Credit: @pleasing via Instagram

Pleasing by Harry Styles: does the brand live up to its name?

By Elena Adams

Styles’ new brand appears inclusive as it goes against typical beauty products and defies gender norms – but, is it worth the price?

Harry Styles, the teen boy-band singer turned worldwide cultural icon, recently ventured out into the world of business with his new brand Pleasing. The singer has increasingly been noticed for his experiments, and often success, in fashion and beauty – it’s safe to assume he’s a fashion icon now. So, it’s no surprise he’s ventured into the beauty industry and is already proving to be a great success with pre-orders selling out almost immediately. 

So far, his line includes a collection of different beauty and skincare products. There is a collection of four nail polishes, which seem to be a focus point for Styles whose use of polish has become somewhat of a trademark. Another product is “The Pearlescent Illuminating Serum”, a moisturising face serum full of vitamin B5 and antioxidants. There’s also the “Pleasing Pen”, a dual-ended pen containing a moisturising lip serum and a rejuvenating eye gel. As an extra, they also sell a jumper sporting the brand name that Styles has recently been seen wearing. 

Pleasing seems to be all about feeling good in your own skin. The use of words like “illuminating” and “highlighting” invites a different take within the beauty and skincare industry compared to the usual “covering” and “concealing” of imperfections. Styles is focused more on creating products that make his clients feel beautiful and confident, that enhance their already existing beauty. He told Dazed magazine: “When people are happy and glowing, they’re radiating. And that’s what I think the products do, it’s about helping you feel beautiful.” Pleasing is inclusive and it seems clear that the brand fits Styles’ slogan; Treat People with Kindness. 

Styles, although not the first and certainly not the last, is known for his rejection of traditional gender norms in his clothing and beauty choices both on and off the stage. So, it’s not surprising that he would choose to create his own brand that pushes the same message. Everyone deserves to feel beautiful, and everyone can use his products regardless of their gender. 

The products for sale offer a subtle and natural finish (except the bright pink nail polish) and would arguably be good for anyone who is unsure about using beauty and skincare products. But while the brand encourages the normalization of beauty habits and seems to be actively trying to degender the beauty industry, the prices could be pushing people away.

Despite the brand’s name, its price tag seems less than pleasing. With the collection of four nail polishes costing £50 (or £16 individually), the pen at £23 and the face serum selling at £27, it seems that it costs a pretty penny if you want to be just like Styles. I certainly can’t afford to spend £50 on nail polish, as much as I may want to. 

Are the products worth the price? There’s been a lot of good reviews online about the quality of the products, and most people seem to agree that the serums (both the face serum and the pen) leave you feeling fresh and glowy. But, there’s a fine line to be walked between many different factors when pricing items like affordability, profit, quality, and ethical production of the product. Pleasing is also a celebrity brand, which tend to be more expensive than others.

While the products may be worth the price in some people’s eyes it is their price that excludes others from even thinking about buying them. The brand’s message of inclusivity only seems to extend to gender and beauty inclusivity and forgets to take into consideration those with lower income. Why spend £50 on nail polish when you can get some for £3 in Boots? Purchasing these products is not feasible, especially if you’re on a budget. While the products may have great reviews and even be worth the extra money, not everyone has the extra money to spend. So, while Styles’ brand seems to exude messages of inclusivity and acceptance, the price tag that comes alongside them excludes those of lower class/income from accessing his products. 

Harry Styles has been testing and pushing the boundaries of traditional gender norms for a while now and his brand seems to be a fitting extension of this. Encouraging a more gender-neutral approach to beauty, Pleasing offers something a little bit different in the beauty community and not just because it has Harry Styles as its founder. However, while the brand’s success should be commenced, its failures also need to be addressed. The brand’s high, almost extortionate prices, push a rather large group of lower class customers away, which takes away from the brand’s inclusive message. While everyone might want to be a little bit more like Harry Styles, it seems not everyone can be. 


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