When the first beauty advent calendar launched a number of years ago, it felt like such a novelty. It was received as a truly fresh and innovative idea that encouraged trial and injected a much-needed sprinkling of magic into the industry; those first few success stories spawned endless copies that were lapped up by beauty enthusiasts across the country, making the annual onslaught of beauty advent calendars an inevitability. Whether it’s a pre-Christmas treat to yourself or a loved one, a way to experiment with new brands or products, a more affordable way to expand your beauty stash, or even a great way to gift by splitting up the contents, beauty advent calendars can really be great in so many ways.
However, it seems that pretty much every brand out there now offers their own version (each trying to out-do one another in terms of value, saving and contents,) so it can be incredibly overwhelming if you know you want to dabble in this arena but aren’t quite sure where to start. How do you know which beauty advent calendars have the best selection of products to try? How do you know who’s offering the best saving? How do you know which brands are worth investing in if you want to discover new things?
Luckily, I’m here to help.
Here are all the beauty advent calendars you need to know about, including the best luxury / affordable / amalgamation offerings, and which you should be seriously considering this forthcoming festive season. But be quick, because they sell out fast!
THE LUXURY ONES
Jo Malone London were the first to create a collectable advent calendar, and every year they seem to outdo themselves. This year the price remains £320.00 for 25 mini colognes, body treats and candles – which seems like a lot, but if you’re a mega fan of the brand it does work out relatively reasonable. (Around £12.00 a mini.) This is one of the most iconic and covetable, so if you fancy it you better be prepared to go on a treasure hunt to find one when they launch into stores!
If you’ve got a bit of money to play with, and can get your hands on this year’s collection, Elemis have an outstanding beauty advent calendar worth over £400.00 for £175.00. I adore their cleansing balm and their moisturisers are multi-award winners, so if you want to immerse yourself in an at-home luxury spa this is the most affordable way to do it.
ESPA really know what we’re after this year, and their ‘No Place Like Home‘ advent calendar is as beautiful to look at as it is exciting to open. The teal and golden design is stunning, and possibly one of the prettiest of all this year, but inside there are all manner of soothing and uplifting body oils, creams, skincare products and even a winter spice candle. Worth £230.00, this will set you back £145.00.
The White Company are back with another beauty advent calendar for 2020, offering 25 mini sizes of their highly covetable and luxe home fragrance and beauty products for a generous price of £160.00. Although they’re yet to disclose what’s inside, it’s set to be a great one if you’re already a fan of the brand; I could totally see myself splitting the contents out too and making them cute Secret Santa gifts.
Diptique‘s calendar contains twelve candles and seven mini fragrances, as well as a number of body care favourtites. Retailing at £320.00, this is a serious investment and one to probably dream about more than to put on your Christmas list. Designed by a Parisian illustrator and packaged in the most incredible shade of blue, this is an incredibly special piece that’s sure to sell out super fast when it goes on sale in October.
Always one to push the boundaries and create something special, this year Jo Loves is dabbling in the beauty advent calendar space with an incredibly beautiful wreath-inspired design that’s full to the brim with incredibly scented candles and perfumes. With an eye-watering price tag of £300.00 though, make sure you really love everything the brand has to offer before investing.
Charlotte Tilbury’s design this year is reminiscent of a hope chest, ensuring you can re-use the cardboard housing after the festive season ends. With a price tag of £150.00, the advent calendar contains fan favourites across skincare and makeup – including Magic Cream, Magic Serum, Pillowtalk lipstick and a mini size of the new Pillowtalk mascara. Sign up now to get yours before it’s too late!
One of the most anticipated festive brand launches for me is undoubtedly Molton Brown, as their holiday collections just seem to get better and better. Although I’m yet to have a preview of what’s to come, their advent calendar is now on advanced sale for £175.00 – with contents worth over £300.00.
YSL Beauty are bringing together favourites from their makeup, skincare and fragrance this year; with their advent calendar decor unsurprisingly black and gold, this will look incredible on your mantelpiece while introducing you to favourites new and old. With a price of £190.00, it’s sure to be incredibly popular.
Net-A-Porter is a growing beauty destination, so it’s no surprise their advent calendar is filled with the ‘it brands’ of the moment – including Omorovicza, Oribe, Charlotte Tilbury, Hayo’u, Dr Barbara Sturm and Slip. Costing £240.00, and with a value around £700, this provides a real saving and a collectable design you can use again and again.
