Counting down the days until Christmas was traditionally done with a little chocolate behind a paper door, but nowadays, the 24 days prior to Santa’s visit are spent enjoying everything from specialty cheese to scented candles. Not forgetting to mention our favourite category: beauty advent calendars. 

Now, there’s something for everyone. Subscription services like Glossybox offer a big calendar packed with a range of brands; individual brands like Lush are releasing calendars full of their own products, and you can easily find more niche offerings like cruelty-free or K-beauty calendars.

So, as we get closer to the most wonderful time of the year, let’s discuss whether beauty advent calendars are worth it. 

In favour of the beauty advent calendar

You can get great deals

It’s undeniable that beauty advent calendars are a great deal for lovers of skincare and makeup products. The price of the calendar is always impressively lower than the RRP of the products within it. 

Sometimes you’ll even find a calendar where one single item costs more than the entire calendar! So, it’s a great opportunity to get your hands on brands you otherwise wouldn’t be able to try. 

You deserve a treat

Advent calendars are traditionally enjoyed in the month of December, which means you’ve successfully made it through a whole year. We think that deserves a treat! 

Why not indulge yourself with a frivolous calendar purchase. It’s fun, it’s exciting, it brings a bit more joy to each cold December day. Treat yo’ self! 

Fantastic for fans 

If you’re a fan of a particular brand and buy lots of their products anyway, then a calendar can be a brilliant way of getting great value for money. 

For example, if you love using Charlotte Tilbury makeup and want to buy more anyway, then you can get over £200 worth of makeup for £150 in their advent calendar this year. That’s basically getting two lipsticks for free! 

Easily find new products

A beauty calendar can be a great way of discovering new brands and products that you wouldn’t otherwise be trying.

For regular people (the ones who aren’t totally skincare obsessed), they also provide a way of gaining a full routine worth of products with complete ease. This is particularly useful for people who want to improve their skincare and makeup game, but don’t know where to start! 

Against the beauty advent calendar

Too much choice

What started off as an exciting novelty has now become a bit overwhelming. Pretty much every brand in the beauty industry offers some sort of calendar, so trying to find the right one can induce decision anxiety. 

The beauty world is now saturated with calendar offerings, and many shoppers, once frantically refreshing the page on pre-order day, are now maybe not so interested. 

Will you use the products?

While the promise of 24 shiny new products is appealing, you’ve really got to ask yourself if you’ll use them. Yes, the £80 eye cream you’re getting in a £70 calendar is a great deal, but not if it’s something you’re just going to leave unused for a year to expire. 

Pricey 

Beauty advent calendars aren’t cheap. Yes, you can find some smaller ones for £20, but the majority are at least £80, and some popular ones, like the Cult Beauty calendar, are over £200. This year, La Mer have released a beauty calendar that costs £435. That’s a lot of money to be spending on skincare in one go! 

Everyone has a different idea of what ‘affordable’ means to them, so you’ve got to consider whether the calendar meets your budget. 

Is it worth it?

If you don’t mind spoiling the surprise, take a look at the contents of the box. If the brand doesn’t disclose what’s in it on their website, then there’s probably an influencer out there who has done an unboxing on their YouTube channel or blog. Is what’s included appealing to you? 

£200 worth of products for £70 may seem like a great deal, but if half of it is tiny 5ml testers and cheaper items, like hair bands or lip balm, it may not be something you really want to be spending your money on. 

Consider how many full-sized items there are, and if they are things you’d use. 

Environmental

Increasingly, beauty lovers are seeking more eco-conscious choices for their products, and buying a box full of packaging from each advent day isn’t exactly the most environmentally friendly thing! 

While some brands are improving their packaging options, 24 days worth of boxes, bags or drawers is going to leave behind a large amount of waste. 

Tips for finding an advent calendar for you

Wanting to get a good deal on an advent calendar – here’s some advice from a seasoned beauty calendar buyer! 

1. Set a budget – if you don’t want to spend more than £80, don’t look at ones that are more expensive. It’ll only confuse you and make the decision harder!

2. Find the 3 calendars you’re most interested in at first glance. Take a look through the products included (if you don’t mind the spoiler) and do a bit of research into what those products do. Think about whether you’d use them and which are best suited to your skin type and complexion etc. It can be helpful to make lists to compare! The calendar with the most compatible products is the one for you.

3. If you’re unsure of whether to click “buy”, think about your current “want list” for skincare and makeup products. How many of those could you buy with the money you’d spend on the calendar? Would you rather buy those or do you want to try something new? 

4. Look for deals. Often brands will have a discount code or special offer that can make buying a beauty calendar more appealing. Many subscription box services will offer a big discount if you subscribe to a month of their box. This often works out cheaper, plus you get a few extra beauty treats from a subscription!