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Cult Beauty’s advent calendar is reduced for Black Friday – and it’s one of the best you can buy

From Augustinus Bader to Olaplex, there are 39 (yes, 39!) products inside

Eva Waite-Taylor
Saturday 25 November 2023 08:22 GMT
This multi-brand calendar is an impressive option
This multi-brand calendar is an impressive option (iStock/The Independent)

Love them or loathe them, beauty advent calendars are among the most popular ways to count down to Christmas. Now, for 2023, they seem bigger and better than ever.

It’s no secret the festive season is the perfect time to treat yourself, and these 24- or 25-day day delights serve as a great option for indulgence. With so many to choose from, though, which one should you pick?

In our opinion, multi-brand offerings serve as the best way to sample a range of products from different brands and categories, which is largely why Cult Beauty’s calendar remains a firm favourite among beauty aficionados. With 39 products, 20 of which are full-sized (we told you retailers have gone above and beyond for 2023), there are no two ways about it, it’s an absolute whopper. And for Black Friday, the retailer has reduced its calendar to £200.

The retailer’s release is eagerly anticipated every year – hardly a surprise, considering it stocks some of the best beauty products in the business. But does the 25-day beauty bounty live up to expectations? In the name of investigative journalism, we found out.

How we tested

The Cult Beauty advent calendar in all its glory (Eva Waite-Taylor)

Defying the rules of Christmas, we performed pure sacrilege and opened all 25 days of the Cult Beauty advent calendar ahead of December, to test each of the products. We also considered the calendar’s price point, what it’s worth and the variation of the treats hidden inside. Read on for our full Cult Beauty advent calendar review and to find out if this is the one you should choose.

Cult Beauty advent calendar

cult-beauty-advent-calendar-review-indybest
  • Worth: £1,000
  • Number of days: 25
  • Advent calendar highlights: Sunday Riley good genes glycolic acid treatment, Augustinus Bader the rich cream
  • Why we love it
    • Broad range of products
    • Includes 20 full-size products
  • Take note
    • Lacking make-up options
What’s inside the Cult Beauty advent calendar for 2023?

If you enjoy spoilers ahead of the Christmas countdown, you’re in for a real treat, because we’re here to spill the beans. The calendar is brimming with products (39 in total), including bestsellers from cult brands. Think Augustinus Bader, Hourglass, Glow Recipe, Olaplex, Medik8 and Dr Barbara Sturm.

First things first, let’s talk skincare, because the advent calendar features a range of products promising to give you a glowy complexion (which is much needed during the winter months). The standouts include the full-size versions of Summer Fridays CC me serum, which we found to impart some serious hydration, and the Sunday Riley good genes glycolic acid treatment – a product that also delivers moisture and radiance to tired skin. Of course, we also loved Augustinus Bader’s the rich cream. It’s a thick moisturiser that almost instantly hydrates the skin – we only wish it was the full-size version included here, as we used up the travel-size pot at quite some speed.

Where make-up is concerned, there’s a shortage of products – there are four cosmetic items included within Cult Beauty’s advent calendar (one more than Liberty’s offering). That being said, we enjoyed using each one. Since discovering Huda Beauty’s cheeky tint blush stick, it’s become a firm favourite, thanks to its creamy formula that blends nicely into make-up.

As for Saie’s glowy super gel, we found it made skin look naturally dewy, which is always a bonus during the winter months, when our complexion can feel particularly dull and dry.

While eyeshadow palettes are not as popular as they once were, we loved the Róen palette included in the calendar. It features four very wearable colours and we found the formulas were easy to apply and have a decent colour payoff.

While there’s plenty of skincare, make-up and haircare to shout about here, we thoroughly appreciated the broad mix of lifestyle additions. The satin eye mask keeps the light out and feels soft against the skin, and we loved burning the Jo Loves a home scented candle.

Is the Cult Beauty advent calendar worth it?

Thanks to the real mix of products and the fact it’s been discounted for Black Friday, this calendar is sure to be a hit with everyone. Among the 39 treats included, it features 20 full-size products and really does serve as a great way to sample bestsellers across make-up and skincare. Of course, we can’t ignore the price tag (even if it is fairly standard for a beauty advent calendar). While splashing this much cash won’t be for everyone, it is a real treat and worth well over £1,000.

Back to top

The verdict: Cult Beauty advent calendar

As beauty advent calendars go, Cult Beauty’s Christmas countdown is an impressive option and certainly one of the best. It’s home to a full range of products across skincare, haircare and make-up, but also includes items that don’t have a shelf life – such as the pillowcase and eye mask. When you add up the price of all the items included, the calendar has an overall value of more than £1,000 and – as with all beauty advent calendars – it offers a great way to sample a broad range of products.

Unsure about the Cult Beauty countdown? Read our guide to the best beauty advent calendars in 2023

Voucher Codes

TUI Discount Code
£100 off all bookings over £1000 - TUI discount code
ASOS Discount Code
20% off everything with this ASOS app discount code
Travelodge Discount Code
5% off all bookings with this Travelodge discount code
The Body Shop Discount Code
20% off everything with The Body Shop discount code
The Perfume Shop Discount Code
15% of all orders with The Perfume Shop birthday discount
Cult Beauty Discount Code
Up to 20% off all orders over £40 - Cult Beauty discount code

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