There's no question that Scandinavian beauty is having a moment. S-beauty is steering the industry in the clean beauty space, leading the way in modern, minimalist packaging (that doubles as décor on your countertop, IMHO), and setting the trend for a streamlined routine. Effectively, the goal is to cut out the noise in favor of a paired-back, effective approach. With luxury brands like Kjaer Weis, Verso, and Sachajuan on everyone's tongues, it can be easy to dismiss Scandi beauty products as out of reach when it comes to the price tag. But there's an under-the-radar Scandinavian beauty brand on the scene that checks all the boxes and boasts prices below $30. Better yet, it just got picked up by Urban Outfitters (which discovered the brand through Instagram).
With its Instagrammable packaging (the product names are literally hashtags), no-nonsense approach to beauty, and fanbase of Scandi beauty devotees, Comme Deux is the epitome of covetable and cool. The brand boasts skincare and makeup at friendly price points and has tailored its line—colorways, textures, and so on—from feedback from its customers, starting with its subscription service, Goodiebox. To learn more about this cool and affordable S-beauty line, we had the Comme Deux's founder and CEO Rasmus Schmiegelow spill everything about the brand.
The democratizing approach
"Comme Deux is all about democratizing beauty, making product development all about the customers," says Schmiegelow. It all began with Goodiebox, a monthly beauty box subscription with over 100,000 members in Scandinavia and Northern Europe. Every month, Goodiebox collects feedback and insights directly from its members. "Utilizing this feedback and these insights directly from the beauty consumers—hundreds of thousands of cool Scandinavian women—we know what kind of beauty products they want, what type of packaging they prefer, and what kind of textures they love, etc.," he explains.
"We are taking Comme Deux from a direct-to-consumer beauty brand to a direct-with-consumer brand, utilizing all the insights and wishes from the dedicated Goodiebox members across Europe," shares Schmiegelow. "We are not just making beauty products to the consumers but instead co-creating the products and building Comme Deux with the community. Comme Deux is really about giving control back to the customers and letting them decide what they want."
Since the brand's launch in 2017, a dedicated community has grown around Comme Deux and the product development is directly integrated with this community (they call it the Comme Deux Club). "We engage with our community in various ways: Instagram-votes, email surveys, focus groups for testing, customer interviews," lists Schmiegelow. The community is involved in everything from picking the ingredients, color, texture, to the name and packaging of new products."
The hero ingredients
"For skincare, our #Powernap Overnight Mask and the exfoliating AHA mask—#Discoskin—are the true heroines," notes Schmiegelow. The #Powernap, which is the brand's bestseller at the moment, is an overnight face mask designed to quench dry, thirsty skin. It was developed to reduce trans-epidermal water loss (or TEWL), enhancing your skin's natural barrier overnight. "Packed with skin-conditioning actives like prickly pear and propanediol, this overnight treatment locks in moisture and leaves your skin plump, fresh, and ultra-hydrated," he says.
The mandelic acid (also known as AHA) in the #Discoskin AHA Exfoliating & Moisturizing Face Mask not only exfoliates the surface of your skin but also penetrates your pores to deeply cleanse and remove impurities. The result? Hydrated, smooth, and glowing skin. The Serum Boosters are also a welcome addition to any skincare routine, but especially when combined with the masks. "Our Serum Boosters are super lightweight, fast-absorbing, and packed with vital nutrients," says Schmiegelow. "#Pinkdrops hydrates, #Yellowdrops brings out glow, and #Bluedrops refines the pores and mattifies."
In Comme Deux's makeup line, the #Liplove Lip Gloss is a fan favorite. "This is more than a lip gloss," insists Schmiegelow. "It is an ultra-rich and nourishing lip product packed with natural oils like prickly pear, protective squalane, and handpicked vitamins C, E, and F." While the gloss appears to be tinted, the color doesn't actually transfer to the lips but instead leaves only a classic, transparent look. "Our community asked for a colored lip oil that is transparent on the lips," recounts Schmiegelow. "Not a gloss, but a nourishing oil. Colorful, but not on the lips. Therefore, we created a transparent lip oil in three different colors—red, rose, and peachy."
The Scandi element
"S-beauty is all about 'less-is-more,' both when it comes to makeup and skincare," describes Schmiegelow. "We don't necessarily believe in long, complicated skincare routines, but more in few but potent and powerful products and ingredients." In many ways, the climate contributes to this efficacious approach. "The weather in the Scandies puts a natural emphasis on hydration and moisturizing qualities," notes Schmiegelow, who explains the importance of delivering ingredients that help rebuild the skin's natural barrier in a gentle but effective way. "In makeup, the Scandi look is a natural and simple one which reflects in the Comme Deux makeup line," he says. "We focus on makeup staples: the ones you use every day throughout the year that will give you a casual glow, but also one you can build up easily when you want to. Versatility is key in Scandi beauty." And while the brand is now expanding beyond Scandinavia, it will always have its roots. "Comme Deux is born global, but our foundation is the hundreds of thousands of cool Scandinavian women which we co-created our initial products with," says Schmiegelow. "The elements of the packaging and the design are reflective of cool Scandi style. "
The "safe beauty" approach
“We believe in beauty freedom!" declares Schmiegelow. "There are plenty of rules in life already, and beauty is no exception. We really want to break the rules and take that pressure and complexity out of things, leaving space to do beauty one way: your way.” He explains that Comme Deux is not going to tell you what is good or bad for your skin—you decide that for yourself. With Comme Deux, you combine the products as you like. "We also want to cherish and start talking more about what is actually in the products—not what was left out," says Schmiegelow. "We need to put a spotlight on all the good and effective ingredients that are in the products, simply because they work." Last but not least, Comme Deux believes in safe beauty. "We take our responsibility very seriously when formulating the products, taking both health and the environment into consideration—and it's actually not difficult," adds Schmiegelow.
Now here are eight other Scandinavian beauty brands every beauty lover should know.