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I'm not going to lie, this is a first for me, and whilst you may be dreading the first mentions of the C word, I am loving it.

Generally speaking, I'm super happy with a Cadbury's Advent Calendar every single year; Cadbury's is hands down my favourite chocolate, and they're very consistent, so it's a pretty safe bet. 
Last year, my dad sent me the most perfect, traditional Advent Calendar, which is a wooden house with pull out drawers. It's so festive and I can't wait to fill that up this year, I just need to remember to find it and get it out of the loft nice and early! 

A couple of days ago I got to thinking about what else I could be putting inside those drawers. 

I feel like I've worked very hard this year and want to treat myself to something a bit special in the run up to Christmas. Alternative Advent Calendars are quite a new concept to me, one which I only really noticed last year, so this year I've done a bit of research, and scoped out what's presently on the market (so you don't have to...). As this is quite early, I imagine that there will be a few more calendars released in the next few weeks, so if any of those catch my eye, I'll be sure to update this blog post.

Whilst researching, what has become apparent to me is that the price range for beauty Advent Calendars is HUGE, and I mean huge. It varies from £10 to in excess of £250. Now, £250 is well out of my budget, but in case it's within yours, I'll be including that anyway - a girl can dream, right?


This is the perfect alternative Advent Calendar, if you don't have the budget for big brands. Tanya Burr's product line is incredibly good quality, and with 12 days worth of products to discover, this is a great way to give the range a try. It is very glittery and therefore very festive, but all of the products are limited edition, so if you love a bit of glitter, I'd recommend picking one of these up whilst you still have the chance.

The calendar is currently only £15.00 on the Superdrug website, so it might be worth buying in advance. I've seen lots of people doing just that online already, so you definitely won't be alone. 

A full 25 days worth of beauty gifts to discover in this calendar! I must confess I'm not the most experienced with Makeup Revolution, and only own one palette, so this would be an ideal calendar for some like me to try out more products; there's lipsticks, makeup brushes, blushers, eye shadows... You name it, and there's probably one in there. I definitely am not such a fan of the packaging of this calendar, it seems a little too simplistic to me, especially inside, considering that you're going to be looking at this every day of December. However, once Christmas is over, the packaging would be consigned to the bin anyway, so I guess this isn't such a major drawback - swings and roundabouts guys, swings and roundabouts... 

(This calendar is also on offer in Superdrug at the moment, and is currently £30.00 which is an absolute bargain when you consider that there are 25 products inside!)

Aesthetically, I'm a big fan of this calendar. Inside, you receive 24 miniature sized nail polishes in a variety of colours, 4 of which are new and exclusive. If you're really into painting your nails, or it's not something you've ever gotten on board with before, I would definitely recommend purchasing this little baby. The colours are extremely varied, so you genuinely can continue to wear all of them after Christmas and well into 2017, making this calendar pretty good value for money. 

I feel like this is a first for ASOS, however if I'm wrong, please feel free to correct me! This is probably my favourite of the calendars included within this segment of the blog post. To look at, this calendar is totally dreamy, and even better, is that the box is reusable, so if you want to put something similar together yourself next year, or use it as storage, you can! 

However, my favourite thing about this calendar is the sheer range of products and brands hidden behind those little doors. There's hair products, beauty products and skincare, from premium brands such as Cowshed, Phillip Kingsley, Toni & Guy, and many many more. With 24 days to open, this really is a calendar which gives you a LOT of bang for your buck, as the contents are worth over £170, This is such a great way to give some iconic brands a try, and I am so very tempted to make a cheeky ASOS order! 

Why not try one of these instead? 
Benefit 'Girl O'Clock Rock' Calendar (£34.50)
L'Occitane Christmas Beauty Advent Calendar (£42.00)
Feel Unique Magic of Beauty Calendar (£30.00)
Sanctuary The Let Go Days of Christmas Advent Calendar (£25.00)


I feel like we're really taking things up a notch with this calendar! Quite clearly I do not need to tell you that this calendar is b-e-a-utiful, whoever designed this packaging should surely be in line for a big bonus come payday. 

