M&S Beauty Calendar 2018 | The Products Worth Purchasing

M&S Advent
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The beauty advent industry has become so competitive that it’s becoming more and more difficult to decide which calendar to choose for yourself. The notorious Marks & Spencer Beauty Advent Calendar typically sells out quicker than you can say ‘Santa! I know him!’, so on its release, I was first in line. Advent is almost over but I may have opened my doors a little early this year so that I could try out the products throughout December. The following are the best of the bunch, and the ones I’ll be repurchasing.


M&S Advent
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The Hero Project | Hyasoft Instant Moisture Boost

This can be used alone or before moisturiser and claims to quench dehydrated and fatigued skin. At this time of year, my skin is both, and this product has done me the world of good. It’s similar to a Clinique favourite of mine: the Moisture Surge Hydrating Water Gel Concentrate, but honestly- this one is not only better, it’s also cheaper! I’ve been using this twice or so per week (before rather than instead of moisturiser), and I’ll definitely be repurchasing.

Filorga | Time-Filler Eye Cream

When I researched this and realised the price point I almost didn’t include it. £47 per pot makes this the most expensive eye cream I’ve ever tried, but its also, without a doubt, one of the best. I’ve already used it all. It’s rich without feeling at all heavy, and it visibly moisturised and wakened up my under-eye area. This is designed as an anti-ageing product and whilst fortunately, I can’t yet speak about its effect on wrinkles- I do love the product.

Pixi | Rose Tonic

I’ve already raved about how much I love Pixi’s Glow Tonic. I had high expectations for their Rose Tonic, and it didn’t disappoint. If I had to choose between the two, I prefer Glow, but I’ve been using Rose in the mornings and it’s a little fresher and will be perfect over Summer.


M&S Advent
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Shay & Blue | Black Tulip

I’ll admit that I judged the book by its cover here and ‘Black Tulip’ as a scent didn’t appeal to me at all. I wrongly assumed that this would be quite heavy and floral but I’ve actually fallen a little in love with it. Its light, fresh, subtly sweet and I haven’t stopped wearing it.

Leighton Denny | Be My Berry Nail Varnish

I was disappointed to hear that the Be My Berry shade is exclusive to the M&S calendar, so recommending it feels a little redundant. Leighton Denny polishes are definitely one of my favourite formulas though, they’re pretty long lasting and apply effortlessly. This one is the perfect Christmas red.


M&S Advent
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Living Proof | Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Styling Treatment

My favourite of them all, so much so, that I’ve put a full-size version on my Christmas list despite not having finished the last. This stands by its promise of smoothness, volume, conditioning, strength and polish, plus it smells absolutely incredible. I’ve only been using this for less than a month and bad hair days are a thing of the past (and I’m not exaggerating).

Percy & Reed Wonder Overnight Recovery

I’ve been using this a little less regularly, but alongside the Living Proof and have enjoyed it (although not quite as much). I was worried that applying it overnight would cause discomfort and sticky pillows but it actually absorbs very quickly and leaves little to no residue. This promises nourishment and even damage repair and has really helped with the condition of my hair.


M&S Advent
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7 out of 25 ain’t bad. I must admit that (bar one product: a blusher brush) there was nothing included that I actively disliked. I try quite a few products and work on a strict ‘don’t love, don’t buy’ policy, so the products I’ve mentioned aren’t just okay, they’re ones I love and wholeheartedly recommend.

Which advent calendar did you go for this year? If you answer chocolate I’m be pretty jealous, I didn’t have the chance to grab one this year and have really missed it!

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  • Reply Natasha Braid

    I couldn’t make up my mind if I wanted to buy this calendar or not and to be honest it sounds like I could of given it a miss.
    Such a helpful post its given me the insight of the calendar, unless they up the game next year I’ll be finding another.
    There’s a few things in there I’d like but I don’t feel its enough to make me buy next year.


    December 20, 2018 at 6:04 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      I think a lot of beauty calendars are similar in that there are always going to be inclusions that don’t wow, but I do like to try new things out though them! I’m so glad you found this helpful though! x

      December 20, 2018 at 8:57 pm
  • Reply Geraldine

    I LOVE perfume and would definitely try any scent, really! The Black Tulip looks so cute and dainty. That red nail varnish looks amazing as well, it is the perfect shade!

    December 21, 2018 at 4:55 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      I love perfume too, but am quite fussy about which ones I’ll wear. Thank you, I think so too x

      December 21, 2018 at 4:02 pm
  • Reply Lily

    I was so tempted to buy a calendar this year, although not all products will be amazing, it seems like such a great way to discover new brands and products! The Pixi Rose Tonic is definitely something I want to try!
    Lily Loves |

    December 21, 2018 at 10:15 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      I totally agree, you’re always going to get a couple or a few that you don’t like, but it’s always useful to try them out! x

      December 21, 2018 at 4:06 pm
  • Reply Bryony Baker

    I’ve been meaning to try skincare from the brand ‘Pixi’ as i’ve heard so many good things! you look so gorgeous in the picture too x

