Advent of the beauty calendar stampede: They’re on every woman’s wish list


Forget the panic-inducing predictions that food shortages could spell doom for this year’s Christmas turkey, or that the HGV driver crisis may mean no toys under the tree.

This year, the only festive supply-and-demand issue we really care about is that beauty advent calendars are already vanishing from shelves.

Last year, Mac Cosmetics’ calendar sold out in less than two weeks, and sales of Boots’ advent calendars increased overall by almost 20 per cent. Meanwhile, Liberty describes last year’s offering as the most successful and fastest-selling product in its 146-year history. The good news? It’s increased stock by 38 per cent to cope with this year’s stampede.

India Sturgis picked out a selection of the best beauty advent calendars available to suit all budgets. Pictured: The White Company Beauty Advent Calendar

With the countdown to Christmas not yet under way and talk of failing supply chains, driver shortages and retail being disrupted across the board, it might be time to snap yours up.

To help you choose, here’s a run through of the best ones available . . .

HEAVEN SCENT

The White Company Beauty Advent Calendar, thewhitecompany.com

Number of gifts: 25

Cost: £160

Value: £254

Saving: 37 per cent

This white and silver box with drawers is reusable — next year just pop in your own additions. It contains two wintery 140g candles and two bergamot-infused 60g candles, as well as generously sized creams, hand washes, lotions, balms, shower gels, shampoos and conditioners (most 75ml or 50ml) across all ranges (Spa, Sleep, Blanc, Noir, Calm and Seychelles). You can smell the calendar walking past it: heaven scent.

Best product: Spa Restore Geranium, Neroli & Eucalyptus Body Balm, 75ml — a timeless fragrance I can’t get enough of. 9.5/10

BEGINNER’S MIX

24 Days of Clinique Beauty Advent Calendar, clinique.co.uk

India said 24 Days of Clinique Beauty Advent Calendar (pictured) is a good gift for someone wanting a comprehensive introduction to a new brand

India said 24 Days of Clinique Beauty Advent Calendar (pictured) is a good gift for someone wanting a comprehensive introduction to a new brand 

Number of gifts: 24

Cost: £95

Value: £220

Saving: 57 per cent

A good gift for a younger person or someone wanting a comprehensive introduction to a new brand. There’s a cross section of skincare and make-up here: eyeliner, mascara, lip-gloss, a brush, blusher, primer, hand cream, eye cream, face scrub, exfoliator, an overnight mask and even a splash of perfume.

Best product: Full size Quickliner For Eyes Intense — a fail-safe for a flick or smoky eye.7/10

FOR MAKE-UP LOVERS

Huda Beauty 12-door advent calendar, exclusive to Selfridges and selfridges.com

India said Huda Beauty 12-door advent calendar (pictured) is for serious make-up lovers and is great on all skin tones

India said Huda Beauty 12-door advent calendar (pictured) is for serious make-up lovers and is great on all skin tones

Number of gifts: 12

Cost: £151

Value: £238

Saving: 37 per cent

By self-made Iraqi-American entrepreneur Huda Kattan, this is for serious make-up lovers and is great on all skin tones. Behind each door in this rose quartz-inspired box is a full-sized bestselling product. Unpack false eyelashes, plumping lip balm, an eye shadow palette, an eyebrow pen with a brush, plus an eyeliner, moisturizer and serum.

Best product: A duel-ended mascara to give you thicker eyelashes (retails at £46). 8/10

A MINI TREAT!

L’Occitane Classic Beauty Advent Calendar, uk.loccitane.com

India said L¿Occitane Classic Beauty Advent Calendar (pictured) has a decent set of popular minis and is one of the best boxes

India said L’Occitane Classic Beauty Advent Calendar (pictured) has a decent set of popular minis and is one of the best boxes

Number of gifts: 24

Cost: £55

Value: £99.50

Saving: 45 per cent

One of the best boxes —10/10 for mantelpiece-appeal — this has a decent set of popular minis, such as a rose hand cream, verbena soap and travel shampoos and conditioners.

Last year, it sold out within five weeks.

A couple of the windows are small, though: 5ml for three of the face creams and one serum.

L’Occitane has two other advent calendars: luxury (£99, worth £141.50) and reusable (£160, worth £236). The luxury version includes a full-sized product every week, while the reusable one is a recycled cotton calendar illustrated by Kitty McCall.

