£40 when you spend £25 on Clothing, Home and Beauty
On sale October 31st
The Marks & Spencer calendar is usually extremely hyped and loved. It sells out very fast every year. I do not think the £25 in addition to the price of the calendar is bad because you can buy someone a Christmas gift, wrapping paper, cards or clothes.
Makeup: 5 items
Surprisingly, it only has five items of makeup, out of which one is a dual eye brush. That being said, the Stila Liquid Lipstick in the beautiful festive red looks amazing. The EYEKO Mascaras are very good, I liked all their mascaras so far even though I am quite picky. Another beautiful item is the PUR highlighter, which I have not used before, but it has a flattering champagne tone and looks promising. The black eyeliner is a must have but nothing inspiring. Overall, the five items of makeup are basics in anyone’s kit, which is fantastic, but at the same it does not offer much to experiment with.
Skincare: 12 items
While I am aware of the fact that M&S usually targets a more mature audience, no one needs twelve new skincare products in one month. If you experiment with new colours in makeup, the worst thing that can happen is that you do not like it and take it off. However, if you experiment with too many skincare products you could get redness, acne and could imbalance your skin. What are the chances those twelve products will suit everyone’s skin?
The cleansers might not be a no-no even to me, as you quickly wash them off. We have Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating cleanser (30ml) and the Alpha-H Balancing Cleanser with Damask Rose (30ml). They both look promising and come in decent sizes, but honestly, if you already have a good cleansing routine (and I hope you do!) you already have your favourite and trusted cleansers that do not irritate your skin.
I am excited, however, for the M&S Formula Absolute Total Lip & Eye (15ml) which seems more like a pampering routine. The chances of an eye and lip product to cause acne and redness are limited – and even if your eyes are sensitive, you can always just use it on your lips! We also get an ultimate Sleep Cream from Formula which I have tried before (it was in their calendar two years ago). It has a potent fragrance and contains niacinamide. This could be a good opportunity to try out some of the M&S’ own beauty brands.
We get a Filorga Moisturiser, which may or may not suit your skin (are you getting the pattern here?). Filorga is a brand that leans towards a luxury-feel and I have enjoyed their products before.
I am very excited for the Emma Hardie Purifying Pink Clay Mask because Emma Hardie is an amazing brand and their products have left me mesmerised every time, so I am sure this one will not disappoint. It is also very pricey, so it is nice to get it in a calendar. 20ml is not too bad, and a clay mask will suit most skin types.
The Skyn Iceland Minty Lip mask is also a nice addition, but keep in mind that it is minty, in case your lips are sensitive to that.
The neck and décolletage cream is a nice addition. I am not familiar with PRAI, but they have two version of the Throat & Décolletage Cream, one containing Retinol, which again, might not suit everyone. However, I think the one in the calendar does not contain it. This product comes in a customised packaging (with lots of sparkles and shine).
BATH, BODY & OTHER: 8 items
Perfume: 1 item
The miscellaneous section so to say it is very well varied and exciting. We have a Shay & Blue White Peaches Natural Spray Fragrance – present in most their calendars but they always give a different fragrance. Their fragrances are always very nice with a sophisticated and elegant tone – this certainly does not smell cheap! It is a small size, so it is fantastic for carrying it in your handbag.
Hair: 3 items
There is a shampoo as well, The Philip Kingsley Body Building Shampoo, which offers variety to the calendar, but might not be suitable for dyed hair or for all hair textures. I think the hair treatments are more exciting, such as the Percy & Reed Balm for your hair, which moisturizes the ends of your hair. Coming in 75ml this is a very good size as well. AVEDA Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair (100ml!) is also an exciting addition as it is a generous size and it will most probably suit most hair types. Our hair needs extra moisture and care in winter too!
This Works Sleep Together Calming Spray sounds interesting but be careful about spraying fragrances on your pillow if you have sensitive skin. You could, however, spray this on the duvet instead and still get the luxurious experience.
Body creams: 2
The L’occitane Shea Butter hand cream is an elegant addition, being a fancy and very loved brand. 10ml is not a lot but it makes it perfect for carrying it in your handbag. The M&S Coconut Body Butter (50ml) is a good size and a well thought choice of fragrance as most people like the smell of coconut.
Nail Polish: 1
I cannot tell for sure if the Nails Inc Nail Polish Weekend Millionaire is a nice shade, but looks metallic to me. Not everyone likes metallic nail polishes, so keep that in mind.
The packaging looks elegant and chic but also fun. I wish the inside of the doors were coloured as well. Also, with every box you open, another one will fall, so that ruins the experience a bit. There is some writing on each box, which usually adds to the experience, making each moment you open a new box unique and special. Also, this calendar contains some more expensive brands which will add some spice.
IS IT WORTH IT?
While I am a bit upset for the large amount of skincare they have added this year, M&S remains one of the best beauty advent calendars because of the value of its products (£300 worth of products for £40). You do get quite a few more expensive brands, which would be very nice to try and enjoy.
You also get a nail polish, perfume, hair balms, shampoo, body creams and a sleeping mist so it has a very well thought mix of products. Relating to makeup, they are also varied and well chosen. That being said, the skincare products are predominant. There are cleansers, masks and moisturisers, including products for face, eyes, lips, neck and décolletage, which is a fantastic range. However, experimenting with skincare is more difficult than trying on new makeup, so be careful. I would not recommend trying twelve new skincare products in one month. You can keep some to try for later and maybe double check first that you are not sensitive to some of the ingredients.
Keep in mind that the brands are very similar to last years, which does not necessarily mean a bad thing if you love them.
MORE Beauty Advent Calendars
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Disclaimer: This blogpost is not sponsored and does not contain affiliate links. Please note that I do not mention each individual product, although they are all counted in the categories. For a full list of products, please consult the sellers. None of these images are my own; images used for informational purposes only.