Glossybox is another beauty advent calendar that is highly anticipated for 2021. This review will divide its products by category, so that you can easily see if you are interested in the overall contents or not. It will also look into the ingredients, the main audience and discuss its variety compared to other calendars on the market.
£85 for subscribers and £105 for nonsubscribers (Worth £465)
Makeup: 9 items
Starting with the eyes there is a large eyeshadow palette from Huda Beauty. The Retrograde Eyeshadow Palette comes in full size and is worth £58. It has 18 shades with colours varying from matte creams, browns and burgundies to shimmery aquamarines and purples. This is a very generous eyeshadow palette for an advent calendar. The shades are well mixed and will offer any beauty lover plenty of colours to play with, from daytime colours to dramatic and beautiful shimmers. This is an outstanding gift on its own!
There is also an eyeliner included, perfect to help you complete the eyeshadow look. The Eyeko Black Magic Liquid Eyeliner comes in full size and is worth £16. This eyeliner applies beautifully, is easy to create a thin and sharp line with and stays on for long. My only complaint is that it is smudging quite a bit under the eyes throughout the day. This product is also in the Elle calendar for 2021. This eyeliner is vegan and cruelty free.
To complete the eye look you also get mascara. This is from Zoeva, and it is their Infinite Potential Mascara. It comes in a full size and is worth £17.50. It promises volume, length, definition and long lasting hold. Just like the black eyeliner, this mascara is another necessary item in any beauty lover’s makeup collection. This is a vegan and cruelty free product.
There is also an eyebrow item, the W7 Cosmetics Super Brows Super Definition Eyebrow Pencil. This comes in full size and is worth £3. This product has an eyebrow pencil at one end and a brush at the other, that will allow you to comb and style your eyebrows. Unfortunately, the shade is not specified. This is one of those things that will be a hit or miss when it comes to shades. However, it is always handy to have a brush to comb through your eyebrows to keep them in place.
Moving to the complexion, there is the Wander Beauty Trip for Two Blush and Bronzer Duo which comes in full size (8g) and is worth £35. As the name suggests, this is a palette with a blush and a bronzer. It comes in two shades, one with a pale pink and a cool toned light brown, and another with a dark cool toned pink and a darker brown. Unfortunately, the shade included in the Glossybox advent calendar is not specified. This could be a hit or miss according to each buyer’s skin tone. You could still use this as eyeshadow if need be. This product is vegan and cruelty free.
There is a brush to apply these two with, which is the Laura Geller Touch Up All Over Face. This comes in a deluxe mini worth £14. It is dependent on the quality of the bristles but this could be a lovely addition to any makeup lover’s beauty collection.
For the lips there are three items. There is a full size Steve Laurant Lip Liner which costs £15. The shade is not mentioned, although on the brand’s official website this seems to come only in one shade – a dark mauve colour. It is supposed to be waterproof. It is also cruelty free.
The Glossybox advent calendar also contains lipstick, which is always a lovely addition. The Illamasqua Antimatter Lipstick comes in a deluxe mini size worth £10. The shade is Bang which is a mauve nude. The finish is semi matte but it claims to be hydrating on the lips. Although this comes in a mini, as I mention in other calendar reviews, I find that deluxe sizes for lipsticks still last forever. This product is cruelty free.
To give you even more choice in terms of lip colours and textures, there is also the Laritzy Cosmetics Liquid Lipstick in full size costing £20. This is a very matte liquid lipstick that is supposed to be waterproof and have long lasting power. The shade is not mentioned.
Skincare: 10 items
Skincare is the most predominant category of this calendar but not by much. The products themselves are varying and have various results. Starting with cleansers, there is only one item – the Elemis Pro-Collagen Energising Marine Cleanser which comes in 30ml and is worth £8.40. This is supposed to remove makeup and pollutants off your face. However, it contains perfume and the potential skin allergens linalool, citronellol and geraniol.
There are also some cleansing pads, the Magnitone Eco Friendly MicroFibre Cleansing Pads which are made of textile and therefore are washable and reusable. A pack of six costs £15. The Glossybox calendar contains an unspecified deluxe size of this product, probably containing one or two pads, worth around £3. This is a lovely addition to the calendar and a useful one at that. I think we should all be more environmentally friendly when it comes to our cosmetics.
To follow up the cleansing routine there is an exfoliating cleanser. The PIXI Glow Tonic comes in 100ml and is worth £10. Although this is advertised as coming in full size in the calendar, this is the travel version of the product. This is a popular product with 5% glycolic acid that is supposed to smooth and exfoliate the skin. It also contains soothing aloe vera. However, it also has witch hazel high up on the ingredient list which can cause skin irritation. It also contains fragrance which is a potential skin sensitiser. This product is suitable for vegans.
