Back in the good old days, the 1st of December meant cracking open your advent calendar to reveal a cheap piece of chocolate in a snowman shape, only to do the same every morning for the next 24 days. Thankfully, that’s changed for the better.
Nowadays, it's a much more exciting (and expensive) affair, with specialist advent calendars for adults filled with everyday treats like beauty and booze at the top of everyone's Christmas list.
Festive beauty themed advent calendars have been taking off for the past few years, and it seems as though every brand is jumping on the bandwagon and providing sample versions of cult beauty products in pretty packaging.
Upon first glance, the calendars offer amazing value, retailing at anything between £35 and £320, but providing lucky shoppers with up to £680 worth of beauty goodies. vouchercloud noticed that the total worth of the products being claimed in certain calendars was calculated based on full sized products, not the samples or mini versions actually present in the calendar.
We’ve checked a selection of the biggest name calendars, measuring up whether they actually prove to be the value that they suggest they are, alongside collecting each and every single product available inside. Brands on the more generous end of the scale include Debenhams and Feel Unique, while Bare Minerals and Look Fantastic seem to exaggerate their total calendar value more than shoppers might expect.
The Best Value Beauty Avent Calendars
In terms of which brand gives you the most bang for your buck, Marks & Spencer leads the way. Their calendar provides beauty junkies with £266 worth of goodies, an 87% increase on the £35 cost (it is however only available when spending £35 in store or online).
ASOS have stuffed their beauty calendar with goodies worth 77% more than the £55 you pay for it, with around £241 of products inside. Feel Unique (£75) and Look Fantastic (£79) also trump other brands with over 70% increases on their retail prices.
High-end brands Fortnum & Mason and Liberty contain between £596 and £613 of luxury makeup and skincare mini treats and are both available for £195, so these could be a good option for those with expensive taste.
Own-brand calendars don’t fare as well in terms of their value for money, with Charlotte Tilbury, Cowshed, Soap & Glory, Nuxe and Clarins sitting at the lower end of the ranks.
So if you’re looking to squeeze as much as possible out of your Christmas advent calendar, don’t presume that a higher cost means higher value, and head for the department store or online beauty retailer as you might be left feeling disappointed if you opt for an own-brand calendar.
All products, sizes and prices were found online. Prices were calculated based either on the price of the actual product, or the equivalent cost of the mini based on the price of the full sized product (if the miniature/sample product couldn't be purchased outright)