They also release a highly-anticipated and over-the-top advent calendar each holiday season!
This is a review of the 2019 advent calendar for $99.00. If you are a subscriber, it costs $89.00
This advent calendar goes on sale today, 10/8, at noon ET!
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
MAJOR SPOILERS beyond this point!
About this Advent Calendar
The Cost: $99 or $89 for current subscribers.
The Products: Deluxe and full-size beauty products all tucked into 25 individual boxes.
Ships to: The US for free and Canada for an additional shipping fee.
Good to Know: It will launch on October 8th at 12 PM EST for subscribers. (Non-subscribers should be able to buy soon after on 10/15 at 12 PM EST.)
The GlossyBox 2019 Advent Calendar Review
Each calendar arrives with an informative booklet detailing all of the items inside. Ours also arrived with a card notifying us of a swap on Day 6. I also noticed that the products in 10 and 24 had been switched, but this is no big deal, just good info to have as you read the review!
Ready to dive in? Let's go!
Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Leave-in Overnight Serum, 3.4 fl oz - Full Size! Retail Value $40.00
I like this brand, and I love that box number one is a full-size product! The general idea is that you apply this to dry hair at night and then sleep in it. You then wash it out in the morning. Since I am a night shower-er, and I am not great with directions, I just left it in overnight and didn't wash it out. It still worked great and smoothed my hair without making it greasy or slick. My hair felt stronger overall, and I hope that with more use I can maybe have less split ends. I have really thick hair that is very dry, and I just finger combed it through my ends and then pulled my hair back into a low bun. I am pretty impressed with this!
L.O.V. Blurring Blush in 'The Future is Female', 6 g - Full Size! Retail Value $11.00 (€ 9.99)
Another full size! Awesome! This blush is really lovely to look at and also very pretty on my cheeks. I love a true pink blush, and this certainly is that, with a built-in shimmer to give it extra oomph! I have never used anything from this brand but I am pleased with how smooth this formula is and that is has a delightful scent.
It is a cooler-leaning pink that is buildable.
Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Eau de Parfum, 7 ml - Estimated Value $11.55 (Buy 100 ml for $165.00)
This is one of my favorite perfumes so I was tickled with this adorable little glass bottle! This fragrance is popular for good reason: the mix of floral, spice, patchouli, and tea is irresistible. It is hard not to feel incredibly sexy wearing this scent.
Avant Pro-Intense Hyaluronic Acid Illuminating Day Cream, 50 ml - Full Size! Retail Value $134.00
FYI: The product appears to usually arrive in a glass pot instead of the plastic tube in our calendar. Regardless, the sizing is the same, so I used the same value.
Avant is one of those brands that have a huge retail value but I only see in subscription boxes. It might be because this is a Brit brand and just not common stateside. I always tend to like their products and though I wouldn't pay that retail cost, I love getting them in boxes for sure. This is a great day cream that is full of hydrating hyaluronic acid. It also has a great clean scent and charming light blue color. It left my face with a matte finish and perfectly primed for my normal light makeup.
Phillip Kingsley Elasticizer, 75 ml - Retail Value $28.00
Apparently, this is like one of those "cult-following" sorts of products but I had never heard of it before! It has been around since the '70s and promises to add strength, softness, and manageability to hair. Oddly enough, you use this before shampoo and leave it on for at least 20 minutes. I did so for 30 just to be extra. I then shampooed and conditioned as usual. Immediately after washing this stuff out, it felt like the shafts of my coarse strands were just slicker and softer, and I needed much less shampoo and conditioner because it was easier to disperse through my tresses. While my hair looked shinier and healthier after use, I didn't love how my roots looked almost too shiny when my hair dried. I would totally use this again and again, but maybe starting lower than my roots.
Doucce Eyeshadow Mono in 'Rosa' - Retail Value $10.00
FYI: This was the swapped product from the notice earlier in the review.
Doucce will never be my favorite brand but I do have a soft spot for their super smooth eyeshadows. They always have loads of color payoff and I like the magnetized palette they offer so you can swap out colors for your ideal assortment. This dirty lavender is to die for. It looks a lot darker and moodier on skin than in the pot, and the color is smokey and dramatic, while being totally wearable. I wore this over my lid out to dinner with a severe bun and a blood burgundy lip and it was a MOOD.
