For me, the arrival of the beauty advent calendar is an event in itself – it puts me in the festive spirit. Growing up in Austria and Germany, beautifully illustrated, traditional advent calendars are something we always had. These, however, are definitely a step up, filled with luxurious self-care products from skincare to make-up.
Beauty advent calendars are all about finding moments of joy and a little self-gifting. Apart from the element of surprise of unearthing what’s behind each door, it’s a wonderful way to try new products as well as cult favourites – many of them full-size. Also, compared to what 25 products might cost you individually, these calendars offer incredible value.
Every day in December, the first thing I do each morning is open my calendar. You never lose the excitement. These are the luxury beauty advent calendars on my wish list for Christmas 2021.
Alex Steinherr’s Luxury Beauty Advent Calendars 2021
It’s the 100th anniversary of N°5 this year, so Chanel decided that their calendar should be a real celebration of the iconic fragrance. Shaped like a N°5 bottle, it’s definitely the most luxurious of all the beauty advent calendars. There are 27 boxes, numbered from 5, because of the perfume, to 31, because 31 rue Cambon was the Parisian address of Gabrielle Chanel. If you know, you know.
The boxes contain classic Chanel beauty products – there’s a limited edition Rouge Allure lipstick inspired by N°5, Le Vernis nail polish in Rouge Puissant, a full-size hand cream and, of course, a miniature bottle of N°5. But then you also have lots of trinkets and accessories made specifically for the calendar – from a key ring and a ceramic bracelet designed to look like the N°5 bottle’s wax seal, to a gold tree ornament and a gorgeous one-of-a-kind snow globe. In true Chanel style, this calendar is exceptional.
£255 (with a value of around £1,230)
This year’s ‘25 Days of Beauty’ advent calendar is signature Net-a-Porter in its monochrome chicness. Valued at around £1,230, the drawers are packed with 25 products, 17 of which are actually full size, and all of them super, super luxe.
There’s a complete mix of skincare, body care, haircare and makeup, with all the cult brands: Augustinus Bader’s The Rich Cream, Dr Barbara Sturm’s Lifting Serum and the Purifying Cleanser from Tata Harper to name a few. Makeup staples include Charlotte Tilbury’s Eyeliner in Walk Of No Shame and there’s a Victoria Beckham lipstick, too. Yes, this calendar might be an investment, but look at the savings – it’s pretty insane.
2021 is a special year for Diptyque as they’re celebrating their 60th anniversary. To round it off, they’ve reinvented their beauty advent calendar as a cabinet of curiosities with a striking geometric design. It looks like a vanity case, with each of the 25 compartments containing a Diptyque treasure – some classics, others limited-edition.
There are 11 mini candles, amongst them such favourites as Baies, Figuier and Oud, plus a 70g version of the festive Sapin candle. There’s also a selection of fragrances and skincare essentials, including their rich body butter. Everything is beautiful, particularly the three gilded tree decorations. This is a really pretty countdown to Christmas.
£225 (with a value of £844)
I always love the Liberty beauty advent calendar, which is the fastest-selling product in the department store’s history. It’s a beautifully-curated edit from the Beauty Hall, with a combined worth of £844. Housed in a box covered in Liberty Starburst, 19 out of the 25 products are full-size with some brands exclusive to Liberty such as Surratt and QMS Medicosmetics.
But what’s extra special this year is that there’s a golden ticket inside one of the advent calendars – giving the lucky winner £5,000 to spend at Liberty. The Willy Wonka moment just adds to the excitement. The men’s version is also back this year, with grooming essentials from the likes of Davines and D.S. & Durga fragrance.
£250 (with a value of £1,166)
The Harrods beauty advent calendar is enchanting. With its gold leaf design, it looks like a fairytale book. In each drawer, everything is wrapped in a pouch like an individual present, which adds to the charm.
In terms of content, it’s a mix of skincare heroes, cult beauty favourites, make-up and hair care, which in total are worth an extraordinary £1,166. It’s got all the names we love, like 111Skin, Byredo, Dr Sebagh, Floral Street… and, this being Harrods, there are exclusive brands like Evidens de Beauté. What’s standout here though, is how they are all presented – it feels so opulent. This calendar is like a magical keepsake.
£435 (with a value of £586)
The highly-anticipated World of La Mer Advent Calendar is called ‘12 Magical Moments’ this year. It does indeed look luxuriously festive, all dark greens, deep reds and gold drawers, in which a dozen La Mer classics are waiting to be unveiled, with a combined value of £586.
You’ll find – mostly mini – versions of all their hero products – The Eye Concentrate, The Lip Balm (which is amazing), The Regenerating Serum and, of course, Crème de la Mer. It is pricey but it is gorgeous. If you’re a La Mer fan, you’re going to adore it.
£169 (with a value of £410)
French cosmetics brand By Terry’s limited edition ‘Jewel Fantasy’ Advent Calendar doesn’t disappoint. Its sparkling red and silver packaging sets the festive tone. Inside, it’s loaded with 24 of the brand’s bestsellers across skincare and make-up with a worth of £410.
While there’s a mix of full-size and deluxe size products, the calendar also includes ‘mini-to-go’ versions of favourites like the Hyaluronic Hydra Powder and the Mascara Terrybly in N°1 Black Parti-Pris – perfect to pop in your bag. Plus, I love that the calendar includes tools such as a beauty sponge, eye and cheek brush. Everything you need for the party season.