I'm not sure if you'll have noticed, but the festive season is well and truly upon us. Though I'm very much enjoying the battle of the Christmas TV ads, there's another fight taking place on the high street I'm much more interested in: the fight for the title of best beauty advent calendar. Gone are the days of only sweet goodies or a pretty little picture appearing behind cardboard doors for the first 24 days of December – the advent calendar game has just got a whole lot more exciting. Best of all, these treats aren't going to take their toll on your waistline. I feel like this is a relatively new phenomenon that's really taking off this year, but a bit of research tells me this trend began in 2011 when Lancôme launched a luxury advent calendar with Selfridges. This year everyone from Boots to Benefit is getting involved and not all of the advent calendars have a luxury price tag attached. So what's on offer? Who has the best treats for the best value? Let's take a closer look at this exciting new beauty craze.
1. Ciate: Up first, from the brand that brought us the caviar manicure (THANK YOU!) we have the Ciate Mini Mani Month box with a festive twist. Filled with a colourful selection of mini paint pots, textured manicure toppers and one full sized paint pot as the final gift, this advent calendar is the perfect gift for big nail fans. It retails at £42.00 and is available online and via ASOS. At the time of writing this one was still in stock, but it's worth acting quickly if you're keen - it'll be a sell-out.
2. You Beauty: Next up, the You Beauty Discovery Advent Calendar is incredible value for money. With 24 treats and an overall value of £240, this box seems like an absolute steal. Gathering hero products from brands including Caudalie, Dermalogica and Stila (to name just a few), it's been dubbed the 'beauty enthusiast's equivalent of Christmas in a box.' You can pick it up exclusively over on the You Beauty Discovery website.
3. The Body Shop: The iconic British brand have also joined the party, providing 24 miniatures of lovely products that, true to form, smell totally delicious. Not only that, but they're 60ml miniatures, meaning the treat will last significantly longer than a month. Filled with body butters, lip balms, shower gels, lotions and creams, this is a solid investment for only £55.00. This box has been snapped up online, but you might be able to get hold of it in store if you're super lucky.
4. Benefit: Unsurprisingly, Benefit's offering 'Countdown to Love' has
been snapped up by loyal fans across the country. Though it's currently
sold out on their website, this product may still be available in
Debenhams stores if you get a wriggle on. Featuring all of the beauty
big wigs top products, including High Beam, Ultra Plush Lipgloss, BADgal
Lash and Girl Meets Pearl, this box comes in an awesome Pop Art design
that will certainly brighten up your Christmas countdown. It's priced at
£50.00 but I reckon the contents are worth significantly more than that, making it a must for Benefit fans.
5. Selfridges: Including fragrances, make-up and skincare from Lancome, Yves Saint Laurent, Kiehl's and Victor and Rolf, Selfridges' Beauty Advent Calendar is certainly the biggest hitter. With a slightly bigger price tag of £84.00, it's probably the best in terms of products. Currently it seems to be sold out, but it's worth keeping an eye on the interwebs to see if it makes a comeback before 1st December arrives. Failing that, it's definitely worth having a wander into London to see if they have a few left within the Beauty Hall.
It seems like for this trend procrastination is not just the thief of time, but the thief of awesome beauty products; these bad boys are all selling out super quickly. If you've missed your chance with these five picks, then it's worth having a look online and keeping an eye out while you're doing your Christmas shopping. And maybe add 'get my beauty advent calendar' to your diary for 2014.
Written by Alice-May Purkiss