Look stunning while you count down the days to Christmas
Chocolate is so last year. This festive season, you should be uncovering a pint-sized pampering present each morning with an Advent beauty calendar. Katie Wright rounds up the best on offer.
Candy-filled Advent calendars may be delicious, but the sad thing is those chocs disappear rapidly as the days go by (while the sugar guilt doesn't). A box of 24 beauty treats, on the other hand, brings you weeks of fun as you play with all those make-up minis and finally get your hands on the skincare heroes you've been meaning to try for years.
From surprisingly affordable to the seriously luxurious, these are the calendars that will ensure you wake up happy this Advent. Perfect for teens and tweens who are just starting to experiment with make-up, the Flutter Beauty Advent Calendar, currently £8, down from £12, Superdrug, is packed with eyeshadows, lip glosses and balms, all housed in an adorable pooch-covered package (www.superdrug.com).
If hot, steamy baths are your favourite winter pastime, The Bomb Advent Calendar Gift Pack, £19.99, which contains a mix of fizzy bath blasters and scented soaps, is the one for you (bombcosmetics.co.uk).
Now reduced from £25 to £20, the House of Fraser Exclusive Advent Calendar 2016, offers excellent value for money. Behind each door of the snowy department store box is a product from the Colour Couture make-up range, everything from brow pencils and mascara, to nail polish and glitter (www.house offraser.co.uk).
Candles, eye masks, bath soaks and more... Sanctuary Let Go Days Of Christmas Advent Calendar, £25, Boots, has everything you need to counteract festive stress (and a few more treats besides), all 24 minis beautifully scented of course (www.boots.com).
Worth more than £150, the No7 Bright Lights Big City Beauty Calendar, £39, Boots, is great to try out (or stock up on) the Protect & Perfect range, as it comes with five favourites from the line, as well as heaps of No7 make-up, so you can get glam for all those Crimbo parties (www.boots.com).
So popular that it's sold out online, you'll have to head in store to get your hands on a L'Occitane Christmas Beauty Advent Calendar, £42, which contains many of the brands bestselling hand creams and a bevy of bathing miniatures too (www.loccitane.com)
There's a bit of a catch here, because the Marks & Spencer Beauty Advent Calendar, £35, is only purchasable when you spend £35 on clothing, beauty or home. But, since the Christmas-tree shaped edit of 25 branded beauty must-haves is worth a massive £250, we think it's totally worth it (www.marks andspencer.com).
Featuring beloved brands like Dermalogica, Cowshed, Elemis and Philosophy, ASOS The Beauty Advent Calendar, £50, is as cool on the inside as it's marble-patterned exterior suggests. And with a total value of £175, it's a beauty junkie's idea of heaven (www.asos.com).
For manicure maniacs, it simply has to be Ciate's Mini Mani Month, £50. The London skyline-themed calendar comes with one full size and 18 mini polishes, plus nail-art goodies and a limited-edition surprise, so you'll have months of perfect manis to look forward to (www. ciatelondon.com).
BareMinerals debuted their first Advent calendar this year and boy, are we glad they did. Countdown to Gorgeous, £75, brings together 24 of the brand's make-up must-tries, including six gorgeous Marvelous Moxie lipglosses and the famous Lash Domination Mascara (www.bareminerals.co.uk).
This year the Clarins Advent Calendar, £95, comes in a cute, candy coloured box. Featuring a selection of the brand's uber-effective skincare, plus make-up, bag charms and gift tags, the 24-piece haul is worth nearly £150 (www.clarins.co.uk).
One of the first beauty brands to launch an Advent calendar, this year the Body Shop has a trio to choose from at £60, £80 and £99 price points, with every purchase helping to support rainforest preservation. The 24 Happy Days Ultimate Advent Calendar, £80, is a pretty pink box filled with bath and make-up minis worth £127.50 (www.thebodyshop.com).
It's one of the most expensive Advent calendars on the market, but that hasn't stopped the Jo Malone Advent Calendar, £280, being extremely popular.
At the time of writing, the luxurious 24-drawer townhouse was sold out online, but more stock is on the way and it's still available in boutiques.
Nestled in each compartment, you'll find a fragrant little something from the iconic British brand, including candles, cologne and body creme (www.jomalone.co.uk).