Replacing sweet treats with skincare saviours, must-have scents, luxe haircare and pampering products, beauty brands are serving up a whole new way to countdown to Christmas. And each year, the offerings have got bigger and better.
One of the most anticipated calendars annually comes from Selfridges. Just like the luxury retailer’s beauty halls, its advent offering is packed with premium products – and this year is no exception.
Costing £210, the calendar is overflowing with high-end brands, including Kate Somerville, Augustinus Bader, Dr. Barbara Sturm and Charlotte Tilbury, as well as cult names such as Olaplex, 111Skin and Le Labo, Milk and r.e.m beauty – equating to a whopping overall worth of £800 (£100 more than last years).
From serums, eyeshadows and eye creams to hair oils, matte lipsticks, vitamins and candles, a wealth of beauty essentials are hidden behind the pink and red drawers.
How we tested
In order to review this year’s offering, we committed the cardinal Christmas sin and opened each door pre-December to see what lay behind. Considering the size and value of each product, as well as the variety of those included and their quality, we sought to see if Selfridges’s 2022 advent calendar is worth its £210 price tag. Here’s what to expect if you decide to indulge this festive season.
Selfridges beauty advent calendar: £210, Selfridges.com
Number of days: 25
Product highlights: Augustinus Bader’s rich cream, Olaplex’s No.3 hair perfector, Charlotte Tilbury’s luxury queen of glow eyeshadow palette and a 4-minute beauty concierge appointment gift card
First and foremost: the presentation. Upon removing the yellow sleeve, you’re met with a pleasing blush-pink and red hued rectulagar box – decorated with stripes down each side, a check pattern at the back and two doors on the front with the circular inscription “Twenty five days of ultimate beauty”. The pink and red theme continues inside with check, stripes or block colour detailing each of the 25 drawers while the numbers are sprawled in a Christmassy gold. Selfridges’s design feels sturdy and well-crafted but best of all, both the yellow sleeve and box are fully recyclable.
Subtly festive without being too in-your-face, the sustainable box succeeds in signifying there’s luxe beauty products inside.
Beginning with a bang, day one treated us to one of Mac’s bestselling lipsticks. The red hued matte avant garnet shade (3g) looks deliciously festive and isn’t too heavy or sticky.
The next three drawers pack just as much of a punch. Second up, there’s a gloriously scented Gisou honey infused hair oil (20ml), a mini Kate Somerville exfoliating treatment (15ml) and a Westman Atelier highlighter (5g) that will be ideal for giving tired skin a radiant glow during festival party season.
A standout, day five indulges us with the product that secured the cult status of Augustinus Bader: its rich cream (15ml). Though travel-sized, a little goes a long way and both the bottle and formula scream luxury, gliding on with ease and absorbing quickly for subtly radiant and plumped skin.
Other skincare saviours found behind the drawers include a Dr. Barbara Sturm hyaluronic serum (10ml), which usually costs a whopping £85, and a full-size Ren AHA smart body serum (200ml) – worth £37 – the nourishing formula of which soothes and replenishes skin. The addition of 111Skin’s £100 vitamin C brightening booster (20ml) is another luxe treat, while Milk’s cult hydro grip primer (10ml) is a beauty arsenal essential.
A further highlight is the full-size Pat McGrath blusher (9.7g) that’s worth £38. Though packaged in a maximalist box, the blush-pink powder serves up a subtle flush of shimmer and was weightless on our skin. We were also impressed with the addition of a mini face halo for buffing away and exfoliating dry skin – and its more-compact sizes allows for more precision.
Supplying haircare heroes for the run-up to Christmas, behind one door you’ll find Aveda’s botanical repair shampoo (50ml) and conditioner (40ml). Beyond the refreshing smell, the vegan formula works to strengthen and protect your hair bonds. There’s also Olaplex’s cult No.3 hair perfector (100ml), a weekly pre-shampoo at-home treatment that helps fortify and reduce breakage.
As you edge closer to the main day, you’ll discover Charlotte Tilbury’s luxury queen of glow eyeshadow palette, worth £43. The shimmery gold, brown and purple and rich copper shades will ensure your Christmas party make-up is on fleek, while inclusion of Kylie’s liquid matte lipstick (3.0ml) will perfect your pout.
Fragrancing the last two days of your festive countdown, a mini Nudesse overose candle (70g) combines lovely pink packaging with a sweet, floral scent, while Le Labo’s another eau da perfume (15ml) is punchy yet fruity.
As for the pièce de résistance, we’ll leave that a surprise for you when the main event arrives – containing three goodies, your beauty indulgence is set to continue long beyond Christmas Day.
If you bought each product in Selfridges’s advent calendar individually, it would set you back £800 – so the £210 price tag is a very tempting deal. Though it seems like a lot to splurge in one go, the sheer wealth of skincare heroes, luxe haircare, fragrances and make-up goodies adds up to months of beauty essentials.
The retailer’s careful curation of products has something for everyone – so much so, that many of the products inside could even be gifted to loved ones this year, saving you money on presents. And the concierge card deserves a special shout-out. The 45-minute appointment could involve anything from a massage to a facial or one-on-one beauty consultation over video call – the perfect gift to yourself or to a special someone this Christmas.
Buy now £210 Selfridges.com
The verdict: Selfridges beauty advent calendar
While one of the more expensive beauty advent calendars around, there’s no denying its luxury. Containing £800 worth of premium products from big names such as Charlotte Tilbury, Olaplex and Augustinus Bader, discover new beauty saviours behind the doors each day or delight in finding an old favourite. A treasure trove of a whole variety of products, from high-end and cult brands, there’s no better way to indulge in your countdown to Christmas than with Selfridges’s beauty advent calendar.
Read more about the best beauty advent calendars for 2022:
Beauty advent calendars 2022 – our ultimate guide to this year’s Christmas treats from Liberty, Cult Beauty, M&S and more
The Body Shop beauty advent calendars – this year’s calendars feature the brand’s cult classics and newcomers alike
Lookfantastic beauty advent calendar – brimming with skincare, haircare, make-up and bath treats from all the best brands
The White Company beauty advent calendar – a selection of indulgent products to help you unwind during the festive season