November saw the launch of not one, but two massive A-list celebrity beauty lines: Harry Styles and Ariana Grande debuted Pleasing and r.e.m., respectively. It’s a trend within beauty that shows no signs of slowing down — Hailey Bieber’s line, Rhode, is set for a spring 2022 debut. Meanwhile, fragrance’s moment has lived on. This month, that was fueled by a new brand from the founders of Fresh and a reinvented line from a beloved downtown Manhattan fragrance shop. Whether you’re looking forward to taking a bath (with accouterments from Verden) or stepping out with a full face of r.e.m., you can benefit from what proved to be a busy month in beauty.
Harry Styles’ new brand, Pleasing, has dubbed itself a “life brand,” but it’s starting with beauty products. Its first drop features four nail polishes, which Styles has been wearing throughout his sold-out “Love On Tour.” They’re notable for their eye-catching packages that fans will want to scoop up, even if they have no plans to use the polish. There’s also a dual-ended lip-eye serum pen and an illuminating serum that could also work as a primer. In response to demand following the brand’s press mailer, Pleasing made its logo-bearing sweatshirts available to its already massive fan base — the brand accumulated 1 million Instagram followers within a week of its announcement. A pre-order went live — and the products sold out — on November 15, and the brand officially launched on November 29. It’s available direct-to-consumer, and product prices range from $20-$65.
Arabella Preston and Charlotte Semler have made names for themselves in the luxury “clean” beauty space with skin-care brand Votary, which is sold at high-end beauty destinations like Liberty London, Harrod’s, Galleries Lafayette, and Space NK. But during the pandemic, the duo dreamed up an entirely new brand, Verden, which means “earth” in Danish. The brand is centered around scents from nature. There are three scents with four products available in each. They include a hand and body wash, a hand and body balm, a candle, and a bath oil. Prices range from $45-$110. The D’orangerie scent is “an uplifting, bright infusion of citrus and orange blossom,” Arborealis is “an intense and moody blend of woods and smoky greens,” and Herbanum is described as a“purifying, botanical essence of fresh herbs and wild grasses.” The brand is sold at Liberty London, at Boxwalla in the states and via direct-to-consumer e-commerce.
Aedes Perfumery is a tiny, magical hole-in-the-wall on the Lower East Side, where perfume fanatics can shop beloved, harder-to-find fragrance brands like Vilhelm Parfumerie and Mizensir. For the store’s just-relaunched in-house line, Aedes de Venustas founders Robert Gerstner and Karl Bradl worked with top perfumers like Frank Voelkl to create a tight edit of seven fragrances. They’re $245 each and are available at the Aedes Perfumery store and e-commerce site. Each puts a unique spin on a classic category. For example, Cierge De Lune is a “vanilla for people who don’t like vanilla.”
Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg are known for founding Fresh Beauty, which is now owned by LVMH. Since selling Fresh, the duo founded a hotel in Hudson called The Maker. Now, they’re going back to their beauty roots with a collection of six gender-neutral fragrances and three candles. They’re sold on The Maker’s website, with a rollerball selling for $42, a 50-milliliter spray for $160 and candles for $75.
No. 8 is behind colorful nootropic gummies that prove wellness-as-beauty is here to stay. The four debut products include formulas for sleep, energy, focus and calm. They feature of-the-moment ingredients like ashwagandha (for calm), green tea-derived L theanine (for energy) and gourmand flavors. Meanwhile, Calm is lychee and pear flavored, and Focus tastes like matcha and mint. A month’s supply is $55, though the price drops to $48 with a subscription.
This high-end Portuguese skin-care startup uses biotechnology from its native habitat of the Azores to power its products. The tightly edited collection includes seven items that are sold DTC on the brand’s website. Among them: a Daily Enzyme Cleanser, an Enriched Regeneration Serum, and a Day Complex and Night Complex, which are like moisturizers. The products were built on the brand’s patent-pending EPC Factor Complex, which, according to the brand, increases the absorption of active ingredients into the skin.
Celebrity beauty brands are (still) not slowing down. Ariana Grande’s entry into the space comes by way of a partnership with Forma brands, the company behind Morphe, influencer Jaclyn Hill’s brand Jaclyn Cosmetics and Bad Habit, of which Emma Chamberlain is creative director. R.e.m. launched direct-to-consumer with a full collection of space-inspired color cosmetics: mascaras, eyeshadow palettes, liquid eyeshadows, lipsticks, lip stains and a highlighter, among other products.