Long gone are the days we beauty addicts get excited over a tree-shaped chocolate every day for the month of December. Ever since Selfridge’s released their first beauty advent calendar in 2011, many other brands have hopped on the bandwagon which is great news for us but terrible news for our bank balances. Somebody please hold my Visa Debit Card as we run down this year’s releases.
Probably the most hotly anticipated release this year was Benefit’s offering. With only a very small number being released in Ireland, the buzz surrounding this box was unreal although at €75 (£50/$68), it was just a little too pricey for my budget. It has a cute Pop Art inspired purple box and 21 mini samples of Benefit products along with three other ‘gifts’. The samples are really promising with trial sizes of four lip glosses, all of their cheek tints, some skin care products and boxed blushes to boot but the three “glitzy little look goods” (according to the Benefit website) are cheap pieces of tat – a necklace, a bracelet and a BARRETTE that look like they got peeled off the front of a kid’s magazine. I think if it weren’t for those, I may have actually considered picking up one of these babies.
For a much more economical €39, Boots released their version of an advent calendar featuring 24 products (Take note, Benefit) from a variety of the brands they stock. As far as I know, this has been out of stock online and in stores practically from day one but the contents left me a little underwhelmed so I wasn’t rushing to the shelves to buy it anyway. A few days include those horrible sample sizes of perfumes which I usually don’t mind but in this calendar look a little cheap, a few nail polishes (Nails Inc/Mavala), a few lip balms (Balmi/Carmex), a hair tie and a nail file. Yikes.
The Body Shop 24 Days of Joy
This is my second favourite of the list and one I definitely would have considered picking up were it not for the €99 price tag. It does, however, contain an amazing 24 product-strong selection of their body butters, lip butters, shower gels and soaps in a great variety of scents, as well as some of their Vitamin E range. This would be a great introduction to their products as you really get a taste of everything. This is one I will definitely be keeping in mind next year (assuming they do one.)
The original beauty calendar may still be considered the best by some. Dominated mainly by Lancome products and with the same ones being offered since its release in 2011, products from Kiehls and YSL also feature alongside some mini bottles of perfume from Viktor and Rolf, Armani and more. At £84 sterling, this is steep but probably the most worthwhile.
The clear winner for me was Ciate’s offering which I pinched myself for not picking up last year. How I haven’t ripped into it yet, I do not know but I am trying hard to play by the rules. I picked this up for €50 and think it is well worth it considering the price of a Ciate nail polish. This calendar contains 19 mini Paint Pots, 1 full size Paint Pot, 2 bottles of their Caviar Pearls and 2 bottles of sequins/glitter. I haven’t tried anything from the brand yet so am really excited to get cracking into this. I am challenging myself to post a picture on my Instagram page every single day of that day’s polish ON MY NAILS. i.e. the colour I open behind door number 1 tomorrow will be on my nails in a photo tomorrow. It’ll be a toughie painting my nails every day but it’s an exciting challenge so make sure you follow me if you want to see it and of course, I will have a full run down of my experience with Ciate and the calendar after Christmas.
And what would this preparation month be without an advent calendar full of chocolates?! I was absolutely delighted to receive this chocolate-filled calendar from the lovely folks at Waxperts – you can read about my experience getting waxed here.
What do you think? Have you picked up a beauty calendar or will it be a chocolate you are revealing tomorrow?