Is it too soon for beauty advent calendars?

Castelbajac X L'OCCITANE Classic Advent Calendar

This time every year we have this dilemma about whether it’s too early to discuss Christmas. But, hey, we need something to look forward to, right? The press got a first look at all the gifty launches a month or so ago (in a month-long junket known as ‘Christmas In July’) and so we’ve seen all there is to see of advent calendars, gift selection sets and the like already.

Beauty advent calendars still seems to have plenty of mileage in them (read my post on the business of advent calendars and beauty subscription boxes here) and brands and retailers are having to up their game in order to stand out. Department stores vie for the best mix of in-demand cult brands, so I think that space is getting very competitive (which is good news for the consumer).

I love what L’Occitane has created with Jean Charles de Castelbajac (top and below). It has a major collaboration lined up for winter, which includes a whole load of gift sets covered in his signature illustrations. (If you don’t know JCDC, he’s a design legend who is friends with everyone from Agnes b to Vivienne Westwood. Here’s a story of the first time he met Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood…)

Here’s a first look at what the Castelbajac X L’Occitane advent calendar will look like when it lands in store and online on 20th September. In fact, there are two designs for the advent calendars. The ‘classic’ style (£50) is above, and the ‘luxury’ version (£80) is below. Both include mini-me versions of L’Occitane’s soaps, shower gels and hand creams. In addition, the luxury calendar focuses on face care (including the Divine Cream and Divine Youth Oil plus products from the new Aqua Réotier Face care collection) as well as the new Terre de Lumiere L’Eau fragrance.

Castelbajac X L'Occitane Luxury Advent CalendarAnother item worth mentioning is the Best of L’Occitane Gift (£69), which includes some of L’Occitane’s best-loved products (I love the Almond Milk Concentrate and Almond Shower Oil). £10 from each sale will go directly to UNICEF to provide life-saving eye care treatment to those in need. Keep an eye out for all the L’Occitane booty in the next couple of weeks.

In related advent calendar news, subscription service GlossyBox has announced its first advent calendar (below). It will go on pre-order for GlossyBox subscribers on Monday 10th September and will include £300 worth of NARS, HUDA Beauty, Zelens, Real Techniques and BareMinerals (that’s just for starters) for £75, or £99 for non subscribers.

GlossyBox Advent Calendar

Next week I’ll be speaking on a panel at Covent Garden’s Beautython event, hosted by Glamour Magazine. Rachel Horsefield, the CEO of beauty of GlossyBox’s parent company, The Hut Group will also be on the panel, along with one of my most knowledgeable beauty blogger pals, Jane from British Beauty Blogger, so it promises to be quite the debate. You can buy tickets HERE (the ticket price for the event will go in its entirety to Caroline Hirons’ charity, Give and Make Up).

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/ Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Castelbajac X L’Occitane; GlossyBox, Beautython
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