The Next Beauty Women’s Advent Calendar 2021 is one of the most affordable mixed brand calendars of 2021 so far. But is it any good? Does it contain any high end brands? How good are the ingredients and what sort of items does it contain? As usual, in my review I divided all items by categories, analyse the sizes and their worth, as well as discuss the benefits of products and the overall experience this calendar gives.
£69 worth £294
Makeup: 7 items
The Next Beauty Women’s Calendar 2021 contains seven makeup items, which is not too much, not too little, but still not enough. The Delilah Eyeshadow Brush Precision Brush worth £20 offers a strong start but then it sort of goes downhill very quickly – the calendar does not contain any eyeshadow to be applied by this brush. That is a real shame. The brush is cruelty free and vegan.
The only other makeup item intended for the eyes is the Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara that comes in a deluxe mini of 3ml worth £12. Although this is a mini size, as I often mention – mascara can only be used for about three months before it dries out and it is not hygienic anymore, so these deluxe sizes are usually enough to be enjoyed just like a full size one.
There is also the Benefit 24 Hour Brow Setter Clear Brow Gel which comes in a deluxe size of 2ml worth around £6. This is a very popular and loved product amongst beauty lovers, and the fact that it comes in a clear shade makes it wearable by anyone. This will set your eyebrows in place and help you to sculpt and shape them.
For the lips there are three products. There is some lip care from By Terry, their Baume de Rose Flaconnette in a travel size of 2.3g worth £14. This is a liquid version of the renowned By Terry lip balm. This product is a hybrid in between skincare and makeup, as it also offers a glossy effect.
In the gloss category there is also the Iconic London Lip Plumping Gloss in full size (5ml) in the shade Nearly Nude. This is worth £19 and is supposed to be a nourishing, lip plumping formula. It has a minty tingle, which would be a pass from me. Minty lip glosses plump the lips by irritating them, giving the sensation of bigger lips. The shade is a warm toned peachy nude which would suit most skin tones. This product is vegan and cruelty free.
The last product for the lips is a very vibrant and beautiful MAC Retro Lipstick in shade Ruby Woo. It is worth £17.50. This is one of my favourite lipsticks, as it is matte but doesn’t dry out the lips and the shade is a very beautiful blue toned red. It whitens the teeth immediately and stays on all day long. The finish is matte but it does not overemphasize dry patches.
There is no item for complexion other than a setting spray, which is the famous Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray which comes in 15ml costing £10. The second ingredient in this spray is alcohol so it could be drying on the skin. This product is vegan.
Skincare: 11 items
Like most calendars this year, the Next beauty advent calendar has plenty of skincare in. As usual, I arranged them in categories so that you can see what sort of routine you could create with the products in the calendar. I also provide quick reviews of each.
Firstly, there are two cleansers. The Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm comes in 15ml and costs £10. This is a popular and loved cleansing balm that will melt all your makeup and sunscreen off. This does contain a multitude of potential irritant and skin sensitising ingredients, such as citrus oils and bergamot. It also contains some ingredients that are on the EU’s list of potential allergens that have to be written separately on the ingredient list, such as limonene, benzyl alcohol, citronellol, geraniol, linalool and citral. However, this is a rinse off product and therefore the product would not sit for long on the skin.
The second cleansing product, which comes in a cream format rather than a balm, is the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish. This comes in a travel size of 30ml and costs £9. It contains the potential skin sensitiser eucalyptus oil, which although has its benefits to skin it also contains fragrant components which are bad for the skin. It also contains the potential allergen limonene.
I am familiar with both of these cleansers and although both feel nice and remove the makeup well, they do contain ingredients which can potentially harm sensitive skin.
Serums and Masks
In terms of serums and masks, this is the most abundant category of skincare in the Next advent calendar. There is the Beauty Pro Hyaluronic Acid Gold Foil Mask that comes in full size (25ml) and is worth £6. This is a single use mask. It contains the hydrating hyaluronic acid as well as soy extract which is an antioxidant. It contains fragrance which is a potential skin sensitiser.
The other item, which is listed as being full size is the Aurelia Brightening Anti Pollution Mask which comes in 20ml and costs £20. However, the actual full size of this mask comes in 60ml. The Next calendar claims it has the full size, but the 20ml is the travel size version, which is misleading. This is a probiotic mask that is supposed to protect the skin from pollutants, and speed cellular turnover. However, it has some problematic ingredients. Lavender oil, mandarin orange oil, jasmine flower oil are all amongst the first few ingredients of this mask and they are all
fragrant oils that can sensitise skin. This product also contains lactose which is always a potential issue if people are allergic to milk. Menthyl lactate is another potential skin sensitiser. It also contains the allergens linalool, limonene, benzyl alcohol and geraniol.
