No matter how old you are, there’s something about an advent calendar that really gets you into the festive spirit. Historically, each little door revealed a picture (often part of the nativity scene), and over the past few decades, morsels of chocolate were the name of the game. But modern iterations go above and beyond, particularly in the beauty category, where you can score a stellar haul.
Beauty advent calendars typically include 12, 24, or 25 days’ worth of products behind individual doors. You’d usually present a 24- or 25-piece set on December 1, allowing your loved one to open a door each day until Christmas. The “12 Days of Christmas” traditionally go from December 25 through January 5, so technically, you could gift a 12-piece calendar on Christmas Day. However, many people like to do a 12-day countdown starting December 14.
Available in brand-exclusive sets or curated assortments of fan favorites, beauty advent calendars are getting better every year. They offer excellent value for best-selling products. So even if you don’t have anyone in mind, by all means, treat yourself.
You can’t go wrong with Charlotte Tilbury when shopping for your favorite cosmetics enthusiast. In addition to truly amazing makeup, the brand offers a plethora of skincare products that enhance the look of your glam. This 12-door advent calendar has a little of everything.
It’s filled with five full-size and seven mini products, including award-winners like the Lip Oil Elixir, Matte Revolution Lipstick, Magic Serum, and Magic Cream—the latter of which was a hit with our home tester. And the whole thing comes in a wrappable, bedazzled box your giftee can reuse as a jewelry organizer.
Price at Time of Publish: $200
“Charlotte Tilbury is known for providing a luxurious product experience, and the brand’s cult-favorite moisturizer is no exception.”—Gabrielle Dyer, Product Tester
Benefit’s Sincerely Yours advent calendar is filled with 12 mini versions of the brand’s all-star makeup products. You’ll get four mascaras, including two versions of They’re Real!, two POREfessional primers, eyeliner, and three brow products, including Gimme Brow+, which never disappoints.
It also comes with powder blush and the cult favorite, endlessly versatile Hoola Bronzer, which our tester said “works both for a sun-kissed boost and for contouring.” This is one of the more affordable options we found, and it boasts a $142 value.
Price at Time of Publish: $65
Looking for an advent calendar containing an assortment of brands? Dermstore has you covered. Claiming a $765 value, this chic matte black box has 25 drawers, each with a full or travel-size best-seller from skincare’s most popular brands.
We’re talking Kate Somerville, Peter Thomas Roth, Elta MD, and iS Clinical. And it comes with a handful of products our testers loved, like the AHA powerhouse Sunday Riley Good Genes.
Price at Time of Publish: $200
Sephora compiled 25 of the store’s most popular, best-selling products of the last decade into one giftable set. This includes Anastasia Beverly Hills brow gel, Belif Aqua Bomb, Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta peel pads, Sol De Janeiro Bum Bum mist, and Supergoop! Glowscreen.
There are even a couple throw-backs, like Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey. Julia Roberts hands this exact shade of the tinted lip balm to Jena Malone in that iconic car scene in the 1998 movie Stepmom.
Price at Time of Publish: $85
Macy’s 25 Days of Beauty Advent Calendar contains—you guessed it—25 individual products. And you can bet it’s filled with best-sellers from go-to beauty counter brands.
Your special someone will get to try out Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair, BareMinerals Mineral Veil, and Lancôme Génifique Serum—to name just a few. There’s also a little pot of Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream, a classic moisturizer with our home tester’s stamp of approval.
Price at Time of Publish: $99
You’re wise to buy a beauty advent calendar early as these tend to sell out fast. Make sure it’ll arrive before the day you plan to give it to your person. Like other limited-edition holiday gifts, there’s always a chance it’ll sell out, so it’s best to be proactive, no matter when you gift the set.
You can count on Philip B. for high-quality haircare that actually follows through on its claims. With a best-selling product behind each of the 12 doors, this advent calendar is a great introduction to the brand.
It includes full-size and mini versions of shampoos, conditioners, leave-ins, detanglers, treatments, and stylers for cleansing, replenishing, rejuvenating, and protecting your mane.
Price at Time of Publish: $285
You don’t have to be able to pronounce L’Occitane to appreciate its products (hint: it’s lawk-see-taan). The French bodycare brand is a go-to for toiletries at five-star hotels like the Four Seasons.
With this luxury advent calendar, your giftee can enjoy the luxury formulas right at home. It comes with 24 full-size and mini products, including the sought-after hand creams, shower gel, shampoo, and creamy bar soap.
