As we creep towards the end of November, the Christmas music is already playing in stores, present-buying is underway and people are starting to snap up their advent calendars ahead of the 1st December. Beauty advent calendars seem to be bigger than ever this year, with seemingly every brand under the sun launching their own windowed treats for you to indulge yourself in. Whilst technically you do end up 'saving money' due to the amount of products inside, with most calendars starting at £40 (minimum!), it does seem like an extortionate price for sample-sized products- half of which we probably won't use/ don't want. What happened to the good old few quid choccie ones, eh?! If your budget can't quite stretch to these calendars, here are a few options which will give you a bit of indulgence each day of December whilst saving a few pennies to spend on Christmas gifts.
One way to not only save a bit of money but make these calendars a tad more personal is to create your own beauty advent calendar. Whilst (if you're doing it on a budget) the products inside may not be as fancy and luxurious as those bought from high-end brands, it is a fun and affordable way to get in on the beauty advent calendar hype without having to sell a kidney to pay for it. Also, this way you can hand-pick products you know your family member/ friend will enjoy. This option obviously doesn't work quite as well if you want a calendar for yourself (picking out the products would ruin the surprise a bit), but for a loved one, this would make a great, personalised pre-Christmas treat.
Going for budget brands such as Makeup Revolution, MUA, Miss Sporty, Barry M and Collection means that you could pick up some lovely little stocking-fillers for only £1 each (cheaper if you use any store card points, students discounts or get them on BOGOF type offers). It may be an easier option to just buy a calendar, but this option could save you money and make it a bit more thoughtful.
Ah, one of my favourite ever stores. Famed for offering high-end, quality products at a discount, I discovered a little beauty advent calendar secret whilst perusing the aisles of TK Maxx for Christmas presents last year. At the end of November, if you pop into TK Maxx you might find a load of branded beauty advent calendars at a discounted price. You can discover brands like Ciate- one of the original beauty advent calendar queens- sitting on the shelves. Searching for them during the last few days of November could be a great way to snap up a bargain in time to fully enjoy the advent fun.
Although these usually aren't huge savings (usually £5-10 knocked off the original price because they are probably not going to shift them all at full-price before 1st December), it is still a saving, especially if you were going to get one anyway. Additionally, if you look during the first few days of December you may find the same- but cheaper. As the advent period has started, the calendars are 'old news', 'spoiled products', and so are sold at significantly reduced prices. Definitely keep an eye out for these if you have your heart set on a branded beauty calendar this year.
Whilst the branded beauty advent calendars feel like a real treat, they are (in my eyes) pretty pointless unless you 100% adore that brand and every product they sell. If this is you, then it is worth splashing out because you inevitably will save money on your favourite products. If you are just wanting a beauty calendar for the element of surprise, trying new things or as a cute little gift to a friend or loved one, then perhaps search elsewhere. If the recipient isn't necessarily a beauty fanatic but you still wanted to treat them, then browsing online may be fruitful and money-saving for you.
Many online retailers are producing their own non-branded calendars which are inevitably cheaper. Whilst the products inside won't be that cult classic you've always wanted to try, it is still the same kind of experience; you are opening a door each day to find a different beauty surprise within. Plus, if you don't end up using every product within (eg, you adore the neutral eyeshadow quad and red nail varnish but hate the bright pink lipstick), it doesn't seem like a massive waste of money. It's certainly something to consider. The calendar in the photos are from Find Me A Gift and costs under £20. For someone just starting out with make-up, for example, this is an ideal budget option to look out for.
What other budget beauty alternatives would you recommend? Are you buying into the beauty advent calendar hype this year, or do you think it's all got a bit extortionate?
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