Lookfantastic beauty advent calendar review 2022: A beauty bargain with some full-sized favourites

·6-min read
Behind the doors are 17 full-sized products and some festive favourites   (iStock/The Independent)
Behind the doors are 17 full-sized products and some festive favourites (iStock/The Independent)

Love it or loathe it we seem to be thinking about Christmas earlier and earlier each year – especially when it comes to shopping for a beauty advent calendar.

It can feel like a mad dash if you want any chance of getting hold of one, as the best available, including lookfantastic’s advent calendar, sell out in a flash.

And with good reason, the best advent calendars are packed with beauty products that add up to way more than the price you pay for them, so not only are you getting a beauty bargain but a chance to try new products and brands you may not have picked up otherwise.

One advent calendar that’s eagerly awaited each year is the offering from premium online beauty retailer lookfantastic. Selling out year after year, the calendar helps to count down to Christmas the beauty way. And with more than 22,000 beauty products from leading skincare, haircare, make-up and fragrance brands on the company’s virtual beauty shelves, there’s a vast portfolio of products that could be hidden within the calendars.

So, when the postman brought this early Christmas treat to our door, we couldn’t wait to open up all the advent calendar’s 25 drawers to see what’s inside. We hope that doesn’t mean we’re going on the “naughty” list this year.

How we tested

When buying an advent calendar, it’s important to not only consider what’s inside but the size of the products, their retail price and also variety, to make sure you are getting the value for money they represent. If you don’t like surprises, read on to see what to expect in this year’s Christmas countdown…

The beauty story lookfantastic advent calendar 2022: £95, lookfantastic.com

 (The Beauty Story)
(The Beauty Story)
  • Rating: 8/10

  • Number of days: 25

  • Products: 26

  • Product sizes: 17 full-size, 9 travel-size

  • Value of products: Over £500

  • Price: £95 (subscribers receive £15 off)

Design

This year’s calendar is named “the beauty story”, and comes as a large and somewhat heavy book design – what else! So, you’ll need to make space on a chest of drawers or a side cabinet if you want to display the calendar throughout December.

You open up the calendar by undoing a red ribbon fastening to unveil the 25 black drawers numbered in gold. Simply open up each to find a beauty treat wrapped in red tissue inside. We love there’s no damage when opening, so you can reuse all the packaging by flipping the drawers around, so there are no numbers on display or reuse it as an advent calendar for the kids next year with treats inside.

What’s inside?

We counted 26 products in total, one for each day leading up to Christmas, plus a day where there’s an extra treat. If you’re not into spoilers, skip this section now as we’re about to let you in on a few of the surprises.

Brimming with a good variety of products, you’ll find a mix of everyday beauty essentials in the advent calendar as well as festive favourites for when the occasion calls for glam. Everyone needs a first-rate day-cream on their bathroom shelf, and the full-sized ESPA optimal skin pro moisturiser (worth £50 alone, lookfantastic.com) can be found lurking behind a mid-month drawer. Meanwhile, another drawer holds the popular Iconic London triple threat mascara (also full-sized, worth £20, lookfantastic.com).

 (Sabine Wiesel)
(Sabine Wiesel)

Ahead of Christmas parties, you’ll find the Rodial vitamin C brightening mask (worth £14, lookfantastic.com) – the first step to occasion make-up is glowing skin. Pair it with the Inika organic black eye pencil on the lashline (worth £19, lookfantastic.com) and the Revolution satin kiss lipstick in Ruby (worth £5, lookfantastic.com), because it’s not Christmas without a bold red lip.

It’s not just the assortment of products that’s a winner this year, but also where they’ve been placed. For example, behind the first drawer, you’ll find the Rituals Ayurveda mini reed diffuser. Ideal for infusing some tranquillity into your chosen room, so you have a moment of calm to escape to in the hectic month of December.

And on the 25th, when you open your final drawer to reveal the PMD clean mini (worth £59, lookfantastic.com), a compact-sized version of the bestselling silicone cleansing brush, you know you can start the new year with the best beauty intentions and never miss out on a thorough cleanse again.

Both everyday essentials and festive favourites make an appearance (Sabine Wiesel)
Both everyday essentials and festive favourites make an appearance (Sabine Wiesel)

We also want to give lookfantastic a big shout-out for including smaller independent brands in the collection. While you’ll find other popular brands such as Drunk Elephant, Emma Hardie, Philip Kingsley and The Ordinary, to name a few, you’ll also find the likes of Demi Candle – hand-crafted candles by a Manchester mother-of-two, which we are obsessed with.

Value for money

The lookfantastic advent calendar gets top marks for value this year, with 17 full-sized products compared with just six in last year’s offering. Add up the two most expensive products – the PMD clean mini and the ESPA optimal skin pro moisturiser – and you would have paid £109, which is more than the price of the calendar.

When you add up the total of all the products featured, it amounts to more than £500. But as you’ll pay just £95 (or £80 for subscribers), there is no denying this is one of the best value advent calendars on the market – especially when the products are suitable for all, so nothing will go to waste.

Available from 1 September

The verdict: Lookfantastic advent calendar 2022

Just like the virtual beauty shelves of lookfantastic, there’s something for everyone in this advent calendar. From hero brands to new and upcoming, there’s something to discover for both beauty amateurs and experts alike.

The variety of products is spot-on, from everyday skincare must-haves to party-perfect make-up for the festive season. Plus, there’s haircare and bodycare to boot, as well as finds for the home.

Its standout selling point is its value for money. There’s more full-sized offerings compared with last year’s calendar, and for £95 you get more than £500 worth of beauty booty. However, you’ll be lucky to get your hands on one, as it is such a bargain. We’ll be crossing our fingers for you!

Pre-order sale is available from 1 September at 8am for Beauty Box and Waitlist customers, 10am for Premier customers and 12pm for non-subscribers. The calendar goes on general sale from 1 October.

For more Christmas countdowns, here’s our guide to the best beauty advent calendars 2022