Spending money on luxury beauty products is something few of us can justify, particularly in the run up to Christmas when there are so many other expenses to cover.
However, if you’re a beauty product fan and like to maintain your skincare and make-up routine, you may want to consider investing in a beauty advent calendar. These can work out as amazing value for money as they include 25 days’ worth of products for a fraction of their normal retail price. But you’ll need to be quick, as the most popular beauty advent calendars typically sell out quickly.
Here’s our round up of some of the best value beauty advent calendars for 2023. Remember though, that even though you’ll usually get lots of items for a heavily discounted price, these calendars are still expensive, so to make them worthwhile you’ll need to make sure all the products they include will be useful.
1. Revolution Superdrug Edit Advent Calendar
Price: £30 (worth over £90)
Number of full-size products: 25
Our view: If you’re a make-up fan, you’ll probably have heard of Revolution. It’s one of the best reasonably priced beauty brands, and this advent calendar includes a great selection of its bestsellers. The calendar contains 25 full-size items to complete any make-up looks. These include lip glosses, lip pencils, an eyeshadow palette, powder, mascara, a mirror and brushes. This would be an ideal gift for a teenage daughter, for example, or simply to buy as a treat for yourself.
2. M&S Beauty Advent Calendar
Price: £45 when you spend £35 on full price clothing, homeware and beauty (worth £340)
Number of full-size products: 11 out of 25
Our view: This beauty advent calendar is sold out online, but you can still get it in-store. This is a particularly good option if you’re buying something from M&S anyway and can get it at a discounted price. For just £45 (or £35 if you buy an item of clothing) you’ll find a wide range of products worth around £340 across many popular beauty brands. This year’s calendar includes skincare products from REN, Clinique and Aveda, as well as bath and body products from Nuxe, This Works and L’Occitane. You’ll also get make-up from Clinique, Benefit and Pixi. The This Works deep sleep body cocoon, REN Evercalm gentle cleansing gel, and the Benefit roller lash curling mascara are each worth £25 alone. This beauty advent calendar comes as a useful reusable gold beauty holdall, rather than a traditional advent boxed calendar.
3. John Lewis Beauty Advent Calendar
Price: £195 (worth about £921)
Number of full-size products: 16 out of 31
Our view: This is our favourite beauty advent calendar, as it’s fantastic value for money and contains a really wide range of quality products. Beware, this sells out particularly quickly every year, so get your skates on if you want to buy one! The calendar contains 31 full and deluxe-sized products, including haircare, skincare, make-up and designer perfume. For example, this year, it includes Frederic Malle Portrait Of A Lady eau de parfum refill (which normally retails at £60), a Charlotte Tilbury eyeshadow palette (£45) and a Neom bedtime candle (£37), plus Votary’s super seed serum (£79) to name a few of the products.
Unlike some beauty advent calendars, all the products are of a decent size (there aren’t any tiny travel-sized additions). John Lewis is also giving 10 people who buy the calendar a £500 gift voucher to spend in-store, alongside four weekend trips for two to Rome.
4. Boots 24 Days of Premium Beauty Treats
Price: £99 (worth about £468)
Number of full-size products: 14 out of 24
Our view: This is Boots’ first-ever beauty multi-brand advent calendar, and it’s a great deal. Boots is a popular retailer for beauty lovers as it stocks most of the iconic brands, and this calendar includes plenty of these products. You’ll find products from Estee Lauder, Drunk Elephant, Chanel, Kylie Cosmetics, Huda Beauty and Urban Decay, for example. The Huda Beauty blush stick costs £23 and the Shiseido uplifting and firming cream around £30 if you bought them in-store at full price.
5. Next 25 Days of Beauty
Price: £95 (worth £355)
Number of full-size products: This advent calendar contains a mix of both full-size and travel-sized products, but it’s unclear exactly how many there are of each in the calendar information.
Our view: Next does an excellent range of beauty boxes at bargain prices throughout the year, and its advent calendar is no exception. It’s a retailer that’s worth checking out in general if you’re a fan of beauty products, because it often has great deals on beauty boxes. This year’s calendar has a great range of products, including make-up, skincare, haircare and perfume. Some highlights, for example, include the ESPA pink hair and scalp mud (£34), Floral Street wild vanilla orchid perfume (£28), and Dermatica’s microfoliant exfoliator (£18).
6. Look Fantastic Beauty Advent Calendar 2023
Price: £99 (worth £565)
Number of full-size products: 12 out of 27
Our view: LookFantastic is well-known for its beauty advent calendar, and this year the value of the products it includes is higher than ever before. But as we’ve mentioned, with any beauty advent calendar, make sure you’ll actually use the products you’ll receive (or consider gifting them for Christmas). In our view this calendar often has a few more unusual products that may not be for everyone, such as retinol eye masks and a body scrub. You’ll find products from NARS, MAC, Elemis, ICONIC London and Avant Skincare in the box.
If you’re a LookFantastic The Box subscriber you can receive £10 off the advent calendar, but if you’re not there are plenty of instagram and TikTok beauty influencers who offer discount codes for the same amount, so it’s worth doing a quick search online.
7. Body Shop
Price: There are three different calendars to choose from. These range in price from £45 (discounted from £59), £70 (discounted from £95), £100 (discounted from £145). In turn, these calendars contain products worth £119, £173.50 and £254 respectively, but they are selling out fast.
Number of full-size products: The number you’ll receive depends on the box you buy (and it’s unclear how many full-size products are in each advent calendar)
Our view: The Body Shop’s three Christmas beauty advent calendars are another popular option, and at the time of writing they were already running low. The one that you choose will depend on whether you’re after skincare in particular, or a wider range of items.
The Advent for Change calendar, for example, (currently £45) has 24 products that are worth £85, including body butters, shower gels and sheet masks. The Box of Wonders (currently £70) has 25 skincare products, including the cult camomile cleansing butter, and Himalayan charcoal skin clarifying night peel. Finally, the Box of Wishes and Wonders, pictured, (currently £100) is packed with 25 products ranging from cleansers and shampoo to body butters and face masks.
Tips for cutting the cost of beauty advent calendars
The number of beauty advent calendars on the market from major retailers has rocketed in recent years – and so has their cost. But you can still get a great bargain, provided you compare how much you’re paying with the value of the products in the calendar – and, of course, make sure they are products you will actually use.
Remember, too, that if you don’t use a few of the items, they could make great Christmas gifts, or you could sell them on resale sites such as Vinted or eBay for extra cash.
Beauty influencers on social media such as Instagram and TikTik often unveil beauty advent calendars along with particular codes for discounts of, say, £10 or £20 off the price, so do a quick search to see if anyone is offering one.
Finally, if you’re willing to wait and you’re not necessarily after a specific beauty advent calendar, it’s worth biding your time before you buy one. Once the initial pre-December rush to buy beauty advent calendars has died down, you might find some go on sale later in December or January at massive discounts.
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