Harry Styles Steps Into The Beauty Business with Cosmetic, Skin Care, and Fragrance Brand: Pleasing.

Would it be a Harry Styles project if it didn't start with a mysterious billboard? If you were a Harry Styles fan in 2019, you could probably tell me exactly where you were when the Do You Know Who You Are? posters started popping up around the country. I was sitting outside an airport. That mystery had a slightly longer lead time, though. This time, we've gone from mysterious shirts to billboards to posters to websites in a span of a couple hours.

Harry has introduced the idea of "Pleasing." on a few occasions wearing a hoodie with the brand name written on it and also adding a sticker of the brand's logo to his phone case. It wasn't solidified, though, until billboards that also said Pleasing went up around Harry's Glendale show last night. This morning, fans woke up to discover promotional posters blanketed around the city. I am slightly out of the loop on Harry's fandom, but apparently some fans have been speculating about the potential of a beauty/nail polish brand since August. 

That set fans off on a mission to figure out what was going on. With so many rumors swirling about HS3, everyone started off thinking we were heading towards a brand new single as tour wraps up. Instead, what we discovered wound up being a brand. Harry is joining the trend of musicians jumping into the beauty space (see Rare Beauty from Selena Gomez, Fenty Beauty from Rhianna, About Face Beauty from Halsey, and most recently REM Beauty from Ariana Grande). Whether this is stemming from a genuine interest or a want to establish exterior business outlets now that profits from actual music are at an all time low can be debated. 

Some, like Rare, have pretty effortlessly worked their way into the beauty space. Halsey's venture was met with a huge wave of support from her fans who were well aware of her passion for make-up, and her brand's intrigue is that it's essentially based around Halsey creating products to fill the shortcomings she's found in her own make-up collection she's built from other brands over the years. From what I've observed online, REM Beauty has been met with a bit more skepticism. It's hard to reconcile the line between authentic creation and a blatant cash grab when it comes to these brand extensions, but I do have to give all of these brands credit in cultivating lines that truly match their identities of the artists. Their products do genuinely suit them even if they might not be the most practical for consumers. 

The same is true from what I can tell of Harry's new venture. Fans did some digging and found the locked up Pleasing website that asks for your email and phone number to join the mailing list. Not satisfied with that information, fans found the verified Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok accounts that had mysteriously popped up and gained follows from Harry and his manager Jeff Azoff. The bios read, "Find your Pleasing". That offered another rabbit hole to go down, so it was off to the trademark database to find that "FIND YOUR PLEASING" is reserved for an "online retail store featuring nail care products, clothing, footwear, jewelry, watches, eyewear, fragrance products, hair care products, skin care products, personal care products, cosmetics and bags and luggage." This is an interesting array of products, particular with watches, jewelry, eyewear, and footwear that suggest that Pleasing might be more of a general luxury brand than strictly a cosmetic brand. 

Some fans were able to momentarily access the website before it locked down again to grab screenshots of the listed products and FAQ pages to give us more of a hint of what's to come. True to the trademark, the standout item of the products we've had access to so far is a nail polish set that Harry models for the site. These small, cone shaped bottles of nail polish have giant, circular, marble-like tops that definitely give them a distinct appearance. From the description of Inky Pearl, Granny Pink Pearl, Pearly Tops, and Perfect Pearl, these nail polishes are meant to be mixed and matched on the same finger through layering. Each of these polish descriptions encourages you to wear them independently or mix and match them by painting on one color as a base or overcoat with another color, which, outside of the Crackle trend from when I was 8, I've never really seen. 

