These are the ones that stand out from the crowd this year – buy now before it’s too late …
We featured the stunning Brown Thomas Advent Calendar, their first ever, last week, and frankly that’s the one to beat this year. But there’s more … I recently asked a group from our independent beauty panel, The GLOSSiest, to tell me what their ideal beauty gift would be. And I was surprised to see just how many people hanker after a beauty advent calendar as a dream present this winter. The Liberty London calendar – the original and still one of the best – was name-checked, as were Jo Malone London and Space NK.
At Boots, sales of advent calendars increased by almost 20 per cent last year, and this year you’ll find Liz Earle, Rituals and Soap & Glory at Boots Ireland, to name a few – plus their in-demand No7 calendar (available in store and online from October 26 – join the waiting list here).
Here’s the lowdown on the others that stand out from the crowd this year …
L’Occitane’s resuable fabric calendar was a highlight last year, and if you missed it, this year’s version is just as lovely. It’s €180 (worth over €230), and contains everything from Petit Remedy balm (SO good and useful) to Almond Supple Skin Oil. You also get to try out the Immortelle Overnight Reset Serum – our beauty panel tested this recently and it got a big thumbs-up. In fact one panellist, Sallyann, emailed me last week with a glowing report: “After using this for over seven weeks I just had to make contact again to inform you that my skin has improved so much more. Less fine lines, lovely and smooth to touch and so many people have complimented on my new glow…”.
The other great thing to note is L’Occitane’s Reusable Advent Calendar Refill set (€140, worth €221). Many calendars talk about being reusable, but what with? This is a set of 24 products to refill your calendar from last year. A brilliantly sensible idea (you could even make your own). Available online only. Other calendars include the classic (€65), or the limited-edition luxury (€115). Last year, L’Occitane replaced the plastic interior of their advent calendars with cardboard sourced from sustainable forestry, saving 22.5 tonnes of plastic.
All available online and in selected L’Occitane boutiques; ie.loccitane.com.
Featuring some of our favourite brands – namely Sunday Riley, Hourglass, a Boy Smells candle, La Mer, Nars, Summer Fridays and Sisley – this is definitely high up on our wishlist. €230, pre-order now – available from October 18. Contents, they say, are worth over €850. www.spacenk.com
We love a good Rituals calendar, as do our panellists (for example, Tara noted that “The 3D Rituals advent calendar is always on my wishlist”). They tend to be good value for money, and filled with a good variety of useful minis to last you through the year, from candles to body mists and shampoos. The 2D calendar is €59.90 (and contains €120-worth of products), while the 3D village scene is €89.90. Rituals recently opened a new store in Liffey Valley.
At Rituals stores and www.rituals.com.
4 Giorgio Armani
The luxury L’Oreal brand offers this collection of 19 minis and five full-sizes, including some very cute mini bottles of the Si fragrance range, plus skincare and make-up, including the new Lip Power, a beautifully velvety lipstick.
€299 from Brown Thomas nationwide and brownthomas.com from late October.
5 Charlotte Tilbury
Charlotte Tilbury is great at gifting, being generally full of sparkle, and her Beauty Dreams & Secrets set of drawers, while not strictly an advent calendar, is a bit of a treasure. Just start opening them a little later in December. The 12 mini drawers contain everything from mini Magic Cream to Wonderglow and mascara – plus it makes a great jewellery box or make-up store afterwards.
Available now at Brown Thomas nationwide and Arnotts from October 7, €185.
6 YSL Beauty
Coming to Brown Thomas and Arnotts later this month (instore and online), the YSL calendar has 17 minis and six full sizes, across fragrance, skincare and make-up – we’ve included this one as it contains lots of great lip colours – we count 11 – in different finishes, including the creamy Rouge Volupte Shine and Rouge Pur Couture Slim Sheer Matte, a rather elegant take on lipstick. €225.
7 Atelier Cologne
Love the look of this one – though it’s expensive at €340. Lots of 30ml hand creams, mini Colognes (from 10ml to 30ml) and a chance to try six of the Cologne Absolue range, plus two mini candles. In all, you’ll end up with the equivalent of 264ml of scent plus 90ml hand cream. Or you could choose the limited-edition 100ml bottle of Clementine California in a starry dark blue bottle (€113).
At Brown Thomas and Arnotts from late October.
8 The Body Shop has a good selection of calendars this year, at a variety of price points.
9 We like the look of the Kiehl’s Calendar (€109), which includes the new Retinol Skin-renewing Daily Microdose Serum.
10 One for the teens – Lush‘s (vegan friendly) calendar is €235, available online and in Lush shops nationwide now.
And of course, 11 Jo Malone London will have a calendar landing here soon, at Brown Thomas and Arnotts on October 14, €370. For now, see more details on www.jomalone.co.uk.
There is one other calendar on the way that we can’t tell you about yet – but watch this space on October 15 to discover the calendar to end all calendars!
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