This year not many multi branded advent calendars have an affordable price. Compared to 2019, the 2020 calendars increased in price significantly. So what calendars are excellent in value, have a good mix of brands and products while they do not cost a fortune? This review will put to the test the Latest in Beauty Award Winners Advent Calendar. This contains only products that have won beauty awards. Is it actually any good?
£60 worth over £300
Makeup: 5 items
The Latest in Beauty Award Winners calendar only has five makeup items. For the lips there are two products, a lipstick and a plumping lip gloss. The lipstick is a matte MAC one in shade whirl. It comes in a mini size which is worth £12. I do not see any disadvantages in a mini sized lipstick, as personally I never empty lipsticks before their expiration date, as they last quite some time. I love matte MAC lipsticks because they also feel very moisturising on the lips and because they are creamy.
The shade it comes in is a rosy brown. This MAC lipstick is a fabulous addition to the calendar, with the mention that a brown pink will be trickier to use on certain skin tones. This product is a winner of Best Of Directional Make-up at the Vogue Beauty Awards.
The lip gloss is the Skin Chemists Rose Quartz Youth Defense Lip Plump. This comes in full size and is worth £30. It was a winner of The Beauty Shortlist 2020. It is supposed to hydrate, plump and leave a glossy effect on your lips. I am not a huge fan of lip products with menthol in them. Be mindful that this product might cause a tingling sensation.
For the eyes there are three products. There is the Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Glam Glitter Gel Eye Crayon. The shades of this product might vary. It is worth £21 and was a winner at the Stella Autumn Beauty Awards 2016. The crayon is sparkly and I hope it will come in colourful shades. This product feels Christmas appropriate and sounds very exciting. There is not any eyeshadow in this calendar. However, you could smudge this crayon on your eyelids to substitute for one.
There is also an eyeliner, the Eyeko Eye Do Liquid Eyeliner in carbon black. I have seen this product in several calendars this year such as the John Lewis one, the Elle Magazine one and in the Next beauty advent calendar. It comes in full size and it is worth £16. Coming in black, it will suit most people. It has a sharp applicator, which will allow a lot of control in creating winged lines. This eyeliner was a winner at the Elle Beauty Awards in 2013.
Lastly, we have a mascara. The Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! in black. This comes in a mini size and is worth £12. It was the winner of Cult Cosmetic product of the Year at the ASOS Awards in 2019. It is certainly a very well known product and it will be lovely either to try it for the first time or to revisit it. As I have mentioned in my other reviews of beauty advent calendars, mini sizes for mascara are not an impediment, as mascara should only be used for three months only. This means that the mini size will most likely offer you enough usage.
The makeup section is worth a total of £91. Overall, while the section is tiny it still offers some lovely and varied choices. I am sure anyone would love a MAC lipstick, a Marc Jacobs glitter liner, a black eyeliner and a mascara. The makeup section in this calendar also combines essentials with fun elements. If you have read my other reviews of beauty advent calendars, then you know I am very appreciative of the fun element. I think beauty advent calendars should also be about experimenting with fun colours and innovative products that perhaps we would not necessarily buy otherwise.
Skincare: 10 items
There is a full size cleanser which comes in 50ml and is worth £22. This is the Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Miracle Cleanser with a Muslin cloth. This product was the winner of Best Cleanser at the Elle Beauty IT List in 2016. It sounds like a rich cleanser that will remove makeup and sebum. It contains some interesting ingredients with a combination of oils, hydrating butters and… milk proteins. I am curious if the presence of lactose in it would irritate my skin (I am lactose intolerant). I will certainly let you know in future articles! This product is also in the Elle Magazine Beauty Advent Calendar.
The second cleanser is the Sukin Blemish Control Clearing Facial Wash which comes in a mini size of 20ml worth around £1.60. This is a gel cleanser that contains eucalyptus, tea tree, aloe, moringa extract, coconut extract and many other ingredients. These are meant to help to reduce breakouts and remove the last traces of makeup. Some of the ingredients in this cleanser are found in much more expensive products on the market. This product was the winner of Best skincare brand Australia at The Beauty Shortlist 2018. Please note that this product contains essential oils in case you want to avoid them. Personally, I like them in cleansing products.
Interestingly, the Latest in Beauty Awards Winners advent calendar only has two masks. The first one is for the eyes. The Rodial Snake Jelly eye patches come in a pack of one pair which is worth £9. This product was the winner at the Notebook Beauty Awards 2017.
No, this product does not actually contain snakes! It has a tripeptide registered as SYN-AKE which supposedly relaxes facial muscles reducing small fine lines. Whether it does this or not, we all need some eye masks in winter to depuff the under eye area and make us look like we have not woken up in the early dark mornings. You can achieve this by putting this mask in the fridge before using and by simply hydrating your under eye area. This mask is a lovely addition to the calendar and I am impressed with the ingredients.
The face mask in this calendar is a cute three step one from Oh K! SOS 3-Step OIl Controlling T-zone. This is a single use mask and is worth £7. This product is supposed to help with redness, oiliness and breakouts. I did have a quick look at the ingredients and the face wash seems to contain a high amount of Potassium Hydroxide. This is also known as lye and can sensitize and irritate skin.