The black and pink polish seems to be the only ones that are particularly pigmented on their own. The black can be transformed, "to a unique iridescent purple shade when topped with Pearly Tops". There's also a glossy white, what sounds like a clear that gives the other colors a matte effect, and a pink that can be toned down to a baby pink by topping it with Perfect Pearl. This is a potentially intriguing concept in the nail polish market that isn't exactly hallmarked by innovation, but a look at the price tag will likely kill a lot of the potential excitement. Is it really a Harry Styles product if it isn't wildly expensive? At $20 for each small bottle, the cost of mixing and matching quickly adds up meaning that most fans won't be able to experience the full effect of what makes these nail polishes apparently special. You can get all four of the flagship colors for $65. Price aside, nail polish makes perfect sense as a flagship product because it's the space in the beauty industry Harry most frequently dabbles in

(If you want to share in some of Harry's iconic nail looks without breaking the bank for his own collection, past interviews with his nail artist have revealed he's a fan of one of my personal favorite shades, Mint Candy Apple from Essie, and the shade he's wearing in the "Watermelon Sugar" video is Flamingo Flare from Salon Perfect.)

Harry is also venturing into the skincare space with two products: the Pearlescent Illuminating Serum and the Pleasing Pen. Both of these come in sleek, refined packaging that fits the expensive look, feel, and price tag of the brand. I really love their font and design choices for the brand so far as well as the actual encasings of everything except the nail polishes. 

The Pleasing Pen offers to serums to "refresh lips and eyes" using two cold metal rollers. One side of the pen has an eye gel made of "natural lingonberry, okra, and hyaluronic salt" that is meant to hydrate, wake up your under eyes, and, of course, reduce signs of aging. The other gel is a "demi-matte" treatment that uses marshmallow to rejuvenate your lips. I can't quite tell if this is meant to be some sort of chapstick or if it's a separate treatment. If you, like me, are still confused about the existence of lip serum now, here's an article about it from Byrdie. This double ended hydration boost will run you $30. 

The second skincare product we've unearthed so far is the Pearlescent Illuminating Serum. I am not great at skincare and feel lost in this serum world, but I absolutely love the look of this one with little pearly pink balls suspended in the jelly. This serum is billed as a "moisturizing formula" that contains "Vitamin B5, Antioxidants, and Amino Acids for all skin types". The pearls are made of mica and dissolve when dispensed. Apparently this formula is intended for daily use as a primer or simply on its own, and for 5oz it'll run you $35. Given the generally high price tag on skincare, these prices ring as less unusually high than the nail polish. 

The FAQ provides extensive information on the quality and safety standards held by the brand. The nail polishes are "12-free" which basically just outlines twelve harmful chemicals like acetone that are often found in nail products. The skincare items have their own very extensive list of substances they do not include. They are also vegan and gluten free as well as cruelty free and ethically sourced. Part of the FAQ reads, "Pleasing is committed to operating in an economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable manner. Respecting human rights, monitoring the safety and integrity of products, and reducing the environmental footprint of our supply chain are core tenants of who we are and what we do." They go on to talk about requiring a high standard of transparency to those that they work with. These are encouraging signs that definitely align with Harry's brand and what I hope he would require of his company but aren't necessarily all that common among beauty and skincare companies still. 

If you'd asked me 24 hours ago if I thought Harry Styles would start a skincare/beauty brand in the near future, I would've told you absolutely not, but from what we've discovered so far, he's managed to make the brand make sense. The design, packaging, and types of products all feel very true to Harry. It has an elevated, suave vibe that is often associated with him. The brand is set apart from most of the other musician run cosmetics brands in that it's not make-up based, at least for the moment, which makes sense considering Harry isn't exactly known for his make-up looks. As far as high end skincare products go, the pricing isn't too outrageous, but I do find it unfortunate that nail polish made to mix and match are so expensive per bottle. It will be interesting to see as time progresses which additional trademark products get folded into the brand. From the way it is now, I could see a sunglass or watch line blending in quite well. 

For those of you, like me, who can't get past the "give me your email or else" page, the products are going to be officially launching on November 29th, so mark your calendar! And if you're sad this wasn't a single after all, there's a rumor floating around that we can expect new Harry Styles music in the next 60-90 days. 



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