Moody fall goodness.
Oribe The Laquer High Shine Nail Polish in 'Deep Teal', 12 ml - Full Size! Retail Value $32.00
This glass polish bottle is so fancy! I was a little disappointed with the color at first because it looks so dark and I tend to wear mostly nudes. I have always wanted to be that cool girl with black nail polish but I always feel like a phony when I wear it, somehow just not "cool" enough. This deep teal might be the stepping stone I needed. It truly wears a little more like a navy and the shine of this formula is perfection. It applied smooth, like a dream, and one coat kind of has a jelly sort of look, while two would be more opaque. I wore this shade around the office and did get multiple compliments, so maybe I will give this a shot more often!
This is one single, brilliant coat! Am I cool yet?
Furr Rose Gold Lash Curler - Retail Value $18.50 (£15.00)
I don't use eyelash curlers because I am slightly scared of them. My mom does daily though, so this will be a fun and pretty stocking stuffer for her this Christmas. I love the shiny rose gold finish and these feel nicely made.
Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt, 40 ml - Estimated Value $8.62 (Buy 246 ml for $53.00)
Oh heck yes! This is literally my husband's HG hair product. He is absolutely obsessed with this scrub and the only reason we don't have it in the shower all the time is that crazy $53 price tag for the full size. This is the best salt scalp product I have ever tried. It somehow manages to disperse into your hair so much easier than similar products and the salt is in different sized chunks that don't just immediately dissolve, meaning you can actually scrub it into your hair and scalp. It rinses away leaving a salty fresh scent and squeaky clean roots.
Steve Laurant Lip Gloss in 'Eggplant', 3.2 g - Full Size! Retail Value $22.00
I am going to tell you a story of heartbreak. Years ago I purchased a MAC Cosmetics lipstick called "Good to Be Bad". It was the most fantastic sheer bloody plum I have ever owned. I went through 2 tubes then THEY DISCONTINUED IT. Even if I could find it online, it was always like $50 because Rihanna wore it once or something and it just took off in popularity. I have been on the hunt for that perfect shade ever since. This isn't quite it, but I do like it because it has similar vibes. It is dark, sheer, and delightfully dramatic. The formula leaves a little to be desired, as it tends to move around on my lips a little too much, but that dreamy color is worth the extra maintenance.
Good to be ALMOST bad?
Winky Lux Uni-Brow Universal Eyebrow Pencil - Full Size! Retail Value $16.00
I like getting brow products because mine are on the sparse side. This pencil has a triangular tip that makes it easy to flick in naturally irregular "hairs" and the other end has a spoolie for brushing everything into a natural finish. This shade works really well with my ashy blonde hair.
It is a nice medium brown.
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration, 2 oz - Mini Size! Retail Value $12.00
It is about to be dry, cracked hand season so a good hand cream is a must. I like this formula because it feels heavy duty but also absorbs really, really well. The scent is listed as "honeysuckle" but it feels more like a citrus-floral blend to my nose, which suits me just fine! Though it is scented, it is still labeled for use on dry and sensitive skin, and even eczema! My dry legs are rejoicing.
Eyeko Black Magic Mascara, 2 ml -Estimated Value $6.50 (Buy a full-size 8 ml for $26.00)
I didn't love this mascara because it felt really dry, even straight out of the brush and on the spoolie. I also found it to clump off after a few hours of wear. This is the first product I am not really into so far into this calendar, but everything else has been so nice I am willing to overlook it.
3INA The Cream Eyeshadow in '313', 3 ml - Full Size! Retail Value $17.50
I had heard of this creamy eyeshadow before from a friend who swears by it because it stays put all day. She wasn't lying. This pigment is so rich and the shine is intense! I used just a little on my lids then blended it out with a fingertip quickly. It does dry super fast, so being nimble is a must. It feathered out beautifully and felt very natural on my lid, even though it dried completely. This stuff would not budge! I had to use an oil-based cleanser at the end of the night, though I do anyways so that was not a big deal. I am happy to do a little extra cleansing for a formula with this much staying power, especially on my sometimes oily eyelids.
This is a really thick swatch, but you can use much less for a sheer wash that is oh, so sparkly.
