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In the last couple of years, beauty advent calendars seem to have absolutely exploded onto the market. Don’t get me wrong, they’ve been around for a good few years, but not quite at this scale. It seems that every brand has leapt upon the opportunity to create a month’s worth of goodies for customers which means that it’s only getting more difficult to choose which to purchase!
I’ve done the digging for you and rounded up the best budget-friendly, pretty spendy and daft money ones for you. And I know some people fear round-ups as they like the surprise for themselves, so I’ll give you an idea of what’s inside, but I won’t be listing every single item contained for you.
Budget-friendly (£60 and under)
Okay hear me out – this isn’t just 24 Invisibobbles, though at the rate I lose them that would also be handy.
The Invisibobble advent calendar is at the lower end of the pricing spectrum and is the perfect gift for someone where you’re really struggling for ideas.
Not only does it contain your usual spiral-style bobble, but in this bumper product you’ll also find a couple of their WAVER clips, SCRUNCHIES and a BUNSTAR easy bun tool; so it’s a versatile gift for anyone with hair – or a self-gift!
Profusion are a brand I see raved about pretty often on beauty forums, but aren’t one I’ve ever had the opportunity to try out. This 25-day calendar pulls together a wide-ranging selection of products to help create some jaw-dropping festive eye looks.
Without giving too much away about this one, you’ll find a couple of tools, a couple of eyeshadow palettes and some sparkling supporting items to ensure your eyes, lips and face are all looking merry and bright for the 25th of December.
Barry M £40
Rounding off the 12 Days of Christmas is Barry M’s nail-focused advent calendar which promises to ensure that you’re party ready this festive season.
There’s nothing worse that being ready to head out – say, to a Christmas party – and realising you’re either sporting chipped nail polish, or you’ve forgotten to apply any at all. This must-have will sort this for you. Boasting a variety of shades and finishes, you’ll never be without a nail polish again.
Keep them within your brand new makeup bag, and keep an eye out for some added extras to make sure your hands look hot AF.
Every year the No7 advent calendar is one of the most hotly-anticipated drops of the year, and this year it’s lived up to the hype. The 12 days of products come housed within a golden three-tier drawer package, which I’m loving. I love packaging that makes itself useful once no longer being used. Inside, you’ll find – among other items – the Limited Edition eye crayon in Galactic Gold and a co-ordinating lipstick and liner in Starry Nights.
There’s a real theme running through this product, and I have to say I’m here for it.
Hint: Quite often the No7 products are part of a multibuy offer, so keep your eye out for some deals on this one!
This year’s Benefit advent offering is a 12-day calendar with 12 mini’s stashed inside. If you’re a fan of their range of mascaras then you’re in luck as you’ll find four different products that each deliver a different effect.
In addition to this you’ll be glowing with their iconic cheek products and don’t forget to make sure your brows are tip-top with two of their most popular brow products in a universally flattering shade 3.
Taking a more eco-friendly approach to advent that some of the other brands featured are Ciate. This mini mani set will ensure you have all the shades you could possibly need to create the perfect nail look for Christmas.
With the environmentally-focused packaging housing 22 mini nail polishes infused with biotin, bamboo and bakuchiol you’ll find this advent calendar is both good to you, and to the environment.
This elite combination of ingredients nourishes, strengthens and hydrates nails for long-lasting and impactful nail looks. Also inside you’ll find a full sized nail treat and something a little left-field – but I couldn’t possibly spoil it for you. Ciate are proud to have products formulated with 80% natural ingredients and if the glitters give you stress, don’t sweat it – they’re biodegradable!
This year NYX have actually released two different advent calendars, the other being a 12-day offering – but as I always think, go big or go home; this is the jumbo 24-day release.
Behind each door you’ll find one of their uber popular makeup products from their eye pigments and cult-fave Pore Filler primer to their matte liquid lipsticks to ensure that your kisser is looking kissable for beneath the mistletoe.
If I’m honest, I was actually quite surprised at the price of this year’s Rituals advent calendar release given that Rituals isn’t a super cheap brand. 24 products for less than £60 works out at around £2.50 per product, and I’ve never encountered a product of theirs that I didn’t like!
There’s a real focus on bodycare which isn’t surprising, but there is a wee surprise in here too as I didn’t realise they also offered haircare products. If – like me – you’re a sucker for a nice-smelling candle, this is the calendar for you – there are four of their divinely fragranced candles tucked away in here for you to find throughout the month.