Packaging aside, this calendar offers you £300 worth of premium products, for just £70 - can you really say fairer than that? LookFantastic have very cleverly managed to keep the exact contents of this box a secret, teasing us with videos which suggest that products created by the likes of Pixi, Foreo, This Works and Origins can be found within, in both miniature and full size versions. Needless to say, I'm very excited about this one. It is definitely top of my list and I really need to remember to preorder one before all the stock sells out!!  

Another very generous offering from the world of beauty calendars. This looks to be another HUGE box, with 24 days worth of premium brands to discover, worth over £270 and definitely the closest rival to the Look Fantastic Box. This box is slightly cheaper, and there's currently a promotion which will enable you to get an additional £10 off, if you use the code GET10AC. You'd be crazy not to. 

The exact contents of this calendar are listed on the website, so I won't bore you with the details, but if you're curious, and want to know exactly what you'll be spending your money on, this might be a better option. Personally, I'm a sucker for a surprise, so I'm leaning towards the LookFantastic offering.

The Body Shop's hotly anticipated 2016 calendar. With 24 body, skincare and makeup products to discover, this is perfect if you're a loyal Body Shop lover, or are wanting to buy a calendar as a gift for someone and you're not sure if they've ever tried the brand before (or if you haven't!). The thing I love most about this calendar, aside from the extensive range of products you could receive, is the design inside; it looks as though each date is contained within its' own individual box? I'm not sure if that's true, but it's definitely a winner for me. 

Sadly I don't think I'll be buying this calendar this year - I recently bought a ton of skincare products from The Body Shop, but they made me break out and so it's just put me off a little bit. This isn't the most expensive Advent Calendar out there, but seeing as my skin seems to be particularly sensitive of late, I don't want to take the risk of spending all that money and not being able to use any of the skin and body products. Maybe next year will be my year...

(Just discovered that there is also a Deluxe and an Ultimate version of this calendar too! So if the product in this one won't float your boat, it might be worth checking these out instead...)

You could also try: 
Clarins Advent Calendar Makeup Gift Set (£95.00)
DECLEOR Advent Calendar (£60.00)
LUSH 12 Days of Christmas (£52.95)


Just wow. As per usual, Charlotte Tilbury has managed to knock it out of the park with this product. Charlotte Tilbury have recently opened in Norwich, so I'm slowly but surely working my way through their product range and trying out the cult products. One thing I've still not got round to trying, however, is their famed skin care, of which there is plenty within this calendar. 

So, if like me, you're a bit of an emerging CT addict, it could be well worth spending your money on this calendar to try out some of those additional products. 

(Can we just take a minute to appreciate how beautiful the packaging is? The quality looks incredible.) 

Alternatively, can you be tempted by one of these?
The Liberty Advent Calendar 2016 (COMING SOON)
Jo Malone Advent Calendar (COMING SOON)
Diptyque Advent Calendar (£250.00)


For some reason, it really tickled me when I stumbled across this calendar. I've no explanation for why, I guess I just love the fact that the beard trend has been so openly embraced that this product has become available. 

Not having a beard myself, I can't vouch for the quality of this product, however I think it's a great gift idea if you're looking to treat the men in your life. The price point is brilliant too, so even if it doesn't go down as well as you might have hoped, there's not too much love lost! 

This calendar is my hands down favourite for this segment of the blog post. I'm a really big fan of supporting local businesses, however big or small, and as I live in Norwich, Southwold isn't a million miles away, and I'd certainly call it local. For just under £50, you receive 24 bottles or cans of beer, within which there are 17 varieties to try, and duplicates of some of the most popular of those. 

At the risk of sounding like I'm encouraging alcoholism, Advent, to me, is the perfect time to indulge, so having a beer a day certainly seems acceptable. Of course, if you'd prefer to save them up, you're in for a real treat by the time you decide to crack them open! 

If you've never tried Adnams beers before, I would definitely recommend giving this calendar a go. Adnams also conduct brewery tours and tasting at their brewery in Southwold, so if the calendar proves to be a hit, you've got yourself a ready made gift idea for Christmas, or the perfect recipe for a cracking day out. 

(P.S. If you like beer too, why not treat yourself?)

If you've made it this far, truly, you deserve a medal. That was an absolute marathon, and it's taken me hours to research and to write, but I hope it was useful in some small way. 

Thank you as always for the continued support. 





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