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Five beauty Advent calendars – hidden gems and surprising savings

These countdown-to-Christmas gifts include an Irish brand that will be hard to get your hands on

Beauty Advent calendars are 10 a penny this year in particular. But it can be hard to know which ones justify the outlay and which are merely tat dressed up as something special. We recommend five that are worthwhile purchases.

Sculpted by Aimee Advent Calendar

€90 (individual contents worthworth €170), sculptedbyaimee.com

Demand dictated that Irish mega brand Sculpted by Aimee create a 2023 Advent calendar. A waiting list of more than 10,000 people followed its announcement and getting your hands on it will be quite the Christmas challenge.

The glorious pink box, so perfectly on brand, features 12 of the brand’s best-sellers including three new products. There’s little from the brand as a whole that would disappoint beauty lovers, so not only is it a reliable beauty bet for this season, it’s a super way to support an Irish business in its rise to the top of the beautisphere.

Charlotte Tilbury: Charlotte’s Lucky Chest of Beauty Secrets

€200, charlottetilbury.com

Dubbed the ‘Magic Gifting Universe’ by the ever-enthusiastic Tilbury team, Charlotte Tilbury’s Christmas 2023 offering is impressive. Her 12-day Advent calendar for this year is called Charlotte’s Lucky Chest of Beauty Secrets and fans of the brand (of which there are many) will struggle to locate even one dud inside.

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With individual contents worth €287, the saving isn’t as dramatic as some on our list, but for Tilbury devotees the full and travel-size inclusions are things that are frequently rebought. Containing Magic Cream, full-sized lipsticks, Beauty Light wands and the beauty editor favourite, Pillow Talk Push Up Lashes mascara, it’s a winner for fans of the brand and newbies alike.

ASOS Advent Calendar

€110, (individual contents worth approx €450), asos.com

A whopping 25 days of beauty awaits those lucky enough to nab the ASOS beauty calendar this year. In predictable but pleasant ASOS fashion, trending brands like Sol De Janeiro, REN, Cetaphil, e.l.f and more are contained within.

A mix of cosmetics, self-care treats and skincare winners, the highlights include a mini-Neom candle, a This Works pillow spray and, of course, Brazilian Bum Bum Cream.

Space NK Advent Calendar

€270 (individual contents worth €1,000+), spacenk.com

Any Advent calendar that contains Augustinus Bader is going to land very well indeed. Space NK knows this. Like a whirlwind visit to one of their stores, this one is packed to the brim with more than 30 products, 19 of which are full size. Olaplex, Drunk Elephant and 111Skin feature, so hair and skin are both catered to. Summer Fridays, Nécessaire and Kate Somervolle also feature – a real beauty lover’s treasure trove.

Great news for the waste-conscious (all of us in 2023, to be fair) this particular calendar is made 100 per cent from paper, including a paper ribbon, and if you want to bring the box back to a Space NK store they’ll recycle it for you.

Cult Beauty Advent Calendar

€265 (individual contents worth €1,100+), cultbeauty.co.uk

Best ‘till last? Arguably. You’ll be unwrapping some of the best brands in this business with this one, as well as a curated selection of cult favourites and more than a few full-size pieces – over 20, conservatively estimating.

Supergoop’s Unseen Sunscreen is included, a guaranteed hit for anyone with a face (!), while heavy hitters such as Dr Dennis Gross, Biossance and Medik8 turn up the skincare prowess. Jo Loves and Glow Recipe provide further surprises.

Gems from Saie, Ouai, Verden, Sunday Riley and Votary are tucked away inside too – bound to be pleasing for true beauty obsessives looking to be truly surprised by each window opening.