Harry Styles’s hugely hyped beauty line lives up to its name

Pleasing is a refreshingly gender ambiguous brand with nail polish and two skincare products

Harry Styles, who was recently featured on the cover of Vogue, has launched a beauty brand called Pleasing.  Photograph: Tim Walker

Harry Styles, who was recently featured on the cover of Vogue, has launched a beauty brand called Pleasing. Photograph: Tim Walker

 

Vogue cover or no, a part of me still struggles with the concept of Harry Styles as a beauty and style icon. Perhaps it’s showing my age – I recall his days as a helmet-haired teenager who made his name competing in a talent show while wearing a button down shirt as though he’d just been booted out of Copper’s for being underage. If you’d told me a few years ago that Styles was going to launch a beauty brand, I would have struggled to imagine anything more sophisticated than, at worst, something kept near the pharmacy tills to encourage impulse three-for-two buys and at best, a fragrance to rival actor Bruce Willis’ 2010 fragrance Absolutely Private. (Yes it’s real – I encourage you to enhance your day by Googling it.) While it used to be the case that every celebrity had to have a fragrance or they would (presumably) cease to exist, these days, wider celebrity relevance and selling power is articulated through a beauty brand. 

Pleasing is Styles’s brand, and it lives up to its name. While I do feel mildly irked by the idea that a wealthy white man in a dress on the cover of Vogue represents meaningful subversion or a sophisticated commentary on gender identity, a brand that doesn’t care about gender in an age of highly politicised branding is refreshing. It isn’t that Pleasing is trying to be positively gender ambiguous in its style or messaging; it just isn’t overtly politicising gender at all. The brand launched with a capsule edit of considered products blending Styles’s slightly kooky “I just happen to be wearing your granny’s jewellery and trousers” sartorial trademark with a rather appealing low maintenance functionality. 

The Perfect Polish Set (€59 at pleasing.com)
The Perfect Polish Set (€59 at pleasing.com)

Styles is well known as a fan of nail polish, so it is not surprising that it is central to Pleasing’s launch. The Perfect Polish Set (€59 at pleasing.com) contains three alphabets of decals to personalise your nails and four shades – Granny’s Pink Pearls, a glossy pearlescent pink; Inky Pearl, a pearlescent black with a navy blue sheen; Pearly Tops, a clear and slightly iridescent matte top coat, and Perfect Pearl, a glossy pearlised white shade that can be worn over the others to lighten them. The latter two shades can also be bought individually at €18. The bottles are very pretty – the sort of thing you might leave on a dressing table just for the pleasure of looking at them. 

The Pleasing Pen (€27 at pleasing.com)
The Pleasing Pen (€27 at pleasing.com)

Apart from the nail colours, Pleasing has launched two skincare products – the first is a dual ended eye and lip pen pairing a hydrating eye gel with a matte lip treatment, the Pleasing Pen (€27 at pleasing.com). The second is the range’s best product, the Pearlescent Illuminating Serum (€32 at pleasing.com). It isn’t heavy-hitting skincare and won’t give more mature skin what it needs to stay plump and sated, but it is a lovely, light hydrating serum which imparts a naturally luminous finish to the skin, as though you have just taken a brisk walk in warm weather, or finished a gig in your granny’s trousers.

The Pearlescent Illuminating Serum (€32 at pleasing.com)
The Pearlescent Illuminating Serum (€32 at pleasing.com)
Skingredients AHA Cleanse (€31, Refill €28)
Skingredients AHA Cleanse (€31, Refill €28)

Product of the Week

Skingredients AHA Cleanse (€31, refill €28)

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