Advent calendars of yore used to hold behind each window festive pictures, from donkeys to guiding stars – or, if you were really lucky, a chocolate. In recent years, however, cosmetics companies have come up with the ultimate pre-present, the beauty advent calendar. Five of the best this year include:
1) The first is by iconic French perfume house Diptyque, which has created a boho-chic calendar (second picture). Behind the 24 doors await beautiful Diptyque products, including 15 mini candles, eau de toilette vials, oils and luxury body care.
2) Liberty’s calendar sold out last year, and this year’s (third picture) might well do the same, given that behind the windows can be found such mini multibrand classics as an Eve Lom cleanser, Nars Mini Audacious mascara, Liberty Lavender soap, Ren Moroccan Rose body wash, Aurelia Miracle cleanser and muslin cloth, and Aromatherapy Associates Renewing Rose body cream. Wrapped in Felix and Isabelle fabric from the Classics 2013 print collection, the only question is how to display it after Twelfth Night?
3) The German biodynamic skincare brand Dr Hauschka (fourth picture) has created a limited-edition advent calendar that not only serves as an introduction to this seriously good skincare range, it is perfect for tired, grumpy and sensitive December skin.
4) The dramatic design of the Jo Malone Luxury advent calendar (first picture) is based on the façade of the Marylebone Georgian townhouse where the brand is based, and this calendar holds many miniature versions of its contents. Perfumes, creams, candles – here you’ll find all the Jo Malone London greatest hits one could desire.
5) The Cosmic Beauty advent calendar (fifth picture) is so called to dovetail with Selfridges’ Christmas theme this year: Destination Christmas. In other words, beauty products that are out of this world. The Cosmic contains a mixture of products from brands including Lancôme, YSL, Shu Uemura and Kiehl’s.
A special extra: If you miss the start of advent, focus on the 12 days of Christmas instead, with Charlotte Tilbury’s The Book Of Makeup Magic, which contains 12 travel and full-size jars, pots and tubes of the best of the make-up artist’s products, including her new Magic night cream.