Photo: Courtesy of the retailer.
Gifting a beauty advent calendar to yourself or to a loved one is pretty much a can’t-miss. There’s something for everyone, even if you don’t know the recipient’s taste. And it’s almost always a bargain, once you account for the retail price of every item. “The advent calendar is a way to discover and try launches or established brands,” says Jenni Middleton, the director of beauty at trend-forecasting agency WGSN. After several years in a row of reporting on beauty advents, we wanted to look a bit more into why these meticulously packaged collections are so covetable. While advent calendars have been popular since the Victorian era, the beauty advent-calendar craze is relatively recent and originated in the U.K., according to one London-based expert we’re very inclined to trust. “The catalyst for luxury advent calendars (specifically beauty ones) was in 2014, when department store Liberty released a calendar to coincide with the relaunch of its beauty hall,” explains Ailbhe Malone, the senior editor over at Strategist UK. Beauty writer Daniela Morosini, who also lives in the U.K., agrees. “People would queue around the block to get them — I remember seeing endless lines outside Liberty as early as 6 a.m.” Morosini adds that “the boom of beauty influencers then brought what was a kind of niche product to a much wider audience.” Now, most beauty brands and retailers offer advent calendars for the holiday shopping season, both here and across the pond. “It’s kind of like the sneakerhead or hypebeast community. People will wait all year for the drop and want to be first in line,” adds Morosini. Read: These always sell out fast.>
With some of this year’s calendars already on store shelves, we asked Middleton, Morosini, Malone, and a few of our own (including Strategist’s in-house beauty writer Tembe Denton-Hurst and some of our friends over at the Cut) about the best advent calendars you can get right now. We’ll continue to check in with our experts, too, so we can add any new arrivals that they think are worth the money.> > >