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Asos beauty advent calendar review 2021: A treat-packed box with sustainable packaging

The retailer has eschewed traditional festive designs in favour of a muted colourway and reusable products

Amy Sedghi
Friday 10 September 2021 08:38
<p>The 24-day calendar features products from the likes of Mac, The Ordinary and Olaplex </p>

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

With every passing day, we’re one step closer to Christmas and one more advent calendar launch richer. This time, it’s the turn of big-name online retailer Asos, who’ve just launched two exclusive calendars: a 24-day face and body advent calendar (£75, Asos.com), and a 12-day grooming version aimed at men (£40, Asos.com).

Following on from last year’s popular release, Asos’s offerings feature a variety of brands that you’ll find stocked within its vast face and body section on its site. With cult names such as Mac, Charlotte Tilbury, The Ordinary and Urban Decay, it’s sure to grab the attention of beauty and make-up fans. There’s a sizeable saving to be had too, as the £75 advent calendar contains more than £280 worth of face and body products.

Throw in a reusable tote and silky printed scarf – not to mention that from our quick maths, we calculated that the 15 full-sized products more than cover the initial cost of the calendar – and you have a pretty attractive offering.

What’s even better, is that Asos has hidden golden tickets (24 across the face and body advent calendar, plus another 12 in the grooming version), so that those lucky enough to find them, will win a stash of beauty and grooming products.

So, with no further ado, let’s crack into the 24-day face and body advent calendar we got our hands on, to see if it lives up to the hype.

Read more:

How we tested

We looked at everything from the packaging, to the quantity and quality of products included, as well as the variety of options on offer across all areas (skin, hair, body, cosmetics). While working our way through each product, we were also looking for new finds that could go on to become staples in our kit. Here’s what you can expect from this year’s offering.

Asos face and body 24-day advent calendar: £75, Asos.com

  • Number of days: 24
  • Products: 24
  • Product sizes: 15 full-size, nine deluxe minis or travel-size
  • Value of products: £280+
  • Price: £75

Packaging

Arriving within a branded reusable cotton tote bag, tied up with a silky scarf fashioned into a bow, Asos’s 2021 beauty advent calendar has clearly been designed with style and functionality in mind. It’s a clear nod to growing consumer demand for more recyclable and sustainable offerings from the beauty space, and we really appreciate the fact that the tote bag and scarf are items that we’d actually use again and again.

Reach into the tote and you’ll pull out a striking black and white printed box, which would look pretty cool in any home with its geometric, Fendi-inspired print. It’s also made of FSC certified cardboard and printed with soy ink.

The tote bag and scarf are items we’d actually use again and again

Inside, we found a fun jigsaw style arrangement of boxes, covered in varying colours, prints and dates that cover the first two weeks of December. As you go through opening box after box by date, another layer of goodies reveals itself, which is pretty fun. We’re also fans of how easily recyclable the cardboard packaging is – simply flatten it down and pop it in the recycling bin (no stickers, magnets or annoying fixtures to remove).

Also, if you’re looking for an advent calendar not covered in glitz, gold and pictures of festive baubles then this design will definitely appeal. Asos has eschewed traditional Christmas colour schemes and illustrations, for a muted colourway, jazzed up with sassy animal prints, which makes for a refreshing option.

Products

Day one starts with a bang, as you open the first box to reveal Origins’s famed drink up intensive overnight hydrating mask with avocado and glacier water. It’s a hydration dream that’s perfectly timed for dry winter skin. We’ll try not to give too many specifics away in terms of what exactly to expect each day but can confirm that there’s a good mixture of classic pampering treatments and products that’ll help get you party-ready (such as a show-stopping pair of falsies from Primalash and a perfectly smoky Sleek kohl eyeliner).

Those into their skincare won’t be disappointed, with full-size treats from Elemis, The Ordinary and Revolution waiting to be unboxed. There are also some handy minis perfect for any festive travel or weekends away. Miniatures of staple beauty favourites, such as Estee Lauder’s advanced night repair and Clinique’s take the day off cleansing balm (which got a stellar verdict in a recent IndyBest review), will be going straight into our travel bags, providing a little luxury next time we go away. From serums to masks and cleansers, there’s a good variety to keep you covered when it comes to caring for your skin.

If you’re looking for hair care options – especially restorative treatments – then there are also some delights to come across the month, including a 30ml of Olaplex’s bestselling no.3 hair perfector. Sadly, there aren’t any hair styling products, which could have been a nice touch as we head into party season, but with repair focused hair products you’ll be sure to have healthy and shiny looking locks nonetheless.

As well as looking for old favourites and new discoveries, one of the things we rate in an advent calendar is reusable items that are actually useful. With that in mind, we loved the glittery Invisibobble scrunchie, as well as a wide-tooth comb and nail file that come along with a couple of the other products. There’s also a Psychic Sisters aventurine gua sha included.

If you’re looking for party season make-up, then there is a selection of products in the advent calendar that will make great additions to your festive make-up bag. Highlights include a sophisticated Mac lipstick, an Iconic London palette of glitzy eyeshadows and a Ciaté definer liner that is a fool-proof must to add some shine around the eyes. Another product worth mentioning is the full-size Dr Paw Paw tinted lip balm which will be just the ticket when the temperatures drop and chapped lips make an appearance.

Apart from the haircare, one nail care product and a multi-purpose Egyptian Magic cream, we’d say that the advent calendar is more heavily focused on the face part of its face and body description. There is a dreamy and deeply moisturising This Works deep sleep body cocoon nestled in the calendar though, which we were big fans of. Another thing we would have loved to have seen is a bigger surprise on the final day of the advent calendar which ends on Christmas eve – we don’t want to give any secrets away, but although it’s a gorgeous product, it is undeniably diddy.

The verdict: Asos beauty calendar

Asos’s 24-day face + body advent calendar certainly won’t leave you feeling unsatisfied – there’s plenty there to keep you interested throughout the month and into the new year – and it offers good value for money. We are big fans of the overall design of the calendar too, which is stylish but also has a focus on being easily recyclable.

For any skincare and make-up fan, it’s a great deal: you get a stash of 15-full size products as well as a variety of travel size and minis to enjoy. As mentioned, we’re also big fans of reusable products which this advent calendar offers in the shape of a glitzy Invisibobble scrunchie, a silky scarf and a tote bag. We think it would be perfect as a gift for a beauty fan, but be quick as the calendar has already hit the online shop.

Asos face and body 24-day advent calendar

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

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

An advent calendar based on hit show The Office is here – here’s everything you need to know

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.