£85 for non subscribers / £70 for subscribers
This calendar is worth £460 which is eye watering considering you can pay so much less to purchase it. But are the products well balanced? Do we get enough diversity in it?
Makeup: 7 items
We have enough products to create a complete look for the eyes. The 3INA Cream Eyeshadow in 313 (full size) looks like a gorgeous eyeshadow in a flattering for all golden brown shade. Diego Dalla Palma Eye Pencil (25ml) is a beautiful, high-end waterproof pencil. If it comes in black, then this could be used by everyone. Lastly, we have the Anastasia Beverley Hills Lash Brag Volumizing Mascara (5ml), which although it comes in a deluxe size, you will be able to enjoy this product as if it is a full size one, since mascara expires very quickly (up to three months) and so the mini version will be more than enough.
We also have an eyebrow product, the Lord & Berry Magic Brow (full size) which is a risky choice in an advent calendar, as there is a chance the shade of the eyebrow pencil will not suit the buyer. The product does look very promising though.
For the face there is the Natasha Denona Mini Blush & Glow Duo (4g) which is a fantastic addition in the calendar, as this is a luxury brand. If you are a beauty lover you probably heard of their eyeshadow palette which cost a few hundred pounds. While this is a mini, it does not matter so much, as I find that we rarely empty powder products before they become too old. To apply this highlighter and blush they also added the Luxie 522 Tapered Highlighter Brush. That being said, it looks like a beautiful multifunctional brush, which you will be able to use for multiple purposes if you want to.
For the lips, there is the Illamasqua Loaded Lip Polish in Vogue (1.5ml) which is a lip gloss from the high end brand Illamasqua, that comes in a sleek black packaging. Although it is claimed to be plumping, I did not see menthol in the ingredient list, which is fantastic, as menthol can irritate some people and it is often found in plumping lip products.
All in all I think this is a nice mixture of makeup items, with a complete set for eyes, with eyeshadow, eyeliner and mascara, with a few face products, such as the blush, highlighter and the brush, with an eyebrow product and a delicious lip gloss. Somehow they managed with just seven items to cover all these categories. However, I wish there would have been more choices in terms of eyeshadow or lip products perhaps, to add some fun factor.
Skincare: 12 items
This is where this calendar loses a lot of points for me. Half of this advent calendar is just skincare. I mentioned my view on overloading calendars with skincare last year, when I mentioned that I am curious who can try dozens of new skincare items and suit them all. I divided the skincare items into small categories to make it easier to follow, but please be aware that some will fit more categories than just one.
In the makeup removers and cleanser category we have three products: the Rodial Dragon’s Blood Cleansing Water (100ml), Eve Lom Cleanser (20ml) and the Caudalie Vinopure Purifying Gel Cleanser (30ml). The first one mentioned is a micellar water with rose and vitamin B. The cleanser from Eve Lom is in fact a balm, which would be able to properly remove all layers of makeup. It is a very popular product which contains many aromatic plant oils. The latter, the Caudalie Gel Cleanser, is a blemish control foaming gel, which contains salicylic acid and essential oils. I can certainly appreciate that the three cleansers all come in different textures and vary one from another. Used together they would complete a cleansing routine, which should usually have at least two-steps.
As moisturisers or priming products we have two options: the ESPA 24hr Balancing Moisturiser in full size (55ml) and the Sleek Hydrating or Mattifying Primer in full size again (20ml). The ESPA product is an oil-controlling and clarifying moisturiser. For the Sleek primer, It will be hit or miss as the mattifying primer will not suit everyone, same as a very oily skin might not suit the hydrating one, but it all depends on the formula. However, I am glad they added a primer to the calendar.
In terms of masks, there is the Avant Harmonious Rose Revitalising & Firming Mask in full size (50ml – worth a whopping £79!) which purifies pores, absorbs excess oil and helps with impurities.
I could not find much about the GLOV Eye Mask in Navy Blue, but I believe this one is a textile mask. GLOV makes a cleansing alternative to wipes or cotton pads.
There is an anti-wrinkle cream in a sample size from Filorga, the Time Filler Cream (15ml). Another anti-ageing product is the ECooking Vit C Serum (10ml), vitamin C being known for its amazing antioxidant properties, which is fragrance free! The third anti-ageing product in this calendar is the ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream in full size (50ml) which helps the skin to regenerate.