The Next calendar also contains the Elizabeth Arden Retinol Ceramides Night Serum capsules. There are seven capsules worth £7 in total. Retinol is an anti ageing ingredient that can also help with breakouts. Ceramides can hydrate and keep the skin barrier healthy. This product is fragrance free.
The Lancome Advanced Genifique Serum comes in 7ml and is worth £14. This product is supposed to suit any skin type and it claims it strengthens the skin barrier, leaving skin healthier and looking younger. It has some hydrating ingredients such as alpha glucan oligosaccharide and sodium hyaluronate. However, it has several potential skin sensitisers, such as alcohol denat amongst the first few ingredients, hydroxyethylpiperazine ethane sulfonic acid that could be a problem in skincare, as well as lye (sodium hydroxide) amongst the first few ingredients. It is also fragranced and it contains the potential allergen limonene.
Another serum in the Next calendar is the very popular Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair which comes in 7ml and costs £10. This serum targets diminishing fine lines and reducing pores. It has hyaluronic acid, yeast extracts, lactobacillus ferments, caffeine and squalane among other skin beneficial ingredients.
The last serum in the Next calendar is the BareMinerals Skinlongevity that comes in 8ml worth around £8. It contains niacinamide which is a skin soothing and restoring ingredient, as well as a powerful antioxidant. It also has squalane and peptides. Unfortunately, it contains perfume and the potential allergens limonene, linalool and geraniol.
The Next beauty advent calendar also contains three creams. The Elemis Superfood Glow Priming Moisturiser comes in 20ml and costs £15. This is a multitasking product, as it can be used as a moisturiser, a primer or as a highlighter. It is silicone free and is supposed to enhance the skin’s glow and luminosity. This contains alpha glucan oligosaccharides which is an increasingly popular ingredient, supposed to balance and protect the microflora of the skin barrier. It also contains fragrance and the potential allergens linalool, limonene, geraniol and citronellol.
Another moisturiser in the Next calendar is the Origins Ginzing Energy Boosting Moisturiser which comes in 15ml and costs £8. This is targeting dry patches and is supposed to give a hydrated, glowy look to the skin. It has niacinamide, jojoba oil and algae extract amongst other beneficial ingredients. It also contains several potentially irritating ingredients for the skin, such as citrus oils, such as lemon, orange and grapefruit, as well as the potential allergens limonene and linalool.
The REN Glow Daily Vitamin C Cream comes in 15ml and is worth around £11. This cream is supposed to hydrate the skin, leaving it looking luminous. It contains vitamin C which is an antioxidant. It also contains several potential irritants, such as citrus oils and it also contains fragrance. From the EU’s list of potential allergens it contains limonene and linalool.
Hair: 2 items
The Next Beauty Advent Calendar only has two items for the hair, both being treatments. To counteract the lack of variety, the brands chosen are very loved and the products are iconic on their own. There is the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Deep Conditioning Treatment which comes in 75ml and costs £19.50. Again, this product is mentioned as coming in full size, but this would be the travel version of the product. This deep conditioner is supposed to hydrate the hair, reduce frizz, strengthen and reduce breakage, adds shine and gloss, amongst many other benefits. I enjoy this hair mask although I do have others that give a more visible change to my hair. This product is cruelty free.
The second item for the hair is the very loved Moroccanoil Treatment Original which comes in 25ml and costs £13.45. This is a hair oil rich in antioxidants and proteins. It claims to help leave your hair smooth, nourished and more manageable. I love this hair oil, it has a very pleasant sweet scent and it leaves my bleached and fine hair very soft and shiny.
Body, Bath & Other: 6 items
For your body there is the L’Occitane Verveine Shower Gel which comes in 70ml which costs £5.50. The scent is described as being citrusy and reinvigorating. Following the only shower product, the calendar jumps directly into creams and oils. The Clarins Moisture Rich Body Lotion comes in 100ml and is worth £15. This cream is supposed to nourish and repair the skin barrier. It also promises a tightening effect. It has organic oat sugars, shea butter and raspberry. If you would prefer an oil instead, the Next calendar also contains Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Nourishing Dry Body Oil in 40ml worth around £8. This product comes as a spray even though it is an oil, promising a dry touch after application. It is supposed to offer hydration and softness. The scent is described as being predominantly of vanilla and almond. Oils are amazing in winter, as our skin gets drier in the colder months.
