A beauty junkie meets a professional sportsman who applies nothing more to his skin than sunscreen (and even that was occasional). They fell in love. They travelled around the world. And now they’ve created a skincare brand. True to their quintessentially Aussie personalities - hardworking but fun-loving - the founders of OSO Skincare, Arielle Vocale and Will Heffernan, operate a beauty brand that balances efficacy with playfulness.
Arielle is a proud Gunai woman from East Gippsland, where she grew up on a dairy farm with 11 siblings. Yes, you read that correctly – she has five brothers and six sisters, all from the same parents. She was the first Indigenous female to graduate from Geelong Grammar School. Following high school, Arielle studied a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Anthropology at the University of Melbourne, and she’s currently working towards achieving a Graduate Certificate of Business at Swinburne University.
“We are two founders that share completely different upbringings,” says Arielle. “One who is from a traditionally smaller family, and the other who grew up in a very loud and big Indigenous family. These different upbringings highlight the diversity and inclusivity that Australians share.”
Will is a professional golfer, and he currently plays on the Asian Tour and the PGA Tour of Australasia. After completing a Bachelor of Environments degree majoring in Property at Melbourne University, he ultimately decided to focus on golf full-time.
“I definitely have an ‘all or nothing’ personality,” he explains. “I’m hard-working and extremely driven, but I love joking around and having fun, too.”
In their business, Arielle naturally gravitates towards the creative and marketing side, while Will’s experience with accounting and economics make him more of the numbers person. However, they’re both across every detail that comes with running a beauty business, and they particularly love the formulation process.
“What drives me in our business is to change people’s perceptions about natural skincare, and educating them on the many benefits that Australian native ingredients provide,” Arielle adds.
Having watched her six sisters create skincare and makeup routines, Arielle’s always had a love for skincare. She’s become an “educated consumer”, and enjoys sharing her skincare knowledge with her friends and family - and now with others through OSO Skincare.
“When I met Will, I couldn’t believe I was dating someone who did not use any skincare products, when I was someone who had a million different products on my vanity,” Arielle recalls. “Being very passionate about skincare, I felt it was my duty to open Will’s eyes about how important skincare was, especially because he spent all of his time outside for work.” Will admits he had little to do with skincare beyond slapping a bit of sunscreen on his face every now and then. His skin was being dehydrated by the elements on the golf course, and his skin felt generally “battered.”
Arielle gradually introduced Will to skincare products, but they found that his troublesome skin would always have strong reactions.
“Will’s skin would react very badly with skin irritations, redness, rashes, and a whole lot of sensitivity,” she says. “From here, I made it my mission to find something that would work for him.”
Together, they made the switch to natural ingredients with a particular love for Australian native ingredients.
“We went from creating natural formulas for my skin, to now creating these formulas for everyone,” Will says. “We honestly believe that these products are too good not to share.”
Behind the name
“OSO Skincare, also referred to as Other Significant Other Skincare, came to life because our skincare formulas were created for my significant other,” Arielle explains. “They were formulated purely out of love and care. But secondly, skincare is so important. When you think about it, it reflects similar qualities to your loved ones: it looks after you and it nourishes you. My skin truly is my ‘other’ significant other!”
Will notes that they enjoyed deciding on the name, and wanted to choose something fun, meaningful, and catchy.
“I am Arielle’s significant other, but sometimes I think her skincare is,” he jokes. “So it felt right to call it OSO Skincare.”