As lots of little elves keep telling me, the countdown to Christmas is well and truly on. We’ve little over two months to go until we can put out the stockings, fill our boots with mulled wine and listen to Slade on repeat. Although I love the festive season more than most (my birthday is Christmas Eve!) the last few years have seen beauty enthusiasts getting even more excited about the countdown – thanks to the proliferation of beauty advent calendars which are hitting the shops. There are now so many out there, all offering something a little unique and appealing to a different beauty lover, so how do you know which one to go for? I’ve got the lowdown on the top eight you need to know about and why they’re offering something fabulous this festive season.
THE MAKEUP ADDICTS ONE
Benefit Cosmetics – Candy Coated Countdown (£60.00)
Containing over twenty mini Benefit favourites, as well as a selection of beauty and lifestyle accessories (including hair ties and paperclips,) this is definitely for the hardcore Benefit fan. All the minis are incredibly handy for travelling, as well as giving you an inroduction into some products you may not have discovered. Although it’s not the cheapest or the best value, it’s definitely going to be incredibly popular when it launches this week.
THE ‘FILLED WITH FUN’ ONE
The Body Shop – 24 Days Of Joy (£50.00)
Not only are the contents worth over £80.00, but a donation is made from every sale to help children in war torn parts of the world that may not have any reason to celebrate this Christmas. Last year’s included lots of handy mini products, scented soaps and makeup must-haves, so I’ve no doubt that 2014’s won’t be a disappointment. The Body Shop only offer these calendars through selected stores, so you have to be quick to nab yours while stock lasts!
THE INCREDIBLE VALUE ONE
You Beauty Discovery Advent Calendar (£49.95)
This affordable advent calendar offers the chance to save over £190 on a treasure box containing £240 worth of premium products – wowzer. It contains some of my all time favourite brands and products, including Benefit, Caudalie, Laura Mercier, Liz Earle and Molton Brown. Regardless of the fact that it helps you countdown to Christmas, this is a great indulgence for yourself and incredible value for money.
THE EXTRAVAGANT ONE
Jo Malone Advent Calendar (£250.00)
This is the Ferrari of the beauty calendars, offering 24 little perfume and body cremes in some of Jo Malone’s most iconic scents. The structure is incredibly special, offering drawers instead of doors, meaning it could be kept and refilled year after year. If you’ve always lusted after Jo Malone and wanted to discover more fragrances for yourself, this is the perfect gift.
THE ‘BEST ONE FOR MUM’ ONE
Boots No7 – 25 Days Of Beauty Secrets (£35.00)
Worth a huge £135, this calendar includes 25 mini products and provides exceptional value for money. It’s packaged in an appropriately glittery box and contains some skincare favourites – including the iconic Protect & Perfect serums. I’ve got my hands on one already, so I’ll be giving you the full lowdown in the coming weeks.
THE NAIL ART ONE
Ciate – Mini Mani Manor (£49.00)
This was undoubtedly my favourite from last year. The calendar includes 17 of Ciate’s most popular nail shades, as well as glittery topcoats and nail effects – basically everything to provide fabulous nails until next Christmas. If you’re a fan of the brand then you’ll definitely want to get your hands on this, or alternatively it’s a great way of stocking up on polish and injecting some colour into your nail collection. It’s great value (working out at around £2.00 per polish) and due to be a sell-out.
THE ALTERNATIVE ONE
L’Occitane – Pampering Treats from Provence (£45.00)
Although this isn’t a traditional calendar (it only has 13 doors,) it’s definitely still a great concept and full to the brim with goodies. Apparently it’s tradition in Provence to have 13 desserts on the festival table, so this is a calorie-free way to enjoy a little sprinkling of French glamour. You just have to work out when to open the doors…!
THE CHRISTMAS PRESENT ONE
Elemis – 12 Days Of Beauty (£59.50)
Pushing the boundaries of the beauty calendar, Elemis have turned the concept on its head and developed a treat you can actually ask Santa for. The ’12 days of beauty’ box can be opened in the days following Christmas day, providing you with a skincare treat well into the new year. It contains all of my Elemis favourites, including their cult Marine Cream and Cleansing Balm.
Do you plan on investing in a beauty calendar this year? Which have you got your eye on?