As the festive season draws near, makeup and skincare enthusiasts don’t have long to get their mitts on one of this year’s popular beauty advent calendars. These hauls of high end makeup, budget beauty, skincare essentials and fragrance-focused treats have become a cherished tradition, making the countdown to Christmas infinitely more exciting as an adult. But working out which one to pick can prove to be a difficult task.
When it comes to considering which yuletide offering to buy, there are a few things to factor in. Firstly, the price point and potential savings, whether are they cruelty-free or vegan may be important to you, and while we would all love the surprise, it’s worth taking a look at the contents to see how many products inside you’ll actually use, as that will help determine whether or not it will be a worthy investment.
Among the standout contenders for 2023 are renowned names like LookFantastic, Glossybox, Marks and Spencer, Lush, Holland and Barrett and more. This Autumn I’ve been taking a look through a dozen or so beauty advent calendars to find the best ones to spend your money on ahead of December. And while some have since sold out (as to be expected), those that are still available are not to be slept on – particularly as a few have even been discounted for Black Friday.
Having totally unboxed each of the calendars below, here are my thoughts on some of this year’s most popular beauty calendars for 2023:
LookFantastic’s Christmas countdown is without a doubt the most reliable in the realm of beauty advent calendars. Year on year they consistently impress with a haul of high end brands, viral sensations and emerging products, selling out well ahead of December – and this year, they released their highest ever value launch.
Worth a whopping £565, the Find Your Fantastic calendar costs less than £100, saving shoppers 82 per cent on the RRP. Starring a dual-sided design with flaps that fold down to reveal 25 numbered boxes on either side, beauty fans can discover no fewer than 27 stunning products inside. Yep, that’s right, some of the drawers are double stacked, with 12 of them being full-sized treats.
The contents are designed to ‘encourage everyday extravagance’ with an indulgent collection of stand-out skincare, haircare, and makeup must-haves from best-loved brands including Color Wow and Medik8, as well as viral sensations such as Sol de Janeiro’s TikTok-trending Brazilian Bum Bum Cream and Isoclean’s sell-out Makeup Brush Cleaner.
Consistently brilliant every Christmas, the LookFantastic Find Your Fantastic beauty advent calendar is the ultimate balance of affordability and luxury. At £99, it sneaks in just under the £100 mark but is worth more than five times the price you pay, and the contents never disappoint. From elevating your ‘everything shower’ to creating holiday-ready makeup looks, it’s made up of genuinely thoughtful items and brands that are exciting and will actually get used. It’s no wonder it’s already sold out.
The Glossybox beauty advent calendar for 2023 is one of the best investments you can make this winter. An affordable price point, double-stuffed drawers and some seriously impressive brands of which more than half are full-sized – the subscription services’ Feel The Magic advent calendar is just that. Magic.
Priced at £80, the calendar features a curated collection of makeup marvels, skincare saviours, and lifestyle essentials that will see you through December and beyond. Worth a whopping £473, it saves 83 per cent on the RRP, which is the best price to product value ratio I’ve seen this year.
Of the 28 products inside, 17 are full-sized with 11 deluxe and travel-ready miniatures to go alongside them. And when it comes to brands, there are some pretty high end picks like Medik8, Color Wow and Avant,.
As well as viral sensations and premium products to discover, Glossybox have also added in some everyday essentials that save you making a repeat purchase ahead of Christmas, serving as a little stocking filler from you, to you. Think Batiste Original Dry Shampoo, Brushworks Powder Puffs, Beautypro sheet masks and a personal fave – the L’Occitane Almond Delicious Hand Cream.
The Glossybox advent calendar is the ultimate money-saving beauty haul for 2023. Not only does it offer a great mix of high end products and beauty essentials, but offers variety across a range of categories, making it one of the most well-thought out options to buy this Christmas.
Read my full review of the Glossybox Feel the Magic advent calendar here.
Marks and Spencer
A treasure trove of 25 beauty gems, the Marks and Spencer calendar is packaged in a metallic vegan leather vanity case, which can be used time and time again. Available from October 26, the curated edit showcases the very best of the M&S Beauty hall of fame, from their own Apothecary collection, to their best-selling third party brands.
The Marks and Spencer beauty advent calendar contains everything you need for a party season glow up including sought-after products across haircare, makeup, fragrance, sleep, bath and body. Of the 25 products inside, 11 are full sized, and there are some real gems from the likes of Pixi, REN and L’Occitane.
