This calendar is probably one of the most long awaited ones. My guess is that it is because of its amazing value, over £930 worth. The calendar costs £199 and is already available on the Cult website, which has been down ever since the sale went online. Sometimes the value can be slightly misleading, so this review will analyse and review this calendars contents to see if it actually is worth it. It is noteworthy that this calendar contains more than 25 items, with a total of 32 items.
Makeup: 9 items
Considering this calendar contains a total of 32 items and not 25, nine makeup items is not much at all. However, it does contain high end luxury brands, in sizes that are generous despite their deluxe versions.
The first one to note is the Hourglass Mini Ambient Lighting Blush in shade Luminous Flush. The Hourglass Ambient powders have gained the title of being fabulous amongst beauty lovers, as they have a beautiful glowing quality. They are very expensive, although this is the travel size version (1.3g) which retails for only £24. However, I think the travel size is not an issue as I personally rarely empty a powder pan before its expiration date. The shade this product comes in is a beautiful golden peachy pink, which in my opinion should look fantastic on most skin tones.
Another amazing makeup item is a full size Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick, the K.I.S.S.I.N.G Stoned Rose (£25). This is a nude peachy towards brown shade, which again should compliment most skin tones. This is another hyped and very loved brand.
Another luxury brand is Natasha Denona, from which we have the Mini Bloom Highlighting Blush (mini size, of 4g worth £16). This is a more flushing pink shade than the Hourglass one, with similar, but more vibrant golden undertones.
The third Blush is the Milk Makeup Lip+Cheek in shade Werk. This product is a sheer blush that can also be used on the lips as a hydrating tint. The shade is a mauve pink, that leads towards brown. This product comes in a full size which is worth £22.
There is also the Nudestix Intense Matte Lip + Cheek Pencil in the shade Belle, which is another brown with a warm toned peach colour. Again, this product can be used both on the lips and the cheeks which brings this calendar to a total of four blush options. This product comes in a full size worth £20.
Another fantastic item in the calendar is the Huda Beauty Obsessions Precious Stones Eyeshadow Palette Topaz in full size (worth £25). This is a palette with nine eyeshadows in gorgeous caramel and orange shades. It is very warm toned with deep browns, burgundies and a neon orange. It has matte shades and shimmers. I think this is a versatile palette as I can imagine both daytime and evening makeup looks that could be created with it.
Another eye product is the By Terry Ombré Blackstar in Bronze Moon, a creamy eyeshadow stick in the shade of a dark chocolate brown. This is a travel size (worth £15) but I do not see this as an impediment because cream eyeshadows tend to dry out fast.
The last eye product we have is the It Cosmetics Superhero Black Mascara, in a mini size of 5ml. It appears to cost £0 on their website, probably because it is usually offered as a free gift. As I have previously mentioned in other reviews of beauty advent calendars, I do not have an issue with mini sizes for mascara as they tend to be enough to be used within the recommended use by date. Also, I think there should always be a mascara in these calendars as it is an item that everyone uses and it is always nice to be able to try more.
Lastly, there is the Too Faced Lip injection extreme miniature lip gloss which is a clear lip plumper. It states that it will tingle your lips, so if you are sensitive to that avoid using it. This item is worth £12.
Overall, the makeup section is an interesting one, with luxury brands and high-end and beautiful, elegant colours. I would expect nothing else from a calendar that costs £200. I am a bit confused as to why there are four blush products. There could have been added a highlighter, a bronzer and an eyeliner to diversify more.
Skincare: 14 items
As usual, the skincare section overtakes all the others in quantity. Almost half of the Cult calendar is just skincare. Because most of these items have very varied and complex proposes, this time I have divided the skincare products by type of product rather than by function.
There are five serums in this calendar, which is quite a lot. All four come in deluxe sizes, which are pretty much samples. There is the Herbivore Prism Exfoliating Glow Serum 12% (10ml) which as the title suggests, it exfoliates. It is worth £16. It contains both AHA in 12% and BHA in 3%. This comes in handy as most of us should exfoliate.
The Allies of Skin 20% Vitamin C Brighten & Firm Serum (8ml) contains vitamin C which has many known benefits to the skin. It is anti-ageing, it also protects against free radicals, it can help with hyperpigmentation and so on. I am impressed by the ingredients of this product and I think it is one that would be worth trying. However it does come in a very small size (worth £24!).
The Dennis Gross Skincare B3 Adaptive Superfoods Stress Rescue Super Serum (15ml) is another high-end brand. This is another product that at a quick glance I think it has some fantastic ingredients. It has a combination of niacinamide, hydrating oils, antioxidants and lactic acid. This product is meant to reduce redness, strengthen the skin’s protective barrier and reduce fine lines. I think it sounds fabulous and it is an expensive product to be able to try. In this deluxe size, it is worth around £38.