Price at Time of Publish: $140
MAC’s take on the advent calendar is this 24-piece bow-topped box that claims to offer a $475 value for less than half the price. It comes with five lipsticks, two Lipglasses, a few signature single-pot eyeshadows, eyeliner, mascara, brow products, Strobe Cream, and much more. If your loved one isn’t already a MAC fan, they’ll be a convert once they get through all 24 doors.
Price at Time of Publish: $195
This countdown calendar from The Body Shop has a cool pop-up design featuring drawers filled with products for pampering the skin from the neck down. The high-quality assortment includes ultra-creamy body butter, luxurious hand cream, shower gel, and bubble bath. There are also a few goodies for the face, including cleansers and sheet masks.
Price at Time of Publish: $90
UpCircle’s first-ever advent calendar offers a sneak peek of 12 of the brand’s soon-to-launch products. The specific items are currently still hush-hush, but it promises to include both highly requested formulas and limited-edition skincare, all sustainably sourced and 100% vegan. Just a heads up, the brand is only selling 2,000 of these gift sets, so we recommend ordering one sooner than later.
Price at Time of Publish: $110
This 24-day advent calendar from Anthropologie is pretty reasonably priced, considering it contains $300 worth of beauty favs. The premium lineup includes products from Mario Badescu, Butter London, Peter Thomas Roth, Youth to the People, Grown Alchemist, Sunday Riley, Christophe Robin, and Tocca. And it all comes in a wrappable gift box featuring intricate illustrations by artist Emily Taylor of George & Viv.
Price at Time of Publish: $82
Looking for a drugstore-tier option? You can’t go wrong with NYX. This 24-day advent calendar is filled with two dozen items for the finishing touches of your loved one’s glam routine. We’re talking finishing powder, eye primer, eight eyeshadow pots, eyeliner, liquid highlighter, lip scrub, lip base, lip gloss, and setting spray in two finishes.
Price at Time of Publish: $65
By Terry is a French beauty brand known for its premium makeup and skincare offerings. The Terryfic Glow Advent Calendar is a 24-piece gift set filled with the most in-demand offerings.
It comes with nine full-size items, 12 travel-size products, and three makeup brushes. Notable picks include By Terry’s iconic lip and eye crayons and the line of hyaluronic acid-infused primers, powders, and creams.
Price at Time of Publish: $215
When you’re stumped on a gift for the woman in your life, head over to Net-a-Porter. The high-end Italian retailer’s 25 Days of Beauty Advent Calendar is chock full of products any cosmetics-loving lady will enjoy.
Hand-picked by editors, the lineup includes items from top-shelf brands like Westman Atelier, Dr. Barbara Sturm, Tata Harper, Augustinus Bader, Charlotte Tilbury, Agent Nateur, and Dr. Dennis Gross.
Price at Time of Publish: $299
Rahua’s first-ever advent calendar is all about pampering the hair on your head. The 12-piece set includes a medley of sustainably sourced, plant-based products, all within a wrappable, reusable box. Beyond shampoo and conditioner, it comes with scalp exfoliant, hair gel, smoothing balm, detangler, protectant, and hair perfume.
Price at Time of Publish: $180
Check the Estimated Value
When browsing beauty advent calendars, pay attention to the estimated value and compare it to the actual price. For instance, a $100 set might include $200 worth of products.
Whether you’re shopping for someone else or treating yourself, this tells you whether it’s a better deal than buying the products individually or simply presented in giftable packaging. (The latter doesn’t necessarily mean an advent calendar isn’t worth buying, but it’s good to have a rough idea of how the price breaks down.)
If your special someone is big on DIY manicures and pedicures, OPI is the way to go. The tried-and-true brand’s holiday advent calendar contains 25 bottles of mini nail polishes.
There are many classic shades behind the doors, like Bubble Bath, Big Apple Red, Strawberry Margarita, and Lincoln Park After Dark, plus some festive colors, including Decked to the Pines, Sleigh Bells Bling, Alpine Snow, Feelin’ Berry Glam, and Merry & Ice.
Price at Time of Publish: $80
This advent calendar from BareMinerals contains 12 of the brand’s greatest hits. The Clean Beauty Countdown set is filled with six full-size products and six minis, including makeup must-haves like bronzer, lipstick, mascara, and eyeliner.
It also has a few skincare favs, including moisturizer, eye cream, cleanser, serum, and a nighttime retinol treatment. One thing it doesn’t include is the brand’s flagship product, the Original Loose Powder Foundation, as shade selection is a personal task.
Price at Time of Publish: $105
Essence is a German-founded drugstore makeup brand with a relatively new presence in the U.S. market. But over the last few years, it earned its spot as a go-to for affordable glam.
