Harry Styles — one-time frontman of boy band One Direction and a bonafide superstar since going solo — is no stranger to applying polish to his own nails. He's broken the Internet several times over with his manicures, sporting colorful sets in his music videos, at award shows and on red carpets all over the world. Each time the colors are more over-the-top than the last. And while he's rarely subject to the same street-level criticism or senseless violence for merely expressing himself, he's pushing the boundaries of what it means to be a man just the same.
Now, evident by an official site (and an open pre-order window), he's launching his own nail and skincare brand, Pleasing, with the goal of opening the door to skincare and nail painting to fans of his own and first-timers alike.
“It’s starting with nail polish, because that was kind of the birth of what it was for,” Styles told Dazed. “Me seeing a color on a flower or a wallpaper or something and thinking, ‘Oh, I wanna put that on my nails.’ It was a fun little project, but during the pandemic, and when we eventually named it Pleasing, it felt like it was so much more than nail polish."
And it is: Pleasing covers nail polish, of course, offering both top and bottom coats in single vials or as a complete set. (The Perfect Polish Set includes Pearly Tops, a clear white, Perfect Pearl, a pearlized white, Inky Pearl, a shiny black and Granny's Pink Pearls, a pale, kind of pastel, pink.) But it also makes and sells two skincare products, too: The Pleasing Pen and The Pearlescent Illuminating Serum.
The former comes as a two-in-one tower with a center joint. Both serums screw into the cap, acting as bookends. Both are equipped with cooling steel rollers for easy application, but one (with ligonberry, okra and hyaluronic salt) works on the skin beneath your eyes while the other (soothing marshmallow and squalene) is meant for your lips. It's matte, but leaves the lips with a slight gloss reminiscent of freshly moisturized skin. It's nothing crazy, but it's not necessarily subtle either. The latter is a potent formula for your face. It's made with Vitamin B5, antioxidants and amino acids, plus pearls made from lab-safe mica, a mineral dust often used in makeup. They dissolve when dispensed and lend brightness.
All of the products are available for pre-order now, but they will not ship until the week of November 29th. Styles assures fans there will be more products soon, too, because these are all but guaranteed to sell out.
“We’re Pleasing and we’re not perfect, and we are always gonna be trying to learn to do better,” Styles tells Dazed. “Do I have any idea where Pleasing will be in five years? No. Obviously I have an idea of what I would like us to be aiming at, but honestly, I don’t know. That’s what makes it exciting to me.”
Gender norms begone. Cosmetic products pointed toward men are here to stay — and better than ever.