    December 21, 2018 at 8:10 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      I really rate the skincare I’ve tried from them, so I’d definitely say it’s worth a shot! Thank you x

      December 22, 2018 at 3:36 pm
  • Reply Alice

    Sophie I’m offended, Black Tulip didn’t appeal to you!? Gosh…. But for real isn’t it gorgeous? It’s supposedly white chocolate and spice which is the dreamiest combo! I have this calendar so I’ve got a full size and a mini to pop in my bag now, hehe. I’ve only tried one of the products yet (oops) and it was the lip balm in the tube that was SO hard to squeeze out, would not recommend hahaha. I’m really happy with how my skin is looking and my regime at the moment so I’m scared to change it up and try other things yet! I’ll definitely be keeping your recommendations in mind, especially the hair product as my hair is currently an absolute state condition-wise…
    Alice Xx

    December 21, 2018 at 8:13 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Haha I’m sorry! It’s incredible isn’t it, I thought that they were going for actual tulip so white chocolate makes a lot of sense because it’s so lovely and sweet. No I didn’t really rate that balm either. I completely understand how you feel about messing up your regime, definitely try the Living Proof though, it’s a gorgeous product x

      December 22, 2018 at 3:38 pm
  • Reply Sophie Wentworth

    This is such a great idea for a post. I really like the sound of the first product. I love the Clinique Moisture Surge Boost stuff as well so I’m sure I’d like this one. That nail colour is gorgeous too! x


    December 21, 2018 at 8:13 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you! It’s absolutely incredible, I’d not heard of the brand before but am so glad I was introduced to it through the calendar! x

      December 22, 2018 at 3:40 pm
  • Reply Francisca Rockey

    I very nearly bought this advent calendar but I’m now glad I didn’t as the products aren’t really suited to me. This year, I left it too late to get a beauty or chocolate advent calendar and was very very very lucky to be sent a skincare advent calendar from Dermalogica! I’d love to be able to afford the Jo Malone or Charlotte Tilbury calendars one year!

    Fran |

    December 21, 2018 at 8:26 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      That’s fair enough! I was sent the Dermalogica calendar too- it’s gorgeous isn’t it? x

      December 22, 2018 at 3:45 pm
  • Reply Creative Nails

    I’d love to get a beauty advent calendar one year, but as you said – there’s so many out there, I’m not sure which one I would get that would be good value for money! This one sounded like it turned out like it pretty good – that red nail polish looks gorgeous. I haven’t actually tried that brand out before, I’ll have to look into it! Also, gorgeous photos 🙂


    December 21, 2018 at 8:35 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      It is a very tough choice! I was pleased with how many products I fell in love with and I love trying new ones out regardless! Thank you! x

      December 22, 2018 at 3:48 pm
  • Reply Jess

    This calendar definitely sounds like a hit if you’ve only had 1 product you really couldn’t get on with! I always look at the beauty advent calendars and I’d love to try one at some point because it’s great that you get to try so many new products! I love my Pixi Glow Tonic too, great post lovely!

    Jess //

    December 21, 2018 at 8:37 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      It definitely was a hit! I’m so glad you love the Glow Tonic too x

      December 22, 2018 at 3:53 pm
  • Reply Jasmine

    I love this idea! I see so many advent Calendar unboxings but ive never seen a post reviewing what was worth it – there should be more of these! That nail polish looks gorgeous and I’m annoyed that it’s an advent calendar exclusive! Great post nonetheless!

    Jas xx |

    December 21, 2018 at 9:08 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you! I’ve seen a lot too and really wanted to do something different (and hopefully a little more helpful) so I’m glad you liked it x

      December 22, 2018 at 3:58 pm
  • Reply Chloe Chats

    I’ve never really looked into the m&s beauty calendar before but I’m loving the sound of some of these products. I had a beauty advent calendar this year and I’ve only opened about 8 doors, I’m so bad with them, that’s why I never buy chocolate ones because I’ll never eat them!

    Chloe xx

    December 21, 2018 at 10:05 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      I had one last year too and would really recommend them! Haha at least you’ll have fun mass opening them! x

      December 22, 2018 at 4:00 pm
  • Reply Amie Cadwallader

    Oooh I love M&S beauty! Their collections are amazing!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

    December 21, 2018 at 10:06 pm
  • Reply Nancy

    It is great that there are so many options in the beauty industry. At the same time, the large variety makes it hard for consumers to see what’s right. Oooh, I really like Clinique’s Moisture Surge Hydrating Water Gel Concentrate. I should check The Hero Project’s alternative. I like that you got to try out something different everyday, where the products is a trial run so you don’t need to commit to the whole thing. Thanks for sharing. Merry Christmas!

    Nancy ♥

    December 22, 2018 at 7:09 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      I totally agree with you- I hope this post helps anyone wondering about the M&S calendar for next year! I love it too which is why I was so surprised to find a rival- but I’d definitely recommend you try it out! Have a wonderful holiday x

      December 22, 2018 at 4:08 pm
  • Reply Jessie Jing

    I’m quite interested about that eye cream now! But sounds like some really high-end product!