Dr. Botanicals Pomegranate Superfood Regenerating Sleeping Mask, 30 ml - Full Size! Retail Value $16.00
I love a sleep mask! Mainly because I don't like washing masks off but also because my dry skin needs extra help, especially in the cold weather months. I am a little 'meh' on this particular mask because it has kaolin in it as the number 2 ingredient, which is really drying on my face. I am actually not sure why any sort of clay would be in a sleeping mask, but this might just be for skin that isn't as dry as mine.
Invisibobble Got to Glow Holiday Set - Retail Value $8.00
I started using Invisibobbles after getting a few in one of my first subscription boxes. I didn't really understand the allure at first and couldn't wrap my head around paying so much more than I would for traditional elastics. I am a total convert now for a few reasons. First, these leave no creases in my hair. Ever. Second, these don't squeeze the life out of my wrists when I wear them there to keep them handy. They don't leave it looking like a string has been tied around a sausage when I take it off to pull my hair back. Third, I realized I was treating hair elastics as being essentially disposable. These I like to keep track of and use for months at a time if not longer, creating less waste. Baby steps!
Absolute New York Matte Made in Heaven Lipstick in 'Bitten' - Full Size! Retail Value $6.99
Who doesn't need a true red for the holidays? This matte liquid lipstick has a built-in matching lip liner in the cap. I have to be honest here: I didn't like that liner at all. It kept breaking and tugged on my lips. The lipstick itself was a classic red dream though, so I plan on just ignoring the liner in general. I preferred this matte formula with a little balm on top to turn it into a satin, but if you like a true dry matte, this might be perfect for you alone.
The reds were both super rich, I just didn't love the formula of the liner.
APTO Skincare Turmeric Healing Mask, 30 ml - Retail Value $16.00
I loved this mask. While it did have clay, it was way down there on the ingredient list and the more important ingredients were all dreams for dry skin. Turmeric, aloe, oats, and squalane are truly delightful for dry skin. Turmeric also has anti-inflammatory properties, so I noticed my skin was much less red after I washed this delightful formula off with warm water. I also thought the gorgeous bright yellow color was really fun to wear as a mask.
GLOSSY Makeup Blending Sponge - Listed Value $16.00
While I couldn't find this exact sponge anywhere online, when you factor in that the Original Beauty Blender retails for $20.00, this listed value doesn't seem too far off. This was made exclusively for GlossyBox and the pale pink sponge and gold embellished packaging is perfectly suited for this calendar.
Morgan Taylor Professional Nail Lacquer in 'Copper Dream', 15 ml - Full Size! Retail Value $9.50
This polish is indeed a dream! A true one coat metallic without any streaking, I can't imagine anything more festive for a holiday mani. The rose gold color is so on trend and this quick-drying formula would be an easy favorite for any polish enthusiast.
Patchology Moodpatch Eye Gels, 2 pairs - Estimated Value $6.00 (Buy a pack of 5 pairs for $15.00)
Hooray for eye gels! I had a hard time choosing which of these to use first. The green is a green tea and bergamot formula while the pink had rose petals and hibiscus.) I did end up opening the pink first and there were actual pieces of rose petals in the gel itself! The green also has pieces of green tea leaves. So cool! Both left my under eye area noticeably brighter and firmer, and I tossed them into the fridge for about 30 minutes before applying for an extra cold boost.
Giorgio Armani Beauty Homme Code Absolu, 4 ml - Estimated Value $6.13 (Buy 60 ml for $92.00)
Giorgio Armani Beauty Femme Code Absolu Eau de Parfum, 1.2 ml - Estimated Value $1.68 (Buy 50 ml for $70.00)
I didn't love either of these scents, though Armani isn't one of my favorites when it comes to scents for some reason. They always just feel a little off to my nose. These were both ok, but not super memorable to me. The femme is a mix of spices and florals, but feels just overdone on my skin, like you wore a few different scents and they just mixed together into a crazy tornado of everything. The larger bottle is actually the homme scent, but like so many colognes, it smelled like standing at the Macy's cologne counter, and wasn't memorable, with just too many notes for me to pick out what exactly was happening.