The Latest in Beauty Award Winners advent calendar only has one primer advertised as such. The Ciate Watermelon Burst Hydrating primer comes in a mini size of 10ml which is worth £6. This product was the Winner of the Newcomer of the Year Award at the WWD The Beauty INC Awards 2012.
As any other primer, this product is meant to make your makeup last longer. It is said to add a glow to your face and smooth out your skin without containing any silicones. It does contain some deeply moisturising ingredients, such as glycerin, urea and trehalose. However, it also has some red flag ingredients, such as sodium hydroxide, also known as lye, fragrance and witch hazel.
As a serum there is a tiny 5ml version of the Murad Retinol Eye Renewal Eye serum worth £13. This is an anti-ageing eye serum that also hydrates and strengthens the skin’s protective barrier. It was a winner at the Glamour Power List Beauty Awards 2020.
The overall ingredients in this serum are impressive, with glycerin, retinol, urea, yeast amino acids amongst the first. It also has some hydrating oils and caprylic/capric triglycerides. However, this also contains sodium hydroxide, also known as lye, and perfume, two best friends in the skincare industry nowadays which can sensitize and irritate skin. However, compared to the Ciate primer, in the Murad eye serum these are at the very bottom of the ingredient list, meaning they are less prominent.
The creams in the Latest in Beauty Award Winners calendar are not just simply moisturisers. The first one, the Nuxe Nuxuriance Gold is an anti-ageing cream designed for dry skin. This comes in 15ml which is worth £16. This product was the winner of Best Anti Ageing Cream at Prix Santé Magazine Beauté Santé 2020. I must admit this does not look great when looking at the list of ingredients, but it remains to be seen if it actually feels pleasant on the skin. This again contains sodium hydroxide, also known as lye and perfume.
In complete opposite with the previous product which is intended for dry skin, the next daytime cream is the Erborian Matte Creme. It comes in 5ml which is worth around £5. This was the Winner of Best Everyday Primer at the Wardrobe ICONS Beauty Awards 2020. This is a mattifying cream which is supposed to blur pores and imperfections. It is a silicone based cream and thus this also has the function of a primer.
An interesting skincare product in the Latest in Beauty calendar is the Balance Me tanning Drops which come in 6ml worth £12. This product was the Winner of Best Self Tan Face & Body at the Tatler Beauty Awards 2018. These drops can be added to your moisturiser for a subtle glow or for a tanned skin. I love the idea of this at a time like this, when I would avoid wearing foundation and other base products under a face covering. Something like tanning drops would unify the skin tone and help cover imperfections. The size is tiny though.
Another fun product in this calendar is the Dr Pawpaw Outrageous Orange Balm which comes in 25ml worth £4. This is a deeply nourishing balm that can be used as a lip balm or even as a sheer cheek blush. This product was the Winner of Best New Lip Product at the Pure Beauty Awards 2019.
Overall, the skincare section seems poor to me. Most products contain irritating ingredients such as lye and fragrance. They mostly also contain redundant ones such as colouring agents which add no benefit to the skin.
The range is creative though, with cleansers, primes, tanning drops, eye serums, three step masks and many others. What strikes me as interesting is the fact that they have both anti-ageing and anti-oiliness products. This means that the items are aimed at two completely different skin types. The downside of this is that it could mean you end up not using some products.
The skincare section is worth a total of £96 which is almost a third of the value of this calendar. Considering that almost half of this calendar is just skincare, this proves that some of these skincare products come in tiny sizes.
Body and Bath & Other: 9 items
Hair: 4 items
Luckily, the Latest in Beauty Award Winners calendar has a generous section for the hair. If you have read my other beauty advent calendars reviews you know I am a fan of haircare in calendars. This is for multiple reasons, the main one being that haircare will suit most people.
One of the most exciting products in this calendar is the Aveda Damage Repair which comes in a full size of 100ml worth £25. This is a leave-in conditioner that moisturises hair, protects it from heat and prevents breakage. It is one of my favourite haircare products and I have been using one for a very long time. This year this product is also in many other calendars, such as the Elle Magazine one and the Next Beauty Calendar. The Aveda Damage Repair was the winner of Best Leave-In Conditioner at Byrdie’s 2020 Eco Awards.
The second product is another lovely addition. The Color WOW Dream Coat Supernatural spray is a serum that helps with frizz and helps you blowdry your hair to make it smooth and shiny. It comes in 50ml which is worth £6. It was the Winner of Best Weather Protector at the Harper’s Hot 100 Awards 2018. I have also seen it featured by celebrity hair stylists.
The third hair product is a dry shampoo. The Batiste Clean and Classic Original comes in a mini size of 50ml worth £1.50. It was the Winner of Best Cult Product for 2020 at the Sunday Times Style Awards 2020. This is a classic in terms of dry shampoos and hair products. I think this is a nice size to chuck in your bag and use on the go if you have oily hair. If you do not have oily hair you can still use this to add volume to your hair.
