The Look Fantastic Christmas advent calendars are very well loved for their balance between quality and price. This review will split the contents into categories to make it easier to follow depending on your interests. It will also look into the products available and their ingredients – will they be suitable for more sensitive skin types? Who is this calendar aimed towards? How well mixed are the products?
£70 subscribers / £85 non-subscribers (worth £410)
Makeup: 5 items
The Look Fantastic advent calendar only has five makeup items. That is only a fifth of the total contents. As previously mentioned, I can definitely see a trend settling in for 2021 – that of skincare being the focus in beauty advent calendars.
In terms of makeup, the Look Fantastic one offers some items for the complexion. There is the NARS Blush in Orgasm, a very loved and popular product. This comes in a deluxe size worth £16. I own this deluxe version of the blush and it is still generous enough to be used more than enough (powders are always hard to empty regardless). This is considered a universal blush shade that will suit most people. A lovely addition into a Christmas advent calendar, although I do have to say I have seen it before in previous calendars.
There is also a liquid highlighter, the Iconic London Highlighter Drops in a deluxe size. This is another popular makeup item that has been shown over and over again online. This could be mixed with your primer or your foundation for an extra glowy look, or simply as your highlighter. Unfortunately, the shade or size is not specified. The full size version of this product costs £30 so it is a high end brand. This is a vegan and cruelty free product.
The Diego Dalla Palma Kohl Kajal Eye Liner comes in full size and is worth £15. This is a soft retractable waterproof eyeliner, designed to be used on the waterline. The shade is not specified. This is a vegan product.
In terms of lip products, there is the Delilah Lip Line Long Wear Retractable Pencil in full size. This is worth £20. The shade is not specified but it appears that this lip pencil only comes in a few nude shades. This is another high end product and a lovely addition in the calendar. This is vegan and cruelty free.
Unfortunately, the makeup category for this calendar is already at an end with the Illamasqua Hydra Setting Spray. This comes in a deluxe size. The exact size is not specified so the value is unknown. The full size of the product comes in 100ml which is worth £22. Presumably the one in the Look Fantastic calendar will have a few milliliters worth a few pounds. This product is supposed to lock makeup in place, giving it a dewy finish. This setting spray does not contain alcohol or fragrance! This results in less chances of irritation and might feel quite comfortably on the skin! This is a vegan, cruelty free product.
Skincare: 10 items
The skincare section in the Look Fantastic Christmas advent calendar is a generous one, containing ten items.
There are two cleansers. There is the Kate Somerville Goat Milk Moisturising Cleanser, which comes in a deluxe size. Unfortunately, none of the sizes are disclosed for the Look Fantastic calendar at the moment of writing this review. It is hard to see if the sizes are generous or what is their worth. This Kate Somerville wash is supposed to remove dirt, oil and makeup without causing irritation or tightness on the skin. The cleansing agents in this product are mild and compatible with sensitive skin. It also contains some lovely ingredients, such as grape seed and avocado oil, which are non fragrant plant oils with strong antioxidant properties. There is also vitamin E, honey extract and aloe vera amongst others. In terms of the goat milk, this is supposed to smooth the skin. It is said that Cleoparta liked to bathe in donkey milk to make her skin beautiful. This product is obviously not vegan. It also contains fragrance and benzyl salicylate, both potentially irritating and sensitising to the skin.
The second cleanser is the Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Facial Wash which comes in another deluxe mini version. This product is supposed to gently exfoliate. It contains orbignya oleifera (babassu) seed oil which smooths and softens the skin. It also contains papain which is extracted from papaya and can sensitise skin. Fragrance is also high up in the ingredient list, which is another potential skin sensitiser.
There is another exfoliating product in the Look Fantastic calendar. That is the Omorovicza Facial Polish in another unspecified deluxe mini size. This product contains pumice, which will mechanically exfoliate the skin. It also contains silt (Hungarian mud) that contains natural clay, which has absorbent properties. It also has lava powder and Hungarian thermal water. It is also fragranced and contains benzyl alcohol, linalool, limonene and citronellol. The last four are part of the EU’s list of 26 potential allergens to the skin that have to appear separately on the ingredient list.
Another product with clay is the ESPA Clean & Green Detox Mask. This comes in a full size of 55ml worth £40. Advertised to be a smoothie for the skin, it contains broccoli seed oil, spirulina, kale and spinach. Not much research is available in terms of these in skincare. There is also lavender oil, fragrance and bitter orange oil, amongst other potentially sensitising ingredients. It also contains geraniol, benzyl alcohol and linalool which are on the EU’s list of 26 potential allergens. This product is vegan.
