Celebrity beauty lines accounted for $533 million in US sales in 2021, up 41 per cent from 2020, according to market research firm NPD Group. Larissa Jensen, Vice President, Beauty Industry Advisor at The NPD Group, called the growth “astronomical” and said the most successful celebrity ranges required credibility.

 “And there needs to be authenticity.… It can’t come across like a money grab,” she told the Wall Street Journal.

According to Cosmetic Business, Harry Styles gender neutral brand Pleasing ranks as the number one celebrity brand on social media. It  boasts a  huge 33 per cent engagement rate on Instagram, with  an average of over 392,000 likes per post and over 1.3 million followers, despite only being launched in November 2021.

So, is Pleasing worth it? With celebrity products, love for the artist doesn’t always translate to love for their products  – case in point, Jessica Simpson’s dismal line of edible beauty products called Dessert Beauty.

The word ‘pleasing’ is defined as ‘satisfying or appealing’ according to www.dictionary.com. To be Pleasing means to be agreeable; giving pleasure; gratifying; being delectable; delicious; and delightful. Harry Styles’ Pleasing beauty brand certainly encompasses all of these adjectives.

In an interview for  the Winter edition 2021 of Dazed, Styles said: “I really think that the essence of Pleasing is finding those little moments of joy and showing them to people.

And it all started with a nail polish…

Styles has been seen with his nails painted for years, so it is no wonder that he wanted to create a range of nail polishes. He has his own unique personal sense of style, let’s call it ‘grandma chic psychedelic’ and this can be seen in the Pleasing products and the marketing campaigns around them.

Pleasing launched in November 2021 with the second batch of products released on March 15, 2022. It is interesting to note that these were created during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, around the same time Styles was writing his latest album Harry’s House (released May 20, 2022). You can see some cross-over influences between his music and his beauty products. They are both a bit pop and a bit ‘I’m on an acid trip’. Images for the latest drop feature a green frog, mushrooms, rainbows and Mick Fleetwood, from the band Fleetwood Mac. The setting for the images is reminiscent of Charlie’s Chocolate Factory. You can just see the fun that  Styles had creating his products.

All of Pleasing’s skincare products are vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, clean and made with sustainable principles.

The first drop Perfect Pearl from Pleasing was more muted. It was mostly monochromatic with pops of colour. Styles famously wore a granny-style pearl necklace during this period.

Perfect Pearl was a modest collection of four nail polishes that came with set of alphabet decals, an eye and lips serum combo called the Pleasing Pen and a serum, the Pearlescent Illuminating Serum. There was also matching merchandise in the form of jumpers.

The nail polishes are all biodegradable, vegan and cruelty-free; and made with sustainable, plant-based solvents. It is 12-free. The quality is OK – you have to be very careful with application and they do tend to wrinkle a little if you apply too many coats. The shades and packaging are the more appealing aspects.

The Pleasing Pen is a dual ended roller ball eye and lip serum. The eye serum is very refreshing and it has natural lingonberry, okra and hyaluronic salt as its actives. The lip serum (made with marshmallow extract) gives a demi-matte finish but not much else.

The Pearlescent Illuminating Serum has actives of Vitamin B5, antioxidants and amino acids. The encapsulated pearls (made from lab-safe mica) gives the skin a very slight luminescence. It is fairly moisturising and works well as a brightening makeup primer.

The second and latest drop Shroom Bloom seems more Styles. The playfulness he exudes on concert stages and in various interviews comes through with this collection. It is also a modest collection of four nail polishes with decals of mushroom people and flowers, a Hand + Nail Balm and an overnight treatment serum – Acid Drops Lucid Overnight Serum. As with the first collection, there are matching jumpers, and t-shirts and a bandana.

The colour story for the Shroom Bloom nail polishes is very on trend. Mint green and vibrant red are complemented with a beige and a holographic bio-glitter shade. The formula is a bit improved and one or two coats is sufficient.

Unfortunately for both nail polish collections, the decals tend to slide off within hours of application.

The Hand + Nail Balm is pleasant. It has a light balm texture and surprisingly absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave a tacky feeling. It has shea butter, snow mushroom and apricot – ingredients to soothe, moisturise and with some anti-ageing benefits.

The Acid Drops Lucid Overnight Serum is a lightweight overnight treatment. It is packed with ingredients including malic acid, aloe, upcycled hibiscus acid (a natural AHA); camellia; salicylic acid; lemon and papaya. It seems to be trying to cater to every skincare concern. It promises a lot and is fairly effective in giving you smoother and brighter skin over time. The packaging is the best thing about it.

Product photography by Tashi Jade Bell @paint_bytashijadebell

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