I accept that it is completely bizarre writing about beauty advent calendars this month. I’ve tried to put it off for as long as possible. But the truth is, many of the best ones are often sold out by mid November, and I wanted to share the Stella favourites with you while you can still get your hands on them.

Beauty advent calendars didn’t really exist as a category five years ago, but they are now one of the top sellers for beauty brands and retailers every year. Our enthusiasm for miniature products behind advent doors shows no signs of waning, either. When chocolate doesn’t quite cut it, these provide little moments of luxury in the days ahead of Christmas.

Probably the most covetable of them all is Liberty’s, which has a cult-like following. It commands waiting lists online and physical queues around the London store when it goes on sale in October – and it’s not all hype, either. The product selection is full of luxury favourites; it’s no surprise that it usually sells out by early November.

I also really rate the Marks & Spencer one, which is £40 when you spend £30 on fashion or food (or for me, a couple of bottles of fizz). It comes in a reusable tin and would make a lovely gift. 

At the other end of the price spectrum is the No 5 Advent Calendar by Chanel. It’s the first time the brand has created a calendar – to mark 100 years of No 5 in 2021. It costs – wait for it – £610. Admittedly this is far from most people’s budgets, but if you are a devoted Chanel fan, it is the ultimate treat.

Best beauty advent calendars of 2021

LookFantastic Advent Calendar

£85, LookFantastic. Featuring skincare saviours like Shiseido’s Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate and hair heroes from Aveda, this curated edit is perfect for lovers of everything classic.