Yes, we know it’s only the first week of November, but truth time: the Christmas collections from all your fave beauty brands started hitting our desks in June. We’ve finally sat on our hands long enough that it’s time to reveal the new kid on the Christmas gifting block: the beauty advent calendar. Banish all thoughts of stale chocolate coins and instead get ready to have your Christmas shopping sorted for every person on your list. With every option covered - from budget friendly to all out luxe, and from beauty novice to the true aficionado - just know that whichever gift you choose, it will make the festive countdown just as exciting as the big day itself.
CHARLOTTE TILBURY – CHARLOTTE’S BEAUTY UNIVERSE
This isn’t Charlotte’s first foray into advent calendars, but it just might be her best yet.The packaging, for one, is a win in and of itself – if your recipient is all about grown up glitter, you’re set. It features eight minis from across her entire range (including skincare) and four full size makeup items, one of which is the now iconic Pillow Talk Matte Revolution lipstick.
CIATE – MINI MANI MONTH
Be honest, when was the last time you finished an entire bottle of polish before it dried out? This calendar is such a smart way to try on-trend nail colours, offering a bounty of gorgeous shades you can road test before buying the full size. A seriously fun pick from a brand at the cutting edge of beauty.
DIPTYQUE ADVENT CALENDAR
May we present what may be the be all and end all of Christmas gifts? This calendar features 25 items, including eau de toilettes, shower oils and body creams – not to mention the fashion pack’s beloved candles. This is for the person on your list who has only ever been nice, never naughty.
DAVID JONES – 12 DAYS OF BEAUTY
With twelve items in “suits everyone” neutral hues, this calendar is ideal for the beauty novice (regardless of age) who is keen to start dabbling. We love that it includes a set of falsies – they instantly elevate your entire look and are easier to apply than you think (we promise).
JO MALONE LONDON ADVENT CALENDAR
We all have that one friend who goes into hibernation as soon as the temps heat up, desperately wishing for a white Christmas. If that friend also deserves the ultimate treat to help them pretend in style, look no further. Just the calendar alone, a beribboned London townhouse, wins our prize for this year’s most beautiful. And then when you take into account the 24 miniature and full size gifts, plenty enough to indulge in the brand’s unique Fragrance Combining concept of layering scent in a myriad of different ways… well, Christmas never looked (or smelled) so good.
LA MER – SPIRIT OF VOYAGE: THE TWELVE DAYS OF RADIANCE COLLECTION
From the brand that needs no introduction, this is the ideal choice for the person in your life who says they don’t need a thing. They’ll be sure to make room for these 12 delights from both La Mer’s skincare and body lines, including (of course) the much loved original Crème de La Mer.
MECCA COSMETICA – BEAUTY RESOLUTIONS
These 12 selections from Mecca’s own brand (which we rate highly) include skincare, makeup and a seasonally-appropriate pair of glamorous rose gold eyelash curlers. Plus, we think there may also be a sneaky item number 13 included as well – the gorgeous (and highly reusable – the new year calls for stash sorting, right?) lucite box it all comes in.
MYER – LITTLE BOX OF BEAUTY
A beautiful box (feat. magnetised doors) containing 12 drawers filled with 20 travel-sized treats. Included are perfume, skincare, makeup, essential oils and even a candle from some of Myer’s best loved brands, like Benefit and MAC. There is such a great selection of products that no matter your recipient’s age, or the brands they tend to gravitate towards – they are bound to find a handy sized version of a favourite or two, as well as some brand new items to try. (Psst: it’s worth mentioning that these drawers don’t have numbered days on them as in a traditional calendar, so this will work well as a Christmas day gift when no countdown is required.)
NARS – UNCENSORED ADVENT CALENDAR
This collection of 24 mini and full size products housed in a festively red spiked cylinder includes nearly all of the brand’s lip formulas, in shades ranging from wearable neutrals to serious pops of colour, as well as beloved favourites like the Dolce Vita blush and the Hanamachi Kabuki buffing brush. (And let’s keep this between us before it sells out, but this might just be the one we’ll be treating ourselves to this year… #gifttoself)
NET-A-PORTER BEAUTY ADVENT CALENDAR
It makes sense that choosing the calendar from the ultimate online fashion destination also grants you access to the best of the best in beauty. This calendar features 25 travel sized items from niche but totally luxe brands such as Dr Barbara Sturm and Sunday Riley. Ideal for the eternally busy jet set friend who only ever flies with carry on.
Story by Zoe Briggs; photos supplied by brands