Our Top Picks of 2021’s Beauty Advent Calendars

Once upon a time, Advent calendars were firmly for children. A crucial part of building the Christmas fervour, punching through each little door brought you tantalisingly closer to the big day. Now it’s not just the kids that are counting down the nights until the 25th.

In the era of treating yourself, luxury Advent calendars for adults are dominating the market through the month of November. From luxury tea to CBD, we’ve come a long way from the days of Santa-shaped chocolate.

Here are the Arthur Edward team’s top picks of the Beauty Advent calendars on the market this year.


An accessible high-street favourite that doesn’t skimp on quality, Boots has released its third edition of the Beauty Advent Calendar. Released in collaboration with Macmillan, this Advent calendar stays true to the Christmas spirit of giving as £2 from every sale is donated to charity. Featuring products from the bestselling brands in Boots, from bath fizzers to premium skincare, there’s bound to be something for everyone.

Charlotte Tilbury

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, Charlotte’s Magic Cream Moisturiser. Already a cult favourite brand among makeup lovers, with this option you can treat yourself over the twelve days of Christmas to three full-sized and nine mini products. Including the internet-breaking Hollywood Beauty Light Wand and two lip products in the iconic “Pillow Talk” shade, this calendar is guaranteed to bring you into the New Year looking fabulous.

Jo Loves

Even if makeup isn’t your bag, that’s no obstacle to enjoying the Christmas countdown. An AE favourite, with this Jo Loves Calendar you can have your home smelling glorious all the way through this winter season. From candles to bath & body products, Jo Malone has you covered with a range of gorgeous and seasonal scents. And if you find yourself in a pinch any one of these products could make an excellent last-minute gift!


The adult Advent calendar has been a runaway success, and who could execute the format better than Glossybox. The beauty box subscription service knows a thing or two about how to curate a truly exciting collection and are offering this one at a steal of £85 for subscribers. Featuring a younger and trendier collection of products, such as Pixi Glow Tonic and the Boucleme scalp massager, this calendar sells quickly so don’t miss out!

While it’s easy to get caught up in the fantastic products on offer, it’s easy to forget that a major part of the experience and appeal of these Advent calendars is the packaging.

There is something very powerful in the anticipation and reveal, the unveiling of that day’s tiny luxury. However, as consumers become more eco-conscious, they are more unwilling to accept excessive or wasteful packaging. For an option that keeps the magic alive with beautiful, but sustainable packaging Lush and L’Occitane have wonderful options.


Always a crowd-pleaser, especially at Christmas, Lush’s Advent Calendar has something for the whole family. Including some classic Lush staples such as bath bombs alongside a few products exclusive to the Advent calendar, all in a floral calendar made from recycled and recyclable cardboard, this product stays true to Lush’s sustainable core.


One of three editions of L’Occitane Advent Calendars, the Reusable calendar gives the consumer a gorgeous hanging calendar made from recycled cotton that has a life well beyond the festive season. Created in collaboration with UK illustrator Kitty McCall, the calendar evokes nature, colour, and joy – a perfect addition to any home.


For the first year ever, luxury retailer Flannels is bringing an Advent calendar to market. A 25-day calendar, stacked with some of the most sought-after products on the market, this calendar is a true luxury. It’s enough to convince the most traditional of traditionalists that Beauty Advent Calendars are here to stay! For those seeking the ‘effortless beauty’ look, this offering of high-end brands like Augustinus Bader and Laura Mercier is bound to impress.

OPI Nails

Elaborate nails are predicted to be a dominating trend for the post-COVID era, especially amongst Gen-Z.[1] The nail polish segment specifically is expected to see lucrative growth in the coming years.[2] Capitalising on this anticipated growth is OPI, bringing a new focus on sustainability and a range of vegan nail polishes to market. This Advent calendar features a range of 25 signature shades, featuring a few limited-edition products from OPI’s Celebration Collection.

While Advent calendars have been a gift to the golden quarter, the extravagant offerings on show this year may raise questions of overconsumption. As ‘slow beauty’ grows in popularity, the way Advent Calendars give consumers a wide collection of new products in mini form that they can then try and test, seems to stand at odds with ideals of sustainability and mindful purchasing. The challenge to industry is then to resolve the conflict between the “treat yourself” mantra and the evolving values driven by younger customers. Just as Christmas is a period of personal indulgence mirrored with a spirit of generosity and giving to those less fortunate, Advent calendars must reflect this paradox too.


[2] https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/nail-care-products-market-2021-2025-industry-covid-19-impact-analysis-market-trends-growth-opportunities–forecast–technavio-301265658.html

Image credit: Jan Romero