There are a few products intended for exfoliation, however, please keep in mind that many other products in this calendar contain exfoliators as well. There is the REN Glow Daily Tonic AHA in 50ml, which contains both AHA and BHA exfoliators in order to get rid of dead skin cells and to brighten up your complexion. Lastly, there is a travel size (15ml) anti-acne cream from Omorovicza, the Silver Skin Saviour, which also contains AHA and BHA exfoliators.
Overall, this is an interesting combination of skincare. I noticed a focus on acne fighting products, which, as usual, come with their claims to regulate excess sebum and to unclog pores. Did they think of maskne when putting these products together? We have all been witnesses to the recent phenomenon called maskne, the appearance of acne after wearing face coverings.
Then there were a few exfoliating products, and anti-ageing ones. I am left slightly puzzled from the combination though. Also, while most of these products are from high-end, luxury brands, most contain heaps of perfume. I have certainly written before about perfume in skincare and what it can mean to the skin. Perfume in creams is certainly not a trend that is dying down though, and it is encountered in most products in ALL calendars, not just the Look Fantastic Calendar.
However, the calendar does contain cleansers, makeup removers, moisturisers, a primer, masks, overnight creams and exfoliators. Like the makeup section, the skincare section provides with enough products to offer a whole skincare routine, setting the bases for you. My only critique is that unlike makeup or bath & body products, skincare is very particular and difficult to match and to make it work for various people, so it will always be hit and miss.
BATH, BODY & OTHER: 6 items
There is one body cream, the This Works Deep Sleep Body Cocoon in full size (100ml) which is said to have a therapeutic effect, containing lavender as fragrance.
A fantastic addition is the Mio Clay Away Body Cleanser (30ml) which is a body wash that doubles as a mask. This could suit particularly well people that struggle with acne on their body for example. However, for 30 ml, this will probably not last you long if used on the body.
Another body wash is from Molton Brown, Delicious Rhubarb & Rose Bath & Shower Gel (100ml). I generally love trying new shower gels from these advent calendars, as it is always fun to try new textures and fragrances.
We finally have one product intended for the hair, which is the Philip Kingsley Mayan Vanilla & Orange Blossom Elasticizer in a deluxe size (40ml), which is a deep conditioner. It is a shame that the only hair product is not in full size.
There is also a itty bitty tiny self-tan serum in 10ml from Tan Luxe, Super Glow Hyaluronic. Intended to be used on the face, this self tan serum contains hyaluronic acid and antioxidant, doubling as skincare.
The calendar looks sleek and elegant. It is black, the cardboard looks sturdy, and each product comes in individual boxes. When you compare it to the Macmillan Advent Calendar you can understand what I meant by saying that the latter could have had a better presentation, since they both cost the same!
This calendar has 25 items, which means you also get a product on Christmas Day, which more often than not is a nice experience, as they keep the best for the actual Christmas Day.
IS IT WORTH IT?
This calendar costs £85 (for non subscribers) and £70 for subscribers, which means that if you subscribe to the beauty box, you will pay £70 for the calendar and £15 on your first beauty box. This results in you getting 25 products in the calendar and another five or so in your first beauty box for £85. The deal is fantastic, and given that the calendar is worth £460 I would say this is a captivating offer.
That being said, I feel that this calendar lacks a certain something. As I have mentioned in the other articles about the 2020 Advent Calendars, the trend is to fill the calendar with a bunch of skincare items. The Look Fantastic one has twelve skincare items, one item for the hair, five for the body and seven makeup items. To me, this feels imbalanced. I would have cut out some skincare, and added a candle perhaps, a few styling products for the hair, perhaps one or two fun makeup items, a tiny perfume and so on. Realistically speaking no one will be able to use all twelve skincare items as they open the calendar without ending up with skin irritation, more acne and sensitivity.
However, if you feel that you would love such a large variety of skincare, the value of the calendar, the price (which can include a beauty box as well!) and the presentation of the calendar are indeed worth it.
What do you think of the diversity of products in this calendar? Let me know in the comments down below.
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Disclaimer: This blog post is not sponsored and does not contain affiliate links. None of these images are my own; images used for informational purposes only.