Diptyque's trippy keepsake box houses a selection of the brand's best-selling scents. Photo / Supplied

15 Festive & Fun Beauty Advent Calendars That Bring The Magic This Christmas

Take a peek behind the doors of this year’s best and brightest beauty advent calendars, which promise an abundance of skincare, haircare, makeup and fragrance

As I write this, Mariah Carey is blasting through the speakers, a box of Christmas decorations lies half open on the lounge floor (complete with a tangled mess of tree lights that are begging to be unraveled).

If you’re anything like me, the festive fun that Christmas time brings is the perfect antidote to another pandemic-plagued year I’m sure most of us would rather forget.

A daily beauty product makes counting down to Christmas all the more exciting, and the season’s most magical beauty advent calendars make for a pretty alternative to chocolatey treats.

Options abound for almost every type of beauty lover, from La Mer’s top-rated skincare to Benefit Cosmetics’ must-have makeup or Glasshouse Fragrances’ festive fragrances.

Some of these cornucopias of delights don’t come cheap, but the savings certainly add up when you factor in the retail value of each individual product. Plus, the travel-sizes make for an ideal option to trial products before investing in the full-sized versions.

Below, our picks of the best beauty advent calendars to add to cart this festive season, ranging from the wallet-friendly to the ultra-indulgent. Happy holidays!

UNDER $200

Sephora Collection Holiday Vibes Advent Calendar Makeup, Skincare & Bath Set, $99
It may be sold out online, but sign up for the waitlist and you may just be one of the lucky few to receive this do-it-all kit before Santa slides down your chimney. Dressed in Sephora’s signature stripes with clashing colours and candy canes, this calendar contains 24 beauty surprises to make counting down to Christmas a real treat. Nail polishes, face masks, hair accessories, makeup and more from Sephora’s in-house brand lie behind each brightly coloured door. Sephora.nz

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The Body Shop Share the Joy Advent Calendar, $100
All things merry and bright abound inside The Body Shop’s pop-up calendar, which features pampering body products to have you smelling lovely all summer long. The mystery box contains treats to spoil from top-to-toe, including its signature Body Butters, Sheet Masks and Bath Bubbles, alongside tips on how to spread a little Christmas cheer with friends, family and the community. Last year, The Body Shop’s advent calendar offering was such a hit that the brand sold one every 30 seconds. This year is no different (it’s currently sold out online) and at the time of printing, limited quantities are available in-store only across the country, so get in quick before it sells out for good. Available in-store only from The Body Shop

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Benefit Cosmetics The More, The Merrier Makeup Holiday Advent Calendar Set, $130
Makeup kit in need of a restock? Look no further than Benefit Cosmetics’ advent calendar, which contains everything you need to overhaul your beauty bag. Discover 12 of the brand’s best-sellers and fan favourites to create any summer-ready makeup look, including Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Gel, BadGal Bang! Volumizing Mascara, and Hoola Matte Bronzer in purse-friendly sizes. The special-edition, keepsake outer box is reusable, so extend its life by housing all your beauty go-tos like hair ties and accessories come December 25. Available from the Benefit Cosmetics Boutique & Brow Bar Lounge in Auckland’s Ponsonby, selected department stores or online at Benefitcosmetics.com

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Clarins 12 Day Advent Calendar, $150
Encased in chic red and white box comes Clarins’ selection of product picks sure to surprise and delight any beauty aficionado. Celebrate 12 days of Christmas with a selection of best-selling makeup and skincare, including its iconic Beauty Flash Balm, Cleansing Micellar Water, Wonder Perfect Mascara 4D and Moisture Rich Body Lotion, among others. Clarinsnewzealand.co.nz

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Kiehl’s Limited Edition Holiday Advent Calendar, $158
Kiehl’s annual Christmas offerings are always a sight to behold, and this year the collection comes decorated with holiday-inspired designs by French illustrator and artist Marylou Faure. This limited-edition packaging sees Kiehl’s New York City home transformed into a whimsical dreamland, complete with fun characters and magical illustrations. Behind each vibrant door, discover Kiehl’s Dreamland Of Giving, complete with 24 iconic travel-sized formulas including cleansers, toners, masks, serums, moisturisers, haircare and more. Themarket.com

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L'Occitane Luxury Beauty Advent Calendar, $199
Back for yet another year is L’Occitane’s luxurious beauty advent calendar, which contains everything you need for an at-home spa treatment, with the brand’s almond-infused body care, shea-enriched skincare, scented hand creams and travel-friendly haircare. A real treat indeed for yourself or a loved one. Themarket.com

