and their morals.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Rory and I (Gigi) met in Madrid a few years ago because we were both working corporate jobs there in different fields. I used to work in the luxury industry, while Rory was involved in Fintech. From the start, something we shared other than our love for trying out new restaurants and good food, was that we have both struggled with skin issues in the past and still do. As someone that has struggled with skin problems, it can feel very upsetting at times and it didn’t help that both our experiences failed us in finding solutions that were effective and affordable at the same time. That’s why we decided to create Overt, because we all deserve to have beautiful skin. We want our community to have good complex formulations that are accessible and work on all skin types.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

Since we embarked on this skincare journey with Overt, something that we found interesting is how difficult it can be to find a facility that is willing to work with you in trying to create clean, cruelty-free products with responsibly sourced ingredients. It sounds unreal, but it took us longer than expected to find the perfect facility to develop our serums. We had certain expectations in mind and didn’t want to compromise our values because the facility was not willing to work with us, we knew there had to be someone out there that had an accomplished R&D team, sourced ingredients ethically and wanted to help us find the best formulations given our parameters.

Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?

I think that the biggest “tipping point” was the initial reaction we got after launching Overt. After working on Overt for such a long time and given the current circumstances, it was very reassuring to see that people really liked what we stand for and were very supportive of our mission of bringing back accountability into the skincare industry. This reaction encouraged us to build a bridge with our community because we want them to know that we care about them and we are doing our best to find a solution that will work for them. A takeaway from this would be to always be authentic and honest about who you are because there are people out there that will like your message. Don’t compromise on who you are to please everyone.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person to whom you are grateful who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

We couldn’t have done it without our friends and family. All of them helped us with their feedback and helped shape the brand into what it is today. One thing for sure, Overt’s formulations wouldn’t be the same as it is today without the help of our family and friends. We knew what we wanted to achieve with our serums, however we also wanted them to work on all skin types. We went through hundreds of versions of formulations, and our friends were kind enough to test them with us and give us very useful feedback that we incorporated in every round of testing.

Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. The global beauty industry today has grown to more than a half a trillion dollar business. Can you tell us about the innovations that you are bringing to the industry? How do you think that will help people?

Overt wants to transform the skincare industry. We are a new skincare brand that wants to empower their community by transparency, efficacy and charity. We want to empower our community and allow them to make the right decisions for their skin and for their morals too. We are bringing a new perspective to the game by:

  • Prioritizing our processes, distribution, supply chain and ingredient sourcing.
  • Focusing on scientifically-proven formulations that don’t have unnecessary fillers. Our products are packed with ingredients that will actually make a difference in your skin.
  • Making the world a better place, that is why we donate 10% of our annual profits to Anti-Slavery International. Like us, this charity wants to bring accountability into the supply chain through transparency and responsibility.

We don’t want to build just a skincare company that sells serums. We want to build a brand that will enable consumers to make a difference and a positive impact in the world. We want to bring power to our community and for them to know that their decision could be a game-changer.

Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the modern beauty industry?

The shift towards clean beauty and ingredient-focused skincare definitely excites us. I think this movement is very cool because it shows that consumers actually care about how a product is made and its components, which holds us beauty and skincare brands, up to higher standards. Nowadays when launching a product, the steps a brand takes to create it counts, it is just not enough to be a good product. It is exciting to see some accountability brought back into the production process.

Also, I love the more inclusive outlook the beauty industry has taken recently. As we say at Overt, we all deserve better and we all deserve to have beautiful skin. Regardless of your gender, skin tone, skin type, it is refreshing to see how the beauty industry is rejecting stereotypes and becoming more authentic.

Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to improve the industry, what would you suggest?

There is a lack of transparency in the industry. Companies don’t tend to explain or educate their consumers about how to use products or explain why certain ingredients work. We want to revert this trend by educating our consumer.

Secondly, there is ambiguity about what clean beauty is. Everyone lives up their own definition of clean beauty, and clearly it is a trend that is here to stay. Brands should live up to the highest standards to make their brands “clean” and not only try to claim the title because they don’t have a certain ingredient.

Finally, skincare companies should be mindful that products are meant for everyone and not just a certain group of people. Everyone deserves to have beautiful skin.

You are an expert about beauty. Can you share a few ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”?

We are all about self-care and self-love! Love yourself for who you are, and be authentic. If you are feeling down one day, pamper yourself! There is no better feeling than that.

Forget about stereotypes, there is no greater gift than being confident in your skin and owning who you are. We are all unique, so thrive on your uniqueness and remember that you are special. You are beautiful just because you are being yourself.

Here is the main question for our discussion. Based on your experience and success, Can you please share “Five Things You Need To Know To Succeed In The Modern Beauty Industry”. Please share a story or an example, for each.

  1. Be flexible and adaptable. If 2020 has taught us something it is to always be agile and find a way to make it work. Embrace change and don’t be afraid of it.
  2. Always remember who you are and don’t try to appeal to everyone. The beauty industry is a very saturated space, stay true to your values because that resonates well with your core group. Your community believes in you and what your products stand for, so don’t compromise your vision to reach everyone.
  3. Tell a story. It is important to build a personal connection with your audience. Don’t make it just about the product or service, humanize it. We all have our good and bad days, so just share your story with them. Be open with them about achievements, but also your failures, be relatable.
  4. Listen to your community. You are doing something right and that is why you have a loyal community behind your brand, so listen to their wants and needs.
  5. Be one step ahead. Constantly innovate and think about what your next step will be. When thinking about your next product launch, think about what your community needs and how you can deliver it in a true-to-yourself fashion.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

We would encourage people to embrace change. Sometimes we give change a negative connotation, but it shouldn’t be like that. Always have an open mind, be willing to try new things and have a positive attitude because you never know the potential that is out there. Don’t be biased by the past, always think that the future is full of new, unexplored opportunities.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

We love Walt Whitman’s quote “Keep your face always toward the sunshine — and shadows will fall behind you”. We always focus on the bright side of things, and work through any obstacles we might be facing.

How can our readers follow you online?

They can find us at and @overt_skincare

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