A quick scout of any beauty blog (or even a schlep round Boots) confirms that beauty advent calendars are now a thing, as much a part of getting into the festive spirit as mulled wine in the pub and The Snowman on the actual telly. Where have I been?? For the last couple of years, distracted by babies, work and holding it together, that’s where.

But not this year. This year, my husband is the lucky recipient of a jumper – and not just any jumper, a silk mix merino wool jumper – purely so I could get my mitts on the M&S beauty advent calendar. I plumped for this one because, well, I’m a calendar novice and a pretty average Jo(e) when it comes to product prowess. So it seemed wise to choose a relatively affordable calendar (£35, along with a purchase of the same value). Also, because those in the know agree it gives good bang for your buck and because it features a variety of brands (including the delicious Nuxe).

First impressions? It seems huge. It’s certainly novel and very prettily packaged in a tree-shaped box. I’m sure opening one of the little red-and-gold boxes will give me something to smile about on a damp December morning.



But while part of me is actually (sadly) a bit excited another part is sceptical. Despite one blogger describing it as a ‘fantastic introduction’ to lots of lovely new products I know that it’s essentially a beautifully packaged marketing tool. Am I – a hardened nail biter – really going to use the nail colour and crystal tipped file? Am I going to have time to use or even test all of the calendar’s contents? Will I just develop a passion for an expensive product I previously didn’t know existed?

I’m not going to open any of the doors before their due date, so come December I’ll let you know. As the season of overindulgence progresses will I reach beauty burnout regardless of my new kit or will I be shining as bright as the star on the tree?