The brand’s reasonably priced Happy Holidays Advent Calendar includes 24 products. Besides a medley of makeup, there are applicator tools, a liner sharpener, oil blotters, nail polish, nail stickers, nail-grooming items, a lip mask, and hand cream.
Price at Time of Publish: $45
Clarins is another French cosmetics company with a dedicated following. This 12-piece advent calendar is filled with full-size products and mini best-sellers, including all-purpose balm, lip oil, micellar cleanser, line-reducing eye cream, hand cream, and ultra-rich body lotion.
While the Holiday Sparkle Gift Set focuses mostly on skincare, it comes with a few of the brand’s makeup offerings, like the award-winning primer and volumizing mascara.
Price at Time of Publish: $78
This beauty advent calendar is undoubtedly expensive. But if you can swing it, we can all but guarantee your someone special will be impressed. Dr. Barbara Sturm is a higher-than-high-end skincare brand that may seem ridiculously overpriced, though after trying out the line, our tester said it “changed her life.”
This 24-day advent calendar comes with one of just about everything. The set includes cleanser, exfoliator, multiple serums, eye cream, a few moisturizers, corrective treatments, and more sought-after surprises.
Price at Time of Publish: $560
A holiday advent calendar is pretty on-brand for Kylie Cosmetics. And you can expect nothing less than a delightful assortment of best-selling products in festive shades.
The 12 Days of Kylie set contains—yes—12 items individually packaged within a cranberry-red box. Notable products include three full-size liquid lipsticks, lip liner, gloss, three eyeliners, and a few winter skincare picks, like body lotion, lip scrub, facial oil, and the Kylie Skin Headband.
Price at Time of Publish: $180
Huda Beauty’s 12-Door Advent Calendar is filled with all the products you or your loved one will want to reach for while getting ready for holiday parties this season. This curated gift set contains skin-prepping products like the Yo Glow scrub, Wishful eye masks, Honey Whip moisturizer, and Water Jelly Primer.
And you can bet it includes an assortment of makeup, like blush, liquid liner, mascara, and transfer-proof lipstick, plus the warm and intoxicating Kayali Parfum in 12 & Vanilla.
Price at Time of Publish: $175
If your giftee loves soaking in the tub, you can’t go wrong with Lush. From the company that literally invented the bath bomb, this advent calendar comes with seven festive fizzers, including scents like Sweet Pudding, Magical Santa, and Christmas Party.
This 25-piece set also contains six skin-softening, delightfully scented bubble bars. And that’s not all. As your loved one makes their way through the chest-style box, they’ll find body lotion, hand balm, lip scrub, a shampoo bar, shower gel, body scrub, bar soap, and perfume.
Price at Time of Publish: $300
ChapStick is a prime example of a generic trademark—you know, when a brand name is so ubiquitous that we use it when referring to all products in the same category. (See also: Kleenex and BandAid.) Invented in the 1880s, ChapStick remains a go-to for affordable, widely available, high-quality lip balm.
This advent calendar comes with 12 sticks of varying flavors, including seasonless classics and holiday picks. Yes, 12 is perhaps more than one person needs, but your giftee can use one each month of the year.
Price at Time of Publish: $19
The Elemis Skin Wellness Advent Calendar doesn’t hold out. Worth $732 and sold at about a third of the price, this 25-piece gift set contains the brand’s entire skincare collection.
It has both full-size and mini products, including editor favorites like the Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, Dynamic Resurfacing Pads, Superfood Facial Wash and Oil, and Papaya Enzyme Peel. There are also two highly rated cleansing balms our testers loved, the Pro-Collagen Balm and Superfood Glow Butter.
Price at Time of Publish: $255
Look for a Wrappable Box
Many beauty advent calendars come in square or rectangular boxes, making them conveniently easy to wrap. However, others are packaged in round or oddly shaped boxes, which are trickier to wrap. Keep this in mind and plan ahead with wrapping supplies.
If you’re like most people, La Mer is simply too expensive to buy for yourself. That’s partly why it makes such an amazing gift. And while the brand’s advent calendar is exorbitantly priced, it’s actually a decent deal, considering it’s filled with $735 worth of products—so if you’re gonna treat yourself, this is a prime opportunity.
This 12-piece gift set includes the iconic Crème de La Mer moisturizer and 11 other less famous but equally impressive formulas. From cleanser, toner, and serum to eye cream, masks, and facial oil, there’s something for every step of your skincare routine.