There are also a couple of creams. The Caudalie Vinosource SOS Hydration Intense Moisturising Cream comes in a deluxe size and is supposed to help red, tired skin. It contains glycerin, squalane, grape water, hyaluronic acid, olive oil and vitamin E amongst other beneficial ingredients. These will moisturise and protect the skin. This product contains fragrance. This does appear to be a vegan product, the brand claiming that no ingredients of animal origin were used. However, this is not a cruelty free brand.
The REN Clean Skincare Overnight Glow Dark Spot Sleeping Cream comes in another deluxe size and is intended for hyperpigmentation. It is supposed to offer a glowy, dewy complexion. It contains glycerin, squalane and jojoba oil, all three having skin restoring properties. It also contains fragrance, including the potential allergens citral, limonene and linalool. This product is vegan and cruelty free.
Another cream is the AHC Real Eye Cream for Face. This comes in full size (30 ml) and is worth £26. It is advertised as being anti ageing, minimising the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This product has an extremely long list of ingredients! It has silicones which will help fill in those fine lines. It also has niacinamide, squalane ceramides, retinol, urea and peptides, all very beneficial to the skin with a variety of different properties. Some of these benefits include hydration, protection from pollution and strengthening the skin barrier. Retinol will increase cellular turnover and provide anti ageing benefits. It also contains perfume and benzyl alcohol, the latter being on the EU’s list of 26 potential allergens for the skin.
The Rodial Dragons Blood Sculpting Gel comes in a deluxe size and is another anti ageing product. It has silicones to help fill in fine lines and smooth the skin, sunflower oil, glycerin, as well as more plant extracts. Sunflower oil can strengthen and soothe the skin. This product is fragranced and contains the potential allergens benzyl alcohol, limonene, geraniol and linalool.
The Look Fantastic Christmas advent calendar also contains a hydrating mist from Balance Me. That is the Beauty Sleep Hyaluronic Mist. It seems to be a hybrid in between a hydrating mist and aromatherapy to help you sleep. As you can imagine, this means that it contains some potentially irritant ingredients. It has several essential oils and the potential allergens benzyl alcohol, linalool, limonene, citronellol, geraniol and farnesol. This is a vegan and cruelty free product.
This calendar also contains two serums, both coming in mini sizes. There is the Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate which is another anti ageing product. The second ingredient is alcohol, which might dry out the skin. It also has plant extracts, silicones and some hydrating ingredients. It also contains fragrance and the potential allergens geraniol, citronellol and linalool.
Lastly, there is the Bioeffect EGF serum which in its full size of 15ml costs £130! Since the calendar says it is a deluxe size, I imagine this would be one of those sachet samples. It promises anti ageing effects. The ingredient list is very short and sweet, with only seven ingredients in total. It contains glycerin, hyaluronic acid and EGF. The latter stands for Epidermal Growth Factor. In short, growth factors can stimulate cell growth, their proliferation and healing. There appears to be quite some controversy around this ingredient, as some believe that if you are at risk of cancer or you expose yourself to the sun regularly, growth factors will help cancerous cells to spread very fast. However, the ingredient on its own is not harmful. Of course, despite the fact that there’s finally something that’s fragrance and irritant free, this product contains other ingredients that, as I previously said, could raise some questions and will require some attention from certain people.
Hair: 5 items
For the hair, the Look Fantastic Christmas advent calendar contains five items. They all come in unspecified deluxe sizes. Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt is amongst these products. This is a very expensive scalp scrub that contains sea salt and sweet almond oil. Although it is intended for reactive scalps, this product does contain fragrance. It also contains linalool, limonene, citronellol and tree moss extract, all of these being on the EU’s list of 26 potential allergens to the skin. Usually, I pay less attention to the ingredients when it comes to hair products as they are rinse off items and some, like masks, conditioners, styling creams and so on, do not even touch our skin. This one, however, is a scalp treatment, targeting itchy and reactive skin. This product is vegan.
Another hair product in the Look Fantastic calendar is the Aveda Botanical Repair Treatment. This is another deluxe mini size. It is supposed to detangle hair, prevent breakage and be a heat protectant. This is a vegan and cruelty free product.
The Philip Kingsley Elasti-Styler is another similar product. This one comes in another deluxe size and is supposed to be applied on wet hair. It is supposed to nourish, tame, give shine and be a heat protectant. This is a cruelty free product.
The Color Wow Supernatural Dream Coat in a deluxe size is another product that is supposed to be applied on wet hair. It is silicone free and is supposed to protect the hair from frizz with its humidity-proofing treatment. I am not best friends with this product, as it actually makes my hair more frizzy than usual, but that does not mean that it might not work for you. I have limp, straight and fine hair. This product is vegan and cruelty free.