The money-saving haul combines cult classics with the latest launches that will make the countdown to Christmas even more exciting. If you’re someone who enjoys trying new products, discovering exciting brands and indulging in a Sunday night pamper session, then the Marks and Spencer beauty advent calendar offers the ultimate opportunity to do just that.
M&S’s advent calendar does work slightly differently to most, though, as instead of it being available to purchase, customers must meet a spending threshold before being able to access the haul. Filled with beauty treats worth £340, shoppers can purchase the Advent Calendar for £45 when you spend £35 on clothing, home and beauty in-store or online, making for the perfect excuse to get some Christmas presents boxed off, stock up on your skincare, or pick up a party outfit for the festive season.
If you’re looking for an affordable calendar that will help you top up your makeup bag on a budget, then the Makeup Revolution 25 Days of Glam advent calendar could be the one to see you through the festive party season and beyond.
Boasting an impressive selection of 20 full-sized products and five minis – all of which are vegan and cruelty free – this Revolution beauty bumper pack is set to elevate your makeup bag with lip oils, cream blushers, TikTok viral products, tools and a 15-pan eyeshadow palette in new and exclusive shades you can’t buy outside of the calendar.
Revolution are renowned for their purse-friendly products that don’t break the bank, and the same goes for their advent calendar, which was priced at £48 before being cut to £34. Quite often, their cosmetics have been compared to high end brands like Charlotte Tilbury and MAC – in fact, one of the lip liners I got last year was not too dissimilar from my trusty MAC Spice.
Whether it’s a treat for yourself or a gift for a loved one, the Makeup Revolution 25 Days of Glam advent calendar for 2023 strikes a balance between quality and affordability. It’s a great budget option for those looking for something under the £35 mark, and is a great pick for teenage beauty fans looking to experiment with glam looks or those wanting to experience the excitement of a beauty advent calendar without splurging hundreds of pounds.
Read my full review of the Revolution 25 Days of Glam beauty advent calendar here.
Holland and Barrett
One of the best vegan options for 2023 has to be the Holland & Barrett’s 25 Days of Beauty Advent Calendar. Perfect for conscious beauty fans, it’s not only planet friendly, but budget friendly, too.
Priced at £45, it’s a fantastic purse-friendly purchase, offering the ultimate Christmas wellness experience – not to mention the fact it’s £10 cheaper than last year. And with the contents worth £179, it’s their highest value calendar to date, saving shoppers 75 per cent on the RRP.
Of the 25 self-care essentials, 16 of them are full-sized products from cult favourites, including a scented candle, essential oils, body lotion, hair and face masks, and more. The highest value item in the box is the Vitaskin Vitamin C Collagen Boosting Serum 30ml, which would usually set shoppers back £18.
Of course, you don’t need to be a vegan or even consciously be making a sustainable choice to enjoy it, with best-loved brands like Weleda, Faith In Nature, Magnitone and UpCircle hidden in each of the festive themed boxes.
If you’re thinking of swapping sweet treats for a far more indulgent daily gift of skincare, haircare, and beauty essentials, then the Holland & Barrett beauty advent calendar is a very affordable and accessible option.
With each door revealing a vegan wellness product that is inclusive, eco-conscious and prime for getting prepped for the holiday season, it’s a great way to dip into the world of beauty advent calendars without spending a fortune
No7 really paved the way and led the charge on what would become an incredibly popular festive trend. Launching their first calendar in the early 2010s, the beauty brand has developed a dedicated following who continue to sell them out year after year.
This year, Boots launched their ultimate beauty advent calendar, which sold out almost immediately, alongside three skincare calendars: Lift and Luminate calendar, Restore and Renew, or Protect and Perfect editions – and as expected, they’ve all sold out.
Each of the No7 beauty advent calendars come in at £54.95, and contain between £208 and £227 worth of makeup essentials and targeted skincare products for different ages, depending on which one you pick.
In each of the calendars, 18 of the 25 products are identical, with the remaining seven being tailored to your skin type. The calendar boasts 15 full sized products and 10 travel-sized minis, as well as three limited edition products you can’t buy elsewhere, giving customers the chance to snap up a special version of some of their favourite products.
