What if there was a £40 Christmas beauty advent calendar that also offered a mix of high end brands? What if the product sizes were also bigger than in some more premium calendars? This review will split the contents of the M&S Beauty Advent Calendar for 2022 in categories. It will also look at the ingredients of all products, discuss the differences or similarities with the 2021 calendar, analyse the experience, who is this calendar most suitable for and finally, if it is really worth it.
£40 when spending £30 on clothing, home or beauty. Worth a total of around £353.
CONTENTS: 25 items
Makeup: 3 items
The makeup section of the M&S Beauty Advent Calendar for 2022 is very limited, with only three items. There is the Eyeko Limitless Longwear Pencil Eyeliner which costs £15, which is a waterproof, creamy formula. It could be used to define the waterline or for a smudge effect on the lash line. The shade is not mentioned but it will probably come in black.
The M&S Calendar also contains a mascara, the Clinique High Impact Mascara which seems to come in a full size that costs £23. This product promises volume and length. The shade is not mentioned.
Lastly, there is a lip item, the Autograph Colour Balm Lip Shine that comes in a full size which costs £10. This is a nourishing, shiny lip balm that comes in the shade Peach, which looks like a vibrant coral. I received this product in a different shade in the 2021 calendar and I loved the formula. It is very soft on the lips, does not feel sticky, it hydrates well and the colour payoff is good as well. This product is cruelty free.
Skincare: 9 items
Cleanser: 1 item
As usual in Lipstick Café’s reviews of Christmas beauty advent calendars, the items have been divided according to a skincare routine to better understand what type of products are included. Even though the skincare section of the M&S calendar is more limited than for other beauty advent calendars for 2022, there is a cleanser, which is fantastic, as everyone needs one. This is the Origins Checks and Balance Frothy Face Wash which comes in 30 ml worth £3.80. This cleanser is described as gentle and suitable for all skin types. However, this product is packed with potential skin irritants such as Lavender Flower Water, Spearmint Leaf Oil, Bergamot Oil, and potential skin allergens such as Linalool.
Masks & Serums: 1 item
The M&S calendar for 2022 contains a serum as well. This is the PRAI Beauty Ageless Eye Tight Uplift Serum that comes in 10 ml worth £21.30. This eye serum promises to provide a ‘dramatic instant lifting’ of the eye area, while also tightening the skin. It contains Glycerin, peptides, Algae Extract and Sodium Hyaluronate. It also contains Silybum Marianum Seed Oil which is an antioxidant that is also believed to have skin soothing and dark spot fading qualities. However, although it is free of fragrance and of potential skin allergens, it does contain Alcohol as the second ingredient, which could be drying and sensitising to the skin.
Creams: 6 items
The Marks and Spencer Beauty Advent Calendar for 2022 contains six creams, which is quite generous. There is another eye product, the REN Brightening Dark Circle Eye Cream which comes in the full size of 15 ml that costs £44. It is packed with moisturising and emollient ingredients such as Undecane, Glycerin, Jojoba and Shea Butter. It is free of fragrance but it does contain the potential skin allergen Benzyl Alcohol. This product is vegan and cruelty free.
A second eye cream is the Nuxe Merveillance Lift that comes in the full size of 15 ml that costs £32. This cream promises to fill in wrinkles, make the eyelids appear lifted, while also blurring and fading signs of fatigue. It contains Squalane, Glycerin, Macadamia Integrifolia Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Sunflower Oil which can be hydrating or emollient to the skin. It also contains Chlorella Vulgaris Extract, which is an algae derived extract that has soothing, hydrating and antioxidant properties for the skin. This eye cream contains some interesting ingredients with potential, it is a shame though that it is also perfumed, which can be irritating and sensitising to the skin, and it also contains the potential skin allergen Benzyl Alcohol. This product is vegan.
The Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion comes in 15 ml which is worth £6. This is a moisturiser ideal for very dry to dry skin that contains many hydrators and emollients such as Mineral Oil, Glycerin, Petrolatum, Sesame Oil, Urea, Lanolin Alcohol, Barley Extract, Cucumber Fruit Extract and Sodium Hyaluronate. The Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturiser is free of potential skin irritants or allergens. It does contain three colouring agents which are redundant in a moisturising cream and are only there to provide a tint to the product.
The Emma Hardie Midas Touch Revitalising Cream comes in 30 ml and is worth £26. It contains moisturisers and emollients such as Sunflower Seed Oil, Glycerin and antioxidants such as Avocado Oil, Leontopodium Alpinum Meristem Cell Culture and Pelvetia Canaliculata (Algae) Extract. However, this cream also contains potential skin allergens such as Geraniol, Citronellol, Limonene, Linalool, Citral and Farnesol. It also contains Fragrance, which can irritate the skin and sensitise it.
The M&S Beauty Advent Calendar for 2022 also contains a night cream, which is the Lumene Nordic C Sleeping Cream. The size of this is not advertised but from the presentation picture it looks like it could come in 15 ml, which would be worth around £10. This cream contains a mix of hydrating and emollient ingredients, such as Sweet Almond Oil, Glycerin and a blend of Olive Oil. It also contains several antioxidants, such as Niacinamide and Cloudberry Seed Oil. This cream contains algae extracts which are both hydrating and antioxidant to the skin. It is a shame that this cream is also fragranced and that it contains several potential skin allergens such as Limonene, Linalool and Citral. This product is vegan.
The last product in this category is a hybrid one that can be used as a mask, as a moisturiser or as a primer. This Works in Transit Camera Close-Up comes in 30 ml and is worth around £25. It contains Glycerin, Aloe Vera, Shea Butter, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Red Algae, Sodium Hyaluronate and Borage Seed Oil for hydration. However, it also contains several potential skin irritants, such as Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Citrus Aurantium Amara Flower Oil and Mentha Piperita Leaf Extract. It also contains the potential skin allergen Benzyl Alcohol.
Lips: 1 item
The M&S calendar contains a lip balm that offers sun protection. This is the Ultrasun SPF30 Lip Protection, which comes in a full size of 4.80 ml that costs £8. It protects for both UVB and UVA rays and it contains Vitamin E and Blackcurrant Seed Oil for moisturisation. I have used this lip balm before and I love the fact that it is fragrance free. However, I think that for very dry lips this is not nourishing enough.
Haircare: 6 items
The haircare section in the M&S calendar is generous enough to provide an entire routine for the hair. Starting with Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Deep Conditioning Treatment which comes in 40 ml worth £10. This is a pre-shampoo mask which is supposed to deeply condition the hair, tame the frizz and add elasticity and strength. It contains Hydrolyzed Elastin which could improve elasticity while Olive Oil should moisturise and make the hair look shiny. You can watch my two minute review of this hair mask here. This product is fragrance, allergen and cruelty free.
Following the pre-shampoo deep conditioning mask, the M&S Calendar for 2022 also gives you a shampoo from the same brand. The Philip Kingsley Body Building Weightless Shampoo comes in 60ml worth £7.80. This shampoo is supposed to be volumising for fine, flat hair. It contains Keratin Proteins which can help strengthen hair. It does contain Fragrance and the potential skin allergen Benzyl Alcohol. I have used this shampoo before and I really enjoyed it as it does give a feeling of fullness and volume to the hair, while smoothing it out. However, I have only used this occasionally as I avoid shampoos that contain fragrance as they can irritate my scalp. This product is cruelty free.
Following the shampoo, there is the Philip Kingsley Body Building Weightless Conditioner which comes in 60 ml worth £9.20. This is the conditioner supposed to be paired up with the shampoo given in this calendar. It is supposed to be lightweight, to reinvigorate and thicken, while also controlling flyaways and frizz. It contains Wheat Protein to help strengthen and volumise the hair but it also contains Perfume. This is one of my favourite conditioners as it does indeed thicken and smooth the hair, leaving it look and feel healthier. Both the shampoo and the conditioner are targeted towards fine hair that is not longer than shoulder length. However, in my opinion it could be used on other hair types and lengths as well, it might just not be the most efficient.