Another similar item is the Percy and Reed Wonder Balm – another unspecified deluxe size. This is a styling balm that is supposed to lock in moisture, be a heat protectant and a primer for the hair. It is also supposed to reduce frizz and help with split ends. This is one of my favourite styling products for my hair. It is silicone free and it is also vegan.
Bath, Body & Other: 4 items
The body, bath and miscellaneous section of this calendar has four items, excluding the ones intended for the hair. There is the Bubble T Rhubarb & Custard Bath Fizzer in full size which is worth £5. This bath fizzer is supposed to make the water red and make it smell of candy. A rather lovely addition to the calendar, with the exception that it will obviously be a bit redundant for someone without a bathtub. This bath fizzer is vegan and cruelty free.
To join in the relaxing experience of a bath you also get the Rituals Sakura Candle in travel size. This smells of cherry and rice milk. A fragrant candle is always a lovely gift in a Christmas advent calendar in my opinion, especially when it comes to pricier ones like this one from Rituals.
Another item for a relaxing experience after your bath is This Works Stress Check Mood Manager in a deluxe size. This spray is supposed to reduce feelings of stress. It smells of ylang ylang, neroli and patchouli. It is also vegan and cruelty free.
Lastly, there is a hand balm from AVANT, the Sumptuous Glycolic Acid Shea Butter Hand Balm. This comes in full size (50 ml) and is worth £84. This has shea butter for hydration and glycolic acid for exfoliation. It is a gorgeous item to come in a beauty advent calendar. However, if you use an exfoliating acid on your hands please also make sure that you apply sunscreen to them. The use of an exfoliating acid can make the skin more prone to sunburn. Our hands are always exposed to the sun and it is an area where sunscreen is constantly being washed off. Of course, just because it is called a hand cream it doesn’t mean you can’t use it on your body instead.
The Look Fantastic advent calendar for 2021 comes in a beautiful sturdy box with individual drawers for each product. It certainly looks high end and good quality.
You get 25 items, which means you will also receive something on Christmas Day. In terms of the sizes and experience offered by the packaging, no further details have been provided by Look Fantastic. I would assume lots of skincare for example comes in tiny bottles containing a few milliliters each.
IS IT WORTH IT?
Selling for £85 and offering 25 items mostly from high end brands makes the Look Fantastic christmas advent calendar a strong one. Of course, it is hard to judge the true value of it without the deluxe sizes being specified for either of the products. According to Look Fantastic, the total worth of the calendar is £410. This means you get almost five times your money’s worth. However, as we saw for the QVC calendar, sometimes this can be a bit misleading. The Look Fantastic calendar only comes with six items as full size, two being pencils (lip liner and eyeliner) and one being the bath fizzer.
The makeup section in the Look Fantastic calendar is small, containing just a few items. With a blush, a highlighter, a kajal eye pencil, a lipliner and a finishing spray, this section feels slightly unfinished. It feels like they added bits and pieces that need extra items to be complete. A lipstick or a mascara would have been lovely. None of the shades are mentioned. The brands are high end and nice to experiment with. In fact, I avoid setting sprays because of their potentially irritant ingredients, but the one included in the Look Fantastic calendar has a lovely list of ingredients and I am curious myself.
The skincare section is very generous for this calendar. It has a few exfoliating cleansers, creams and serums, most of them being anti ageing and focusing on hydration. Most items contain fragrance and potential allergens for the skin, so if you have sensitive skin, this might not be for you. It also contains a very interesting serum with a controversial ingredient. However, for its price, I doubt this calendar would contain more than a sample sachet of it. Some calendars contain mostly anti ageing skincare products. However, the Look Fantastic one does not seem to be particularly focused on that.
The hair section is repetitive and slightly disappointing. Although I appreciate the inclusion of a scalp exfoliator, which is more unconventional, it has four styling products, all designed to be used on damp hair after washing. While I am sure most of you will enjoy them, I do wish they mixed it up a bit. Perhaps adding a shampoo, a hair mask or even a dry shampoo would have been nicer, now that we are all back into the world.
The body, bath and miscellaneous section is the most well mixed in my opinion, as it contains a bath fizzer, a candle, a body cream and a mood spray. Of course, as usual, I will say it would have been nice to receive a shower gel that smells of the winter holidays and so on, but truthfully this section seems to be the most well rounded one.
One important factor is the fact that many of the contents are vegan and cruelty free. This makes the Look Fantastic advent calendar for 2021 suitable for people that are on the look for vegan items.
Overall, if you enjoy skincare and your skin is not too sensitive, and you want a mix of makeup, haircare and some miscellaneous items around it, then this calendar might be nice. But keep in mind that with only six full size items, out of which one is a one-off bath fizzer, you might be in for a multitude of tiny products.
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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.
None of the images used are Lipstick Café’s copyright and have been used solely for the purpose of reviewing the product.