The 111SKIN Rose Gold Radiance Booster (10ml) is worth another whooping £50. This product does seem to me that it contains a much shakier list of ingredients than the rest of the skincare items in this calendar. For example, it is the only one that contains fragrance. It is supposed to hydrate your skin and decongest it.
The last serum in this calendar has an eye watering price, the Barbara Sturm Night Serum (10ml), which in its deluxe size is worth around £82. Yes, you read that correctly… Does this mean it is the holy grail of skincare? Probably not. It means that it is a product aimed at a certain clientele. I am not particularly impressed by its ingredients, but knowing the price, it would have to be absolutely fabulous in order to impress me. This night serum is supposed to repair your skin, hydrate it and reduce its inflammation.
There are three facial oils in this calendar. I personally love facial oils because they combine the benefits with the lovely experience of massaging the oil into your skin, which I personally find very relaxing and therapeutic.
The VOTARY Super Seed Facial Oil (50ml) comes in full size, which is worth another eye watering amount of £70. The product contains a generous amount of various oils blended together which are supposed to be anti-ageing, anti-inflammatory and have anti-irritation properties as well. While I did say that I love facial oils, it remains to be seen on every individual if a certain product as such actually helps them and if their skin reacts well, but in the end this could be said of all skincare products.
The next full size product is the Jordan Samuel Skin Retinol Treatment Oil (30ml) which is worth £38.5. This product is meant to hydrate and to reduce fine lines. Besides the hydrating and antioxidant oils it also contains retinol, which is very beneficial to the skin.
The sample size facial oil is the Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil (8ml) which is worth £18. This product only contains marula oil, which is supposed to have anti-ageing and antioxidant benefits.
The Cult Calendar contains three masks, all in full sizes, which is extremely exciting. The Oskia Liquid Mask Lactic Acid Micro-Peel (30ml) is worth £65. It contains lactic acid which exfoliates the skin. It also has hydrating ingredients and a multitude of vitamins.
The SUMMER FRIDAYS Overtime Mask (64g) is a product that I have seen promoted by influencers a lot online. It is worth £39 and it is supposed to be another product that helps with the cell-turnover of your skin, by exfoliating it and by reducing inflammation.
Lastly, there is the Algenist Alive Prebiotic Balancing Mask (50ml) which is worth £38. This is advertised to contain algae probiotics and prebiotics which target the skin’s bacteria and balance it out.
There are three creams in this calendar. There is one item from a luxury brand, the Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream (15ml) which is worth £65. Like many other skincare items in this calendar, this product is anti-ageing and it is supposed to help with cell turnover for a more luminous and healthy complexion.
The Glow Recipe Banana Soufflê Moisture Cream (25ml) is a well known product because it has been frequently promoted by influencers. It is worth around £24 and this is a hydrating cream that is also meant to help with redness and reduce the effects of stress on the skin.
The Verso Eye Cream (20ml) comes in full size and it is worth £55. This is a deeply hydrating cream intended for the eyes which I think is another lovely addition to this calendar.
Overall, the skincare section surprised me, as I think many of the products in the Cult calendar have amazing ingredients. As far as I could see most of the items did not contain fragrance, which is an ingredient seen over and over again in skincare, even though it does bring any benefits. Many of the items are also vegan and cruelty free. That being said, I do wish it also included a lip balm, to round up the multitude of products. Also, lots of these products contain ingredients which will make the use of sunscreen necessary. AHA and BHA for example make the skin very sensitive to the sun and therefore you are strongly advised to wear sunscreen. Therefore, I think it would have been lovely to have a sunscreen or two in this calendar.
Body, Bath & Other: 9 items
Body & Bath: 4 items
There is a shower gel in the calendar, the Molton Brown Delicious Rhubarb and Rose Bath & Shower gel, which as I have mentioned plenty before, is something that is always welcomed, as it is not just useful but also fun to experiment new fragrances. However, I am not thrilled about the scent, the rhubarb and rose as I am not convinced it is a Christmas appropriate one. This shower gel comes in 100ml, which is worth around £7.
For a body moisturizer, we have the Malin + Goetz Vitamin B5 one. This product is a nice addition to the calendar but it does only come in a travel size of 30ml, which for a body product is not nearly enough. This size would be worth around £4.
As a body luxury item there is the Costa Brazil Óleo Para O Corpo, Kaya Jungle Firming Body Oil, which although comes in only 30ml this is worth £52. This oil is supposed to firm, hydrate and improve the aspect of your skin. It has some interesting ingredients I have never heard of before, such as Kaya oil, Breu Branco, Capuaçu. According to their website, they are rich in omegas 3, 6, 9 and Vitamin A and E, which are all beneficial to the skin.
Lastly, there is the De Mamiel Settle Sleep Series in full size, which is 10ml and is worth £40. This is an aromatherapy oil that is supposed to help you sleep better. It sounds like a lovely oil to use on the palm of your hands and chest in order to relax you and embrace a soothing massage and scent before going to sleep, but 10 ml is not that much. However, I do like the idea of the product and I think it is something special and interesting to use.
