Molly Goddard, Co-Founder, Desmond & Dempsey


“Now my whole life is in London—my home, my friends, my office—but I grew up in Brisbane, Australia. The pleasure of London is that there are so many little pockets around the city. It’s a combination of freshness, so there’s always something to do, and homey comforts, so you have all your neighborhood spots. The UK feels much closer to the rest of the world than Australia, doesn’t it? When I go back there, I notice everything is very ‘Australian.’ It’s really funny—here’s an example of what I mean. My husband, Joel, is English. When we met I had one more year of university to do in Madrid, so we did long distance for a while, and then I moved to London. My family is very beachy, and when I was growing up I’d eat dinner in a bikini and not think twice about it. So I never noticed that my favorite Peter Alexander pajamas were a bit flimsy—I just thought they were quite feminine. When I got here, Joel was like, ‘You can’t wear those pajamas in front of my friends!’ [Laughs]

For the sake of modesty I’d sleep in Joel’s old shirts. In my head I looked like Sienna Miller in Alfie but in reality I was more like Hugh Grant in the Notting Hill orange juice scene, you know? Honestly, I just needed new pajamas, but I felt like my options were either like a beautiful, silky Olivia von Halle set or something super plain from The White Company. Joel and I started doing some research into it, and we saw that the sleep aid industry was taking off, and so were all the direct-to-consumer mattress brands… this product world was just starting to bubble, and we got the right timing. Joel is one of four siblings, and his brother Christian is a beautiful artist. He happened to be on a break between a job at Puma and one at Adidas, so we asked him to paint some prints for us. By the time he had to start his new role we had a whole collection—and eventually Christian came back to lead our design team full-time. It’s a true family business. Something I always wondered was why we dress up for strangers and not the people we love the most. Let’s say it’s a Sunday, and you’re home. You only let the most special people into your home, especially on a Sunday—you don’t have the friend that you see every third month over. When we were creating our pajamas, we really focused on that intimacy.

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Making everyday moments special is what I’m really excited for with Desmond & Dempsey. We’ve definitely seen a cohort of competitors pop up, and at the beginning we were worried. But in terms of business, since COVID we've grown 300-percent. Now more than ever, putting on something else to go to bed helps keep boundaries while you’re at home. And I think people want something to make the day feel a bit more special. We try to look at everything we do through a lens of celebrating life at home—even the prints are designed that way. I’m looking at homewares next. I’d love to do teapots one day.

Aesop’s Parsley Seed Face Cleanser is always in our shower, because it’s an Aussie brand and what I always had growing up. But my newest obsession is the Susanne Kaufmann Cleansing Gel, which is so thick that it feels like honey. Delicious. I love using a Foreo when I wash my face because it’s easier to clean than a muslin cloth. I shower at 5PM like a nana, and it’s a long time between then and going to sleep. I like to look shiny, so I use this fancy Augustinus Bader Rich Cream. I’m investing in getting rid of my wrinkles.

Something I always wondered was why we dress up for strangers and not the people we love the most.

In the morning I put on the Drunk Elephant C-Firma serum, which I think tans me a little. Because I’m Australian, in my head I’m always meant to be tanned—I can’t be pale with a thick bogan accent! The Amanda Harrington Bronzing Mist is actually the best for that, and the Vita Liberata Phenomenal Organic Tan Infused Cloths are also great. When I want a quick tan that nobody will notice, I’ll pop one of those on. Then I use the de Mamiel Exhale Daily Hydrating Nectar, which has SPF. It’s so funny, because Joel needed some sunscreen when we were in Australia, so I gave him a little bit of that. He kept saying that his skin looked so good, and I didn’t have the heart to tell him that was because it has a tint. When he asked for more after that I was just like, ‘Sure, here you go bud!’ I also put a little bit of de Mamiel’s Altitude Oil under my nose, or the Tata Harper Aromatic Stress Treatment, and use Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir throughout the day. Joel loves that one too.

This is dorky, but I got really into a Sunday skincare routine over London’s last lockdown. Everyone has either taken skincare to the next level during lockdown or stopped caring, but on Sundays, I’m all about a bath. Growing up in Australia I never had a bathtub—I learned to love them in England. The Bella Freud Peace and Love candle is my decadent Sunday go-to, but the cheaper option is from Neom. It’s a candle that you burn, and it turns into an oil you can pour on yourself after the bath. That’s perfect if I use Ouai’s Chill Pills, but if I use the Susanne Kaufmann Oil Bath I don’t have to moisturize.

