Countdown to Christmas in glittering style with our pick of the best beauty advent calendars to get your hands on now – waiting list or no waiting list.

Advent calendars have come a long way since a square of oily chocolate behind a flat 2D door. These days, food, drinks, toy and beauty brands are all getting in on the act of delivering a seasonal shot of daily joy throughout December. This week we round-up the best offerings from the world of make-up, beauty and skincare – all launching this month, with some already attracting eager waiting lists. Forget sample size cast-offs; these curated collections of beauty treasures are a great way to trial the full gamut from some of your favourite brands in generous sizes, or to discover brand-new ones altogether with beauty emporiums such as Space NK and Liberty bringing together their bestselling brands into one beautiful designed calendar. So dive in and find your new favourite in the countdown to Christmas.

Space NK, £199

Space NK’s beauty calendar features a veritable who’s who of cult skincare, make-up and haircare brands, including Sunday Riley, Boy Smells, Drunk Elephant, Olaplex, Augustinus Bader, Sisley and La Mer. Worth over £700, these cult classics are all neatly tucked away in a stack of smart cream and metallic boxes, making this a great way of stocking up on smaller sizes if you plan to travel more next year – if they last that long, that is. Launches 15 October. Shop it here.

Liberty, £225

Probably the most hotly anticipated entry in our round-up, this year’s Liberty Beauty Calendar is its highest value offering ever, with contents worth £844. Housed in a beautifully painted depiction of its iconic London store, it is filled with indie and iconic beauty brands alike, plus one lucky calendar will also contain a golden ticket, worth £5,000 to spend at Liberty. Launches 6 October. Shop it here.

Fortnum & Mason, £225

Opening the beautifully illustrated berry red and gold doors of the Fortnum & Mason beauty calendar is akin to walking through the hallowed doors of the Piccadilly store itself, as it reveals an enticing flash of the signature duck egg blue. Each neat compartment opens to reveal another favourite from the store’s beauty hall. And with 20 full-sized products it’s one of the most generous in the round-up, worth over £750. Forget the F&M hamper this year; this is the gift that’s guaranteed to delight any Fortnums fan. Available from 24 October. Shop it here.

Benefit, £58.50

A great option for make-up mad teens, Benefit’s The More The Merrier Advent Calendar may only contain 12, as opposed to 24 gifts, but it’s still a haul of over £130, for less than £60. Plus it features all their bestsellers, including Hoola bronzer, They’re Real! Mascara and Roller liner. Online now. Shop it here.

The Body Shop, £80

If you’re looking for a conscious option this year, The Body Shop’s beautiful pop-up design reveals 25 skin, hair and body products in signature fruity scents, using fair-trade and ethically sourced ingredients. Behind each door you’ll also discover a ‘small act of kindness’, designed to inspire a ‘month of good deeds’ through December to share the festive love. Online now. Shop it here.

Charlotte Tilbury, £150

As you might expect from Ms. Tilbury, her beauty advent calendar is dripping in old school Hollywood glamour. With a rose-gold exterior and faux-crystal drawer-pulls, it’s a decadent coffret filled with three full-size and nine travel-sizes, and the perfect mix of make-up and skincare to keep you coiffed well into the New Year. Shop it here.

The White Company, £160

Available now, The White Company’s Beauty Advent Calendar is – as you may expect – wrapped beautifully in a luxury white and silver box which opens to reveal 25 miniatures of its bath and body range, as well as mini votives of their bestselling winter candles, which are the perfect size for dressing a festive table. Shop it here.

By Lydia Mansi
September 2021

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Lydia Mansi

Lifestyle Editor

Lydia is an all-round lifestyle guru, tireless champion of women in business and our resident expert on beauty.