Nothing heralds the start of the holidays better than a good advent calendar, and this year, we find more brands than ever offering their own version of this boxed world of delights.

Perhaps more so than the limited edition gift sets that come once holiday season is in full swing, advent calendars are the newfound blockbusters of the beauty industry. While Christmas is still a couple of months away, some of these sought-after sets are sure to sell out by early November, so you’ll want to act quick if you want to get your hands on your favourite.

Whether you open one item a day, or tear into the entire selection as soon as you get your hands on it, the joy of advent calendars combines our love of thoughtful packaging with the happiness that comes from getting to unveil a new surprise daily. Every nook and cranny of these marvellous sets hosts a different beauty treat — ranging from cute mini products to generous full-sized items — allowing you to try the highlights of each brand’s glorious range.

This year, some of our favourite beauty brands present an extraordinary collection of skincare, makeup and fragrances to keep you looking and feeling radiant throughout the holiday season and beyond. Whether you plan to give out the best gift ever, or want to treat yourself to a deserving pampering session at home, you’ll want to get your hands on these top beauty advent calendars of 2020 before they’re all gone:

Dior

(Image credit: Dior)

Launching in stores on the first of November, this stunning advent calendar from Dior is one that is sure to sell out immediately. Artist and illustrator Safia Ouares adds her enchanting touch to this incredible set of 24 best-selling fragrance, makeup and skincare miniatures. Ring in Christmas Day with its included Dior snow globe, exclusive to this calendar only.

HK$2,900; available exclusively from 26 October at the Dior Beauty online boutique or from 1 November at Dior beauty boutiques city-wide.

YSL Beauté

(Image credit: YSL Beauté)

With a holiday campaign titled ‘Dress Me Wild,’ this advent calendar from YSL Beauté is sure to be the perfect exhibition of the fashion brand’s daring style. Its sleek black and red packaging opens up to unveil an exquisite 24 drawers, stacked with travel and full-sized goodies of their most iconic products such as the Touché Eclat, Black Opium fragrance and Rouge Pur Couture lipsticks.

HK$2,500; currently available at the YSL Beauté online boutique or from 28 October at all YSL beauty boutiques and counters city-wide.

Armani Beauty

(Image credit: Armani Beauty)

Red carpet favourite Armani Beauty has arrived with a spectacular advent calendar this year, dressed in its signature red and gold combination. This indulgent gift presents an eye-catching assortment of 24 items such as the ever-popular Lip Maestro in #405, and a sneak peek of the brand-new feminine fragrance, ‘My Way,’ which has yet to be launched in Hong Kong.

HK$2,500; currently available at Lane Crawford counters, or at all Armani Beauty boutiques from 2 November

La Mer

(Image credit: La Mer)

Beloved brand La Mer is sure to blow you away with its luxurious selection of 12 skincare saviours in this elegant blue advent calendar. With deluxe miniatures of best-selling products such as the iconic Crème de la Mer and The Renewal Oil, this advent calendar is sure to be your solution for silky, splendid skin that glows from within.

HK$3,700; available at La Mer and Lane Crawford counters from 1 November, or at all La Mer boutiques from 15 November.

Jo Malone London

(Image credit: Jo Malone London)

The Jo Malone Advent Calendar is known to be one of the seasonal gifting blockbusters that will wow pretty much anyone in your life. Exclusive to Jo Malone counters at Lane Crawford, this famed fragrance library returns with a curated combination of the brand’s most revered colognes, candles and bath products in well-loved scents such as Red Roses and Wood Sage & Sea Salt.

HK$3,470; currently available online at Jo Malone London or from 27 October at Lane Crawford.

Valmont

(Image credit: Valmont)

Whether you’re already a fan or not of Valmont’s opulent skincare, this luxe advent calendar will offer an apt taster of 12 of the brand’s best skincare and fragrance creations. Named ‘La Maison Valmont Féérie,’ this curated collection offers 12 moments of magic with essential signature products like the Prime Renewing Pack and cleansing Aqua Falls work to illuminate your skin for a continuous holiday glow.

HK$2,680 from Valmont

Rituals

(Image credit: Rituals)

Taking advent calendars to a whole new level, this incredible offering from Rituals is a 3D, light-up extravaganza with HK$1,440 worth of pampering goodies. Place it on your tabletop for a daily dose of festive cheer ahead of the holidays, with soothing scented candles and rich body products like their new Amsterdam Collection Foaming Shower Gel to pamper you as you count down to Christmas Day. Sold out once already, keep an eye out for its in-store-only restock in early November to bag this gorgeous gift.