Price at Time of Publish: $560
Molton Brown is a British cosmetics company that got its start concocting high-end fragrances in the early 70s. This opulent gift set contains a few of the most popular eau de parfums and toilettes, including 2.5-ounce bottles and travel-size spritzers.
The lineup includes many other scrumptious-smelling products too. Think shampoo and conditioner, cleaning oil, shower gel, lotion, body oil, body illuminator, liquid hand soap, and hand cream.
Price at Time of Publish: $270
On a budget? This wallet-friendly gift set is an excellent choice. It comes with 12 individually wrapped, single-use face masks. From classic clay and mud masks to creamy moisturizing concoctions to oil-absorbing formulas that promise to clear your pores and keep breakouts in check, there’s something for just about every skin concern and goal.
Price at Time of Publish: $18
Kate Somerville’s 12 Days of Kate Advent Calendar is jam-packed with premium beauty goodness, including eight full-size picks and four travel-size products. You’ll get the famous ExfoliKate Treatment, which earned perfect scores from our tester, and the Overnight Peel that left another tester with “baby-soft skin.”
You’ll also get a facial cleanser, eye cream, retinol treatment, firming serum, body scrub, and a couple of moisturizers. We realize this is one of the priciest options, but considering it’s an $825 value, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth.
Price at Time of Publish: $499
Olive & June’s Hanukkah Calendar features eight doors and, notably, more than eight products. It comes with six mini bottles of nail polish in shades that’ll flatter year-round, plus a glossy top coat, drying drops, an overnight hand treatment, and cuticle serum.
And that’s not all. Your giftee will get various nailcare tools and fun extras, including a file, a buffer, the Poppy polish bottle handle, Hanukkah nail stickers, and a set of press-ons. (There’s also a Christmas Countdown Calendar with 25 doors.)
Price at Time of Publish: $55
Florence By Mills is geared more toward teens—its founder is Millie Bobby Brown, currently a teen herself. However, the collection includes products nearly anyone will find useful.
This 12-day advent calendar is filled with a medley of best-sellers and limited-edition items. There’s a moisturizer, a mud mask, a lip mask, depuffing eye pads, highlighter, lip balm, eyeliner, and lipstick—to name a few.
Price at Time of Publish: $129
A true luxury item, this advent calendar features full and discovery sized candles from the famed French brand, including the three limited-edition Christmas scents: A small Sapin/Pine Tree candle and mini Neige/Snow and Spark/Étincelles candles. The theme of this year’s calendar is the Milky Way as each of the candles features corresponds to a constellation. The box is reusable and handy for stowing keepsakes, and, as a bonus, it glows in the dark.
Price at Time of Publish: $480
Calling all wellness enthusiasts—this 24-piece set will give you a daily dose of zen as you head into the holiday season. We predict this limited-edition will sell out asap, so get your paws on it while you can. You’ll find Alo beauty products, from minis to full-size, daily inspiration cards, a yearlong Alo Moves Subscription, and $25 Alo gift card.
Price at time of publish: $250
With over $1,000 worth of beauty favorites, this 25-day calendar from Cult Beauty is chock-full of skin care and makeup gifts. It not only comes with 37 products to love, but 13 of them are even full size.
In this calendar, you’ll find cult classics such as Augustinus Bader’s The Rich Cream, a full size Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, and the Sunday Riley C.E.O. Vitamin C Brightening Serum. It also includes gifts from other well-loved brands, such as Dr. Dennis Gross, Glow Recipe, and Laura Mercier.
Price at time of publish: $315
This calendar from The Bay most likely has everything that a beauty lover would have on their list this year, with gifts ranging from eye creams to eau de parfums and body lotions. You’ll find 25 days of beauty surprises—but with 44 gifts overall—with a variety of full-size and travel items.
Highlights include the viral Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey, as well as picks from luxury brands like Mugler, YSL, Giorgio Armani and Issey Miyake.
Price at time of publish: $225
Loyal Origins fans will love this 24-day advent calendar from the brand, which comes with minis of some of their skin care favorites. You’ll find everything from face washes to masks to serums to hydrate and target multiple skin concerns. A few beauty tools are also included, such as facial brushes and an eye massager.
Price at time of publish: $124
Payot is a French skincare brand that’s sold high quality products for over 100 years now, so this calendar is a perfect gift for someone who’s been dying to try French cosmetics. It comes with travel sizes of 24 of their best-selling products, including masks, moisturizers and scrubs.
This calendar’s total value is $260, but you can get it for under $100—a great deal for the holiday season,
Price at time of publish: $90