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I get into the bath with a clay mask on, and it dries while I soak. One of the best ones is The Body Shop’s Himalayan Charcoal Mask, because I hate blackheads, and this gets them all off. The Body Shop is my small secret. If I want to buy beauty and don’t want to go broke, I go there—everything is so affordable and so good. In the bath, I’ll either put on their Ethiopian Honey Mask, though I’m out of it right now, or Susanne Kaufmann’s Line A Lifting Mask. Another option is The Ordinary’s Peeling Solution, which I’ve also run out of. F. Mondays is a local coffee shop that turned into a general shop during lockdown, and they use their leftover coffee grounds to make exfoliating bars. Soap smell doesn’t usually last all day on me, but this one does. And I’ll also do a hair treatment, because I’m not naturally blonde—I’ve just gotten into the Christophe Robin Baby Blonde Mask, and I really like it. Then I watch a little bit of Grey’s Anatomy, which is heaven, and get out.

Obviously everyone in Australia talks about the Lucas’ Papaw Ointment, but Karma Rub is our best kept secret. It’s natural liquid magnesium—I put it on my shoulders at night, and it’s so lovely. Then I plunk The Light Salon’s Boost LED Face Mask on my chest, and after a while I’ll do my face as well. I’ve got a bit of skin damage from growing up in the sun, and the LED has taken away a lot of the redness. Joel never notices the difference when I put effort into my skincare, but with this he does. I’ve also gotten into doing hair oil treatments on Sundays. I don’t know if I’m meant to do this, but I wet my hair and put some of Ceremonia’s Aceite de Moska oil on, then give myself a massage with their Scalp Masajeador. It feels so lovely. I use that as a pre-shampoo, and the hair oil from By Sarah before I go to bed. Their story is amazing—the founder was working for Estée Lauder when her sister got leukemia, and so she created a product to help grow her hair. When I wake up the next morning my hair feels really nice.

The Body Shop is my small secret. If I want to buy beauty and don’t want to go broke, I go there—everything is so affordable and so good.

My mom is actually a hairdresser, so usually she will cut and color my hair. She cut it really short with a big fringe the last time I was home, and I both loved and hated it. I had to style it, whereas now I can kind of just have a shower. I usually try to wait for my mom to do it, but I haven’t been home for a long time now. In London, I’ll go to a place called Bleach when I need a touch up. I also use the Klorane dry shampoo to lighten up my roots if they’re really bad. In lockdown especially, that’s been my go-to. I do wash my hair every day because it’s so thin, and my favorite shampoos are Christophe Robin and Aesop. I also blow dry my hair every day so it doesn’t stick to my face, which takes two seconds considering I have two strands of hair on my whole head. I’ll do the ends with this Babyliss curling iron, and then brush it out.

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Growing up, my mom would always say that if your hair, nails, and eyebrows look good, you shouldn’t need much more. I already told you about my hair, I get my nails done on Wednesday mornings, and I actually dye my brows once a month. My mom gave me this RefectoCil Eyelash and Eyebrow Tint so I can do it myself. That way I can skimp on makeup and still feel put together. I touch my face a lot, and I feel like if I wear foundation then my hands and fabrics will get dirty, but sometimes I do use the Chantecaille Just Skin Moisturizer SPF 15. Then, I’ll put on Nars Laguna bronzer and either Glossier Cloud Paint in Puff or the Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Blush Stick in Minette. My friend Ciara, who’s a makeup artist, gave me that one. During lockdown we’d drop off stuff at each other’s houses—I’d always give her food, or a paint set, and she gave me beauty. If I’ve got meetings I’ll put on a brown Bobbi Brown lipstick, the most boring, but usually I just use Glossier Mint Balm Dotcom.

My eyes are really dark and my hair is so blonde, and when I wear eye makeup I think it makes me look very 'nighttime' very quickly. It’s… not good. If I do go out for dinner and want to wear eye makeup, I’ll use either purple or brown eyeliner—never black. I just got a new Victoria Beckham one that’s Bordeaux, but softens up a lot. I also use Glossier’s Colorslide in Pretty Penny [Ed note: discontinued] and Charlotte Tilbury’s Colour Chameleon pencil in Amethyst Aphrodisiac. I’ll also put on this Sisley mascara, which is the best mascara I’ve ever used. I have the shortest, stingiest little eyelashes, and this actually makes them look fat. I’m sure Sisley would not want me to tell you this bit, but honestly all mascaras flake, and this one flakes the nicest.

Growing up, my mom would always say that if your hair, nails, and eyebrows look good, you shouldn’t need much more.

My mom came over once and loved my Byredo Gypsy Water perfume. I was like, ‘You can’t get the same perfume as me, that would be weird,’ and then when I went to Australia I saw she had gotten it. But she’d hidden it. [Laughs] So now Gypsy Water reminds me of my mom. I also have this Widdringtonia Eau de Parfum from The Body Shop, and every time I wear it people on the street are like, ‘What are you wearing?’ Gypsy Water is really pretty, in my opinion, with a bit of something Italian or Mediterranean. Whereas the Widdringtonia is way more masculine, and quite spicy. I told you, The Body Shop is my secret! I think it’s a little bit nostalgic, but the products are amazing.”

—as told to ITG

Molly Goddard photographed by Lucy Laucht in London, England on March 15, 2021