I’m in looooooove!! I saw this Advent Calendar from Essence and it was huge crush at first sight! I’ve always wanted to buy an advent calendar because believe it or not, I’ve never had one before… in my entire life. Recently I’ve seen Rituals come out with two different sets, but boy oh boy… That’s expensiiiiiive…
As it’s the end of year period, I know I’ll be buying gifts soon, so it’s best not to spend too much money for now. Also January is one of the only two sales months in Belgium, so you can imagine, I’ll definitely mistreat my cute little pink wallet in the near future… Buuuut, the reason I couldn’t resist buying this advent calendar is because it only retails for 14.99€… Say whuuuut! Yup, you heard (read) me! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the price, so that was a no brainer… MINE!
I’m not sure whether this is still available, but these were quickly gone at my local drugstore. Nonetheless, it’s a gem, so it would be a pity not to talk about it in a blog post.
The Packaging of the Calendar
Wow, really… wow! They’ve put so much details into it. I love the little silver accents, the fire place picture on the inside, which is a mix of a real picture and drawings. Such cute little details and everything in pastel colors.
On the back, they’ll tell you what products you’ll get. So if it’s for a gift, you might want to cover it up.
I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised about the quality of the box itself. Now of course, the important thing is what you get on the inside… You obviously need to open one single present per day… Buuuuut, let’s say for the sake of writing the post, I popped them all open haha. Let’s have a look shall we!!
(all prices mentioned are from the Kruidvat website, where I usually purchase my Essence products).
5 Nail I love trends mini nail polishes (5x 5ml/ Net 0.16 fl.oz e)
These are slightly smaller than the normal size “I love trends” nail polishes, which are normally 8ml per bottle. You get 3 glamorous shades, 1 festive glitter shade and one neutral shade. I’m truly digging the cute little Winter and Christmas theme designs on the bottles.
Price: As the full size bottle retails for 1.89€ at Kruidvat, this means that the value of a mini nail polish is 1.18€/bottle
3 eye products
Essence Extreme Volume Mascara (12 ml/ Net 0.4 fl. oz. e)
Next up is a full size mascara. I am currently using the waterproof version of this baby. As you all know, I’m pretty picky about my mascaras, just because my lashes have the tendency to point stubbornly downwards… So I’m curious to see how this one will perform.
Essence Kajal Pencil in 01 (0.035 oz/1g)
For many a Kajal Pencil is a staple piece in their make up collection. Personally I’ve never used it. I immediately practiced liquid eyeliners when I started playing around with make up. And since the gel liners have appeared in the make up world, I never even considered using Kajal pencils. It seems messy to me and I’m kind of terrified for smudgy make up. But this will allow me to try it out.
Essence Eyebrow Designer 02 (0.035 oz/1g)
Then you get a full sized eyebrow pencil in the shade 02. This one will work perfectly for me, but I think it’ll be a bit too dark for the light hair colored people.
Again, amazed by the little details: they drew a little pine cone on the pencil.
Essence Nail Sticker sheet (1 sheet of 47 nail stickers)
I know Essence used to carry a whole collection of different nail stickers, which was pretty cute and cool. But I haven’t seen those in a while and on their official website, it’s no longer available. So it’s nice that they now bring it back in this kit. Personally I find the designs of this one a bit childish, but I guess one festive finger with a sticker or two might work. I don’t know, I might give it to my little niece :).
4 Lip products
Essence Invisible Kiss Transparent Lipliner 01 (0.23g/ Net Wt. 0.008 oz.)
I’m intrigued! I haven’t seen anything like it, so I’m dying to try it out. It’s supposed to keep your lipstick inside the lip line… And it’s a twist up lip liner, so that’s a plus.
Price: 1.59€ (of a regular lip liner from Essence)
Essence Long Lasting Lipstick in 16 Fancy Blush (3.8g/ 0.13 oz)
Again, totally mesmerized by the packaging… It looks sleek black like the standard design, but it’s so darn cute with the little gifts on top of each other. The shade is a classy dusty rose color that basically looks good on any person. These lipsticks always feel very comfortable on the lips.
Essence Matt Matt Matt Lipstick in 05 Red-Y or Not (3.8g/ 0.13 oz)
Like the name says it, the finish is matt, though it doesn’t seem to feel drying on the lips. The cap is red (in the shade of the lipstick), matt, transparant and has a Christmassy design on top. The shade 05 is a bright and true red (not too cold, but not too orange either).
