We know it’s getting close to opening advent calendars, but these beauty versions – crammed with cosmetics rather than chocolate – can be a great trick to stock up on £150+ worth of beauty items for under £40.
While they’re obviously marketed as calendars, we prefer them as a means of grabbing beauty items you’d buy anyway at a fraction of the normal price. Alternatively, they’re great for dividing up as gifts for multiple friends/family members in hampers for Christmas or as birthday gifts throughout the year.
Below, we’ve rounded up some of the best calendars we expect to see this year, including £270ish M&S calendar for £35 (plus £35 spend at M&S), £150ish of No7 beauty products for £39, and £106-worth of Body Shop items for £60. We’ve ranked them in order of how much their contents would cost individually.
Top beauty calendars out now…
M&S advent calendar* – £35 when you spend £35+ at M&S (contents £250ish) SOLD OUT ONLINE
This year’s M&S* beauty calendar was released on Thu 10 Nov. It briefly came back in stock online after selling out initially, but sold out online again by Thu 24 Nov – as of Tue 29 Nov it’s back in stock, but it’s worth going quickly as it could sell out again.
In 2015, this was hugely popular. Within a day of being released, it completely sold out online, despite the fact you had to spend £25 on clothing, home or beauty – plus a further £25 for the calendar itself – to have any chance of getting your hands on one.
To get this year’s calendar, you’ll need to spend at least £35 at M&S – then pay another £35 for the calendar, which we’ve worked out is worth £270ish (see our full write up for pricing details). It includes goodies from Rituals, Eyeko, Burt’s Bees and Neal’s Yard among other brands.
No7 Advent calendar* – £39 at Boots (contents £150ish) SOLD OUT ONLINE
The £39 No7 calendar is available now online at Boots* and in stores. And while Boots says there’s plenty of stock, you may want to go quick if you want it as they’ll likely be snapped up sharpish.
The calendar includes eyeshadow, mascara, nail polish, eyelash curlers and a whole host of face-care products. We calculated the products to be worth £147ish based on the proportionate cost of the full-sized equivalents when bought separately.
You also get three mini brushes, which aren’t sold separately. We haven’t included them in the total price, but full-sized No7 brushes start from £8.
The Body Shop advent calendar* – from £48 (reduced from £60, contents £106) ‘Deluxe’ calendar SOLD OUT, ‘Standard and ‘Ultimate’ reduced by 20% NOW ALL SOLD OUT
This year, The Body Shop* has created three beauty calendars, available now. They range from a wallet-testing £48 (was £60) to an eye-watering £79 (was £99). All include items such as its popular 200ml body butter (norm £14), lip butters (£4) and nail polishes (£5).
The Body Shop says the respective value is £106, £127.50 or £187. Although rather expensive, the savings of £46, £47 or £88 on the original prices are substantial. On Tue 22 Nov, the ‘Deluxe’ calendar sold out, and The Body Shop have started discounting the ‘Standard’ and ‘Ultimate’ calendars by 20%.
L’Occitane advent calendar* – £42 (contents £65) SOLD OUT ONLINE
French fragrance brand L’Occitane*‘s advent calendar is also out already. Filled with mini versions of its popular shower gels, hand creams, face creams and even soap and a mini cherry blossom perfume, it’s perfect to stash away for your next holiday.
If bought separately, the total cost would be £65 based on full-sized products.
Tanya Burr 12-day calendar* – £12 at Superdrug (was £25, contents £33ish) SOLD OUT ONLINE
Fashion and beauty blogger Tanya Burr’s calendar from Superdrug* contains limited-edition nail polish, eyeshadow, glitter pots and lip glosses. It’s not the most traditional of advent calendars as it only has 12 days’ worth of contents.
Bought separately, the products inside would cost £33ish for just the nail polishes and lip gloss. The glitter pots and glitter liners aren’t sold separately.
Sanctuary Spa advent calendar* – £25 at Boots (contents £37ish)
The Sanctuary Spa* calendar contains bath, body, face and hand products, candles, toe dividers and a heart-shaped cookie cutter (maybe don’t use that one in the bath).
Bought separately, the bath and skincare products alone would cost £37ish. It’s also included in the Boots 3for2 Christmas ‘Mix & Match’ offer.
Studio 12-day calendar* – £6 at Superdrug (was £16, contents £12ish) SOLD OUT ONLINE
If your budget’s less than a tenner, Superdrug* has a 12-day nail polish calendar, with four glitter polishes and eight high-shine polishes. All of them are suitable for vegetarians and vegans (but don’t eat them, obviously).
Bought separately, Studio nail polishes are usually about £1 each.
They may be cheaper after Christmas…
While they’re clearly marketed as pre-Christmas items, these beauty advent calendars can sometimes be found at heavily reduced prices after Christmas – so if you’re not in a rush, you may be able to make a bigger saving in the New Year.
However, stock will be limited and popular calendars have sold out long before Christmas in previous years. Whether you buy now or risk waiting, there are some serious savings to be had compared with buying the same products separately.