A great thing about this collection is that it gives a great opportunity to have a good sniff of all of their ranges to find which ones you’re most keen on – I’ve never visited a rituals store or counter in person, so I know how tricky it can be to decide which products you think you may be most keen on based on scent descriptions alone.
Pretty spendy (£100 and under)
Last year’s didn’t really catch my eye and I hadn’t held out too much hope for this years, however ASOS have well and truly knocked it out of the park with their 24-day advent calendar.
With 15 full-size products and everything packaged in their branded tote and printed silk scarf I was taken hook, line and sinker! Boasting brands like Caudalie, Dr Jart, MAC and Olaplex, ASOS didn’t come to play. I’m not going to spoil this too much because I honestly think it’s one of the strongest offerings of the year, all I will say is that you’d be daft to miss out.
HINT: Watch for one of ASOS’ 20% offers to drop into your inbox, I snapped this up for just £60.
Beauty Works £79.99
This 12 day countdown to Christmas would make the perfect gift for a haircare fanatic, or a self-gift (you deserve it!). This edit contains everything you need to keep tresses looking tip-top, from heat protection, texturizing and detangling – if you could need it, you got it.
Not content with loading this launch up with every product you could need, inside you’ll also find a trio of beautiful hair accessories to make sure your hair looks as fab as you do.
Real techniques £80
With this 25 Day advent calendar you’re really on to a winner with a bumper 28 products jam-packed inside.
Known for their makeup brushes, Revolution show that they’re more than a one-trick pony with the inclusion of their beauty blenders, brush cleanser, and everything you need to show off perfectly groomed brows, from tweezers to stencils.
Exclusive to Superdrug, this looks sure to fly off the shelves.
In a similar vein to NYX, there are two different Revolution advent calendars this year, however I actually felt myself drawn to the more affordable option! In the last couple of years Revolution seem to have expanded really rapidly and diversified into their multiple brands – Revolution Pro, Revolution XX etc – so it’s nice to see that there’s still development for the OG arm.
This festive release houses 25 beauty essentials including a full-sized eyeshadow palette, some must-have brushes and a plethora of products guaranteed to give you the perfect pout.
This is one of the two advent calendars I’ve already purchased myself and this is my third year doing so. I am a creature of habit if I’m honest, but I’m also a huge fan of anything that LookFantastic curates.
As a subscriber I actually managed to nab this with £15 off, this offer is still live – and by clicking through HERE, you can take advantage of this with the code ADVENTNEWSUBS. So far there are only five products announced from this collection, they include the ever-popular Nars Orgasm Blush and equally famed Kate Somerville Goat Milk Moisturising Cleanser. Will you take a leap of festive faith with me and pick up this year’s curation?
Yet to launch, the Clinique advent calendar looks like it’s going to be a sell-out. 24 days of their most sought-after products? Hold me back. There’s a very light dusting of makeup products in their years collection, with a couple of eye treats tucked inside and one of their – arguably most iconic products – Chubby Sticks filling one of the days.
I’m honestly surprised not to see one of their Take The Day Off balm cleansers in this, even as a deluxe sample size, skincare guru Caroline Hirons raves about it and as such it’s become one of the most popular and cult products through social media. There looks to be a good representation from their Moisture Surge range which is good news if you’ve got lizardy skin like me!
Daft Money (£100 and over)
Feel Unique £119
Absolutely full to the brim, Feel Unique’s 27 products will have you ready for Christmas quicker than you can say ‘ho ho ho’! You’ll spot some familiar faces from the other brand-specific advent calendars such as Charlotte Tilbury, Elemis and Clarins – but you’ll also have the chance to be introduced to other, potentially new brands like Tan-Luxe, Huda Beauty and Sol De Janeiro – an absolute fave of mine.
With five full-size products, there are treats in here to scrub away dead skin cells, repair with intensive Vitamin C and brighten overnight with sleeping masks. Is the Feel Unique advent calendar a total catch? It sure is!
Clarins 24 Day £135
This jumbo Clarins offering contains a mixture of both skincare and makeup, and honestly, it’s a dream. I have loved the Clarins products since I was a teenager as my mum uses a lot of their body range, so it’s super comforting. You can find some gems such three full-size essentials for your makeup bag, their Tonic Bath & Shower Concentrate, a 50g candle in their Eau Dynamisante fragrance and reusable cotton pads to help keep your environmental impact to a minimum.