THE HIGH STREET ONES
If your budget doesn’t stretch to some of the obscene amounts beauty advent calendars command, then I love the super affordable Dove collection which will only set you back £20.00. With 12 minis across hair, body and care, this makes a cute little treat for yourself or a loved one.
Holland & Barrett’s ‘25 Days Of Natural Beauty‘ is the best vegan friendly option for the festive season, offering a whopping £170.00 worth of products for only £40.00. With brands including Upcircle, Ethique, Dr Organic, Urban Veda and Weleda, it’s a great way to try new things while looking after your body from top to toe.
This year Space NK are launching ‘Beauty Anthology II‘ which is described as ‘a poetic tale of beauty discoveries’; never has a brand encapsulated what they’re all about more than that. Designed to look like two books, the contents include some of the store’s most successful brands – including Ren, Kate Somerville, Living Proof, Hourglass, Olaplex, Fresh and Jo Loves. With a price tag of £195.00 and contents worth nearly £500.00, this is one of the best value calendars if your objective is to try new things!
Makeup Obsession is a great gift for a teenager, or just an experimental makeup lover, as it includes makeup brushes, lip colour, cheek colour, eyeshadow, highlighter and much more. With 25 pieces for only £30.00, this is a real bargain.
Revolution‘s beauty advent calendar this year will set you back £70.00, but it includes 25 full size products – including an eyeshadow palette, lip colour, accessories, brushes and a multitude of handy crayons.
Benefit’s 12-day ‘Shake Your Beauty‘ calendar comes in at a reasonably priced £58.00 and is worth more than double that. It includes: Roller Liner, Precisely My Brow, Gimme Brow, Porefessional Hydrate, Porefessional, Dandelion, Hoola, 24 Hour Brow Setter. BAGgal Bang, Roller Lash, They’re Real Lash Primer and They’re Real Mascara – although most are mini sizes.
The No7 advent calendar is always one of my fave, as it offers so many great minis at a really amazing price, and this year it’s no different. Launching very soon, this year’s offering is worth £172.50 but will cost only £45.00.
The Body Shop Make It Real Together Ultimate Advent Calendar (£130.00) is worth £226.00 and features some of their ultimate heroes from across their skin, hair, body and makeup ranges in full size bottles. If your budget doesn’t quite stretch this far then they also have smaller alternatives, including a £70.00 and £50.00 version with minis and accessories that will definitely generate a smile every day in December.
Real Techniques are offering a selection of their best sellers, including their sponges (which are the best out there IMO!) and brushes, as well as other accessories, for £70.00. Available now in Superdrug, this is one that will definitely appeal to the brand’s committed fans and bolster their already inevitably overflowing collections.
With a value of over £200, the Clinique beauty advent calendar features 24 mini sized skincare and makeup favourites for £90.00 – a huge saving. Including their cult classic products, on-trend lipglosses and some of the newer additions, this is a great way to boost your portfolio of beauty and try new things.
Rituals have the strapline ‘give the gift of switching off’ for 2020, and have two advent calendars to tickle your fancy; the ‘deluxe’ 3D version retailing at £89.90 and the ‘exclusive’ version retailing at £59.90, with the contents worth over double. I really love the look and feel of both of these and think this is definitely one of the best calendars for gifting.
L’Occitane is one of my all time favourite gifting brands, so it’s no surprise their advent calendars encapsulate something special. Choose from either the ‘classic’ for £53.00 (worth £87.00) or the ‘luxury’ for £99.00 (worth £130.00), but both contain some of the brand’s most iconic beauty treats and newest additions – as well as some favourites to help keep your body and mind pampered all the way to Christmas Day.
Ciate’s ‘Mini Mani Month‘ was one of the first beauty advent calendars to launch, starting off a trend that’s now become an unmissable yearly event. This year their nail polish advent calendar offers 22 mini polishes, one full size polish and a lip oil – all for the great value price of £59.00 (a huge saving on the £150.00 value.)
Next have also announced the launch of their own brand beauty advent calendar, with 24 mini makeup products for an affordable £30.00. Although their cosmetics aren’t the most amazing quality, I know your mum would probably love this.