HK$885; available from Rituals, various stores including Shop 1066, 1/F, IFC Mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2789 2006

Liberty Beauty

(Image credit: Liberty/Facebook)

Liberty’s coveted collection is often considered the holy grail of beauty advent calendars: you’ll find devotees lining up annually at the London flagship all vying to bring it home. This year’s selection of beauty bests includes a plentiful bounty of beloved treats such as Le Labo’s Santal 33 and Augustinus Bader’s The Rich Cream — all artistically staged in a recyclable box covered with Liberty’s Standen Manor print. Of course, the greatest things in life are meant to be shared, and the Men’s Beauty Advent Calendar ensures that no man in your life feels left out.

HK$2,300 from Liberty online

Charlotte Tilbury

(Image credit: Charlotte Tilbury)

For the beauty buffs who can’t help but tear into the entire calendar of gems on day one, Charlotte’s Bejewelled Chest of Beauty Treasures is the perfect gift for you. Charlotte Tilbury forgoes the traditional numbered labelling system, with each sumptuous drawer featuring cult-favourite items such as the Matte Revolution lipstick in Pillow Talk and iconic Magic Cream that launched the famed makeup artist’s lightning-speed rise in the beauty world.

HK$1,600 from Charlotte Tilbury online

Kiehl’s x Maïté Franchi

(Image courtesy of Kiehl’s/Facebook)

Kiehl’s beloved Mr. Bones skeleton (you’ll spot him at every Kiehl’s store) is reimagined by the ever-creative French illustrator, Maïté Franchi in this stacked advent calendar of 24 gifts, including three of Kiehl’s most popular products in full sizes. From the always dependable Midnight Recovery Concentrate to the classic Amino Acid Shampoo, this limited-edition calendar offers everything to pamper you from head to toe.

HK$495 with purchase of HK$500; available from Kiehl’s, various stores including: Shop 1059B, IFC Mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2111 4032

Harrods Beauty

(Image credit: Harrods/Facebook)

Luxury department store Harrods has always covered all the bases as a one-stop-shop to purchase all your necessities, and their brilliant beauty advent calendar shares the same ethos. Housed in gorgeous forest green packaging, this year’s collection focuses on self-care, featuring 24 products ranging from Chantecaille’s Gold Recovery Mask to Hourglass’ Veil Translucent Setting Powder and even Living Proof’s Colour Care Shampoo to give you the tools for a full self-enhancement experience.

HK$2,174 from Harrods online

Diptyque

(Image credit: Selfridges/Facebook)

Calling all fragrance fanatics: the Diptyque Advent Calendar is one you do not want to miss out on. Already sold out in multiple locations before official release, this collector’s item features beautiful illustrations by artist Ugo Gattoni, and will send you on a scented journey of Diptyque’s greatest hits — starring the limited-edition Moonlit Fir holiday candle, with deluxe sizes of their perfume and skincare favourites as supporting acts.

Available for pre-order from Diptyque and Lane Crawford counters, or HK$2,800 from Selfridges online

Dr. Barbara Sturm

(Image credit: Dr. Barbara Sturm/Facebook)

If you find yourself needing a little bit of skincare help during the holiday season, never fear, because the doctor is in. Dr. Barbara Sturm’s advent calendar is a motherlode of her best creams and serums — all wrapped in a silver bow. Joining the idolised Hyaluronic Serum and must-try Anti-Pollution Drops are her other skin routine essentials, with the surprising addition of a men’s Face Cream to make sure there truly is something for everyone.

HK$4,400 from Net-a-Porter

Acqua Di Parma

(Image credit: Acqua di Parma/Instagram)

Acqua Di Parma’s advent calendar this year offers a holistic scent adventure with everything from bath salts to even a hair mist that will have you smelling spectacular for months to come. Whether it’s the sophisticated florals of Colonia Eau de Cologne you crave, or the uplifting freshness of Blu Mediterraneo that will whisk you off to the shores of Italy, this packed calendar offers you a different olfactory option for whatever your needs may be.

HK$3,478 from Harrods

Clarins

(Image credit: Clarins)

Space is a premium in the smaller apartments of Hong Kong, but Clarins offers the perfect holiday solution with an eco-friendly, reusable advent calendar that you can hang up and store away after the festive season. It boasts a superb showing of Clarins’ 24 best products, with full-sized products such as the Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil, and fun deluxe minis like the SOS Primer and Toning Body Balm.

HK$650; currently available from Clarins online, or at Clarins boutiques city-wide from 1 November.

Atelier Cologne

(Image credit: Atelier Cologne)

Parisian perfume house Atelier Cologne never disappoints with their vibrant take on life’s best smells, and this colourful advent calendar allows you to travel through the world of fragrance with 24 perfumes, hand creams, bath soaps and candles in scents such as Clémentine California and Orange Toscana to virtually vacation this holiday season.

HK$2,980; available at Atelier Cologne boutiques city-wide from 13 November, or from Atelier Cologne online from 18 November.

(Header image credit: Rituals; featured image credit: Dior Beauty)

Wendy Wong

Writer