Best product: The Shea Butter Hand Cream, 75ml. It’s an award-winning classic. 6.5/10

CLASSIC LUXURY

Kiehl’s Holiday Limited Edition Advent Calendar, kiehls.com

India said Kiehl¿s Holiday Limited Edition Advent Calendar (pictured) includes every product you need for your face

India said Kiehl’s Holiday Limited Edition Advent Calendar (pictured) includes every product you need for your face 

Number of gifts: 24

Cost: £99

Value: £155

Saving: 36 per cent

A New York-inspired cartoon design (by French illustrator Marylou Faure) decorates 24 neat, pull-out boxes, each containing a Kiehl’s classic.

It includes every product you need for your face — cleansing masks, wash, toner, moisturiser, serum, firming cream, line-reducer, dark-spot solution and lip balm — as well as bits for hair and hands. All are travel-sized, or smaller, but it’s enough to get you going.

Best product: Midnight Recovery Concentrate, 15ml — a powerful anti-aging facial oil. 7.5/10

TOP FOR TEENS

Benefit Cosmetics The More The Merrier Advent Calendar, benefitcosmetics.com

India said Benefit Cosmetics The More The Merrier Advent Calendar (pictured) contains miniatures of classic products

India said Benefit Cosmetics The More The Merrier Advent Calendar (pictured) contains miniatures of classic products 

Number of gifts: 12

Cost: £58.50

Value: £132.46

Saving: 56 per cent

Sales of this have surged 48 per cent already compared with last year. It contains 12 boxes with miniatures of classic products, including its bronzer, blusher and Porefessional primer.

There are four different mascaras, which seems excessive, and when they say minis, a few feel microscopic (2ml brow gel, 3g for each mascara).

Best product: A matte, natural-looking Hoola bronzer so small it will fit in your purse. 6/10

FESTIVE INDULGENCE

Elemis No.25 Advent Calendar, uk.elemis.com

India said Elemis No.25 Advent Calendar (pictured) contains everything for skin, including day creams and masks

India said Elemis No.25 Advent Calendar (pictured) contains everything for skin, including day creams and masks 

Number of gifts: 25

Cost: £175

Value: £402

Saving: 56 per cent

There is everything for skin here: day creams, night creams, resurfacing washes, toner, masks, cleansing butters, enzyme peels, and even something called a Superfood Cica Calm Hydration Juice, all in travel sizes (15ml to 50ml).

As festive anticipation grows, so do the products, culminating in a tub of anti-wrinkle day cream (Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, 50ml, £87 usually) and two high-end bath and shower creams (100ml each).

Best product: The nourishing and make-up removing Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm. 9/10

A TREASURE TROVE

The MAC 2021 Advent Calendar, available online today at maccosmetics.co.uk and from October 21 at MAC stores, Harrods, Selfridges and Brown Thomas

India said The MAC 2021 Advent Calendar (pictured) contains all the essentials, such as mascara and lipstick

India said The MAC 2021 Advent Calendar (pictured) contains all the essentials, such as mascara and lipstick

Number of gifts: 24

Cost: £135

Value: £340

Saving: 60 per cent

This smart, fold out calendar is made of robust patterned boxes containing good-sized products. The essentials are here — mascara (12ml), primers, a full-sized blusher and mini lipsticks — as well as a nice-smelling face oil, finishing mist and a shimmering pigment colour powder.

Mac received more than 55,000 email requests for early access, and last year’s offering sold out in less than two weeks.

Best product: The shimmering Pigment Colour Powder. So easy to apply and gives a warm sparkle for winter get-togethers. 9/10

WORTH THE WAIT…

No 7 Beauty Advent Calendar, available from October 26. Sign up to the waitlist to shop early on October 13, boots.com

India said No 7 Beauty Advent Calendar (pictured) has a sprinkling of full-sized goodies, including a blusher and nail polish

India said No 7 Beauty Advent Calendar (pictured) has a sprinkling of full-sized goodies, including a blusher and nail polish 

Number of gifts: 25

Cost: £47

Value: £184

Saving: 74 per cent

Last year No 7 saw its biggest order hour in Boots’ history, with four advent calendars sold every second on the day of pre-sale. This year’s has a sprinkling of full-sized goodies, including a blusher, nail polish and nourishing hydration mask, and four Protect & Perfect items: a day cream (25ml), serum (5ml), eye cream (5ml) and lip balm (10ml). There are golden tickets hidden inside ten calendars, each worth £1,000 to spend on No 7.

Best product: Early Defence Glow Activating Serum — boosts skin’s appearance in a week. 8.5/10



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