The last hair product in the Latest in Beauty Award Winners calendar is a hair tie. The Invisibobble Sprunchie comes in black and it covers a tangle-free spiral hair ring. This is worth £6. It is always handy to use a hair tie like this at home, for showers or cooking. This should not leave marks in your hair. The sprunchie was a Winner at the Cosmopolitan Beauty Awards 2014.
Body: 4 items
There are three items intended to be used for the body. These are always welcome in advent calendars. The Latest in Beauty calendar contains two body creams. The first one is the Palmer’s Natural Vitamin E concentrated cream in 60ml. This costs £4 and is a deeply nourishing product which was shortlisted at the Pure Beauty Awards 2019. From the list of ingredients this sounds like a buttery cream. You can use this anywhere your skin is the driest, such as elbows, lips, hands, feet etc. This sounds like a beneficial product for winter!
The second body cream is the Dr Botanicals Lemon Superfood All-in-One Rescue Butter. This comes in 50ml and is worth £15. This is a heavily fragranced cream that contains many hydrating ingredients. It also contains lye, but if used on the body it should be less sensitising than if used on the face. This product was the Winner of Best Multi-tasking Balm/Ointment/Butter at The Beauty Shortlist 2020.
There is also a shower oil, which is one of my favourite products to use during winter. This is because shower oils are very hydrating. The Latest of Beauty calendar offers the Aromatherapy Associates Support Lavender & Peppermint Bath and Shower Oil. This does come in a very tiny size for a shower product. It comes in 9ml which is worth £11. This product was a Winner of Best British Brand – Mass & Prestige at the CEW Beauty Awards 2017.
Lastly, there is my favourite product from this calendar in terms of body use. That is the Foamie Papaya & Oat Milk 2-in-1 body bar. This comes in full size which is worth £6. This sounds like a lovely product to use in the shower or during your bath. It also has indentations meant to help massage your skin. It has hydrating butters, and oils and funnily enough, it does not contain lye. I am saying this because lye used to be used once upon a time mainly in soaps. Nowadays, the trend seems to have moved from soaps to creams.
Fragrance: 1 item
A lovely refreshing item for the calendar is the Floran Street Mini Discovery Set in Dark. This is a set of five mini perfumes that come in 1.5ml each and are worth a total of £18. I love the sound of the fragrances, but this is subjective. The perfumes come in scents such as Vanilla, Ylang Ylang Espresso and Black Lotus. These fragrances were Winners of Best Niche Fragrance at the Cosmopolitan Magazine Beauty Awards 2019.
The Body, Bath & Other section is worth a total of £90. It is lovely to see this section contains almost a third of this calendar and that they have not shied away from body butters, soaps and hair products.
The Latest in Beauty Award Winners calendar comes in the form of a box without any count to Christmas Day. The concept of this is to reduce waste and provide a reusable box. To me, it is a huge downside, as most people purchase a beauty advent calendar instead of a beauty box because of the countdown to Christmas and because of the lovely experience of opening one drawer or box each day.
This calendar contains 24 products, meaning it does not give you something on Christmas Day. That being said, the Floran Perfumes do come in five mini sizes, the calendars thus giving you more than just 24 items to play with.
IS IT WORTH IT?
The Latest in Beauty Award Winners beauty calendar contains 24 well diversified products. It contains an array of various items: a glittery eyeliner, a mascara, a matte lipstick, shower oil, a body bar, leave-in conditioner for the hair, styling products, cleansers, perfumes, face masks and many other products.
Although this calendar only costs £60 at the moment it offers something that many other expensive calendars do not – the fun element. The products are diversified enough with some being innovative and fun to use.
The choice of products is a strong one, in terms that many of these items are very popular ones. The concept of the Award Winners calendar is a fascinating one, the calendar only offering products that won beauty awards. This should give you some confidence in the products.
However, in terms of skincare, there are a few issues with the products. Most contain some sensitising ingredients which might put you off using them. That being said, this is an issue I noticed with almost all calendars this year, including the ones that have triple or quadruple the price of this one’s.
Overall, for £60 this is one of the most affordable multi-branded beauty calendars for 2020. It is surprising that for the price it includes brands such as MAC, Marc Jacobs, Eyeko, Murad, Aveda, Benefit and Rodial. The choices are popular ones, and even though some of the skincare items do raise some question marks, overall this calendar has a top notch selection.
The value of the calendar is around £277, which is less than they advertise (over £300). However, for the price you pay you still get your money’s worth almost five times. The total value of this calendar is one of the best considering what else is on the market in 2020. For example, the John Lewis Calendar costs £150 and is worth £376 which only gives you two and a half your money’s worth.
If you want a calendar that contains popular brands with fun products but you do not want to spend a lot, then the Latest in Beauty Award Winners is for you. I am impressed and amazed at the fabulous brands included in this calendar. If you are bummed it does not contain drawers, you can either move it into an older beauty calendar you got, or simply DIY it yourself in gift bags. If you live with a dear one, you can ask them to give you an item every morning, as a surprise.
What do you think of this calendar? Let me know in the comments!
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More Reviews of Beauty Advent Calendars 2020 coming soon!
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