If you’ve never felt the joys of counting down to the big day with a beauty advent calendar, this year might be the best time to start.

After all, 2020 has been a gift that hasn’t stopped giving — but in all the worst ways possible. Like the chocolate or candy bar versions you used to get as a kid, beauty advent calendars are a titillating way of discovering new brands or products, especially if you’re bored of your current fragrance or moisturiser. Besides, these miniature-sized treats will make for perfect travelling companions once borders reopen around the world.

Each meticulously packaged with specially commissioned illustrations or quirkily-shaped drawers, these reusable boxes double up as stylish organisers for your vanity table, even after the holidays. From Penhaligon’s and Jo Malone’s fragrance extravaganza to Mr Porter’s grooming essentials, here are our favourite beauty advent calendars to start the Christmas countdown with.

1
Clarins

If your skin is in dire need of rescuing before the holiday season, look no further than Clarins’ nifty countdown. The hanging fabric calendar contains 24 hits such as the Lip Perfector 01 (a favourite of the Duchess of Cambridge), Beauty Flash Balm, and Wonder Perfect 4D Mascara. Those who have hands as parched as their skin will also enjoy the travel-sized Hand and Nail Treatment Cream, which really deserves a spot in your purse especially during times like these. 

Price
S$169
Shop here
2
Kiehl’s

This limited edition holiday special is perfect for getting your better half into the routine of proper skincare, especially since it contains all of the brand’s most lauded products like the Midnight Recovery Eye Treatment and the Creme de Corps body lotion. It doesn’t hurt that the unisex mix is housed in a generously sized box designed by French artist Maïté Franchi, whose bold, colourful illustrations will easily put you into the Christmas spirit from the start of the month. 

Price
S$188
Shop here
3
Jo Malone

Few things can herald the arrival the arrival of the most wonderful time of the year quite like a Jo Malone candle can. This year, the brand continues its countdown to the big day with 24 cream-coloured drawers, each filled with its deliciously scented products — from miniature  body lotions and colognes to candles. We won’t say which day, but keep your eyes peeled for favourites like the Peony & Blush Suede Candle. 

Price
S$690
Shop here
4
Penhaligon’s

If a whiff of any Penhaligon’s fragrance is enough to put a smile on your face, imagine the joy 24 can bring. Filled with miniature products — including its most iconic scents and some handy extras like lip balm and hand cream — this advent calendar is a perfume buff’s dream, and is an easy way of exploring the British perfumery’s many bestsellers without breaking the bank. 

Price
S$780
Shop here
5
Diptyque

Consider this an early Christmas. The same people who brought you the legendary Baies and Philosykos fragrances have outdone themselves with this massive 25-day advent calendar. Each drawer opens to reveal miniatures of its bestsellers, including abovementioned Baies candle. To add to the fun, actual metal Christmas decorations are dotted throughout the calendar too to make for fun additions to your tree. 

Price
Approx. S$558
https://www.diptyqueparis.com/en_eu/catalog/product/view/id/1345/
6
Sephora Collection

If we can’t escape the tropics this Christmas, might as well embrace it. Sephora brings the wild side of beauty to us this year with an enchanted jungle theme, and the best way to experience it is via its advent calendar. The 24-piece set is an all-rounded kit that covers all bases — from the basics like eyeliner and eyeshadow, to nail polish, nose strips, and even a pocket mirror. You’ll be all set just in time for Christmas.

Price
S$85
Shop here
7
Mr Porter

Could there be a better time to nudge the men in your life into a self-care routine? Mr Porter’s replaces chocolate snowmen for a curated selection of serums, creams, deodorants, and hair products — basically everything a man needs in life, and then some. Joyfully illustrated with a festive watercolour print, the advent calendar opens to reveal grooming upgrades from the likes of Dr. Barbara Sturm, Malin + Goetz, and Augustinus Bader. 

Price
Approx. S$170
Shop now
8
Net-a-Porter

It’s no secret that Net-a-Porter knows how to do luxe, so trust its advent calendar to be a showcase of the best that beauty has to offer. Featuring 25 little drawers — marked by silver foil numbers, of course — within a chic monochromatic chest, the calendar contains holy grails such as Oribe’s Gold Lust Repair & Restore Conditioner, Dr. Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Marine Dew It Right Eye Gel, and even Slip’s skinny silk hair ties. 

Price
Approx. S$404
Shop now
Shatricia Nair
Deputy Editor
Shatricia Nair is a motoring, watches, and wellness writer who is perpetually knee-deep in the world of V8s, tourbillons, and the latest fitness trends. She is fuelled by peanut butter and three cups of coffee a day.