It is that time of year again where as a beauty editor I find myself talking and thinking about the best beauty advent calendars. And whilst some years it has felt boring, repetitive and, dare I say it, unoriginal, there's something about 2023's offering that feels a bit more special. I think that's because this year more high-end brands are getting in on the act for the first time ever, and the selection of best luxury beauty advent calendars is at an all time high.
Yes a simple chocolate behind a cardboard window used to be enough for me, but these days I'm looking for something that truly wows. I want to open window number 24 and find the Cartier watch of the beauty world behind it. Is that too much to ask?
Let's be frank, I know that beauty advent calendars aren't cheap and luxury advent calendars...even more expensive. We're talking over £100 - way over in some cases. Some people will never be willing to pay these types of prices, which is completely understandable and if this is the case then there are more affordable beauty advent calendar options out there for you. However, we know that these calendars often sell out (and at great speed) so there is very much a market for them and in my opinion, with the saving you can make on some of these spectacular products makes it totally worth it.
For example, the products inside the Harrods calendar this year are worth a whopping £1,173. But the price you pay for the calendar? £250. That's a saving of £923. How often are you presented with 79% off some of beauty's most impressive products?
The other thing to bare in mind is that these aren't your run-of-the-mill calendars. These are beautifully presented boxes that could, and should, be reused for years to come.
With that in mind, if you are thinking about spending a little bit more on your advent calendar this year, might I suggest one of the following that are right up there on my list of the best luxury beauty advent calendars...
1. Fenwick 12 Days of Beauty Calendar
Fenwick 12 Days of Beauty Calendar
Fenwick is one of my favourites luxury shopping destinations. It relaunched its beauty offering a couple of years ago and it now specialises in some of my go-to high-end beauty brands. This 12-day calendar is like a whistle-stop tour of some of its bestsellers. There's a mini Augustinus Bader The Cream, which costs £140 for a full-sized product normally, celeb-favourite Dr Barbara Sturm Super Anti-Aging Serum and the iconic Matte Revolution lipstick from Charlotte Tilbury which is a lipstick that quite frankly I think everyone should own. I would say that this 12-day calendar is your entry-level luxury calendar, not absurdly expensive but still has that luxe feeling.
Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream [15ml], Dr. Barbara Sturm Super Anti-Aging Serum [10ml], Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Shade Supermodel [3.5g], Parfums de Marly Delina Hair Mist [75ml], Slip® Pure Silk Skinnie Scrunchie in Black, Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara [6ml], Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Primer Illuminating [50ml], benefit The POREfessional Get Unblocked Mini Oil Cleanser [45ml], BIOEFFECT EGF Serum [50ml], Nurse Jamie Beauty Stamp, EviDenS de Beauté The Day Moisturizer [30ml], Trinny London Sheer Shimmer in Shade Dido [4g], Rahua Classic Shampoo & Classic Conditioner [2 x 22ml], Escentric Molecules Escentric 01 [30ml], Ormonde Jayne OJ Bukhara Parfum [8ml]
2. Jo Malone London Advent Calendar 2023
Jo Malone London Advent Calendar 2023
I look forward to seeing the Jo Malone London calendar every year - and it never disappoints. The brand launches a new festive scent to coincide with the Christmas season and this year it's Ginger Biscuit, which I'm already in love with and I haven't even smelt it yet. The thing about Jo Malone London is that no matter what the contents are, you know that the fragrances are going to be beautiful (inside you'll find my ultimate winter scent, Velvet Rose & Oud) and you know that the textures will be luxurious (if you haven't tried the brand's hand cream you really must rectify that immediately). The pale yellow and black box will definitely come in use and as recommended by the brand, would make a good jewellery box or desk tidy.
