When I was growing up, we had a plain advent calendar made of car. Every day you opened a little window and behind it was a picture. Every year I opened the same advent calendar. I still have it, actually. It looks something like this:
Starting about ten years ago, I noticed advent calendars with little chocolate squares behind each window, or a little message. But last year and this year the advent calendar market has exploded, particularly in the beauty industry. This year I have seen advent calendars with tea, coffee, booze, socks, ties, jewellery, scratch cards, candles. I guess it is a growing market.
Every single beauty brand seems to have an advent calendar this year. Due to feeling a bit down at not being able to see my family yet again, the coronavirus situation hanging over us all the time, and the darkness and gloom of winter, I decided to treat myself to a calendar. What a jungle.
I looked at Lookfantastic (sold out), Cult beauty (sold out), Selfridges (too expensive), Kiehls (overpriced), Clinique (too many products I would not use), Glossybox (ditto), LUSH (too smelly), Kicks – a local store (too cheap and nasty), Rituals (too many products I would not use). Many of the boxes had more makeup than skincare and I don’t use much makeup, particularly these days. I looked in person if I could, but many shops don’t show the products to preserve the element of surprise. I looked at YouTube videos about each calendar – this was really good as you could see the products and get some feedback on the calendars.
In the end I went for The Body Shop Ultimate calendar. Why? I love Body Shop products and the ones contained in the calendar are things I already use (shower gel, bubble bath, body butters and yoghurts, hand cream, shampoo, conditioner, vitamin e products) plus some I would like to try (mascara, lipstick, eye makeup remover, lip balm). Plus this one was 20% off with a free Body Shop Moringa kit (body butter, hand cream, shower gel, soap, bath flower). This Ultimate box contains full sizes of everything so it is incredible value, despite the large outlay for the box. The box itself is really well made, with proper little drawers that slide in and out easily.
I actually started using it early as I feel the need to spoil myself. I am in love!
I would recommend – if you don’t mind spoiling the element of surprise – watching YouTube unboxing videos for the various calendars to see if you like what they have to offer. I found that so many of them were disappointing, or full of things I would never use. Even if you are not a Christmassy person, these calendars are a fantastic way to explore new brands and new products in small sizes, or be able to try luxury products for a fraction of the price they usually cost. The Body Shop calendar I bought was originally 30% of the total price of the products if you bought them separately, and then I received an additional 20% plus another free set of products upon purchase. And I probably would have bought most of them during the year anyway.