The M&S Beauty Advent Calendar for 2022 also contains a leave-in treatment. This is the Aveda Botanical Repair Intensive Repair Mask in 25 ml which costs £12. Intended for fine to medium hair, the treatment is supposed to strengthen the hair and repair it, making it look shinier and softer. This treatment does contain perfume and several potential skin allergens but since it is a product intended to be applied on the lengths of the hair, it should not cause issues unless it touches the skin on your back.
Continuing the routine for a voluminous hair, there is the Percy & Reed Turn Up The Volume Volumising Mousse in 100 ml which is worth £15. This product promises volume, hydration, smoothness and UV protection. This mousse contains perfume and the potential skin allergen Linalool. The product is vegan friendly.
Lastly in the hair care category of the M&S calendar there is a dry shampoo. A necessary item for most people, dry shampoo absorbs excess sebum production on the scalp, helping to keep the hair fresh for longer. The Marks and Spencer calendar offers the Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Advanced Clean Dry Shampoo in 90 ml which is worth £15. This dry shampoo does contain Fragrance and several potential skin allergens, such as Linalool, Citronellol, Citral and Limonene.
Bodycare: 3 items
On top of the hair care section, the M&S calendar also contains three items for the body. Starting with a shower product, there is the M&S Apothecary Meditate Body Wash. The size is not specified but from the presentation images I would guess it comes in 30 ml which would be worth around £0.50. The fragrance is described as relaxing, smelling of black pepper, mandarin, cypress and cedar wood. As the description suggests, this body wash does contain perfuming ingredients that could potentially sensitise skin. This product is vegan and cruelty free.
Ideally to be taken with you during the day, the L’Occitane Dry Skin Hand Cream comes in 30 ml which costs £8. It contains Shea Butter, Argan and Coconut Oils. It does contain fragrance and potential skin allergens. This cream is vegan.
Another hand cream is the Fragrance Society Hand & Nail Cream which comes in 30 ml and is worth £1.50. This cream comes in the scent of poppy, peony, pear and barley. It does contain fragrance and potential skin allergens.
Other: 4 items
The miscellaneous section in the M&S Beauty Advent Calendar is quite generous and contains four items. The M&S Warm Neroli Eau de Toilette comes in 30 ml which costs £5. The scent is described as woody, with notes of neroli, bergamot. Eau de toilette is lighter in scent than eau de parfum. This product is vegan.
The second fragrance item is the Shay & Blue Black Tulip Natural Spray which comes in 10 ml and costs £25. It is not mentioned if this is eau de toilette or eau de parfum but I suspect this will be the second as all Shay & Blue fragrances in previous M&S have been eau de parfum. The scent is described as Cyclamen for the top note, Black Tulip and Plum for the heart note, and White Chocolate as the base one. This product is vegan and cruelty free.
The other two items in the miscellaneous section are two nail polishes from Nails Inc. The first one is Kensington High Street which is a deep burgundy shade. This, in my opinion, is a gorgeous shade for winter. The second shade is Baby It’s Gold Outside and is a warm toned golden champagne shade that has shimmer in it. This is a sophisticated colour, gorgeous for winter but not only. Extra points for the fantastic shade name! Both nail polishes come in 10 ml which is worth around £10.
How does it compare to last year’s (2021) M&S Beauty Advent Calendar?
The M&S Beauty Advent Calendar is the only one so far to have retained the same price as last year. It seems that all the other calendars increased their price for 2022. For this year, the calendar retails for the same £40 if you spend £30 on home, clothing or beauty. Kudos to the brand for doing this!