Another exfoliating product is the Ecooking Peeling Mask that comes in an unspecified deluxe size. This product promises to decrease the appearance of creases and wrinkles. It contains alpha hydroxy acids such as lactic and glycolic acids; beta hydroxy acids such as salicylic acid and poly hydroxy acids such as gluconolactone. The combination of all three will smooth out the skin and cleanse the pores. This is a vegan product.
In terms of serums there is the Avant Skincare 8 Hour Anti-Oxidising and Retexturing Hyaluronic Facial Serum which comes in full size (30 ml) costing £89. It claims to protect against everyday pollution and hydrate the skin. It contains sodium hyaluronate, which will hydrate, alpha glucan oligosaccharide, which will protect the skin barrier and ferments of olive oil which have antioxidant properties. However, the second ingredient is alcohol so this could dry out the skin.
Another serum is the Rodial Soft Focus Glow Drops which comes in full size (30ml) and costs £50. This is a hybrid between makeup and skincare. It claims to leave the skin smooth, ready for makeup, and to illuminate it. This product is fragranced and also contains the potential allergens benzyl alcohol, limonene, geraniol, linalool and citral.
Another hybrid product is the James Read Sleep Mask Face Retinol in a deluxe mini size of 25ml worth £15. This product promises to give a gradual tan while also being anti ageing through its addition of retinol. Retinol is one of the best anti ageing ingredients. However, please keep in mind that you should not use the exfoliating items in this calendar at the same time with retinol. This product contains lavender which is a potential skin sensitiser due to its fragrant components.
The Verso Skincare Nourishing Cream comes in 15ml and is worth £24. This cream is supposed to be suitable for dry, irritated and dull skin. It contains shea butter which is a good emollient. It also has niacinamide, which is an antioxidant with skin restoring and soothing properties. This product contains fragrance which could be a skin sensitiser.
The Glossybox calendar also contains skincare for the lips. The Vitamasques Lip Mask – Plump & Repair comes in full size costing £5. This is supposed to hydrate and soften the lips. It has sodium hyaluronate which hydrates and several fruit extracts with antioxidant properties. This contains fragrance which is a potential skin sensitiser.
The last item in the skincare section is another interesting one. The Sarah Chapman Skinesis The Facialift comes in full size which costs £30. This is a face massage tool. It’s supposed to help relieve tension, puffiness and promote blood flow for a more plump look. This could be used in conjunction with another skincare product in this calendar, such as the cleanser or the nourishing cream.
Hair: 2 items
For the hair there are only two items. There is the Grow Gorgeous Intense Thickening Hair & Scalp Mask in a deluxe mini of 30ml being worth £3.75. This is aimed at thin and flat hair. It contains caffeine, biotin and niacinamide which improve the shine and could stimulate the scalp. This product contains fragrance. While I do not usually look too much into the ingredients of hair products, this would sit on the delicate skin of the scalp. This mask contains the potential allergens limonene and linalool. This is a vegan product.
The second and last item for the hair is another massaging tool. This is the Boucleme Scalp Massager which comes in full size costing £12. This could be used with the previously mentioned scalp mask or once a week with a cleansing product like shampoo.
Body, Bath & Other: 4 items
The bath and body section is sweet and short. For the shower or bath there are two items. The Molton Brown Heavenly Gingerlily Bath & Shower Gel comes in a deluxe mini size without further details. Usually this product comes in around 100ml (worth around £7) in calendars so we can only hope for that in the Glossybox one too. The top notes are of cardamom, ginger and clove; the heart is of tuberose and lily, while the base is of cedarwood, sandalwood and musk. This sounds like an amazing fragrance! Shower gels are some of the best items in beauty advent calendars in my opinion as they provide something that most people will use. It is also practical and fun at the same time. Although in other fragrances, Molton Brown shower gels are also present this year in the Cult advent calendar and in the Feel Unique one.
There is also something for the bath – the Bubble T Cosmetics Pink Grapefruit Bath Crumble which comes in full size (100g) and costs £5. You are supposed to drop this under warm running water to create bubbles and fizz. The scent is of grapefruit and this is another item that is always fun to receive in calendars. Of course, the downside is that without a bathtub you can’t make the most of it. This product is vegan and cruelty free.
