The Latest Look: What happened to the hunt for Beauty Advent Calendars in 2021?

advent calendars
Olivia Alcorn
by: Olivia Alcorn
Over the last few years, there’s been a growing trend of beauty and skincare brands launching beauty advent calendars, with the elaborate (think Liberty of London) and luxurious (The White Company) becoming more popular than ever with consumers. 

We were recently asked to share our data for the most searched beauty advent calendars for 2021 here revealing the most popular brands in the market. Using these insights we further explore why beauty calendars are proving so popular and who’s ahead in search volumes when it comes to luxury advent gifts.

The rise in self-gifting and why the beauty industry has benefited from this beauty advent trend

According to a survey by YouGov, 49% of British adults were due to receive an advent calendar in 2019, with women more likely to invest in an advent calendar at 33% compared to men at 16%. It would seem self-gifting an advent calendar has fast become one of the most successful trends from the beauty industry, with search volumes reaching an all-time high.

When it comes to beauty and skincare calendars, the first brand to create the buzz was Liberty of London, launching the first luxury beauty calendar in 2014. Despite costing £195, the calendar completely sold out of the 20,000 calendars they had in stock.

Since then, so many beauty and skincare brands have jumped on the bandwagon, creating one of the most successful trends in the industry. In 2018, UK department store Selfridges launched their own calendar, as did former high street shop Debenhams and cult beauty stockist Space NK. Fast-forward to 2021, there are so many brands launching beauty calendars or collaborating with some of the best in the market.

Household names such as Marks & Spencers, Charlotte Tilbury, Jo Malone, The White Company and Boots have all launched beauty advent calendars over the last few years with brands like Jo Malone increasing their stock levels over the years from just a few hundred in 2014 to over 10,000 calendars in 2018. 

So, what do all these brands have in common? 

Well, they’ve cleverly utilised their own products or stock and re-packaged it as a seasonal-appropriate gift, boosting sales and increasing brand awareness year after year. Savvy brands have quickly discovered that providing 25 mini samples of their products leads to increased sales throughout the year. 

The success of beauty advent calendars is only supported by the sheer number of brands who have since launched them too, with more than ever offering calendars in 2021.

Search trends and beauty advent calendars: who’s topping the results pages?

The search for beauty advent calendars is at an all-time high for 2021 at 33,000 compared to 21,000 in 2020.

The brand leading the way on trends is perhaps a surprise as, despite the huge search volumes for it, this year is their first-ever calendar. Reaching the top for the most searched beauty advent calendar for 2021 with almost 10,000 searches this month in the UK alone, MAC’s first beauty calendar was clearly a long time coming- with interest reaching new search volumes in summer 2018.

The interest in search has remained for the iconic Liberty advent calendar too, with volumes staying consistent over the last 5 years and compared to the other major brands such as Boots, Next and M&S releasing advent calendars, consumers remain loyal to the more high-end brands.

When it comes to actual search volumes, whilst MAC remains top with over 10,000 a month, The Body Shop is close behind and surprisingly the volumes for Liberty in 2021 aren’t as high as customers may expect.

Beauty brandsSearch volume 2021
The Body Shop advent calendar9,900
Jo Malone Advent Calendar8,600
Charlotte Tilbury’s Advent Calendar6,000 
boots advent calendar5,400
liberty advent calendar2,900
Next advent calendar1,900
M&S advent calendar1000
the white company advent calendar1000
  Data source: SEMrush Nov 2021

Beauty brands are happy to collaborate with industry competitors

One of the more surprising elements of the advent calendars is how many brands are actively promoting each other, working together to create attractive offerings for consumers.  Department store John Lewis feature a range of high-end skincare and beauty products from brands such as This Works, Diptyque and Neal’s Yard despite these brands having their own calendars out too. 

Likewise, ASOS and Look Fantastic showcase some of the most popular products from their skincare range with The Ordinary, MAC, Olaplex and Charlotte Tilbury all featuring- despite having their own calendars out too. 

Boots have also spotted the opportunity for a men’s alternative to their popular beauty calendar too, launching their first calendar with products for men which completely sold out. Gone are the days of the beer calendar alternative, as we’ve previously explored, men’s skincare is one of the fastest-growing areas in the industry.

Whilst it may not be too surprising to beauty consumers that 25 gifts from their favourite brands are a treat too good to pass up. Brands are happy to share the space in the market with each other, despite typically being seen as competitors at any other point in the year.

Exploring consumer insights in depth is in our nature, using the latest in market tools to recognise trends, understand search volumes and make sense of the data from the market. If you’re interested in learning more about how we use consumer trends or want to get to know your audiences better, why not get in touch with us today.

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