Although it might seem a bit early, the countdown to Christmas is officially on. And some brands, including The Body Shop, ASOS, The White Company and Lookfantastic have already launched their advent calendars.
Spanning everything from beauty and wine to cheese, there’s an an advent calendar to treat a loved one or yourself to ahead of Christmas. And if you’re looking for a deluxe set of goodies, we think wellbeing brand ESPA’s 2022 launch will pique your interest.
Known as a skincare, home fragrance and body care staple, ESPA’s scents range from restorative and energising to soothing and restful blends. Let’s not forget that it also has some pretty impressive bedding, nightwear and soft furnishings available too.
So, while the calendar comes with a premium price tag of £160, the fact that its contents are worth a whopping £319 is sure to sweeten the deal. If nothing else, it’s a great way of shopping for seasonal surprises and tapping into a reduced price product bundle – which we’re definitely on board with.
Billed as a wellness advent calendar, we wanted to see what’s actually inside ahead of its 3 October launch. With 25 surprises to explore, across both full-sized and miniature ESPA buys, here’s our verdict.
How we tested
Our reviewer tucked into the advent calendar treats over several weeks of testing, looking at packaging, product formulas and value for money. We wanted to see whether any classic ESPA goodies were included inside, while also finding out how much product variety there would be in the calendar. Read on for our full tried and tested ESPA advent calendar review.
ESPA wellness advent calendar: £160, Espaskincare.com
Number of days: 25
Full-sized products or miniatures: Both
Available? 3 October
This is a sizeable advent calendar with a luxury aesthetic, and the white and gold detailing add extra chic appeal too. It has a textured leather-look covered finish, and opening the calendar up, we noticed how robust the frame and integral drawer boxes are too. All-in-all, this looks an expensive purchase and on first sight, already feels like a big treat.
When opened out, we spotted different sized drawers which pull open easily and some contain tissue wrapping too. The drawers come in and out of their slots without folding or being flimsy, making for ease of use throughout December. Plus, this entire box could be repurposed again for product storage or making your own advent calendar.
We think you could keep it on a surface either open or closed, with both options working well. There’s also a handy shelf element on top of the drawers, for displaying any goodies too.
As mentioned, there are 25 products within the calendar and these come in both full and travel sized options, spanning across everything from a miniature candle, winter spiced decoration and shower gel to shampoo, conditioner, serum and cleansers. So as not to spoil the surprise of which treat we discovered on each day, we’ll share an overall list of our standout favourites instead.
On the full-sized front, we loved opening the bracing 55g fitness bath salts (£33, Espaskincare.com) and instantly inhaled their aromatic rosemary, peppermint oil and clove fragrance blend. After sprinkling them into our bath following a rainy dog walk, we enjoyed immersing our body into the soothing aroma. Plus, we felt relaxed ahead of bed thanks to the inclusion of magnesium and lavender too.
Another bodycare offering is the 50ml purifying polish (£60, Espaskincare.com), an exfoliator we found to both smooth and soothe skin, as its creamy composition offered gentle buffing. Key ingredients are ginger, ylang ylang and vetiver and this body treatment’s rousing scent was a quick way of transporting us to a spa-type tranquillity.
For the face, our tired peepers happily lapped up the 15ml pot of depuff and soothe eye gel (£42, Espaskincare.com) which we found has a light, cooling texture complete with comforting vitamin E, camomile and cucumber ingredients. Paired with a 5ml nourishing lip treatment tube (£21, Espaskincare.com), our pout saw hydrating hyaluronic acid-infused plumping too.
We dipped into some signature ESPA luxury after discovering a 30ml tube of fitness shower gel, which our tester found energising after a workout because of the clove, eucalyptus and lavender ingredients combination. While in the shower, we also used the 50ml super nourish glossing shampoo and nourishing conditioner duo, whose components cover jojoba, almond and olive oil for softened locks.
Speaking of cleansing, there’s a 50ml tube of optimal skin pro-cleanser to enjoy, which is a multi-tasking skincare product that can be used as a mask and exfoliator too. A treat-sized go-to for simple skin indulgence, we loved the gentle jojoba spheres and moringa seed extract ingredients as they bring a glow without feeling abrasive.
Speaking of skincare TLC, we have to mention the inclusion of optimal skin pro-serum, as this taster-sized 10ml version of richly nourishing goodness is an ESPA daily favourite of ours. We’ve found the formula expertly adds hydration and brightness and balances out our skin tone, while we savour the aromatic tangerine, cedar and jasmine essential oils during application too.
Finally, for getting festive, we particularly appreciated the winter spice scented ceramic ornament which is an ESPA logo shaped hanging decoration smelling deliciously of spicy, warming and citrus notes. And as we love a candle here at IndyBest, we’ll end our contents lowdown with a nod to the similarly scented winter spice votive candle. Plus, the gorgeous midnight blue and metallic holder offers plenty of festive joy.
The verdict: ESPA wellness advent calendar
There’s no doubt ESPA’s wellness advent calendar is a luxurious festive buy which would add a spa treat to every single day in December. There are plenty of full-sized products well worth trying and the miniatures aren’t always that small, with some still being impressive 50ml tubes.
Whether you’re looking to stock up on skincare and make the most of the multi-buy savings this advent calendar offers, or fancy treating yourself ahead of Christmas, we’re completely sold on ESPA’s wellness advent calendar.
Love exploring new skincare ranges? Find out why we’re big fans of The Body Shop’s edelweiss collection.