In the lead up to Christmas I may get slightly more excited by the idea of advent calendars than a grown up really should but with all of the options out there now, besides the chocolate ones, I think it’s acceptable, maybe buying three was less so though. I was originally planning on doing a post with information on a lot of the different advent calendars available but I got a bit overwhelmed by the range out there and all the different release dates so I missed that post this year, sorry guys.
However I have bought three advents calendars, one with Boots points but it’s still buying I guess, and as the latest of the bunch has arrived I thought I’d do a post on the ones I have. This post will contain spoilers in the form of a list of the products in there but, as I’m going to be good and open them as advent calendars, I haven’t got photos up of the products yet. I will be doing a daily post through December until the 24th with photos and first impressions posts as I have the past two years so if you want to see a bit more on any of these then check back in December.
The three advent calendars I bought were The Marks and Spencer’s Beauty Advent Calendar, at £35 for over £250 worth of stuff and after loving last year’s this one was the one I really wanted, the Ciate Mini Mani Month, another that I bought a few years ago and loved, and the Yankee Candle one they sold in Boots. I didn’t plan on getting three, I did budget for a certain amount for an advent calendar in case the M&S one wasn’t available and the three together came in at less than some of the beauty advent calendars around. It was also a nice surprise to realise how many Boots points I had, I still have enough for some sales shopping after Christmas too.
The Yankee candle is the one I’ll start off with as it seems to be the one that’s sold out, unless you count Amazon and eBay where the price is over double what it was. This was on Boots for £20, though I think the RRP was £25, and is apparently still available in some stores though I’ve never seen a Yankee advent calendar in one near me so it may be just very select stores. Still possibly worth a look though. There is a similar one on the Yankee Candle website which costs £25 but I can’t find a list of the scents anywhere so they may be different, they’ve done that in past years with different scents for the different stores. This one has the traditional advent calendar style, or the one I grew up with, with the card doors you have to tear open carefully. Some people have posted about the fact the tealights are loose when they arrived in the post but I haven’t had that problem, last year I had the opposite in that some were so hard to get out it ended up ripping the edged of the door.
This advent calendar is the cheapest that Yankee do and has 23 tea lights in the scents Spiced Orange, Winter Glow, Cosy By the Fire, Christmas Cookies, Bundle Up and Snowflake Cookie. I know from last year that the cookie scents aren’t my favourite but I know others who like them so they may be little stocking fillers or extras for them. There’s also a votive candle in the scent Christmas Eve, I think this is one they do every year in these, which is a nice Christmassy smell but does need a votive candle holder to burn properly. I loved having the different scents to burn last year and a tea light burns for a nice length of time each day so you don’t end up with a stack of half burned candles at the end.
The second one I bought is the Ciate Mini Mani Month, which is still available from ASOS (though it says low stock) and the Ciate London website for £50. I did buy this when it was on offer at £40 but as the stock is low on ASOS I wouldn’t risk waiting. I know last year they seemed to remain in stock some places until Christmas but it looks like that may be less likely this year and advent calendars are always best when you open them day by day for me. I do love these ones that have small boxes, it’s like opening a little present each day and they also work really well for wrapping smaller Christmas presents or disguising obvious or oddly shaped and hard to wrap gifts.
This calendar has 24 boxes to open with Ciate nail products inside them, most of them minis. There are 22 mini nail varnishes, which are 5ml bottles, in a range of colours and includes a couple of treatments. I’m not going to list all of the colours, there’s a photo for that and I think you can see the names under the colours in there if you make it bigger, but you have 14 Geology nail polishes which apparently work well with the Geology top coat you get and are an improved or stronger formula so will be interesting to try that out. There are also 3 original formula nail varnishes, 2 nail toppers, and two treatments in nail saviour and status grow. As well as these minis there’s a mystery full sized nail varnish (which looks sparkly going by photos on product pages) and a nail file. Of these the nail file is probably the only disappointing gift but you can never have too many nail files as I seem to lose them all the time and with 23 different nail varnishes at £50 when they’re good quality and I find the formula works well for me I’m not complaining.
The final one is the one that will have the longest post, simply because I will actually list the products in there as it’s such a range. It’s the Marks and Spencer’s Beauty Advent Calendar which is out of stock online but you can check stock in your local stores. I know that the ones nearest me all have it so it’s worth checking to see the stock in your area if you’re interested. This one costs £35 though you do have to spend £35 in M&S, in the home (not furniture), clothes or beauty sections, which isn’t that hard to do. I bought two pairs of leggings and a gift for someone and it came to over the threshold. This one is another with the small boxes to open and I know that some of these also have tissue paper inside so it’s like a little present inside too. Maybe it’s just me that likes that but I think it’s nice.
It’s hard to describe this one without putting a list of everything in there so I’ll do that instead. It does cover quite a range of different beauty products with skin care, hair care, perfume, nail products, hand cream and some fairly neutral makeup that isn’t skin tone specific so you don’t have to worry about colour matching. Going by last year’s calendar there are a range of full sized and deluxe sample products in here, I don’t think I had anything that you would think you could get free as a sample and I think this year looks the same.
And here’s the list of everything so if you want to remain spoiler free look away: Leighton Denny crystal nail file, Look Good Feel Better mini powder brush, Alpha-H Liquid Gold, Eyeko Skinny Mini Liquid Eyeliner – black, Percy and Reed Perfectly Perfect Wonder Balm, Philip Kingsley Elasticizer (got this last year and it was nice), Shay and Blue Atropa Belladonna Natural Spray Fragrance, Josh Wood Radiant Shine Hair Treatment Oil, Ultrasun Face SPF 30, Pur Correcting Primer Prep and Perfect, Filorga Time Filler, Burt’s Bees Lip Balm with Peppermint, Pixi Brow Tamer, Neal’s Yard Remedies Bee Lovely Hand Cream, Rodial Super Acids X-treme Acid Rush Peel, Nails Inc Gel One Coat Polish – Piccadilly Court, Rosie for Autograph Lip Glossy – Supermodel Smile, Rituals The Ritual of Sakura Body Cream, Autograph Nail Colour – Cranberry, Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm, Ren EVercalm Global Protection Day Cream, Nuxe Hulie Prodigieuse, Skyn Iceland Icelandic Relief Eye Cream, Formula Absolute Ultimate Sleep Cream and Studio 10 Miracle Effect Priming Serum.
Sorry if that was hard to read, it looked odd as bullet points and it makes it easier to skip if you want to avoid the exact contents, though it does tell you on the back anyway so it’s hard to avoid them completely. This one is definitely the one with the things I am most excited about though with such a range there are going to be duff products for me. Last year I think I ended up using everything except for two that reacted with my skin but other people enjoyed them so twenty two out of twenty four isn’t bad. I ended up finding some new favourites and finding some old products I loved and hadn’t used for a while, I have repurchased the Pixi toner and the Burt’s Bees lemon balm thing after getting them in there.
Have any of you guys got any advent calendars? Are advent calendars something you’ve done since you were little or something that’s become a recent thing? I’m not sure how big they are outside the UK but I don’t think there’s a year that I haven’t had one, though it’s only been the past few years they weren’t chocolate.