The 15 Best Beauty Advent Calendars Of 2023, From Budget To Bougie

By Ashleigh Cometti
There’s plenty of joy to be found behind every door this Christmas. Photo / Mecca Max

These seasonal surprises are the gifts that keep on giving.

December may be a month away, but the best beauty advent calendars always seem to fly off the shelves well in advance of Santa’s impending visit. Case in point: at the time of writing, both of Sephora’s calendars had already

This year’s gifting landscape extends to whimsical, playful and chic beauty advent calendars that are brimming with makeup, candles, body care, skincare, fragrance or all of the above.

Whether you’re in search of one for yourself or an easy gifting option for a loved one, these treasure troves contain full or travel-sized versions of cult beauty buys, and their discounted prices mean more bang for your buck. Not to mention the gifts to unbox daily all throughout December make every day feel like Christmas.

No longer merely a chocolate-filled children’s countdown, these beauty advent calendars will see you open the door to new beauty staples to add to your makeup regimen, test out new products or restock your skincare favourites.

Below, our picks of the most covetable date holders to put some merriment in your month — from the ultra-luxe to the budget-friendly (under $200).

M.A.C Frosted Frenzy Advent Calendar, $526

Best for: Those who love mixing up their glam routines or testing out something new.

Number of windows: 24

What’s inside: M.A.C’s glossy red kit houses a combination of miniature and full-sized versions of the brand’s best-selling makeup and skincare, alongside a handful of newbies that are sure to impress. Makeup options run the gamut from highly pigmented lipsticks in shimmer, satin and matte finishes to glittering eyeshadows and long-wearing mascara, while skincare buffs will likely obsess over the Hyper Real Serumizer, a multi-tasking liquid which hydrates skin while imparting a party-ready glow.

Why we love it: M.A.C’s holiday treasure trove is excellent value, promising products with a combined value almost double its RRP (that’s $980, to be exact). More than this, it contains the highest ratio of full-sized products of any advent calendar on this list, with a whopping 21 out of 24 products being the real deal.

Where to buy it:

Clarins 24 Day Advent Calendar, $253

Best for: A loved one wanting a complete overhaul of their beauty routine — this all-rounder features products spanning makeup, skincare and body care.

Number of windows: 24

What’s inside: Bedecked with a glittering C on the front, open up this limited-edition advent calendar to discover a host of multi-tasking must-haves inside. Hydrating bath and shower products make excellent options to stash away for a summer holiday, as do mini micellar waters and moisturisers. Plus, there’s everything you need to create a five-minute face, with the brand’s signature Wonder 4D Mascara and Lip Perfector.

Why we love it: The eco-conscious among us will appreciate the sentiment behind this beautifully presented Christmas treat. Clarins’ calendar is made from vegetable-based ink paper sourced from sustainably managed forests in Europe. While there’s only one full-sized product enclosed, it’s the Beauty Flash Balm, which moonlights as a moisturiser, face mask and primer in one.

Where to buy it:

L’Occitane Classic Beauty Advent Calendar, $130

Best for: Those who love to prioritise self-care (and enjoy an at-home day spa).

Number of windows: 24

What’s inside: Brimming with festive favourites, L’Occitane makes easy work of trying its best-sellers by bundling them all into one brightly coloured calendar. Beauty treats range from cosseting hand creams and energising shower gels to restorative haircare and sweet-scented soaps.

Why we love it: If it’s a sensorial experience you’re after, look no further than L’Occitane’s selection of signature scents. Bright floral Cherry Blossom makes the ritual of showering all the more luxurious, while Shea strikes the balance between being nutty and grounding. Citrus Verbena is an uplifting wake-up call, and Jasmine & Bergamot is equal parts fresh and fruity.

Where to buy it:

Lush Advent Calendar, $390

Best for: The animal lover in your life will delight that every product from Lush is both vegan and cruelty-free.

Number of windows: 25

What’s inside: The fun doesn’t stop on Christmas Eve with this jolly and joyful advent calendar, which includes a treat to open on Christmas Day, too. Delight the senses with 25 of Lush’s fragranced favourites which will have every area of your bath and body routine covered. There are seven advent calendar exclusives, including a Christmas Eve scented candle and Christmas Morning Bubble Bar, alongside bath bombs, hand and body lotions, lip scrubs as well as shower gels, jellies and foaming washes.

Why we love it: Andre Williams at Trifle Studio is the design maestro behind Lush’s limited-edition two-drawer, recycled board box, which is generously sized to continue housing bath and body treats long after the festive season ends. It’s all wrapped up in a 100 per cent polyester bow made from recycled drink bottles, and a natural fibre tag twine.

Where to buy it:

Kiehl’s Limited Edition Holiday Advent Calendar, $184

Best for: Skincare lovers in search of a new product range to try, but without having to commit to full-sized products first.