The concept of the calendar remained the same as well. A little bit of makeup, generous skincare, some hair care, bodycare and miscellaneous items. The makeup section decreased to three from four, but just like in 2021 it contains an eye pencil, a mascara and a coloured lip item. The skincare section contains a face wash just like last year, hydrating creams and lip balm. The selection of products changed here slightly, the face exfoliator being dropped since 2021, adding more eye creams. The haircare item stayed the same but added a shampoo and a conditioner. The body care section decreased the body wash to one item only instead of three, but retained the two hand creams. The miscellaneous section also contains nail polish and perfume.
In terms of the exact same products being repeated in the 2022 calendar, there are only a few to mention: the Ultrasun SPF30 Lip Protection and the Aveda Botanical Repair Intensive Repair Mask. There is also the Autograph Colour Balm Lip Shine but it comes in a different shade, as well as the Shay & Blue fragrance which comes in a different scent, the Apothecary body wash in a different scent, and the Nails Inc nail polish that again, comes in a different colour. The brands are repetitive, with the same ones being present. This includes Eyeko, Emma Hardie, Prai, REN, L’Occitane, Fragrance Society, This Works and Percy & Reed.
For who is the M&S 2022 Beauty Advent Calendar most suitable?
The M&S Beauty Advent Calendar for 2022 is versatile and suitable for a wide range of people. It has a bit of everything without specialising the calendar on a specific category. This means that if you are looking for a skincare focused calendar, or makeup focused and so on, this calendar might not be for you, as it has mixed contents. If someone is particularly excited about colour cosmetics, then this calendar will disappoint as even the few makeup items it contains are basic and necessities rather than items that offer some playing around with colour and texture.
For skincare lovers, the M&S calendar offers enough choice to play around but bear in mind that it does not contain any exfoliators, retinoids or targeted skin treatments.
If you are looking for a mix of everything without nonsense – this is definitely for you. Packed with essentials and must haves, such as body wash, face wash, shampoo, conditioner, hair treatments, volumising mousse, dry shampoo, mascara, eyeliner, lip colour, hand cream, face moisturisers, it is the best choice for someone looking to utilise the calendar contents and not waste anything.
That being said, the calendar contains many items that contain fragrance and potential skin allergens. In the skincare category seven items out of nine contain potential skin irritants or allergens. The body care and hair care have the same issue.
There are some vegan choices and cruelty free items but I do not think that this calendar is fully suitable for someone looking expressively for that.
In terms of age groups, the contents do not seem to be aimed towards a specific demographic. The eye creams mention they help with fine lines and wrinkles but they are just hydrating and skin restoring, making them suitable to any age group.
The colours and choices of products seem inclusive and well thought of in order to be suitable to as many people as possible. The only area of concern is the hair care, where the shampoo, conditioner and hair mousse are aimed towards fine, volume lacking hair, but even so I doubt they would harm different hair types.
When it comes to the M&S Beauty Advent Calendar for 2022 the major improvement from 2021 to 2022 is the packaging. The issue of the boxes being placed on top of each other and falling inside has been resolved. The new box contains a drawer which makes keeping the boxes neat much easier. The box looks sturdy, elegant and it is meant to be reused. The lid has a thin aluminium on, doubling as a mirror. Due to the shallowness of the drawers the box will be ideal for makeup storage.
Some boxes have a quote written on them as a clue to what is inside. This is a beautiful detail that adds an extra special feeling to the calendar. Another nice touch is the inclusion of the product’s packaging in some cases inside the calendar’s boxes, which adds quality.
The pink with gold accents is elegant and aesthetically pleasing but does not necessarily remind of Christmas.
Despite the lower price for a beauty advent calendar the M&S one does offer some premium brands. Examples include Clinique, L’Occitane, Shay & Blue, Ultrasun and Emma Hardie.
The calendar contains 25 items, meaning it also offers something on Christmas day. This makes the calendar self sufficient for someone’s sole Christmas gift.
Is It Worth It?
The M&S Christmas Beauty Advent Calendar for 2022 retails for £40 when you also spend £30 on clothing, home or beauty. The added value of the calendar is £353, which means you get nine times what you pay for. Please bear in mind that the total value has been manually calculated based on price per millilitre, price which can vary slightly.