CONTEXT Micro-Derm Regenerator, 1 oz - Estimated Value $8.75 (Buy a full-size 4 oz for $35.00)
Who doesn't love a nice cleanser with some gentle exfoliation? I was wondering when one would pop up in this calendar! These granules are super small and feel rounded, meaning you get the benefits of exfoliation without scratching up your face. Add in macadamia, sunflower, and jojoba oil for hydration? Sign me up. I love that this formula made my skin feel SO clean without stripping it of necessary moisture.
NUDESTIX Lip+Cheek Pencil in 'Mystic', 2.49 g - Full Size! Retail Value $26.00
I have tried these pencils before and I love them on my lips. Not so much on my cheeks, but that is okay! They have a really thick texture that clings to my lips and stays for hours without being drying. This shade is a perfect dirty nude that works well with my skin tone and complements the moodier colors I wear in the fall and winter months.
Still in that "nude" territory on my face, but enough color to keep me from looking washed out.
Ciaté Trend Edit Eyeshadow Palette - Full Size! Retail Value $24.00
Luxie 207 Eyeshadow Brush - Retail Value $12.00
We have reached day 25 and it does not disappoint. I was delighted to find both a gorgeous eyeshadow palette and fluffy shadow brush! As far as the palette goes, these are my go-to shades for those occasions when I add a little drama to my lids. Because there is a nice mix of shimmer and mattes in a range of totally wearable shades, you can use this for day or night very easily. They are all wonderfully pigmented and very smooth. I love that I can wear some of the more demure shades at the office then add one of those WOW shimmers before grabbing drinks and dinner after work. They all arrived in a pale pink compact that is just beautiful.
From top to bottom: Burnt, Blushed, Nude, Baby, Love Heart, Caramel, Mink ( my FAVE!), Desert, and Champagne.
Verdict: The GlossyBox 2019 Advent Calendar has a value of around $525.72, which is above and beyond the promised $500 value. Yay! Though I opened all of these items up at once for this review, I can't even imagine how much fun these would be to take one day at a time. There were very few misses in here for me, and I am happy to overlook a small mascara and two perfume samples since the rest of the items were so much fun. The items I found myself most thrilled with were the eyeshadow palette (swoon), APTO mask, gels, both nail polishes, and the cream eye shadow. All of the shades and colors just feel so perfect for Christmas, New Years, and beyond. There was a lot in this calendar to get excited about and I would totally recommend it if you are looking to treat yourself or someone else to a fun beauty surprise each day in December.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this calendar? Yes! It will be launching on 10/8!
Value Breakdown: At $99.00 for this box, here’s what you are paying approximately per item:
- Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Leave-in Overnight Serum $7.53
- L.O.V. Blurring Blush $2.26
- Viktor&Rolf Flowerbomb Eau De Parfum $2.16
- Avant Pro-Intense Hyaluronic Acid Illuminating Day Cream $25.23
- Phillip Kingsley Elasticizer $5.27
- Doucce Eyeshadow $1.88
- Oribe The Laquer High Shine Nail Polish $6.03
- Furr Lash Curler $3.48
- Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt $1.62
- NudeStix Lip+Cheek Pencil $4.90
- Winky Lux Uni-Brow Universal Eyebrow Pencil $3.01
- First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration $2.26
- Eyeko Black Magic Mascara $1.22
- 3INA The Cream Eyeshadow $3.30
- Dr. Botanicals Pomegranate Superfood Regenerating Sleeping Mask $3.01
- Invisibobble Got to Glow Holiday Set $1.51
- Absolute New York Matte Made in Heaven Lipstick $1.32
- APTO Skincare Healing Mask $3.01
- GLOSSY Makeup Blending Sponge $3.01
- Morgan Taylor Professional Nail Lacquer $1.79
- Patchology Moodpatch Eye Gels $1.13
- Giorgio Armani Beauty Homme Code Absolu $1.15
- Giorgio Armani Beauty Femme Code Absolu Eau de Parfum $0.32
- CONTEXT Micro-Derm Regenerator $1.65
- Steve Laurant Lip Gloss $4.14
- Ciaté Eyeshadow Palette $4.52
- Luxie Eyeshadow Brush $2.26
Alternatively, each of the 27 items in this box has an average cost of $3.67 if you paid $99.00 for the calendar.
Check out all of our GlossyBox reviews and our list of the best beauty and makeup subscription boxes!
What's your favorite item from the GlossyBox 2019 Advent Calendar?