Hair: 2 items
As I mentioned in all of my reviews of the beauty advent calendars, I really appreciate a hair section in calendars. The Cult calendar only has two items for the hair. There is a mini size (60 ml, worth £10) of the Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Triple Detox Shampoo. This is a colour safe detox shampoo that is supposed to remove the build up of pollution and product from hair. I am a fan of clarifying and detoxifying shampoos. However, it is difficult to find one that does not strip the dye of my hair out. Therefore, this could be an interesting product to try and, why not, should suit most people.
The second and the last product intended for the hair in this calendar is the Larry King Hair Care A Social Life for Your Hair. This product comes in a travel size of 30ml and is worth £12. This is a taming product that should soften the hair, get rid of flyaways and enhance curls. It is a nice addition to the calendar.
Other: 3 items
In the miscellaneous pile there are three products. The Susanne Kaufmann Pillow Spray Calming (75ml) is worth £20 and is a product intended to create a calming feeling due to its fragrance.
There is a lovely candle in the calendar as well, a luxury one – the Jo Loves Fig Tree Votive Candle (70g). This candle is worth £55. Candles are some of my favourite items in beauty advent calendars, as they add that one item that will really put you in the mood for Christmas. This one, luckily, should also smell festive.
The Patchology Little Helper Energy Dietary Supplement Strips (6 x 0.1g worth £10) are an interesting choice when it comes to beauty advent calendars. Initially, the idea of having energy boosting supplements in it was appealing, but at a closer look these supplements do contain caffeine. Be mindful if you decide to take these, as they may affect your sleep.
This calendar comes in a bright coral red cardboard with pink and orange accents. It is not my favourite colour for the festive season but this is subjective and will depend from person to person how much you enjoy it.
The fabulous experience that this calendar offers, in my opinion, is the chance to try so many luxury brands. From facial serums, makeup and candles, it includes some eye watering expensive products which will make you feel extra special, extra cared for and extra ready for Christmas.
This calendar does not only contain something for Christmas Day as well, but in fact it contains a selection of products for the 25th. This will make the Christmas Day extra special.
There is also a £1000 Cult Beauty pounds ticket hidden in one calendar only.
When you purchase this calendar, £15 are donated to Beauty Banks Charity, which helps those in need to get hygiene essentials and personal care products.
IS IT WORTH IT?
I must admit that I was suspicious that I started to review the Cult Beauty Advent Calendar as I was ready to see many sample sizes items with many average skincare products. However, my opinion changed completely as I started to look into the items included in this calendar. Although I am usually put off by the large skincare category in these calendars, the skincare items in the Cult calendar are fantastic in my opinion. The ingredient list for most of the skincare products is astonishing. I also appreciated the fact that most of the skincare items do not contain fragrance or irritating ingredients.
That being said, skincare items can be hit or miss, and if you have sensitive skin you might not be able to use all the product. Also, as I have mentioned before for calendars that have a lot of skincare items, I do not recommend you use all the skincare items at once. For so much skincare, you will have to put lots of products aside and wait for a future time to introduce them in your skincare routine.
In terms of the makeup section, there are some amazing items which are not only hyped in the beauty community, but they are also known to have amazing quality. That being said, the makeup section is not even worth £200 of this calendar, which is supposed to be worth more than £930. To me, this clearly states that if you are mostly looking for makeup, this might not have all the options you desire. The mixture of makeup products is also not the best, as there are some repetitive items.
There are some other fun items in the calendar, like the candle, the pillow spray and the dietary supplementary strips. While I am still impressed with the quality of the products included in this calendar, I still wish there would have been more variety. For example, I would have appreciated one more hair mask, or a lip balm, some sunscreen, or, why not, a travel sized perfume.
Of course, one could ask themselves how many of these luxury items they would buy without getting the calendar. Are the things in it something that you would use? Receiving luxury brands is certainly extremely exciting but £200 for a beauty advent calendar is not affordable. In fact, it leans towards the expensive side of calendars. It is noteworthy that this calendar does contain 32 items instead of 25.
By giving an entire selection of products for the 25th, you could get this calendar as the main Christmas gift to someone. Not only you would offer them a gift for every day of December, but on the actual Christmas Day they would receive a collection of items, which could double as your gift to them for the day. Perhaps you could also let the person know that £15 was donated to the Beauty Banks charity. In that sense, this calendar is worth it, although £200 could still be exceeding the budget of many people.
However, if you do have the budget and you are someone that loves to wear makeup and are very picky with skincare, this calendar is worth it. I have mentioned the fun factor plenty of times in my beauty advent calendar reviews, and I think that the Cult Beauty Advent Calendar has it. With the mixture of luxury brands and hyped products I think it offers more than enough excitement.
More Beauty Advent Calendars 2020 coming soon!
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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.