The countdown to Christmas is always fun – but after the year we’ve all had, it seems more exciting than ever.
But forget chocolate, the best way to strike away days in the lead-up to the silly season is with a beauty advent calendar.
Filled with treats such as perfumes and serums, even cult makeup buys, these snazzy boxes will make any beauty lover squeal with delight.
But which one should you go for? And what offers the best value for money?
Here are the most popular beauty advent calendars available in Australia and everything you get inside.
Missed a column? Catch up on all The Beauty Diary action here
24 DAYS OF CLINIQUE ADVENT CALENDAR
This baby has 24 products that if you purchased individually would set you back $391 – meaning the advent calendar offers a saving of $216. Inside there is a mix of skincare and makeup too so you can have a good play around and find some new favourites for your regular collection.
Among the great value goodies is an array of items from the Moisture Surge skincare line, Clinique’s best-selling Chubby Stick lip colour (in Super Strawberry), a cult-favourite makeup remover and even a perfume. A very impressive line-up for the price.
CLARINS 24 DAY ADVENT CALENDAR
OK, I found another advent calendar that is also $216 cheaper than if you bought the products inside individually – so the best value advent calendar in 2020 is actually tied.
Worth $376, Clarins has jam-packed its advent calendar with all the essentials, setting someone up for a very good skin start to the New Year.
Inside you’ll find several Hydra-Essentiel items – including a face cream, lip balm and eye mask. The brand’s cult SOS Primer has also been hidden behind one door as well as a popular Joli Rouge lippie (in Soft Berry). The product I’d be holding out for among the assortment is the Lip Comfort Oil – which, trust me, is super hydrating and feels luxe on your lips. A real bargain for a skincare and beauty lover.
THE BODY SHOP ULTIMATE ADVENT CALENDAR
The iconic beauty brand has created a house and stuffed it with goodies. There’s 25 full-sized products inside which when purchased individually would cost $437 – which equates to a saving of $187.
It contains the popular skin-tingling Himalayan Charocal Purifying Glow Mask along with the cult Drops Of Youth Concentrate serum – and there’s a cute royal navy headband to hold your hair back while you apply.
It wouldn’t be The Body Shop without some classic bubble bath and juicy moisturiser, and this pack comes with both, one in berry and the other in British Rose. Other goodies include a banana shampoo and conditioner, the brand’s Vitamin E Gentle Facial Wash, two lip butters, a mascara and a lippie.
AMAZON AUSTRALIA BEAUTY ADVENT CALENDAR
Compared to other leading brands, the price of this advent calendar is very affordable. It contains a mix of 24 full-sized and mini products from beauty, skincare and haircare brands such as Natio, Bioderma and Rimmel and is worth over $290 – that’s a saving of $205.
Some of the treats you’ll find in full are a Revlon matte lipstick, the Swisse Manuka Honey Daily Glow Foaming Cleanser and a Rimmel London Lash Accellerator Endless Mascara. If you’ve been keen to try the uber popular Micellar Cleansing Gel by Bioderma or Maui Moisture’s Shea Butter shampoo and conditioner, you’ll find deluxe samples of those inside.
CHARLOTTE TILBURY’S BEJWELLED CHEST OF BEAUTY TREASURES
It’s perhaps one of the most coveted beauty advents every year thanks to its cult-status among makeup fans. This treasure chest contains 12 products which are a mix of full and travel sizes, to countdown those last two weeks before Christmas.
Among the treats hidden inside are Charlotte’s top-selling Magic Cream, the iconic Pillow Talk lipstick (which is a must-have in every makeup bag) and a Beauty Light Wand – a spectacular cream highlight that makes your cheekbones glisten.
There’s also a travel-sized mascara and a setting spray to test out. It’s definitely on the expensive side, but it’s perfect if you’ve been wanting to try some of the brand’s coveted products without the commitment of paying full price for them all.
MECCA MAX BEAUTY-FULL DAYS ADVENT CALENDAR
If you know someone who has never tried Mecca Max products, this is a great gift idea as it is stuffed with 12 mini versions of the makeup store’s bestsellers. I’m a huge fan of Mecca’s own brand lines – it offers some really great beauty products at prices your bank manager won’t weep at, which is what we all want in 2020.
This set contains everything you need for a glamorous Chrissy, including bronzer, cream blush and highlight powder. My pick among the treats is the illuminating primer as that will help your makeup stay put even on a scorcher of a day – the plumping lip oil is also a really fun take on one of this year’s biggest beauty trends.
SEPHORA COLLECTION WILD WISHES ADVENT CALENDAR
I love that this advent calendar follows the traditional number of 24, counting down to Christmas Eve with a number of iconic products from the beauty superstore.
Most of the products are minis which, when I’ve had this calendar in the past, I found really helpful for travelling and I ended up chucking most of them in my makeup bag whenever I was going away – but I realise in 2021, this is still unlikely to be happening a lot.
Still, that doesn’t take away from the fact there’s some great finds in here, including a full-sized lippie and coconut lip balm, both of which I highly rate. There’s also a selection of fun sheet masks and some bath bombs as well as a few hair ties (you can never have too many). My only critique of this would be that it’s very similar to previous years, so if you’ve had it before, you may want to go for something else as the contents won’t surprise you.
JO MALONE ADVENT CALENDAR
If you’re looking to go all out at the end of 2020, you can do it by spending big on your countdown to Christmas with this next-level advent calendar. This bougie Chrissy item is filled with the most extra items you’ll ever find in an advent calendar, including a host of popular Jo Malone fragrances and several miniature candles – it’s fair to say there’s definitely no cheap choccies in sight.
Is it expensive? Absolutely. But will it put a massive smile on the face of someone you love (or even yourself, no judgment here)? Most definitely. You may need to take out a mortgage to pay for it though.
This column is not advertorial content. Every review is independent, honest and ad free.
If you have a question about a beauty product or an item you’d like to see road tested in The Beauty Diary, jump into our official Facebook group where you can join like-minded beauty junkies. You can also catch me on Instagram or tweet me – don’t forget to hashtag #TheBeautyDiary.