2017: The Year the Advent Calendar went Level 100
Do you remember the days when advent calendars contained illustrations of the nativity, or the Simpsons one with chocolate characters that you could pick up for a couple of pounds from the supermarket? While the chocolate versions are still available, recent years have seen something of an advent revolution, with a wide variety of calendars for men, women and children hitting the shelves.
We’ve given our verdict some of the more interesting (and often expensive) options on the market.
Charlotte Tilbury: Naughty and Nice Magic Box
Containing ‘12 Best-Selling Make Up Treasures’, The Naughty and Nice Magic Box will set you back a whopping £150. The calendar features four full-sized products, along with eight miniatures, and if you bought them all separately you’d end up spending around £170 (calculated as a percentage of full sized prices).
Our verdict: unless you’re definitely going to use all the products then it’s probably not worth it; you’d be far better off picking out your favourites in the shades you know you’ll wear.
Zoella: 12 Days Of Christmas
One of the big controversies of Christmas 2017 so far has been Zoella’s advent calendar. Like Clarins and Charlotte Tilbury, the Youtuber’s offering contains just 12 products and is priced at £50 (currently selling at £25). What amazing goodies do you get for your money? Well, the calendar contains ‘bauble, confetti, purse, candle 130g, cookie cutter x 2, jotter pad, key ring, pen, room spray 30ml, stickers and votive’
Our verdict: Even with the discount pricing is excessive for what you get – Poundland have even recreated the selection for just £13. The reviews on the product page make for entertaining reading, though…
The Body Shop
This year Body Shop have absolutely nailed their advent calendar offerings. With three calendars and a New Years countdown (£55), there is a price point for everyone. The £45 24 Days of Beauty calendar is sold out, but you still buy the 25 Days Deluxe (£65) or the 25 Days Ultimate (£99).
Our verdict: A lovely beauty gift, and cruelty-free too. We really like that there’s three, so you can pick your luxury level. They’re still not hugely affordable, but when compared with others on the market even the Ultimate advent calendar could be seen as a bargain.
ClarinsMen: 12 Days of Christmas
Clarins have produced both male and female versions of their 12 Days of Christmas calendar. The RRP is £60, and the calendar contains two full sized products and 10 miniatures. Add up the prices, and the contents would come to around £105, so there’s definitely savings to be had. As the products are listed, it’s worth checking to see if you’d use what you’re getting.
Our verdict: if you’d be buying them anyway, it’s a big saving so snap it up. If you don’t really use grooming products, or are happy with high street brands, we suggest you give this a miss.
If you’re looking for something premium (and you have a larger budget) ManKind’s website claims their £250 advent calendar is worth over £650 when purchased separately. They’re keeping the actual contents a surprise (although in one of the images you can see some of the goodies). The luxury product promises that you’ll be able to ‘countdown to Christmas in the best possible way, finding a firm favourite behind each door’.
Our verdict: we could never justify spending £250 on what is essentially an adult lucky bag. With no idea of the contents you just don’t know what you’d use… There’s so many other things you could spend £250 on, especially at Christmas.
Pechkek’s Misfortune Cookies Anti-Advent Calendar
Are you a certified Grinch? Just because you’re not into Christmas doesn’t mean you should miss out on daily treats. Pechkek have created an anti-Christmas advent calendar, filled with Misfortune cookies. There is no Christmas cheer to be had here…
Our verdict: We like the idea, and it’s a cool looking product, but it’s still £27.99 for something you’ll ultimately end up binning.
There are far too many calendars on the market to talk about them all, but with so much variety there’s a strong chance you’ll be able to find a calendar to suit you. The only thing to think about is the price tag. As luxury brands are joining the party, are the days of calendars for the whole family for under a tenner slowly going? We think we’ll stick with our chocolate supermarket number.
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