THE DEPARTMENT STORE ONES
Liberty London’s advent calendar has become somewhat iconic, and sells out pretty darn quickly after launch; it’s being released in October, so definitely keep an eye out on their website for more details. Worth £789.00 but available for £215.00, it includes brands such as Diptyque, Hourglass, Le Labo, Ren, Dermalogica, Aromatherapy Associates, Nars, Aveda and Noble Isle.
One of the most covetable, Selfridges beauty advent calendar this year is a pastel pink creation that retails for £210.00 but is worth over £500.00. Unsuprrisingly they have some of the best brands within their doors, including Charlotte Tilbury, NARS, Ren, Huda Beauty, Laura Mercier, Eve Lom, By Terry, Anastasia and many more.
Harrods is the ultimate in luxury, and their calendar is no exception. The iconic green and gold get a festive makeover, offering a selection of products from brands including Fresh, Darphin, Hourglass, Laura Mercier, Chantecaille, Acqua di palma and 111Skin to justify the £250.00 price tag.
THE BEAUTY RETAILER ONES
Cult Beauty are offering a huge deal with their calendar this year, offering over £900.00 worth of products for only £199.00 – plus £15.00 will be donated to the charity Beauty Banks to help those living in poverty hygiene get the essentials they need. With brands including Oskia, Hourglass, Living Proof, Molton Brown, Drunk Elephant, Charlotte Tilbury, Too Faced, By Terry, It Cosmetics, Jo Loves, Huda Beauty and Milk Makeup, this is absolutely one for the beauty obsessed.
Look Fantastic are offering one of the best value and most exciting beauty advent calendars of the year. The box looks amazing, is full to the brim with amazing products and has possibly the biggest saving of them all – it’ll cost you £85.00 but is worth an incredible £460.00! Discover This Works, Rodial, ESPA, Caudalie, Elemis, Molton Brown, Illamasqua, Rituals, Omorovicza and Tan Luxe inside, as well as many more.
Feel Unique have amalgomated a great collection of skincare, makeup, body and wellbeing products from some seriously great brands – including Nuxe, Emma Hardie, Neom, Elizabeth Arden and Elemis. With a price tag of £89.00, the contents are worth £277.00.
This year ASOS have expanded their beauty advent offering with a cracker of a collection worth over £360.00 but only £75.00; it includes some firm faves including Origins, Elemis, Nip+Fab, Emma Hardie, First Aid Beauty, Aveda, The Ordinary, MAC, Spectrum Collections and Dr Paw Paw. With a staggering thirteen full size products, this is definitely one of my faves.
Not to be overlooked is the Glossybox calendar that offers 25 products worth £390.00 for £80.00 (£99.00 for non-subscribers.) Brands including Zoeva, Sunday Riey, Dermalogica, Nails inc, KVD, Fenty, Frank Body, Bubble T, Lime Crime, Pixi and The Body Shop make this one of the best selections thanks to its amalgamation of well known names that don’t normally feature in advent calendars.
Latest In Beauty have also created an ‘award winners’ advent calendar which is filled to the brim with amazing brands and products that are really worth their weight in gold; although there are no doors to their ‘calendar’ (I assume you’re supposed to take one product out of the box every day?!) this is a really wise investment – it’s only £70.00 but worth over £300.00, plus you can get an extra £10.00 off with code LIBAC10!
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE WHICH BEAUTY ADVENT CALENDAR TO BUY?
1. What’s your budget? Don’t stretch yourself if you can’t afford it – Christmas is a financial strain enough already without you putting a £300 advent calendar on the credit card. Decide how much you want to spend and find the best deal for your budget.
2. Do you want one brand or multiple? This is really key and will completely change your shortlist; do you want 25 products from one favourite brand or the opportunity to discover lots of new ones?
3. What will you do with the products? Are you intending on splitting the contents up for gifts, or will you treat yourself to something new every week until they run out? Think about these things before you splurge.
My personal faves include the Look Fantastic offering, thanks to its amazing saving and contents, as well as the ASOS calendar for being surprisingly good and offering a fab discount off the usual RRP too; I’d totally enjoy opening them every day and discovering new things, but I could also totally package some of the best bits into a little hamper for my girlfriends to enjoy. And if we’re dreaming, then I wouldn’t say no to the Jo Malone London calendar either!
Are you a fan of beauty advent calendars? Which of these do you have your eye on?
*AD: some affiliate links used throughout. Advent calendars pictured kindly gifted with no obligation to feature.