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UNDER $500

Lancôme Advent Calendar, $276
The closest thing we’ll get to wandering Parisian streets right now is this limited-edition, glistening pink fold-out cityscape from Lancôme. Inside each building find 24 luxury favourites in mini sizes, ranging from glossy black mascaras and ruby-hued lipsticks, to cosseting cremes and serums. You’ll even find the brand’s best-selling La Vie Est Belle fragrance in three different forms to ignite the senses and leave you smelling fabulous. Adorebeauty.co.nz

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Glasshouse Fragrances 24 Days Of Christmas Advent Calendar, $279
Immerse yourself in all things Glasshouse Fragrances and delight your senses with a sweet-smelling treat to enjoy daily. Starting from December 1, this 24-piece advent calendar contains all manner of miniature hand creams, soy candles, eau de parfums, body lotions and shower gels in its iconic travel-inspired scents including A Tahaa Affair, Midnight In Milan and Kyoto In Bloom, with the exception of one festive pick — Night Before Christmas — to be opened, you guessed it, on December 24. Nz.glasshousefragrances.com

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Huda Beauty 12 Door Advent Calendar Makeup & Skincare Set, $305
Now’s your chance to try all of Huda Kattan’s favourite beauty products, with this limited-edition calendar which has been curated by the brand founder herself. Containing a mix of full-size and mini products, expect to see party-worthy makeup picks for eyes, lips and cheeks, alongside skincare to plump and hydrate skin in time for the silly season to begin. Sephora.nz

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Net-A-Porter 25 Days Of Beauty Advent Calendar, $435
Luxury lovers will obsess over Net-A-Porter's legendary beauty advent calendar, which is back for its fourth consecutive year. Brimming with 25 products curated by Net-A-Porter's expert beauty buyers, every drawer boasts full-size and mini versions of lust-worthy products you've always wanted to try. Slather on cosseting skincare like Augustinus Bader’s cult favourite Rich Cream for a youthful, healthy-looking complexion, level up your party season makeup with picks from Charlotte Tilbury and Victoria Beckham, or treat tresses to a little indulgence with products from Sachajuan, Leonor Greyl, and Oribe. Net-a-porter.com

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YSL Beaute Luxury Advent Calendar, $449
Countdown to Christmas in style with this luxurious gilt calendar from Yves Saint Laurent. Bedecked in white and gold, this plastic-free gift box is created from 100 per cent cardboard sourced from sustainably managed forests, and houses 24 beauty delights — including 17 minis, six full sizes and one surprise gift. Four eau de parfums from the brand’s finest fragrances, cult favourite Touche Eclat, lip products, mascara, an eyelash curler and more are tucked away in each drawer, and to help you prep for party season. Themarket.com

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UNDER $1000

Diptyque Holiday Advent Calendar, $743
We have the pandemic to thank for the shipping delays on this boujee advent calendar, but we have it on good authority that it’ll be landing on our shores by the end of this month. The trippy design conceals 25 covetable fragrances, candles and body products, including the ultra-festive Sapin Candle, three limited-edition gilt metal holiday tree decorations, 11 candles (including the ever-popular Baies scent), four eau de parfums, four eau de toilettes, one solid perfume and a selection of body balms and polishes to scent yourself from top to toe. Meccabeauty.co.nz

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Jo Malone London Advent Calendar, $780
Every year, Jo Malone London unveils its newest festive offering to eager beauty buffs, and this year’s selection certainly doesn’t disappoint. The covetable collection reveals 24 miniature-sized candles, colognes, soaps or body care gifts inside each drawer, in time-honoured scents and new favourites like Fig & Lotus Flower. The refillable design makes for a pretty addition to your dresser all year round. We dare you to resist opening it all at once. Available from Jo Malone London’s Britomart boutique or from Ballantynes Christchurch or online at Ballantynes.co.nz

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La Mer The World Of La Mer Holiday Advent Calendar, $845
An investment to say the least, this luxurious treasure trove by La Mer is brimming with the brand’s signature Miracle Broth-infused skincare in mini sizes. This limited-edition keepsake box boasts enchanting offerings behind each door, including La Mer’s cult-favourite Crème de la Mer, The Treatment Lotion, and The Eye Concentrate. Available from Smith & Caughey’s or online at Smithandcaugheys.co.nz

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Dr Barbara Sturm Advent Calendar 2021, $849
This Net-a-Porter exclusive sees Dr Barbara Sturm’s molecular-style skincare tucked behind each door, and is sure to delight any avid fan or brand newbie alike. Discover 24 skin treats in full, deluxe and sachet sachets, which make for an excellent way to try something new or indulge in an old favourite. Our picks include the cult favourite Glow Drops, Anti-Pollution Drops and Scalp Seru, to deliver nourishment and protection to skin and hair where it needs it most. Net-a-porter.com

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