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Lush advent calendar: Our verdict on this year’s Christmas treasure trove

Make the countdown to the big day that extra bit indulgent

Eva Waite-Taylor
Thursday 26 August 2021 17:05
<p>Hidden behind the doors are 25 treats, including new and exclusive products</p>

Hidden behind the doors are 25 treats, including new and exclusive products

Looking forward for Christmas? If it hasn’t even crossed your mind yet, once you look at a beauty advent calendar you’re sure to get in the festive spirit – we’d go as far as to say they’d even get Ebenezer Scrooge excited for the run-up to the big day.

Year on year big-name brands knock it out of the park with their offerings, and 2021 is looking bigger and better than ever. So, your Christmas countdown really needn’t be marked with a measly chunk of chocolate.

Right now, our sights are set on Lush. Best known for its bath bombs, and vegan and cruelty-free skincare heroes, this year’s advent calendar is the brand’s third, with previous year’s selling out at lightning speed. Unlike other years, where it was exclusively available online, this year you’ll be able to buy it in your local Lush store. But, we’d recommend beating the rush by ordering now.

True to form, it’s made from reusable and recyclable packaging and is every bit as bold and colourful as you’d expect. As for its contents, it really is a treasure trove of the brand’s top vegan bath and skincare products, including one of our favourites: the sleepy body lotion (£9, Lush.com).

We were lucky enough to get our hands on the advent calendar ahead of its launch and simply by opening the box, our home instantly smelt like a Lush store. So, you’re in for a treat (or 25).

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How we tested

As the advent calendar comes from a brand that prides itself on being eco-friendly, we paid close attention to the packaging, primarily how easily it was to recycle (and reuse). As for the products, we wanted there to be a broad range, some old school favourites, but also some brand new ones that, when used, would make the run-up to Christmas extra special and indulgent.

We bathed, sprayed and moisturised to test the products for you, so here’s what we thought.

Lush beauty advent calendar: £185, Lush.com

  • On sale: From 28 August online and 23 September in store  
  • Number of days: 25

Packaging

As brand’s go, Lush strives for sustainability and has chosen yet again to take a different approach to the wasteful traditional of Christmas and advent calendars.

This one is made from recycled and recyclable cardboard, but the main case itself is handmade and can be reused as a handy storage box. Within the case, there are individual layers stacked on top of each other, with a total of 25 different compartments.

The two layers each contain compartments housing the products

The design is inspired by a magical midnight wonderland, and if overly festive packaging isn’t your bag, you’ll be glad to see that this one features a bright and colourful floral pattern. It’s certainly one of the most vibrant advent calendars we’ve seen.

This non-festive theme is particularly good because it means it can be used in your home way beyond the Christmas period. Similarly, we think it’d make a great place to store your baubles – once you’ve emptied all the goodies, of course.

The case holds the two layers on top of eachother

Contents 

If you don’t want any spoilers on exactly what’s inside, we’d advise that you keep scrolling.

With 25 doors of pure Lush magic, there is a broad range of treats, including signature bath bombs, four retro products from Christmas past, and six exclusives to this year. Each one is slightly different, but delivers something special.

The new additions are likely to be your new bathtime favourites, including the sleep bath bomb, which uses the brand’s bestselling sleepy scent and is designed for those looking for some extra relaxation. It’s a purple bomb that glows in the dark when fully dissolved.

The Christmas countdown begins with a similar brand new bath bomb: sleepy bear, which quickly became one of our favourites. Infused with lavender, it creates a pastel purple colour when placed in the bath and produces a floral surprise thanks to the dried flowers inside. After a soak, we felt instantly relaxed, a quality we’d consider essential during the busy festive party season.

The sleepy bear bath bomb

Another stand-out was the golden pear body scrub, which crackles slightly (thanks to the popping candy) when you buff it across the body. It’s reusable and worked a treat when removing patchy fake tan and made our skin feel smoother; a bonus if you’re prone to flakiness during the winter months.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Lush advent calendar without a retro favourite: the Christmas penguin. The citrusy fragrance isn’t overpowering and despite its festive design, it’s one we’d happily use all year round.

Returning for 2021 is another Christmas-inspired product: a candy cane bubble bar (a popular favourite, unless your Gretchin Weiners). But this year, it’s had a revamp.

Rather than red and white with a fruity, lemon fragrance, Lush has changed it up. It has opted for a pink and white colour scheme and a peppermint scent. It certainly delivers on bubbles and the minty notes are great if you’re looking for something to wake you up in the morning.

The grand finale product

While sadly there are no face masks included, the finale is a sample size of the keep it fluffy perfume (£80, Lush.com). Despite having notes of vanilla, we didn’t find it too sweet, it’s the perfect everyday scent that we’d purchase.

Other highlights include the lip scrub and the shampoo bar, which lathered up quickly and easily and came with a cork pot for easy storage. A must-try for those looking to ditch single-use plastic.

The verdict: Lush Christmas advent calendar

The Lush advent calendar is a treasure trove and will undoubtedly make the festive countdown a very special, and relaxing, one. It’s bursting with a broad range of skincare treats, with bath bombs (there are seven) and bubble bars (six included) to suit every one of your moods in the run-up to the big day – including something to aid your sleep – and beyond. There are also three body lotions and butters, a shampoo bar and cork pot.

The fact the packaging can be reused long after Christmas only adds to its charm. Of course, at £185 it is an investment, but whether you’re a fan of the brand’s vegan products or want to discover more, it is well worth it.

Voucher codes

For the latest discounts on beauty advent calendars and other skincare offers, try the links below:

Read more about the best beauty advent calendars for 2021

Beauty advent calendars 2021 – Our ultimate guide to this year’s Christmas treats from M&S, Cult Beauty and more

Fortnum & Mason advent calendar – From traditional to 3D pop-ups versions, food fit for a feast and of course, the beauty advent calendar, you’re spoilt for choice

Body Shop advent calendar – This year’s calendar features a selection of the ethically conscious brand’s cult classics

Cult Beauty advent calendar – It’s overflowing with skincare and make-up from Charlotte Tilbury, Sunday Riley and more

Asos advent calendar – The 24-day calendar features products from the likes of Mac, The Ordinary and Olaplex

Benefit Cosmetics advent calendar – Calling all Bene-babes, the gift you’ve been waiting for all year is here

LookFantastic advent calendar – Brimming with skincare, haircare, make-up and bath treats from all your favourite brands

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.