Ginger Biscuit Cologne [9ml], White Moss & Snowdrop Cologne [9ml], Orange Bitters Travel Candle, Scarlet Poppy Cologne [9ml], Wild Bluebell Body Mist [30ml], Orange Bitters Cologne [9ml], English Pear & Freesia Cologne [9ml], Wood Sage & Sea Salt Hand Cream [30ml], Cypress & Grapevine Cologne [9ml], Peony & Blush Suede Cologne [9ml], Wood Sage & Sea Salt Body & Hand Wash [50ml], Velvet Rose & Oud Cologne Intense [9ml], Poppy & Barley Cologne [9ml], Grapefruit Body & Hand Wash [50ml], Wild Bluebell Cologne [9ml], Myrrh & Tonka Cologne Intense [9ml], Peony & Blush Suede Lotion [50ml], Silver Birch & Lavender Cologne [9ml], English Pear & Freesia Body Crème [50ml], Nectarine Blossom & Honey Cologne [9ml], Vitamin E Lip Conditioner [15ml], Oud & Bergamot Cologne Intense [9ml], Blackberry & Bay Hand Cream [30ml], Lime Basil & Mandarin Travel Candle, Wood Sage & Sea Salt Cologne [30ml]
3. Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar 2023
Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar 2023
Let's be honest this is arguably the most iconic beauty advent calendar. It was definitely the one that really got me properly excited about beauty calendars all those years ago. I have kept the boxes from previous years and reused them for my children. 2023's offering, deigned by artist Clym Evernden, is completely beautiful and I desperately want it for my collection. The contents inside are, as you'd expect, incredible and this year include some accessories, like chic hairclips and a gold bracelet from Estella Bartlett. Who needs a jewellery advent calendar, eh?
Rose Inc Cream Blush in Daylily (FULL SIZE), Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream (15ml FULL SIZE), Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant (30ml TRAVEL SIZE), Verden D'Orangerie Hand Cream (75ml FULL SIZE), Votary Night Star Serum (30ml FULL SIZE), Davines OI Shampoo (90ml FULL SIZE), Dr. Barbara Sturm Face Cream (20ml FULL SIZE), Liberty Stateley Bouquet Votive (60g TRAVEL SIZE), Le Labo Rose 31 Liquid Balm (9ml FULL SIZE), MALIN+GOETZ Rum Bar Soap (50g TRAVEL SIZE), Larry King Spoilt for Choice Hair Oil (30ml FULL SIZE), The Seated Queen Cassiopeia's Serum Concentrate (10ml TRAVEL SIZE), Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil (15ml FULL SIZE), Surratt Relevée Mascara (6ml FULL SIZE), OTO Exfoliating Cleanser (25ml FULL SIZE), Dizziak Deep Conditioner (50ml TRAVEL SIZE), Byredo Lipstick in Solid Ground or Commuter (3g FULL SIZE), Dr Sebagh Serum Repair Hyaluronic Acid (20ml FULL SIZE), Bibbi Ghost of Tom Eau de Parfum (8ml TRAVEL SIZE), 111SKIN Celestial Black Diamond Eye Mask (6ml FULL SIZE), REN Clean Skincare Overnight Glow Dark Spot Sleeping Cream (50ml FULL SIZE), Liberty Pocket Mirror in Elegance Print, Vilhelm Parfumerie Poets of Berlin Eau de Parfum (10ml TRAVEL SIZE), Estella Bartlett Stars So Bright Gold Plated Bracelet, The Uniform Hair Clip Duo, Zelens Instant Recharge (30ml FULL SIZE), Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Roller Ball (10ml FULL SIZE) and Charlotte Mensah Manketti Hair Oil (15ml TRAVEL SIZE) and LBTY. Tudor Eau de Parfum (8ml FULL SIZE)
4. Harrods Beauty Advent Calendar 2023
Harrods Beauty Advent Calendar 2023
Just hearing the word Harrods makes me think of opulence, it's synonymous with luxury. And as you'd imagine the retailer's beauty advent calendar lives up to its reputation. Housed inside the box that looks just like the iconic Knightsbridge building are products like ReVive Masque des Yeux Instant Eye Mask (which has seen me through a lot of sleepy mornings let me tell you), Sunday Riley's CEO Oil (hands down one of the best vitamin C products out there) and Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Powder Pink, a product that has held a firm place in my make-up bag over the years. With 21 full sized products inside it's a dream calendar.
