A favourite of many, this one has brought the joy of beauty advent calendars at a very affordable price for years. With a mixture of brands sold in Boots, with makeup, skincare, body and hair care, it was a fantastic choice for anyone keen to experience a beauty advent calendar without spending a lot. In addition, a percentage of this calendar is donated to charity. This year, however, things look a tiny bit different…
Makeup: 6 items
This year the number of makeup items has decreased from nine items from last year to just six. There are two tools, two lip products, a highlighter palette and a fixing mist.
I have written before about the MASQD Blending Sponge, and I have expressed my disappointment in it. You can see me applying my makeup with the sponge, which ends up being frustrating. In terms of the MASQD Eyelash curler, it feels rigid, but it does its job, however, if you have purchased this calendar in the past years then you will know that this eyelash curler was in the calendar every year.
The rest of the makeup items are all from Sleek. There are two lip products, a gloss, the Sleek MakeUp Lip Shot Lip Gloss Partner In Crime (7.5ml) and a matte liquid lipstick, Sleek MakeUp Matte Me Liquid Lipstick Bittersweet (6ml). The latter comes in a flattering for all warm-toned peachy pink colour, which I think will suit all skin tones.
The highlighter palette looks gorgeous, which is the Sleek MakeUp Highlighting Palette Cleopatra’s Kiss (9g), with both cream and powder highlighters.
Lastly, there is an illuminating fixing mist, from Sleek again, the Lifeproof Illuminating Fixing Mist (50ml) with golden shimmer in it, which is claimed to fix your makeup in place for twelve hours. One thing that I love about this fixing mist is that it does not contain alcohol or perfume. One of the reasons I avoid fixing sprays is that they usually contain high quantities of alcohol. Moreover, this spray contains hydrating ingredients!
The makeup section is not well diversified, and for only six items in this calendar, surely a mascara could have been added, an eye pencil or, why not, some eyeshadow. I think that given the current climate with face coverings, people will be more keen to experiment with eye products.
Skincare: 11 items
The number of skincare items in this calendar increased quite a lot, which is a trend that we will see in most advent calendars this year. There is a good mixture of products, from hydrating balms, primers, eye creams, lip balms to masks and overnight creams.
The Botanics All Bright Radiance Balm (50 ml) is supposed to create a radiant base which works as a primer under makeup as well.
The first lip balm is from Joules, in the fragrance elderflower, while the second is from No7, Protect & Perfect Lip Care (10ml). The No7 one seems to not contain any fragrance, and it also has anti-wrinkle benefits. If this lip care cream is as good as their eye cream products, then this will be an amazing product. Usually I would say two lip balms in one advent calendar would be too much, but given the current circumstances where our lips are even dryer due to wearing masks, I think this is appropriate.
In terms of products intended for the eyes, we have a trio. Liz Earle Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion (50ml), No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Eye Cream (15ml) and Soap & Glory Puffy Eye Attack Under-eye Brightening Hydrogel Patches (3g). The first one, from Liz Earle, claims to cool and soothe the eye area, but it contains witch hazel, which I have previously spoken about in other articles. Personally, I am not a good friend with witch hazel, as it usually dries and irritates my skin. The No7 cream is one of my favourite eye creams of all times, it has fantastic ingredients and it visibly improves the eye area. In fact, I even featured it in my 2019 favourites. The Soap & Glory hydrogel patches could be something fun to use, as you could put the patches in the fridge before using them, which will depuff the under eye area.
The Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser (30ml) and the Liz Earle Pure Cotton Cloth have been in this calendar for years, so if you are a fan of this product then you might enjoy receiving it over and over again. I love using hot cloth cleansers, however be mindful that this product contains eucalyptus and therefore has a minty scent, which might not be to everyone’s taste. It cleanses skin and removes makeup but I do not consider this product to be powerful enough to be used on its own at the end of the day if you are a makeup user.
The Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic (50ml) is an alcohol free toner, but it is filled with fragrance, so be mindful of that if you are sensitive. The No7 Lift & Luminate Triple Action Serum Boost Sheet Mask (20.75 g) is a lovely addition, as we all need a good, relaxing face mask to freshen and brighten our skin.
Lastly we have the YourGoodSkin ProVitamin Overnight Cream (50ml) which could be a nice product to try, especially in winter when we need to hydrate our skin even more.
BATH, BODY & OTHER: 7 items
The bath and body section comes with calming pillow mists, bath fizzers, body washes, exfoliators and creams. The Soap & Glory products are amazing, with heavenly fragrances and textures. The Soap & Glory Righteous Butter Body Moisturiser (50ml) has a thick texture, which hydrates very well. The Soap & Glory Hand Food Non-Greasy Hydrating Hand Cream in Original Pink (50ml) is much lighter in texture and smells of delicate roses. In terms of the Soap & Glory The Scrub of Your Life Smoothing Body Buffer (50ml), their scrubs and buffers are some of their bestsellers.
From Botanics we have two products from their Peaceful Night range – the Night Roller Ball in Lavender (10ml) and the Pillow Mist Lavender & Sweet Marjoram (100ml). If you enjoy the smell of lavender and are generally a believer in its therapeutic qualities, then these two items might delight you.
From Joules we have two items, their Leaf Me Alone Bath Fizzer in Night Sky (70g) and the Muddy Brilliant Body Wash (75ml). Both are fantastic additions in the calendar in my opinion, as I always find it fun to experiment with new shower and bath products.
However, I wish they included at least one item for the hair, and at least one miscellaneous item, to diversify more.
Repetitive Contents (Last Year): 13 items
More than half of this calendar is the same as last year. This could be the ultimate turn off for some. It depends how much you enjoyed the products last time, if you had them, as if you enjoyed using them and you finished them up, there is nothing wrong with receiving them again. This will take away the excitement of discovering new, exciting products though.
For a £85 calendar I think the packaging could have been improved. The box it comes in is even simpler than the one from last year, even though this year the price of the calendar is more than double. For this price, I would expect individual boxes for the products, even if they would be simple. Ripping the cardboard to reach the products creates permanent damage to the display of the calendar.
Also, you only get 24 items, so this calendar does not offer the 25th product on Christmas Day.
IS IT WORTH IT?
My main question for this calendar is – why the increase in price? Last year this calendar was £40, with a worth value of £140 and £2 donated to the Macmillan Cancer Support. This year, it costs £85, with a worth value of £137.98 and it donates £2 again. More than half of the products are exactly the same. It costs more than double and in my opinion this is going to be a drawback for many people. For a drugstore / high street advent calendar I think the price is a bit steep. My advice would be to wait a bit in purchasing this calendar, if it is the one you wish for, because it usually gets reduced in price significantly as time passes.
The mixture of products could have been improved, as the makeup section is small and not very diversified and there are no items for hair. The skincare is almost half of this calendar.
Unfortunately, I am sad to say that with the increase in price, the Macmillan calendar could be out of the race for the most purchased and loved beauty advent calendars of 2020. With many other calendars for about the same price that offer luxury brands, I think it is not competitive enough.
You can donate any amount you desire for the Macmillan Cancer Support here.
More Beauty Advent Calendars 2020 coming soon!
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