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Cult beauty brand Dieux is the ultimate skincare for cherubs and sad girls

The eye masks you’ve seen all over your FYP have finally launched in the UK

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“I like to say that our eye masks are crying accessories,” says Marta Freedman, co-founder of skincare brand Dieux, internet sweetheart and self-described sensitive soul. “We encourage crying when you need to.” If there was ever a moment for a skincare brand that makes space for our emotions, while also delivering the highest quality products, it is now. 

When Dieux launched with reusable eye masks in September 2020 it became an almost overnight success. The ultimate lockdown accessory, it was one of the true breakout beauty brands of the pandemic, perfectly capturing the cultural zeitgeist. Dieux offered eye masks during a time when people were fully focused on skincare and wellness, when self-care rituals were an important way to hold onto control in helpless times. They were reusable when we all started taking stock of our beauty consumption and how we can minimise waste. Distinct in their teal aesthetic, they were extremely Instagram-able making for a great lockdown selfie.

And, led by Freedman, they encouraged feelings and tenderness when being vulnerable on main has become a vibe. Dieux is a brand for sad girls, sensitive souls and everyone who loves a good cherub motif (everyone). “I have always hoped that Dieux makes people feel things, and I think we have accomplished that,” says Freedman.

Alongside Freedman, Dieux is the brainchild of co-founders Joyce de Lemos, a cosmetic chemist, and skincare expert Charlotte Palermino. The three came together over their mutual frustrations with the beauty industry, and vowed to make a brand that would be transparent around ingredients and pricing and would encourage less waste. Launching with the reusable eye masks, the first of their kind, the brand followed with Deliverance last summer, a serum designed to sooth and strengthen the skin. The serum sold out in three hours and a subsequent restock racked up $400,000 in revenue in one day, Business of Fashion reported. The brand hit almost $2 million in sales in its first year. 

This week, Dieux added a new product to their skincare line-up: Instant Angel, a deeply nourishing and hydrating barrier repair moisturiser that supports skin health. Both the serum and moisturiser are, unfortunately, currently only shipping in the US but after much anticipation the eye masks are finally available in the UK on Cult Beauty. Amen to that. 

We caught up with Freedman to find out more about the brand, intentional vulnerability, and angel energy.

What is your role within the brand? 

Marta Freedman: I’m the Creative Director, although I don’t love the associations with that title (it reminds me of niche memes). I don’t take myself that seriously but my role and purpose within the brand is to make sure that everything we do is beautiful, intentional and infused with angel energy. Sometimes, I’ll pull an angel card and consult with them if we need guidance on a decision. I also work with angels a lot for inspiration within the brand. Partnerships and influencers also fall under my role – community is one of the most important things to me, and building them comes naturally. 

When you were first creating Dieux with Charlotte and Joyce, what principles were central to the brand? 

Marta Freedman: We thought the beauty industry was confusing, overwhelming, and generally made you feel worse about yourself. We wanted to create the antithesis of that: we want you to understand exactly what you’re buying, how it works, and to remember that you’re already a perfect angel. I am so proud of our team: we care so fucking much and I think the efficacy of our products show it.

Dieux seemed to gain a cult following almost immediately – what do you attribute that to?

Marta Freedman: We solved a problem: we were the first to launch the reusable eye mask, because single-use sheet masks and eye masks are so wasteful. I think people saw real value in our product and our brand. Aside from the product, we had a very strong go-to-market influencer strategy by engaging my entire network of influencers. We didn’t start paid advertising until November 2021, so everything was organic through our own networks and platforms until then.

You’ve said that you live your life with intentional vulnerability and those values were infused into the brand. For you, how does vulnerability translate into brand values? 

Marta Freedman: I think something really cool about Dieux that is important to us, and so inherently us, is that we communicate to our audience and community like normal people. We don’t have a tightened up, personified “brand voice”– it’s our collective voice. We have typos, and we thank you for finding them. We’re not always right, but we don’t claim to be! We’re learning as we go, too, and trying to do the best we can. 

The brand has finally launched in the UK, after much anticipation. Why was now the right time? 

Marta Freedman: We are so excited to be in Cult Beauty! We sold out almost immediately, but we’re restocking soon. We have been talking to Cult Beauty since summer and they have always been on our vision board of dream retailers to partner with. Like most things, it’s harder than you think to take your brand international, and since we’ve been such a small team (just the three of us) it’s been pretty difficult to manage ourselves. We’re currently working with a company to ship Dieux to more places very, very soon… 

What’s next for the brand? How do you see it evolving? 

Marta Freedman: The brand will be birthing some more of Joyce’s genius creations. We are so lucky and grateful to have her. Joyce’s formulations are out of this world. We also recently made our first hire, Yuri, who is quite literally a Community Manager from our own community. She’s also a licensed esthetician, too. I’m super excited that we’re building the team out so we can do more. Charlotte talks about spas and treatments with Dieux, so hopefully we can bring that to life sooner than later. I can’t wait to build out Dieux’s physical presence in retail and beyond.

Are there any upcoming beauty trends that you are excited by? 

Marta Freedman: I would love to see a “cherub” trend where it looks like you just made out with someone: you’re a little flushed and glowing. Can we start it?