I started my Christmas shopping really early this year. Seriously. I was sooo ahead with gifts for myself. Still, I didn’t manage to snatch this up the first time it showed up (it was September! my bikini was still wet!!). I had to wait for a restock.
I don’t think they’ll restock again, but like the LookFantastic Beauty Chest, most (if not all) the products are individually available, so I can give my two cents on each if you happen to be interested in any of them.
The Big Guys
One of the things I was most excited about in this calendar was the Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask. It’s pleasant and easy to use, and doesn’t dry out the skin. The Indeed In-circadian Night Mask was also something I was curious about but ultimately disappointed – the ingredients, though fine, are quite basic. It’s just a heavy moisturizer. I haven’t tried the First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser yet because I’m finishing my current face wash but it’s next in line – and being that it’s a cult favourite, I’m really looking forward to it.
The Dr Paw Paw Balm, honestly, I would prefer it if it was the clear version – being that it’s red tinted, I can only use it on my lips, which makes this the biggest size lip balm I’ll ever have (doesn’t wok well as a cheek tint, being that it is a balm, so it won’t dry down and stays sticky).
Nip + Fab Vitamin C Fix Tonic ends up delivering less than promised – any vitamin C that it contains will degrade into an inactive ingredient with the transparent, light exposing packaging. You’ll still probably notice a more illuminated skin when using this but that will be due to the lactic acid, which is an exfoliant and the 4th ingredient. It feels hydrating (glycerine is the 2nd ingredient) and all and all, not a bad toner – just a poorly marketed one. I wasn’t that excited about the Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG from The Ordinary because I’m still skeptical of caffeine applied topically, but after reading so many positive reviews I’m intrigued – and it’s easy to apply and absorbs quickly, so I’ll continue to use it and will update with the results (or lack there of).
Of course, a MAC full size lipstick is always welcome. The shade Marrakesh was one I didn’t have yet and it’s a very christmas-y deep red brown.
The Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream is commonly featured in advent calendars and beauty boxes, so I’m less than pleased about it because 1) I already have 4556876 of these, 2) it’s in jar packaging, so any air sensitive ingredients are going to degrade every time I’ll open this to use it.
The Aveda Damage Remedy daily hair repair is also a full size, but honestly, right now there are a ton of gifts with purchases where this full size product is included, for free. I just got another one from LookFantastic Black Friday’s gift with purchase. Same goes for the Living Proof PhD 5-in-1 (in the photo bellow). Another common product found in gift bags/advent calendars. I found both to work ok for my hair, I was not blown away by either, but honestly, my hair is in the best condition it has ever been so it’s to be expected that I don’t noticed that much of a difference.
The Nice to Haves
I’m so pissed that the Clinique Moisture Surge 72 Hour Auto Replenishing Hydrator mini is in a jar packaging – usually, Clinique mini versions come in squirt tubes, which is a much better choice. Shame, because Clinique actually has good ingredients. The Emma Hardie Pink Clay Mask is a traditional clay mask and I’m always happy about that. The Becca Backlight Priming Filter I already had and I like it (MAC’s Strobe Cream is better though) and the Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Primer Blurring I have yet to try – feels redundant to have two primers in the same calendar, but hey, I like makeup, so I’m not mad.
The rose quartz roller is a fun addition if you don’t have one, specially because you generally wouldn’t (and really shouldn’t) buy it on it’s own. It honestly does nothing, but it’s harmless and the type of gimmick that you might see in social media and get curious about. I know a lot of people don’t like to get toothpaste in their beauty calendars, but I like to get these in mini sizes: they’re great for travelling, and I rather get that Marvis paste than an actual sample (see the last part of my post for my rant).
The Spectrum Makeup Brush B08 is nice synthetic brush, good for highlighting. The Dr Jart Cicapair Sheet Mask I haven’t tried yet either, but I’m intrigued.
The Samples and the Duds
I’ll finally be able to try Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara. This product is constantly being given away in makeup sets, it’s surprising it took me this long to get one – how tantric. The bareMinerals Vital Power Infusion Serum looks intriguing, although I’d rather have it without the fragrance, and the Sunday Riley Good Genes Glycolic Acid Treatment and C.E.O. Vitamin C Brightening Serum took me longer to write their names than it will to use them up – they came together, but the amount is laughable (5 ml each).
The Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate is atrociously expensive for such a weak- no, bad formula. It’s run of the mill, cheap ingredients and a lot of alcohol. Come on Shiseido, I love your entire suncare and makeup range, you’re good, and these things are offensive. ThisWorks Love Sleep Pillow Spray does not work – not to put me to sleep, not to make me more romantic. It’s basically lavender in a bottle, and if you’ve read my last post, you know how I feel about strong lavender scents. And Eyelure false lashes – I have nothing to add, I don’t like false lashes, so I won’t be using it.
Honestly, I think I should have passed up this one. I could probably get only the items I was really interested in for less than what this cost me. Next year I’ll be more selective with my advent calendars. You
live spend, you learn.