Inside is a mix of skincare staples, party makeup picks, targeted products and even a voucher for a No7 Moisture Drench Lipstick, so that you can choose your own shade, with Boots saying that everything is suitable for sensitive skin unless otherwise stated.
No7 are continuing to pioneer the beauty advent calendar trend, coming up with new ideas and ways to make each years’ festive offering more exciting than the last. The thoughtfully designed calendars cater to different age groups, while the addition of new and exclusive items make it perfect for discovering new favourites.
Read my full review of the Protect and Perfect advent calendar from No7 here.
Liz Earle’s botanical-focused skincare saviours have been a staple in my daily routine for the past two years, and their 12-day luxury advent calendar offers the ultimate opportunity to stock up on favourites old and new. It’s the perfect present for superfans of the iconic British brand, but equally a special gift for that friend or family member who is a bit tricky to buy for, or someone just starting to get serious about their skincare.
I absolutely love Liz Earle’s skincare products as long-term readers of the blog will know, and anyone who has used their products will know they are very much worth the money, so it’s particularly exciting when they’re featured in money-saving hauls, too.
Worth over £170, the calendar was £75 but has since been reduced to £60, providing an opportunity to indulge in top-tier skincare at a fraction of the cost. Suitable for all skin types, some of the products have got a pretty impressive price point, with the Superskin Alt-Retinol Booster being worth £37.50 alone.
Liz Earle’s 12-day luxury advent calendar is undeniably a skincare enthusiast’s dream, offering a blend of fan favourites and exciting new discoveries. The carefully curated selection is ideal for someone seeking a little bit of everything, or someone looking to curate a whole new skincare routine.
Whether you’re a devoted fan, seeking the perfect gift for a loved one, or plan to split the contents between yourself and some stocking fillers, it’s without doubt going to impress.
You can read the full Liz Earle advent calendar review here.
The Body Shop
This year, The Body Shop is stocking three different advent calendars at various price points to suit every budget. The most affordable is the Advent of Wonders, coming in at £59, while the Big Advent of Wonders is £95 and the now sold-out Ultimate Advent of Wonders was £145.
The Advent of Wonders calendar comes in an illustrated pop-up box containing 24 little surprises worth £119. All of the products inside are cruelty-free, with many of them also being vegan, with every butter, balm, cream and conditioner being designed to pamper from head-to-toe.
Each of the self-care essentials have been made with hardworking, natural-origin ingredients that spotlight the brand’s Fair Trade partners. What’s more is that the advent calendars have been carefully designed to be repurposed, using recycled and recyclable materials where local facilities allow.
What I love about The Body Shop’s beauty advent calendar is its range of fragrances. The retailer’s scents are undeniably delightful, not to mention long-lasting, with some of the body butters and balms lasting from your morning shower right through to bed time.
The Advent of Wonders is essentially a tasting menu of The Body Shop beauty treats that provides a flavour of their iconic products and the variety they have to offer. The festive beauty collection does a great job to showcase their cruelty-free and often vegan products but also emphasises sustainability and ethics when it comes to their ingredients, how they’re sourced and the people involved in their production.
Read the full review of The Body Shop advent calendar here.
Soap and Glory
Since its inception in 2006, Soap and Glory has become synonymous with occasions, from birthdays to Mother’s Day – but is particularly popular with Christmas shoppers. This year, Soap and Glory’s It’s A Pinker Wonderland beauty advent calendar is packed with pamper products and self-care essentials that will see you through the festive season and beyond, starring some of the brand’s iconic fragrances from Call of Fruity to Clean on Me.
Soap and Glory are well-known for their product affordability, and their advent calendar is no different, coming in at a purse-friendly £46 (currently on offer for £41.40. The total value of the contents are worth £87.78, so more than double the price you pay, making for a great money-saving purchase.
Now, everyone has their own favourite Soap and Glory product, be it Hand Food, Clean on Me or Heel Genius – and you’ll be pleased to know that they all feature in the calendar. Some of my favourites include The Righteous Butter Body Butter, which comes as a huge 300ml tub that will last forever. Well, until next Christmas, at least. Another product I’ve used for years and swear by for hangover days are the Puffy Eye Attack Under-Eye Brightening Hydrogel Patches which works miracles on dark circles.
Containing a variety of skin, body and beauty must-haves, it’s a great way to stock up on your Soap and Glory self-care without breaking the bank. With an array of pamper products at a pocket-friendly price point, it makes for an affordable investment into everyday indulgence throughout December and beyond.