Essence Balmy Kiss Moisturizing Lip Care in 04 Treat me right (4.8g /Net Wt. 0.16 oz)
There are 4 shades in this lip balm and the shade you are getting here is the bright red one, though it applies very sheer on the lips, which I think is a nice product to give your lips a natural warm look to them.
2 extra products
Essence All About Matt! Fixing Compact Powder (8.0g/ Net Wt. 0.28 oz. e)
A good translucent powder can do so much for you. You can use it to mattify your T-zone, you can use it to fix your foundation or concealer, to neutralize your eyelid color after applying some primer or you can even use it to fix your lipstick, so it won’t transfer. This full sized powder might not be the best one out there, but I’ve used it before and it does nicely what it is supposed to do.
Essence Mini Handcream (25 ml/ Net 0.8 fl. oz. e)
I’ve seen Essence come out with hand creams but never tried them out before. I don’t see this product on their website, so I don’t think they have this in their permanent collection.
I was expecting a light cream, but was surprised to squeeze out a thick paste. It smells very fresh and florally, but not in a tacky way. Even though it was a thick consistency, it absorbed fairly quickly into the skin and left it pleasantly soft and non sticky.
The 4-in-1 mini nail file
I used to have the full sized one, but I see that on the Kruidvat website it’s no longer available, so I don’t know whether they still have it. Who doesn’t need a little nail file, right? It can always come in handy.
Essence Eyebrow Tweezer
You can obviously never had enough tweezers!
Essence Duo Sharpener
You really can’t go wrong with a double ended sharpener. I usually don’t like to buy pencils that I have to sharpen. I prefer the twist up pencils, which is less messy. However, I still love the NYX jumbo pencils and this sharpener will work perfectly for those.
4 Make up sponges
You can obviously use these for the application of make up, but perhaps also to do a nail ombre… These are so versatile.
Price: unknown (they do sell these, but I couldn’t find it online on Kruidvat)
2 Invisibobble-ish hair ties
Never used these before, but it’s a nice addition
Mirror/hairbrush in one
These always come in handy. The packaging is a metallic rose gold shade. However, I feel that it doesn’t feel like good quality. So it’ll probably break pretty quickly.
3 unexpected extras
These weren’t necessary for me, but honestly a nice addition. Sometimes even to give someone money, it’s nice to put it in a small cute envelope.
1 tatoo sheet
I’m probably not going to use these… But you never know I’d need them for a make up look…
When you have a bunch of gifts, these come in sooooo handy, because after you’ve wrapped a mountain of gifts, remembering what’s for who… can be quite challenging :).
You could put in here some scratch/lotto tickets. I often gift these to my parents. Or you can put in some money. Especially for babies and small children, I tend to buy something very cheap that they can unwrap, but the real gift is of course the money that I give separately to the parents for the kids…
Pro 1: The most important part, I think, is the true value of this box. Let’s make the sum of the known elements:
- 5 x 1.18€ for the nailpolishes
- 2.89€ for the mascara
- 0.99€ for the eyeliner
- 1.59€ for the brow pencil
- 1.59€ for the lip liner
- 2 x 2g.39€ for the lipsticks
- 1.39€ for the lip balm
- 2.99€ for the face powder
- 0.99€ for the sharpener
So this gives a total of 23.11€! And I didn’t even count the extras.
Pro 2: you’d think they’d use products that they have in stock, but they specially made extra prints on the packaging to give it a Christmas theme. I’m so impressed by this. The collection of products is beautiful!
Con 1: I was sad they didn’t include an eyeshadow and a blush or their legendary strobing powder. But overall, I did feel that they did try to include products for a basic face of make up.
Con 2: It’s a small one, but the brow pencil is not for everyone… Luckily, it’s buildable, so you don’t need to go for wham dark brows if you don’t press too hard. And you could double it up as an eyeliner.
Bottom line, my con 2 could also be a pro :p.
All in all I’m happy with this kit. Also I saw that Essence and Catrice came out with gift boxes, also with great values. So be sure to check them out if you’re still looking for some affordable gifts. Personally, I’m not going to buy them, because I’ve already used most of the products.
Did you get your hands on this advent calendar? How do you like it?