Augustinus Bader Rich Cream (15ml), Gisou Travel Shampoo and Conditioner (75ml/50ml), Eve Lom Original Balm Cleanser and Muslin (50ml), Decree Treat Tincture (30ml), Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Push Up Lashes Mascara (Travel Size), ReVive Masque des Yeux Instant Eye Mask, Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Muscle Bath and Shower Oil (55ml), Dr Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum (10ml), Kylie Cosmetics High Glossy Crystal (Full Size), Elemis Pro-Collagen Overnight Matrix (30ml), Christophe Robin Purifying Scrub (75ml), Bio Effect EGF Serum (15ml), 111SKIN Celestial Black Diamond Brightening Essence (30ml), Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Rosegold (Full Size), Ren AHA Tonic (250ml), Acqua di Parma Colonia Shower Gel (75ml), Sunday Riley CEO Oil (15ml), Living Proof Dry Shampoo (Travel Size), EviDenS de Beaute The Night Recovery Solution (30ml), Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Powder Pink (Full Size), Rodial DB Eye Gel (15ml), Dermalogica Precleanse (30ml), Champo Pitta Grown Serum (30ml), NARS Lipstick (Full Size), Floraiku Between Two Trees (10ml)
5. Parfums Christian Dior 30 Montaigne Advent Calendar
Parfums Christian Dior 30 Montaigne Advent Calendar
It doesn't get much more special than a Dior advent calendar. Most people, and I very much include myself in this, won't ever own a Dior saddle bag or a pair of the brand's iconic J'Adore slingbacks, but this beautiful box of joy allows you to step into the world of Dior. Inside you'll find three lipsticks, two nail polishes, a mascara, a cleanser, a moisturiser, two serums, candles, four candles, nine fragrances and a Dior Christmas decoration so even your tree gets an upgrade.
J'ADORE EDP [5ML], J’ADORE PARFUM D’EAU [5ml], NEW L’OR DE J’ADORE [3.M5L], SAUVAGE EDT [10ML], MISS DIOR NEW EDP [5ML], MISS DIOR BLOOMING BOUQUET [5ML], LA COLLECTION PRIVÉE MINIATURE OUD ISPAHAN [7,5ML], LA COLLECTION PRIVÉE MINIATURE GRIS DIOR [7,5ML], LA COLLECTION PRIVÉE MINIATURE JASMIN DES ANGES [7,5ML], LIMITED EDITION XMAS TREE DECORATION, LA COLLECTION PRIVEE CANDLE IN AMBRE NUIT [35G], LA COLLECTION PRIVEE CANDLE IN THÉ OSMANTHUS [35G], LA COLLECTION PRIVEE CANDLE IN SAINT HONORE [35G], PRESTIGE LA CRÈME [15ML], PRESTIGE MICRO HUILE ADVANCED SERUM [10ML], CAPTURE TOTALE LE SERUM [10ML], LA MOUSSE OFF/ON [50ML], ROUGE DIOR VELVET IN 999 [1,5G], ROUGE DIOR VELVET IN 100 NUDE [1,5G], ROUGE DIOR VELVET IN 720 ICONE [1,5G], DIOR VERNIS IN 108 MUGUET [7ML], DIOR VERNIS IN 999 [7ML], DIORSHOW ICONIC OVERCURL IN 090 [4ML]
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Katie Thomas is the Senior Beauty Editor at Marie Claire UK. With over 10 years of experience on women's luxury lifestyle titles, she covers everything from the best beauty looks from the red carpet and stand out trends from the catwalk, to colonic irrigation and to the best mascaras on the market. She started her career on fashion desks across the industry - from The Telegraph to Brides - but found her calling in the Tatler beauty department. From there she moved to Instyle, before joining the Marie Claire digital team in 2018. She’s made it her own personal mission to find the best concealer in the world to cover her tenacious dark circles. She’s obsessed with skincare that makes her skin bouncy and glowy, low-maintenance hair that doesn’t require brushing and a cracking good manicure. Oh and she wears more jewellery than the Queen.
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