By Brogan Driscoll
Gone are the days when 24 mini chocolates would be enough to satiate us in the lead up to Christmas day – now, we’re grown up and our appetite for a little gift each morning has also matured. Enter: beauty advent calendars.
Not only can they be a great way to stock up on some of your favourite brands, but an opportunity to try some new products. They tend to include sample size products – perfect for travelling if you’ve only got carry-on luggage – but some have been known to include the odd full-size item. Result.
What’s more, they can be quite the bargain, with the total value of the items inside sometimes far outweighing the cost of the calendar – or so the brands claim.
Here are the beauty calendars we’re lusting after this year, we’ve included a range of prices to suit a variety of budgets.
The Bodyshop – £65
First of all, there’s a beautiful burgundy reindeer on the front. Secondly, Bodyshop is cruelty-free. So that’s us sold. As for the contents, the calendar is filled with minis and some full-sized treats for across makeup and body skincare.
There are three Bodyshop calendars on sale this year. This one is the middle of the range for £65. There is also a cheaper version for £45 and one filled with the brand’s more expensive items for £99.
No7 – £42
We love that No7’s offering is a mix of skincare products and makeup – from eye serum to lipstick, which is better than some advent calendars which offer 24 nail varnishes in different shades (NO ONE NEEDS 24 NAIL VARNISHES!). There’s even a mini gold makeup brush and some tweezers. All-in-all, this calendar is estimated to be worth £177.
The calendar isn’t out until 16th October and there’s already a waiting list longer than Santa’s naughty list – with more than a whopping 87,000 keen beans putting their names down. Whatever floats your boat, guys, we’ve only just realised it’s October.
Join the waiting list here, Boots, £42
Birchbox – £65
We love Birchbox for introducing us to lesser-known brands with sample products every month as part of its subscription service. Its advent calendar is no exception, but there are some well-known products such as Rituals, Benefit Cosmetics and Tangle Teezer.
We also love the design on the box, which would look lovely among Christmas decorations.
Sleek – £35
You may not have heard of Sleek, but it’s a good value, high quality makeup you need to try. One member of the HuffPost team is a big fan. She likes the high pigment eyeshadows, a coral blusher that gives Nars a run for its money and the creamy lipsticks that have good staying power.The Sleek advent calendar is perfect for beauty junkies who want to try new stuff without forking out loads of cash – it includes a range of products in a variety of shades. And you can get it on Boots 3 for 2 Christmas Mix and Match.
Sleek, Boots, £35
M&S – £35
Marks and Spencer’s beauty calendar proved a cult hit last year. The highly-anticipated selection does not disappoint this year – filled with a mix of own-brand products alongside delights from Stila, L’Occitane and Ren.
At £35, it’s one hell of a bargain, but there’s a catch – you have to spend £35 on clothing, home or beauty in store. Maybe just get your Xmas pressies there to qualify.
John Lewis – £165
Imagine taking the ground floor of John Lewis and putting it in a little box to take home. That’s kind of what you get with the advent calendar, albeit in mostly sample sizes.
We know £165 isn’t cheap, but the brands on offer are pretty luxurious – with the likes of Neal’s Yard, Bobbi Brown and Acqua Di Parma all making surprise appearances (well, not so surprising anymore, soz) as well as complimentary skin and makeup consultations at various counters in-store. All things considered, the total value of the calendar is around £300, apparently.
What’s more – in some kind of Willy Wonka meets Father Christmas stunt – 20 calendars also contain a hidden £100 beauty vouchers.
John Lewis, £165.
John Lewis & Partners
ASOS – £55
You may primarily head to ASOS for clothing and shoes, but we’d really recommend stopping buy to browse the beauty section.
It has an extensive range of top beauty buys, including some own-brand items, and its advent calendar does not disappoint, featuring the likes of Benefit’s Hoola Lite and Clinque Moisture Surge. There’s more than enough to get excited about.
Elemis – £150
This might seem expensive, I mean… it is £150. But considering the calendar includes a full size Pro-Collagen Marine Cream (50ml), which normally costs £85, you can see the appeal for Elemis junkies.
In fact, once you add in whole host of other bestsellers in sample sizes, the total value is estimated at almost £350.
We all work hard to earn our money – so it shouldn’t feel like hard work to spend it well. At HuffPost Finds we’ll help you find the best stuff that deserves your cash, from the ultimate lipstick to a durable iron to replace the one that broke (RIP). All our choices are completely independent but we may earn a small commission if you click a link and make a purchase.