Is it expensive? Yes. Would I purchase it if I was to only order one calendar? Also yes.
Hint: You can sign up to the Clarins’ mailing list to save 10% on your first order, I always recommend finding out where you can save even a little bit of money!
Charlotte Tilbury £150
One of the products at the top end of the pricing spectrum, the Charlotte Tilbury advent calendar boasts 12 of their iconic products from both skincare and beauty. It won’t come as a surprise to any Tilbury fans that the Pillow Talk range features quite heavily in this offering, with one of the three full-size products being a Matte Revolution lipstick in the classic Pillow Talk Medium.
Customers also have the chance to trial the Charlotte’s Magic Cream moisturiser and the Goddess Skin Clay Mask. I’m going to have to be honest with you, this isn’t one where I believe the hype. I like the Charlotte Tilbury products I’ve used so far, but I’m not likely to drop £150 on this. If you do, and you love it, let me know!
By Terry £169
Wow, wow, wow. This year’s By Terry advent calendar is a total show-stopper. Jam-packed with 24 products, there’s a really nice blend here between skincare and makeup. Without going into too much detail and spoiling it for any readers, you’ll find a handful of tools that’ll be useful for creating your essential festive looks – you’ll also have products perfect for removing stubborn eye makeup at the end of the night – or the next morning, depending on how great your night goes!
There’s plenty inside this bumper kit to ensure your skin is primed to perfection and that you even have a choice between a matte lip, a glossy lip and even a bare, moisturised lip! This advent calendar launches October 1st .
Normally I would baulk at the thought of dropping £175 in one order – honestly, I would! This, I could make an exception for. I first encountered Elemis in my very first LookFantastic advent calendar in 2019 (I think) – it was love at first sniff and ever since I’ve been hooked. When I say that I can’t get enough, I mean it. As soon as I see that have a free gift on offer, I’m all over it – I love picking up travel sizes of their products so I’m never without. I’ve reviewed them before, but haven’t actually tried too many of their different products.
The cult classic and winner of the CEW Best Beauty Icon Award Pro-Collagen Marine Cream really fronts up this product, with a full size inside (RRP 87) and other raved about essentials like the Dynamic Resurfacing Pads in a pack of 14 and their Balancing Lavender Toner.
Space NK’s reputation proceeds it, which is why – in all honesty – I was surprised at the price tag of this year’s advent calendar. That’s not to say that £199 isn’t stupid money, it completely is, but for the brand it seems…affordable.
One thing I have to say about this calendar is that you see a few brands pop up multiple times, which is quite unusual for a compilation edit. Obviously if you buy a NEOM advent calendar – for example – you’ll find lots of NEOM in there, but five different brands feature in this year’s collection more than once. While this isn’t necessarily a negative, if you’ve already used that brand it does reduce the excitement slightly.
There are some absolute bangers in here from Sunday Riley, Hourglass and Medik8 – but since I can’t re-mortgage right now, I’ll be lusting after this from afar!
Hint: If you do pick this up, remember to sign up to SpaceNK’s rewards programme to collect your points – these convert into money-off vouchers.
One of the most hotly-anticipated launches each year, the Cult Beauty advent calendar launches next month and already has a waiting list.
Containing 38 pieces, Cult Beauty really aren’t half arsing this are they?
With some exclusive icons included, you’ll get a chance to sample Jamie Genevieve’s VIEVE Lip Dew in full size, Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow PHA + BHA Pore-Tight Toner and Natasha Denona’s Macro Blade Liquid Liner – I’m weak at the knees!
If you’re a fan of trying new brands and fancy the opportunity to trial some new and exciting skincare pieces – this is for you.
Not for the fainthearted, the Armani advent calendar has landed with a hefty price tag, but all the allure of pure, unadulterated luxury. Containing 24 products – four full-sized – this advent is for those die-hard Armani lovers.
With miniature sized fragrances and a range of lip-perfecting products, you’ll be the one puckered up and smelling divine beneath the mistletoe come Christmas day. With a hint towards their skincare and a keepsake included, this is for the boujiest babes around.
...and breathe! There you have it, my round up of the top beauty advent calendars of 2021.
Do you think I've missed any, or do you want to let me know which you went for? Feel free to let me know in the comments!