I blooming love a beauty/gift advent calendar. I get so excited to see what little gift I get each morning. I think, this years advent calendar was my favourite. In the past, I have had Yankee Candle and Lush, both amazing, but I loved the variation in the M&S one, and the new brands it introduced me to. Im not going to bore you with the entire contents, that would take until next Christmas, but thought I would share with you my favourite items I have been most happy with on first impressions, and that I will looking at possibly purchasing the full sizes of.
The advent calendar has 25 little boxes, which is lovely as you tend to get either 24, or just 12 in most of the calendars. Its such a cute design too, made to look like a little house. I really like it. I have to say that there wasn’t anything that I was disappointed with. If you were holding me to ransom, threatening me with not ever being able to buy any make up again or something, (you monsters) I would say that the two nail varnishes that were in the calendar were my least favourite items. Thats simply because one was a yellowy gold, (not a colour my pale skin can carry off) and one was a glitter, again, not my cup of tea. I do have very excited nieces that are happy to take those of my hands though…
So, my top picks, that on first impressions I am thrilled with;
Formula Innovate Radiance Reveal Peel 15ml
This. Is. Amazing! There, I went straight in with the boldest of statements eh! It literally does what is says on the tin. For the purpose of full disclosure, you know I can be a little, shall we say, selective when it comes to my skin care. Im an ingredients geek, I know what suits my skin, and I like results driven slap. However, I promised myself I would give everything a bash in the calendar, and I was thrilled with this. You put a thin layer over clean, dry skin, (I did show this on my Instastories a couple of weeks ago) and then just kinda rub it. It kind of “rolls up” sloughing off the dead bits, without a bit of grit in sight. You then wash off with warm water. It results in very gentle, but effective exfoliation, removing the dull, dead skin. Again, you know Im against vigorous exfoliation, especially once you turn 30, but this is gentle and effective. Big, big, big thumbs up from me.
Cost of the full size is £17.50 for 50ml Completely Cruelty free product
Stilla Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick 1.5ml
This little lippy was a wonderful surprise. Firstly, because it was in the colour that I had tried to get for ages a while back, (the colour is Perla), and secondly because its not a bad size, 1.5 ml. (the full size is 3 ml). Now, you all know I abso-bloody-lutley love make up, but you may not know that actually, Im pretty lazy when it comes to make up. You may have noticed from my product reviews that I go on about longevity and staying power of products? Well, this is because I don’t like to faff about with it. Once my face is done I prefer minimal topping up. Lazy biatch that I am. Well, I give you joyous news, this little beauty stays put. All day. Its amazing. Non-drying, lovely colour, comfortable. Everything I want from a long lasting lippy. I will 100% re-purchase.
Cost of full size is £16 for 3ml Completely cruelty free product
Percy & Reed Session Hold Hairspray 50ml
The reason I have included this one as one of my favourites, is because, as is well documented, my hair is wild (courtesy of my Irish genes). Whatever I seem to put on or in my hair, makes it go crazy tangled, frizzy, or limp like a wilted cabbage. None are a good look as you can imagine. I used this hairspray to tame and calm my hair when I curled it for a night out, and it held! Not only did it hold, but it didn’t feel stiff, sticky or producty, if you know what I mean. It just brushed straight out when I brushed my hair the next day. It gets one of the top spots as I rarely find anything that suits my hair. Its not them its me, but this little can came up trumps. Good shift Percy & Reed, good shift.
Cost of the full size is £12 for 250ml Percy & Reed don’t test on animals
Nuxe Precious Scented Shower Oil 30ml
This is a brand that I always look at, and see great reviews on. If this little shower oil is an indication of the rest of the brands products, I can see why. Its beautiful. The scent transports you to somewhere hot and sunny, with its delicate scent. The shower oil has a very slight, gold shimmer to it, which I worried about at first, (lets face it, “shimmer” can sometimes be mistaken as “sweaty”), but it was incredibly subtle, so not an issue. I found the shower oil to be quite hydrating for my skin, and it did not make my bath slippery, as oils sometimes can.
Cost for full size is £6 for 100ml Nuxe do not test on animals, but do sell in China where it is mandatory to test
Diego Dalla Palma Ciglione Lash Booster Mascara 10 ml (full size)
I have never tried anything from this brand, although have heard of them. I was a lovely surprise to see a full size item in the calendar, and the fact that it was a mascara was a winnnn-eeerrrrrr. I bloody love a mascara, as Im sure you all know! This mascara has a great depth of blackness to it, and I have found I only need one coat to get a really good coverage and dense, black look. The brush is traditional bristle, and quite a long brush, which I also really like. It stays put, don’t upset my sensitive eyes and removes easily. Ticks all the boxes my lovelies, nothing negative from me on this bad boy.
Cost for full size is £17.50 for 10ml Completely Cruelty free product
There you have it, my top products on first impressions. I feel the following deserve a mention, just because I have been enjoying them, but not tried as much as these top spot ones.
Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm – Love the feel of it, love the scent, love how it removes my make up, not so keen on the film it leaves on my sink. I have to clean my sink every time I use this. Borrriinnggggg
Rodial dragons Blood Sculpting gel – Blooming love the lightness of this moisturiser. It makes my skin feel so fresh and woken up. Only tried a few times, but Im liking it and am keen to look into the brand more.
Alphah Liquid Gold Rose – Already has a following from what I have read, so was excited to find this in my box. You are supposed to use it every other night, which I did a couple of times before I decided to not keep chucking stuff at my skin that is already trying to deal with the toxic-ness of my alcohol consumption over the festive build up……….. Im keen to give it a bash though, exciting!
I hope you have enjoyed this little round up. If you have tried any of these products, let me know how you found them. Its been amazing finding all these new brands, so if you fancy a calendar next year, I would fully recommend this one. Its been fab. I of course, as ever, would love to hear if you had an advent calendar that you have enjoyed this year. you know, just incase I need to look into that one next year too………