Read the full Soap and Glory advent calendar review here.
Arran Sense of Scotland
The Arran Sense of Scotland Winter’s Night calendar is as cosy and comforting as it sounds. Think Scottish Highlands with rain tapping windows, log fires crackling, tartan woollen blankets and the velvetiest hot chocolate. That’s what this advent calendar feels like.
The magnetic calendar opens up to reveal 25 perforated windows, behind which are a carefully curated selection of best-selling scents and new limited edition seasonal fragrances to be discovered. Priced at £70, it features a range of bath and shower gels, body lotions, candles, hair care, soap and fragrance worth over £150.
Inspired by the Isle of Arran, every fragrance in this calendar has been designed to help you reconnect with nature, promoting a message of self-care and mindfulness through earthy, Scottish-made scents. Some of the popular fragrances include After the Rain, Glenashdale, Seaweed & Sage, Lochranza and the new-for-2023 Kildonan, as well as two limited edition seasonal offerings, Forest Frost and Rowanberry Embers.
My favourite fragrance from Arran Sense of Scotland after discovering it in last year’s calendar is by far After the Rain, which blends sandalwood, rose and lime to recreate the experience of stepping into the garden after a downpour. I’m so thrilled to see seven products from this collection inside the calendar, including luxurious hand soaps, buttery lotions, and sensationally scented shampoo and conditioners, alongside a candle, shower gel and the star on top of the tree – a 15ml perfume.
Each year the Arran Sense of Scotland advent calendar is a recurring bestseller and regularly sells out, so it’s best not to sleep on it if you’ve got your eye on it.
Read my full review of the Arran Sense of Scotland calendar here.
For beauty enthusiasts and skincare aficionados, the Lush Advent Calendar is the official marker of the festive period. Packaged in a vibrant limited edition box featuring the word ‘Celebrate’ in 23 different languages, this year it features a carefully selected range of 25 products to bring joy in the lead up to the big day.
Coming in at £195, it includes 12 retro and exclusive products available in the Lush Advent Calendar, meaning the calendar is your only chance to get your hands on these self-care Sunday saviours.
All of the products in the Lush Advent Calendar are vegan, and range from their iconic bath bombs – of which they sell around 14 million a year – as well as bubble bars, fragrance, skincare, soaps and shower gels. Of course, there’s an appearance from the extremely well-loved Snow Fairy, as well as scents old, new and limited edition to get stuck into.
Renowned for its commitment to ethical and handmade products, Lush has once again curated a stunning collection that goes beyond the typical countdown to Christmas. Featuring a range of joyous products behind every door, it really is the ultimate Christmas countdown for those obsessed with the brand, or looking to indulge in some self-care throughout the festive season and beyond.
Read my full review of the Lush advent calendar here.
For something a little different, how about a jewellery advent calendar? Abbott Lyon has brought back its sell-out jewellery advent calendar for 2023, and it’s a gorgeous way to inject some luxury into your Christmas countdown.
This personalised advent calendar comes in silver and gold and contains a stunning collection of Abbott Lyon’s best-selling jewellery The 12-day calendar costs £249 to buy, but the value of all 12 products tots up to £450, meaning shoppers get some gorgeous jewellery pieces at fantastic value. Inside there are two bracelets, four charms, two pairs of earrings, two necklaces and two rings which are designed to layer up and mix and match for multiple looks. There’s an extra treat hidden inside drawer number 12, too, which gets you a very generous discount off a piece at Abbott Lyon, meaning you could get another handpicked piece of jewellery for as little as £10.
Each advent calendar is personal to the recipient with initial jewellery and birthstones of your choice. You could personalise the contents with your birthstone, or simply pick a crystal you love or that means something special to you. All of the jewellery inside the calendar is made from a premium 18k gold plated stainless steel, which comes with a two year quality and plating guarantee. It features an innovative anti-tarnish protective coating which makes it water, sweat and heat-resistant, so it will last a lot longer.
For those looking to inject a bit of sparkle into their December, then the Abbott Lyon advent calendar is an undeniably gorgeous way to countdown to Christmas. Offering the joy of unwrapping a tiny treat each day, the contents are far more glam and long-lasting than chocolate, or beauty for that matter.
Read my full review of the Abbott Lyon jewellery advent calendar here.