The makeup section is limited, with only three choices which in total are worth £48, which is only 13.6% out of the total worth of the calendar. With only an eye pencil, a mascara and a lip item, the M&S calendar could have offered a lot more in terms of makeup. The choices included can be used by all and are inclusive and must haves in anyone’s makeup bag. In the future it would be amazing to see more makeup items in the M&S calendars.
The skincare section is smaller than in other calendars for 2022 but valuewise it is worth half the calendar. Worth a total of £176 which is 49.85% it gives plenty of choices. It provides a face wash, which is always welcomed in a calendar, as everyone uses some sort of face wash or makeup remover. It contains three eye products, a night cream, a lip item, a hybrid mask and primer and three hydrating creams. Similarly to the face wash, a lip balm with sun protection is necessary to anyone. Three eye creams is a bit much, but they are pricey and tiny, so could be easily considered a luxury worth trying from the calendar. A repetitive issue with the skincare section in the M&S calendar is the fact most products contain fragrance or other potential skin irritants and allergens. In terms of sizes, they are generous enough if used on the face. The eye creams come in 10 to 15 ml which is just how much you would normally get in a full size product intended for the eyes. The rest of the items come in 15 to 30 ml which is better than other calendars which provide lots of items in around 5 ml.
A fantastic thing about the M&S Beauty Advent Calendar for 2022 is the generous hair care section. In fact, this seems to be the best category. This is because it provides enough items to get a complete hair routine. Worth a total of £69 which is 19.55% of the total worth of the calendar, you get a pre-washing hair treatment, shampoo, conditioner, a leave-in hair treatment, a hair mousse and a dry shampoo. This is one of the best hair care sections I have seen so far in beauty advent calendars for 2022. It also provides generous sizes, with 25, 40, 60 and 100 ml. According to the usage of each item, they are more than enough to be used for a while. However, there are still a few critiques. The selection of items is targeted for fine, straight hair meaning they might not be perfect for other hair types. Some of the products that touch the scalp also contain fragrance or potential skin allergens.
The bodycare section has three items worth a total of £10, which is 2.83% of the total worth of the calendar. It has a body wash in 30 ml and two hand creams, both in 30 ml. Given that the value of the body wash was £0.50 for 30 ml, I believe it could have easily come in a much bigger size. A 200 ml size, for example, would have added an even more premium feel to the calendar. Similarly, rather than getting two hand creams I think a body cream in a bigger size would have been the perfect choice.
With a total worth of £50 which is 14.16% the miscellaneous section is another welcomed and lovely addition to the calendar. However, I do believe that rather than getting two nail polishes, a scented candle would have been a nicer choice.
A detail seen throughout the entire calendar is the choice of essential items that most beauty lovers would use. There are no very specific skin treatments or very particular shades of makeup. The inclusion of an eye pencil, a mascara and a hydrating coloured lip product is safe and the product will probably be used by most people. It is an inclusive choice. Similarly, for the skincare section, the face wash, a lip balm and a few hydrating creams are always welcomed. The hair products are necessities – with shampoo, conditioner and dry shampoo. Everyone uses body wash and hand cream is another essential during winter. The calendar is thus well curated through and through.
In terms of value, it is by far the winner of all beauty advent calendars of 2022. Priced at £40 with a total value of around £353, you get almost nine times what you pay for! It is beating its competitors in terms of quality and value.
Considering the price and the fantastic range of products it is hard to beat the M&S Calendar for 2022. It is one of the most affordable mixed brands calendars out there but also the most qualitative. When looking at other beauty advent calendars priced at £40 they are incomparable. The trick is that, yes, you do have to spend that extra £30 in M&S in clothing, home or beauty, but it would be easy to pick up some Christmas gifts, house necessities or buy some essentials.
Overall, even if you skip some products in it for whatever reason, the calendar remains an excellent deal.
What do you think of the M&S Calendar for 2022? Will you purchase it? Let me know in the comments!
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Disclaimer: This blog post 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.