Number of windows: 24

What’s inside: With products to suit every skin type and a multitude of skin concerns, Kiehl’s advent calendar is loaded with the best of its clinical skincare. If party season has left you looking anything but bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, then this special gift includes everything you need to revive your complexion once more. Those with ultra-sensitive skin are often overlooked when it comes to skincare kits, so it’s nice to see products included that are gentle and respectful to the skin barrier in the mix.

Why we love it: With 24 skin treats enclosed, this advent calendar is an excellent way to trial some of Kiehl’s most iconic offerings, like Crème de Corps, Ultra Facial Cream, Midnight Recovery Concentrate and more without the weighty investment. It enables you to mix and match a routine to suit your unique skin type and concerns, whether you’re wanting to combat pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles or dullness.

Where to buy it:

Glasshouse Fragrances 24 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar, $299

Best for: An entertainer’s dream, this fine fragrance set houses 24 scented surprises for every occasion.

Number of windows: 24

What’s inside: There’s magic to be found inside this festive gift box, which features special characters dreamed up by illustrator Michelle Pereira. Take a peek in each drawer to find Glasshouse Fragrances’ most iconic scents in miniature size, from Kyoto in Bloom and Lost in Amalfi to A Tahaa Affair and Sunsets in Capri. Festive picks include a Night Before Christmas 60g Soy Candle and 10ml Interior Fragrance, with a sweet Christmas ornament you won’t find anywhere else, too.

Why we love it: Gift this set to a loved one at Christmas (or yourself) and you’ll be sorted for months. It comes with lip balms and hand creams to stash in handbags and glove boxes, body lotions to use at home or away, fine fragrances to scent your space and candles to create mood and moment during the holiday period and beyond.

Benefit Cosmetics All I Want Beauty Advent Calendar, $280

Best for: Makeup aficionados who love nothing more than a full face beat.

Number of windows: 24

What’s inside: Unleash your inner glamazon with Benefit’s festive favourites which come in full, mini and fun sizes. Behind every window find a product to help you prep, set, conceal or enhance as you create a variety of holiday-ready beauty looks. The 24-piece set includes top-rated makeup staples including the Hoola bronzer, Porefessional makeup primer, Gimme Brow brow mascara, Benetint and five of the brand’s best mascaras to try.

Why we love it: It’s hardly surprising that this advent calendar has sold out almost everywhere — it’s valued at $615 but costs only a fraction of that. Stocking up your makeup kit can be expensive, especially when a few of your go-tos run out at the same time. Lucky for us, then, Benefit has generously included everything you could ever want when it comes to creating myriad makeup looks.

Where to buy it:

Lancome Advent Calendar, $475

Best for: Purveyors of French luxury, Lancome’s offering is sure to appeal to those who love skincare, makeup and fragrance with a little je ne sais quoi.

Number of windows: 24

What’s inside: Complete with five full-sized beauty icons and 19 travel-sized minis, this Lancome x Louvre set is bedecked with the brand’s signature rose set against a night blue sky. Find enclosed three velvety lipsticks, three lash-lengthening mascaras, two scented body cremes, three fragrance minis, one five-pan eyeshadow palette and a selection of the brand’s eternally popular Advanced Genefique Youth Activating Concentrate.

Why we love it: It’s the only advent calendar in this list with a full-size eyeshadow palette, which is a real treat. Finely milled with a strong colour pay-off, there’s no dud shade in this luxe palette, which spans peachy nude and ballet slipper pink through to rich chocolate black and deep black.

Where to buy it:

The Body Shop Box Of Wishes & Wonders Ultimate Advent Calendar, $389

Best for: Those wanting to experience the magic of a day spa from the comfort of their own home, with treats to care from top to toe.

Number of windows: 25

What’s inside: Believe the hype surrounding this wonderful Christmas offering, which has everything a bathscaping addict could want to create a serene scene at home. Valued at $550, this pampering calendar includes a mix of full-sized favourites and miniature best-sellers, including its Mango Body Butter, Strawberry Lip Balm, British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask and Sleep Calming Pillow Mist.

Why we love it: The kitsch, drawer-style set features a festive scene which pops up when opened, depicting the world of waste pickers from Bengaluru, India, which is precisely where The Body Shop sources its community fair trade recycled plastic from. Better yet, this material is spotlighted in some products within the calendar.

Where to buy it:

OPI Mini 25-Piece Advent Calendar, $139

Best for: Those who love to change their manicure with their mood.

Number of windows: 25

What’s inside: Brimming with the full spectrum of shades — from blush pink through to emerald green — this manicure must-have contains 22 mini nail lacquers, meaning you can switch up your manicure as much as you like. High-shine and high-impact, take your pick from chrome, glitter and shimmer finishes in iconic shades like Big Apple Red or Strawberry Margarita, alongside holiday-ready shades like Merry & Ice, Tealing Festive and Decked To The Pines.

