Nope, not jaded about beauty advent calendars yet. Sure, they're often just samples stuffed into festive packaging, but some smart brands include full-sized surprises as well. Either way, I'm still as charmed and tempted as much as ever. So here's a round-up of all the daily-gift options I'd have if the beauty-advent-calendar fairy were inclined to surprise me with them all. What? You think it's so easy to pick one?
One of the few beauty advent calendars offered at Canadian drugstores, the annual ArtDeco Beauty Advent Calendar ($89 CAD at shoppersdrugmart.com) offers 24 days of discovery. A solid German brand, it's available in 70 countries, including Canada and the United States, and known for good quality, reasonable prices and its customizable, refillable-palette approach to eye and face colour.
the body shop
The Body Shop gets credit for being one of the first in the beauty/bodycare space to offer this gift idea in the early 2000s, when a clever employee in Sweden thought to offer as a holiday special a bag containing 24 smaller bags that each contained a mini Body Shop product. The first formal advent calendar from The Body Shop debuted in Northern Europe in the late 2000s, then finally landed in the UK and Canada in 2013, and in the USA about a year or so after that. The brand has always offered three options at three price points, a wallet-considerate approach I've always appreciated. This year's theme is Dream Big, and designed to encourage young girls to aspire to a life and career without limits.
The Body Shop 2019 Dream Big This Christmas beauty advent calendar ($69 CAD at The Body Shop stores and $70 USD at thebodyshop.com), featuring 24 bath and body items, is the most wallet friendly of the three. It's available at The Body Shop stores in Canada but sold out online. In the US, it's available online only.
The Body Shop 2019 Dream Big This Christmas Deluxe beauty advent calendar ($99 CAD and $110 USD at thebodyshop.com) features 25 joy-inducing items, some in full sizes, a mix of hair, bath-and-body and makeup treats. And it's available online only.
Also an online exclusive, The Body Shop 2019 Dream Big This Christmas Ultimate beauty advent calendar ($169 CAD and $170 USD at thebodyshop.com) contains MORE, in a mix of mini and full sizes in fragrance, hair, bath-and-body and makeup.
The Bare Minerals 24 Days of Clean Beauty advent calendar ($99 USD at bareminerals.com) is a lovely, universally flattering collection designed to bestow a healthy, rosy glow. Sadly, it's no longer available to Canadians via sephora.com now that the holiday bonus sale is over. Aaargh!
The Charlotte Tilbury Glittering Galaxy of Makeup Magic advent calendar ($250 CAD and $200 USD at charlottetilbury.com) is sold out at Sephora as well, but it's just-as-easily accessible via the official Charlotte Tilbury website. A mix of travel- and full-sized items, it includes a full-sized Pillow Talk Matte Revolution lipstick, full-sized Color Chameleon creamy eye shadow pencil in Champagne Diamonds, full-sized Superstar Lips Glossy Lipstick in Sexy Lips, and a full-sized Eyes to Mesmerise cream shadow in Gold, as well as minis of Charlotte's skincare favourites.
This 12-Day Clarins 2019 Advent Calendar ($92 CAD at thebay.com and $60 USD at clarinsusa.com) is one I'd appreciate most this year, actually. There's something reassuring about a collection of skincare from this trusted and highly respected French brand. Most of the items are easy to fit into any existing regimen. Two are full-sized – a lip oil and a Hydra-Essentiel Moisturizing Eye Mask; six are sample-sized, such as the Toning Lotion with Chamomile and Hydra-Essentiel Silky Cream; and four are minis, such as the Wonder Perfect Mascara 4D and the popular Clarins Beauty Flash Balm.
Hold the phone, I was wrong: this 24-Day Clarins 2019 Advent Calendar ($140 CAD at clarins.ca and $100 USD at clarinsusa.com) is the one I'd appreciate most! Includes a full-sized mascara, full-sized Jolie Rouge lipstick, full-sized Beauty Flash Balm, full-sized Hydra-Essentiel lip balm, and a mix of sample- and travel-sized skin and body care to try.
Okay, the Clinique 2019 24-Day Beauty Advent Calendar ($88 CAD at thebay.com) is tied for first place in calendars I'd most appreciate. I like so many of the products included, such as the Fresh Pressed Vitamin C, Take the Day Off Makeup Remover, Lash Power mascara (brilliant tube technology I tested on a ride under the Canadian side of Niagara Falls), and so. much. more. I can't seem to find a US retailer, though – apologies if it appeals to you but is already sold out there. 😬😔
Yep, it's a three-way tie for most appreciated beauty advent calendar this year. The Kiehl's 2019 24-Day Beauty Advent Calendar ($120 CAD at thebay.com and $90 USD at kiehls.com) is chock full of face and body care that could result in a bit of a Kiehl's addiction for the recipient. Ultra Facial Cream, Ultimate Strength Hand Salve, Midnight Recovery Concentrate... so many good things.
l'occitane en provence
The L'Occitane 2019 Signature Advent Calendar ($64 at loccitane.com) is just so pretty and gift-able. Lots of L'Occitane favourites: shower gel, shampoo, soap, body lotion, face care, and enough wee tubes of hand cream to stock every purse for the year.
Then there's the L'Occitane en Provence 2019 Luxury Advent Calendar ($109 at loccitane.com) housed in a fun, multi-drawer set-up that you might consider re-purposing when the holiday season comes around again (one of our beautygeeks friends, Miki, fills the previous year's advent-calendar packaging with candy and little toys for her kids the following year). This version contains more face care, such as the Immortelle Essential Water, Foaming Cleansing Cream, Precious Cream, Divine Cream and Overnight Reset Oil-in-Serum so the lucky recipient (no judgement if it's you!) can try the whole range.
Another one of my favourites of the year is the NYX 2019 Love Lust Disco 24-Day Advent Calendar ($65 CAD at shoppersdrugmart.ca and nyxcosmetics.ca, and $60 USD at nyxcosmetics.com). That it's all about bestselling NYX lip colour is vastly appealing; it's just so easy to try a different lip colour each day! The Love Lust Disco advent calendar contains "mid-size versions" of a range of gloss, cream lipstick and liquid lip finishes in striking nudes, berries, pinks and reds.
Sometimes, candy really is the sweetest gift, especially in the little portion-controlled servings you'll find in the Squish Candies 2019 Advent Calendar ($39 at squishcandies.ca and $39 at squishcandies.com). There's a vegan calendar too!
The only problem with all these advent calendars is that it's really, really tough to choose between them! Good luck with that.
Out of all these, which do you think would be most gift-able?
And which would you have to get for yourself? ("All" is a perfectly acceptable answer.)
Is there one you're considering that I haven't mentioned here?
Have you already bought one? Or two?
iBought✓ PRsamples✓ affiliatelinks✓
*shoppersdrugmart.ca, artdeco.com, nyxcosmetics.ca, nyxcosmetics.com, squishcandies.ca and squishcandies.com are non-affiliate links