The Next calendar also has nail polish. This is the Nails Inc. Gel Effect Polish in Colville Mews which comes in 10ml and is worth around £11. It comes in a cool toned nude shade. This nail polish is supposed to be glossy, shiny and to level out the nail with its plumping agents, for a smooth effect.
In terms of fragrance, there are two items. This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray comes in 35ml and is worth around £9. This is a popular product in beauty advent calendars. It is supposed to help with your mood and promote a restful sleep. It smells of lavender, but it also contains chamomile and vetivert oil. It is supposed to be used on the pillow but I prefer the suggestion to use it on your pajamas much more. This product is vegan and cruelty free.
Lastly, there is a sample of Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau de Toilette which comes in 4ml worth £6. The top notes are wild berries and wild violet, the heart note is jasmine, and the base note is sandalwood. Described as a floral scent, this is not the most appropriate scent for December. This is eau de toilette, meaning it will not be very potent. If you have read my article about how to look gorgeous during summer, you know that my recommendation is for eau de parfum during winter, as colder temperatures hold more potent, stronger fragrances better.
The Next beauty advent calendar comes in a gorgeous silver box that has a snowflake on. This is the first Christmas advent calendar I have reviewed so far that gives me winter vibes. It is very sleek and elegant and reminds me of snow. The doors consist of drawers, some of them having a glittery effect on. The design is very elegant and puts the calendar’s aesthetics on the same level as high end ones.
The Next calendar contains 26 items so it could be assumed that although it only has 24 doors, one of them comes with two goodies. It contains some high end brands, such as Moroccanoil, MAC, By Terry, Estee Lauder, Lancome and many others. The overall experience of the calendar is a luxurious one, the products coming in beautiful packaging.
IS IT WORTH IT?
The Next beauty advent calendar 2021 contains 26 items in total, worth £240 according to Next. My calculations raise it to £294 though (I triple checked!) It costs £69 which means that you get more than four times your money’s worth. This is not bad value at all, and places the calendar amongst the most profitable ones.
The makeup section has seven items worth a total of £88.50, already covering the cost of the calendar. However, it is not the best selection. There is no eyeshadow, no eyeliner and almost no product for the complexion. Although it comes with some iconic products, such as the Benefit clear brow gel, the MAC lipstick in Ruby Woo, the Urban Decay all nighter setting spray, amongst others, it just feels incomplete. As a result, I would not recommend the Next calendar to someone that is looking for makeup in particular.
The skincare section contains eleven items, without counting the iconic By Terry lip balm. It is worth a total of £118 and comes with some well known products such as the Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm, the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish and the Estee Lauder Advanced Repair serum. As usual, this is the biggest section of the calendar and it contains cleansers, serums, masks and creams. However, most of the items in the skincare section contain potential irritants and skin sensitisers. They also contain potential allergens. Therefore, I would not recommend the Next calendar to someone with sensitive skin or to someone that is particularly picky about their products.
There are two items for the hair, worth a total of £33. Both items come from very popular and loved brands, such as Moroccanoil and Philip Kingsley. The duo is amazing and a lovely addition to the calendar.
The bath and body section, excluding the two items for the hair, has six items in total, worth a total of £54.50. Again, it contains some popular items from L’Occitane, This Works and Marc Jacobs. However, this is another section that feels incomplete. It has a shower gel, body cream, body oil, nail polish and some eau de toilette. Although it is a plus it has a nail polish and some perfume, it feels like they could have added more here.
Overall, despite the fact that the calendar contains high end popular brands, they mostly come in tiny sizes. In fact, this calendar only has four full size items – a lipstick, a lip gloss, an eyeshadow brush and a single use sheet mask. The rest are all travel sizes, even if advertised as full sizes. I found that a bit misleading! Especially in the skincare section the items come in tiny sizes, varying from 7ml to 25ml (which is the single use sheet mask). However, the most generous item in the calendar is the Clarins body cream which comes in 100ml, as well as the Philip Kingsley hair mask in 75ml and the L’Occitane shower gel in 70ml. It also has a full size lipstick, lip gloss, and a more than generous nail polish size. Compared to the QVC beauty advent calendar, which is priced similarly, the Next one offers a much better selection of product sizes.
For those of you looking for vegan, cruelty free products, this calendar contains a few, but not enough to be suitable for this request.
If you are a fan of high end brands, don’t have sensitive skin and want to try out some iconic products but don’t want to spend hundreds on an advent calendar, then this is for you! Not that £69 is affordable but when the Next calendar is placed amongst the other calendars for 2021, the price is certainly the best (so far!) you are going to get for receiving dozens of high end brands.
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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.