10 great beauty advent calendars (and one not to waste your money on)

Beauty: Laura Kennedy reports on what are basically ‘Kinder Eggs for adults’

Marks and Spencer Advent Calendar (€40 when you spend €40 on clothing, beauty or home products)

Marks and Spencer Advent Calendar (€40 when you spend €40 on clothing, beauty or home products)

 

Zoella, also known as Zoe Sugg, a hugely popular YouTuber with over twelve million subscribers, was the recipient of much public gall last week.

Her advent calendar, containing twelve windows with contents like candles, a fluffy key ring, a room spray and a pen, was being sold by Boots for £50 (€65 in Irish stores) and incited public uproar after claims of it being hugely overpriced gained traction online.

According to The Telegraph, the calendar’s contents can be bought separately for around £20. Boots reduced the price of the calendar to £25 (€32.50 in Ireland), but the incident did highlight the tendency of some advent calendars to overcharge and under-deliver.

Thankfully, most beauty advent calendars, particularly from luxury makeup and skincare brands, deliver on the quality front. It’s just the price that can be ridiculous.

Beauty advent calendars have become an increasingly frenzied annual craze over the last few years. Every Christmas, a few more brands hop on the bandwagon, and if we were discussing anything other than beauty advent calendars, I would join you in feeling justifiably a little cynical.

Alas, I cannot. They are simply too joyous, too fun, and too filled with mini products (more addictive than opiates to your average beauty fan) to induce cynicism. Yes, most of them are overpriced.

Yes, some of them are just silly, and of course, they are basically Kinder Eggs for adults, but they’re still sensational fun to look at, and even more fun to open. With all of that in mind, here are some of the season’s most desirable.

1. Marks and Spencer Advent Calendar (€40 when you spend €40 on clothing, beauty or home products)

If you’re unfamiliar with the M&S annual beauty advent calendar, you should rectify that immediately. Their beauty hall has expanded impressively in the last several years, and the calendar reflects this with inclusions from cult brands like Pixi, Korres, REN, Stila, Eyeko, Alpha H and more.

2. L’Occitane Luxury Advent Calendar (€99)

L’Occitane Luxury Advent Calendar (€99)
L’Occitane Luxury Advent Calendar (€99)

L’Occitane offers impossibly sumptuous body, skin and haircare, and this luxury calendar is crammed with mini versions of their most beloved products. My favourites include the Shea Cleansing Oil, Divine Cream and Terre de Lumière fragrance, but it won’t take you long to find your own favourites.

3. Clinique 24 Days Advent Calendar (€89 from Brown Thomas)

Clinique 24 Days Advent Calendar (€89 from Brown Thomas)
Clinique 24 Days Advent Calendar (€89 from Brown Thomas)

There is no beauty lover this calendar wouldn’t delight. With Clinique classics like Moisture Surge Overnight Mask, Pep Start Eye Cream and Pop Lip Colour, it is almost perfect.

4. NYX Professional Makeup Lippie Countdown Advent Calendar (€65)

NYX Professional Makeup Lippie Countdown Advent Calendar (€65)
NYX Professional Makeup Lippie Countdown Advent Calendar (€65)

For lip enthusiasts, this calendar is perfect. Stocked with full-size lip products (a rarity for advent calendars), it includes a variety of shades, textures and finishes.

5. Molton Brown Cabinet of Scented Luxuries Advent Calendar (€198 from Arnotts)

Molton Brown Cabinet of Scented Luxuries Advent Calendar (€198 from Arnotts)
Molton Brown Cabinet of Scented Luxuries Advent Calendar (€198 from Arnotts)

This calendar, once seen, will haunt your dreams. With a combination of the brand’s most popular body washes, lotions, candles and more, it is a fragrant smorgasbord of sincere loveliness.

6. Jo Malone London Crazy Colourful Christmas Advent Calendar (€365)

Jo Malone London Crazy Colourful Christmas Advent Calendar (€365)
Jo Malone London Crazy Colourful Christmas Advent Calendar (€365)

This calendar is a release people wait for each year. Jammed with the mini versions of the brands always lovely products, including body creams, colognes and candles, you cannot open a drawer and be disappointed.

7. bareMinerals Box of Wonders Advent Calendar (€87)

This calendar is an oasis of wearable colour in a niche usually filled by skincare. The bareMinerals calendar contains a selection of products including blush, mascara, lipstick and gloss as well as some skincare for a total crowd pleaser.

8. Clarins Precious Holiday Advent Calendar 2017 (€120)

Clarins Precious Holiday Advent Calendar 2017 (€120)

This bumper twenty-four day calendar includes mini heroes like the famed Hand & Nail Treatment Cream, Beauty Flash Balm and Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector. There isn’t a Clarins lover alive who would not tear it from your hands with urgency

9. Charlotte Tilbury Naughty & Nice Magic Box Advent Calendar (€185)

Charlotte Tilbury Naughty & Nice Magic Box Advent Calendar (€185)
Charlotte Tilbury Naughty & Nice Magic Box Advent Calendar (€185)

The Charlotte Tilbury advent calendar tends to be one of the more expensive twelve-window calendars, but also usually contains the most generously sized products, and is ideal for someone who likes a combination of skincare and makeup. Inside, you’ll find a mini magic cream, one of her new Matte Revolution liquid lipsticks, and a host of other crowd-pleasing brand heavyweights.

10. Christmas in Two Cities Advent Calendar (€120 from Brown Thomas)

Christmas in Two Cities Advent Calendar, €120
Christmas in Two Cities Advent Calendar, €120

If I were allowed to run loose in Brown Thomas and select one advent calendar of my choice before they had me forcibly removed for losing the run of myself, it would be this one. With a selection of classics among Loréal brands like Lacôme, Kiehl’s, Viktor and Rolf, YSL and Urban Decay, it is positively delectable.

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