Like the spoilt princess I am, a chocolate advent calendar no longer satisfies me. I usually end up collecting all the chocolates in a bowl anyway because advent calendar chocolate always tastes wack. Ever since my Benefit calendar from back in 2015 , I’ve wanted a gift every day of advent rather than a chocolate, and I want my gift to – specifically – be a tiny travel sized makeup item. Obviously I was dreaming of the gorgeous Diptyque or Jo Malone calendars, but, ya know: I’m not a crazed billionaire with a mansion to light solely with tea-light sized Feu De Bois. So my wish was also my command, and lo: this year (last year..?) I have two (on the slightly more affordable end) to review for you.
FREE! …With a £250 minimum spend, online only. Lmao. I did all my Christmas shopping in one go and my biggest purchases were a Diptyque perfume and a stupidly expensive candle for my mum, which when bought together made it possible to get the ‘spend £250…’ offer. So yeah technically it’s free but it’s got a pretty spendy T&C attached.
SO GORGEOUS. Sturdy like a jewellery box with two pull out drawers, with each item encased in a gold and white box with a short description ‘teaser’ on the front of each box.
Diversity of Products:
A bit crap, tbh. If you love face creams and moisturisers this one’s for you. On one day I even accidentally got a double of the Eve Lom cream instead of a perfume (on the back of each box it says what should be in it), which didn’t help the ‘I feel like every day is just another moisturiser’ situation. However, there were some gems. My favourites were the luxury sample of Sunday Riley’s Luna, a full size Lipstick Queen Frog Prince blusher and a mini Diptyque Baies candle. I’ve also been using the travel size Rodial toner spritz every day since I got it. I think this calendar is more for an older age group, as I ended up giving most of the ‘anti ageing’ face creams away to my mum and nan (no shade).
Not super available, the offer was on for one week, online only until stocks lasted, with no prior warning (meaning you might have done an eligible shop one day beforehand and would have to grovel to customer services for one… much like I did).
Would I buy it next year?
I’ll be honest here, lads, the only reason I bought SO much stuff from Space NK last year is because they sent me a 20% off any product, multiple use, valid for six months card. It was essentially a Space NK black card and I rinsed it, which then meant I got loads of NDulge points, which meant I bought more and more… but without the card I wouldn’t have bought all the stuff, meaning I wouldn’t have got the calendar. As the card is now expired, if they don’t send me another, no I probably won’t be eligible for one next year. It’s very cool and a lovely extra if you were going to spend the money anyway, and opening it every morning was the highlight of my day. Plus the value of the products inside was super high (like nearly £350 I think I remember reading somewhere?).
M&S (FYI: these pics were taken with a few days to go before Christmas, not every gift that was in it is displayed in the photos, but enough doors had been opened to show you the sort of spread the calendar had)
£25, but you have to spend £35 in store to be able to buy it. So I guess £60 if you desperately wanted the calendar and panic bought anything to get it, but if you were spending £35 in store anyway, it’s £25.
I don’t have a picture of the packaging but it was 24 little boxes all stacked up into a red christmas tree shape. Not as glam as the Space NK one, but festive all the same.
Diversity of Products:
GREAT. I’ve broken the products down in the categories ‘makeup’, ‘skincare’, ‘haircare’ and ‘hand cream’ below for you to see that you get, mostly, makeup. And the makeup products are often the most hit and miss (due to colour preferences, skin tones etc), but out of the two calendars I loved getting makeup the most, as the skincare seemed ‘samey’ and hand creams are boring.
Being the keen bean I am, I had difficulty getting it at the end of October/start of November because nowhere had stocked it yet and I panicked it had all sold out. It came out mid/late November, so it seems to be a ‘chill out, it’s nowhere near Christmas yet’ type thing. When they were stocked there were loads of them though, so it seemed easy enough to get.
So yeah! As luxe and gorgeous the Space NK calendar was, with the M&S calendar I felt like I was getting ‘more’ product. Maybe they were slightly less fancy brands, but in some cases they were exactly the same. For example, in the Space NK calendar I got a tiny tiny travel sized Nuxe hair oil, whereas in the M&S calendar, I got the same hair oil, but in a half size bottle (about 6 times as big as the bottle from the Space calendar). I also got a lot more makeup in the M&S calendar, including a divine lip crayon from the Rosie Huntington-Whiteley makeup line. Overall, the products from the Space calendar were great if you wanted to try a load of expensive products you hadn’t heard of one, maybe two times, but the M&S calendar was a lot more fun, with a lot more payoff, and it was, technically, a lot more affordable. I’ll stick to good old Marks and Sparks next year.