Why we love it: It isn’t just the shade range that’s impressive, this kit also includes the brand’s RapiDry Top Coat, Start To Finish 3-in-1 Treatment and Bubble Bath Nail Envy to keep nails in tip top shape through to the New Year.

Where to buy it:

Makeup Revolution x Gingy 12 Days Advent Calendar, $99

Best for: Teens and tweens who are keen to start playing with makeup.

Number of windows: 12

What’s inside: A mash up between Makeup Revolution and the perennially popular Shrek movie, this playful advent calendar sees notoriously cheeky gingerbread man, Gingy, loaded up with the brand’s best-loved products. Expect to see a raft of Shrek-inspired products inside the tin, including the Gingy Liquid Eyeshadow, Prince Charming Cherry Lipgloss, Lord Farquad Red Vinyl Lipgloss and Shrek Brow Gel.

Why we love it: If chocolate advent calendars are no longer cutting it with the pre-teen or teen in your life, then this wallet-friendly option is a great pick to count down to Christmas Eve with. Sweeten them up with a variety of products designed to create a multitude of makeup looks. You’ll want to run, run as fast as you can though — the Shrek x Makeup Revolution set is sold out online but available from selected Farmers department stores.

Where to buy it:

Yves Saint Laurent Advent Calendar, $554

Best for: Luxury lovers will obsess over this decadent beauty treat, which highlights the brand’s best-sellers.

Number of windows: 24

What’s inside: Spanning makeup, fragrance and skincare, YSL’s luxurious advent calendar includes 18 minis and five full-sized products to surprise and delight the recipient up until Christmas Eve. Inside each golden snowflake-adorned drawer, find standout products to achieve French girl chic like the brand’s Rouge Pur Couture The Bold Lipstick, and Black Opium parfum.

Why we love it: Makeup and fragrance aside, YSL makes exceptional skincare products that prep skin for makeup application to follow. Here, you’ll trial mini-sized versions of its Pure Shots range, including the Soft Polish Double Essence, Eye Reboot, Night Reboot and Hydra Bounce Essence-in-Lotion. Proceed with caution, though: we can’t promise you won’t become hooked and have to invest in the full-sized versions, stat.

Where to buy it:

Jo Malone London Advent Calendar, $857

Best for: Anyone who’s familiar with Jo Malone London’s concept of fragrance combining — for space or self.

Number of windows: 25

What’s inside: An investment, sure, but Jo Malone London’s scent-filled set provides an excellent opportunity to test out its classics and seasonal offerings in one fell swoop. Hiding in each drawer expect to find colognes, bath and body minis, two travel candles and full-sized scent to unveil on Christmas Day morning.

Why we love it: Scents aside, if there’s one thing Jo Malone London does well every holiday season, it’s packaging. This gingerbread house-inspired advent calendar features cream-coloured drawers interspersed with red and white candy cane stripes or biscuity browns and won’t look out of place when sitting proudly on display on your dresser or bedside table.

Where to buy it:

24 Days Of Clinique Advent Calendar, $350

Best for: Splitting with a friend! The wide variety of products included means there’s something for just about any beauty junkie.

Number of drawers: 24

What’s inside: Kick off your merry countdown with Clinique’s wardrobe of makeup and skincare treats. There’s everything you need to cleanse, scrub, hydrate, soothe and treat skin, including three cleansers, two eye creams, two exfoliants, two concentrates, two serums and a flurry of moisturisers and lotions. They’re flanked by three lip products, a blush and brush, mascara and eyeliner to boot.

Why we love it: Clinique is famed for its Moisture Surge collection, and here you’ll find four of its signature skincare products within — including the Moisture Surge 100H Auto Replenishing Hydrator (a beauty editor favourite).

Where to buy it: Available from November 4 from selected Clinique counters or online

Mecca Max Mini Marvels 12-Piece Advent Calendar, $76

Best for: Your budget. This advent calendar is a fraction of the price of others in this list but contains the full suite of makeup products needed to create a glowy, summer-ready makeup looks.

Number of drawers: 12

What’s inside: This 12-piece beauty gift contains every makeup item you could possibly need over the summer break. For complexion, prep skin with its primer, before applying a little bronzing cream with the mini sponge and blush powder. For eyes, use eyeshadow, black eyeliner and clear brow gel, before reaching for lip oil, lip liner and lip crayon to perfect lips. The final touch? A daub of mini highlight followed by spritz of setting spray.

Why we love it: Accessibility. At the time of publishing, all three online exclusives available from Mecca (including Charlotte Tilbury, Diptyque and By Terry) were completely sold out. As this is from Mecca’s in-house brand, the chances of it continuing to be restocked throughout the holiday period are high.

Where to buy it:

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