To further relax you there is also a mood spray. This is the This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray which comes in another unspecified deluxe mini. From the presentation picture of the Glossybox calendar this looks like it comes in 5ml which costs £10. Like the Molton and Brown showergel this is another item present in so many other calendars that is almost like an expected one. This year the spray is also found in the Next calendar and the Look Fantastic one. The spray is supposed to give you a peaceful night’s sleep and help you fall asleep faster. It smells of lavender, vetiver and chamomile. While this spray is advised to be used on the pillow, I would suggest spraying it on the duvet or your pajamas instead. This is because it contains many fragrant components and you might not want to rub your face in it. This is vegan and cruelty free.
Now that you are ready for sleep, the Glossybox calendar also gives a night eye mask that will cover your eyes and protect them from light. This is the Glov Satin Sleeping Mask which is worth £7. Not sure about this one in full winter when it is pitch black most of the day, but it will come in handy during summer. Satin is supposed to feel soothing on the eye area, but it won’t be quite as gentle as pure silk. However, this would make it a great vegan alternative.
The Glossybox Calendar looks like a chest of drawers and has a pretty pink marble aesthetic. It does not remind me of Christmas but it looks elegant. Inside the long drawers you get individual boxes for the days.
This calendar has 25 items, offering something for Christmas Day.
In terms of brands, it has some high end ones such as Huda Beauty, Avant and Elemis. It does not offer luxury items, but the products have a nice balance between very affordable and high end.
IS IT WORTH IT?
This calendar costs £85 for subscribers and £105 for non subscribers. Glossybox claims it is worth a total of £465 which means you are getting four times and a half your money’s worth, which is an average for beauty advent calendars for 2021. However, if you are a subscriber, that means you are getting five and a half times your money’s worth! If you are not a subscriber the best value would come out of buying one subscription box with the calendar as well. This means that you would pay £85 for the calendar and £13.25 on your first box, adding up to a total of £98, which is still £7 cheaper than the non subscriber price, while giving you 30 items in total instead of 25. In terms of value, this is amazing.
The makeup section is well curated and offers enough items for an almost complete look. This reminds me of the Cult Calendar for this year. The eyeshadow palette is large and has many colours and finishes, allowing you to create many different looks. The shades are not mentioned for the lip liner and the liquid lipstick so it remains to be seen if the shades match in between as well so that they can be paired up. Overall, the makeup section is worth £143.50, which makes 40% of the declared value of the calendar.
The skincare section is more generous than the makeup one but only with one item! This is more rarely seen in advent calendars for 2021. Although it is not as well curated as the makeup category, the skincare section still offers enough items to strengthen your skincare routine. It is worth a total of £247 which is 53% of the value of the calendar.
Most of the skincare is anti aging and is therefore targeted towards a more mature audience. In spite of this though, the makeup lip products are matte which in my opinion is not the first choice for a mature skin as it can emphasise the fine lines of the lips.
Most of the skincare items contain perfume and potential skin allergens and therefore this calendar would not be suitable for people with sensitive skin.
Sadly, for the hair there are only two items, one of them being a scalp massager. This category could have certainly been improved by adding more choices. However, the scalp mask is a very inclusive choice that will benefit all hair types. This is more inclusive than some makeup items for example, which depending on shade might not suit all skin tones and colours, such as the eyebrow pencil and the contour powder. The hair section is worth a total of £16 which is only 3% of the total value of the calendar.
The bath and miscellaneous section only has four items excluding those for the hair. This category shows the same intention to build up a routine with the products offered. This section is worth £29 which is 6% of the declared total value of the calendar.
There are small improvements that could have been made, such as cutting from the very few repetitive items. For example, instead of two lipsticks, they could have only kept one and added body lotion instead. Same goes for the several exfoliating skincare items – replace the duplicates with more haircare products perhaps. However, overall this calendar has a good variety of products.
The size of the items seems generous, with full size makeup items, skincare in 100ml and several in 30ml. It has 15 full size items, amongst which there are two tools, a lip mask and a sleeping mask.
The calendar contains several vegan items. However, these are not enough for this calendar to be recommended for vegans.
Overall, this is a well balanced calendar that offers numerous colourful and glamorous makeup looks. It also caters for the skincare lover, as long as they don’t have sensitive skin. Although the Glossybox calendar is priced similarly to other mixed brand calendars for 2021, this is the only one I have reviewed so far that has a very strong makeup section as well.
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Disclaimer: This article is not sponsored and does not contain any affiliate links.
Although some analysis has been performed on the ingredient lists, this is not an exhaustive review of each ingredient for every product.
The claims of vegan and cruelty free products have only been added where they are clearly stated on the brand’s website. For a thorough understanding of which items are truly vegan or certified cruelty free, independent research is encouraged.
None of the images used are Lipstick Café’s copyright and have been used solely for the purpose of reviewing the product.