    December 22, 2018 at 12:06 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      It definitely is luxurious! x

      December 22, 2018 at 4:12 pm
  • Reply Kinga K

    thanks for recommendations ❤

    December 22, 2018 at 6:12 pm
  • Reply Radi

    I love the pixi rose tonic. It’s so good!
    Enjoy the holidays!

    December 23, 2018 at 8:12 am
  • Reply Nicola

    I saw the M&S calendar and was undecided whether to buy it or not – I could see there were a few good things in there that I would have used but I think a lot of it would’ve gone to waste. I love posts like this where you tell us about your favourite products so we can just buy the best ones!


    December 23, 2018 at 3:53 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      I think that definitely is a bit of an issue with the calendar concept and beauty subscriptions on the whole, but I do love trying new things! I’m so glad you found it helpful! x

      December 27, 2018 at 9:47 pm
  • Reply Lucy

    The nail polish is such a lovely vibrant colour, I do love red nail polish, it’s so classy! xx

    Lucy |

    December 23, 2018 at 9:39 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      It’s gorgeous isn’t it?! A perfect festive colour x

      December 27, 2018 at 9:42 pm
  • Reply Samantha

    I’m always swooning over the M&S Beauty calendar although I’ve not actually bought one for myself. I can never seem to justify buying one right on Christmas when there’s so many gifts to buy. The products are gorgeous and if I were to choose a calendar it would definitely be M&S, mainly as the products are guaranteed cruelty-free! x

    Samantha |

    December 23, 2018 at 11:09 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      I totally understand where you’re coming from, the discounted price always persuades me! The cruelty-free aspect is definitely a massive bonus and I usually find at least a few great new products from them! x

      December 27, 2018 at 9:46 pm
  • Reply Madiha | Me VS The Odds

    that eye cream really does sound divine!

    December 24, 2018 at 6:48 pm
  • Reply Stacie

    These all look great. I want all of them in my life! I’m especially interested in anything pixi. I love that line.

    December 26, 2018 at 12:23 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      They’re definitely the best of the bunch! x

      December 27, 2018 at 9:42 pm
  • Reply Danielle Wolter

    This is great! I always get overwhelmed by all the options out there. I live in a dry climate, so I’ll need to try that moisturizer!

    December 26, 2018 at 1:18 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      There are so many options aren’t there? The moisture serum is incredible! x

      December 27, 2018 at 9:41 pm
  • Reply Sara

    Thank you for the recommendations! I will have to implement some of these products into my routine for 2019!

    December 26, 2018 at 7:24 pm
  • Reply timefreedomwithjen

    I love the color of your nails. The Red nail varnish is sooo amazing. Definitely, must try that, i think it is perfect to my nails.

    December 26, 2018 at 8:34 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you, it’s definitely a lovely shade! x

      December 27, 2018 at 9:39 pm
  • Reply Angela

    There are few things that I really like. The black tulip one sounds fantastic

    December 26, 2018 at 10:02 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      I never would have bought it for myself but absolutely love it! x

      December 27, 2018 at 7:08 pm
  • Reply Elizabeth Keene

    I love Pixi’s Rose Tonic! Not only does it have a wonderful smell, but it does wonders for my skin. I’ll be sure to check the rest of your recommendations out!

    Xoxo – Elizabeth

    December 27, 2018 at 1:25 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      I’m glad you love it too! I hope they find you well x

      December 27, 2018 at 9:39 pm
  • Reply Tiffany Barry

    I love this idea! The variety and ability to try new things is much like a subscription box.

    December 27, 2018 at 1:18 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      I completely agree- its a great way of trying new products! x

      December 27, 2018 at 7:08 pm
  • Reply Jackline A

    I see these calendars as a very festive sampler pack (aside from their exclusives). I’ve never bought a beauty advent calendar and it’s really nice to see posts like yours giving great honest reviews!

    December 27, 2018 at 4:51 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      I pretty much view them as the same! Thank you I’m glad you think so x

      December 27, 2018 at 7:08 pm
  • Reply Rosey

    I wouldn’t mind trying the Glow Tonic. And you’re right, that shade of nail varnish is perfect for the holidays.

    December 27, 2018 at 5:08 pm
  • Reply Danielle

    All of these products look awesome for great skin care! I will have to try them oout.

    December 28, 2018 at 1:58 am
  • Reply Jasmine Hewitt

    i have some of the Pixi rose tonic, and I love it!! planning on getting more

    December 28, 2018 at 2:43 am
  • Reply Nati

    All of this products sound amazing! I’ve tried some Filorga skincare and I was wowed! I also have a Pixi tonic but the one with glycolic acid, wonderful product!

    December 28, 2018 at 3:40 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      They are! I’ll definitely have to try out more of their skincare x

      December 29, 2018 at 12:45 pm
  • Reply Becca Wilson

    I have always wanted to try that tonic. It looks like it would do so amazing for my skin!

    December 28, 2018 at 4:43 pm
  • Reply sara lafountain

    THese all look like great beauty products. My daughter’s birthday is coming up and I have a few ideas for her now.

    December 29, 2018 at 12:57 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      I’m so glad this gave you some inspiration! x

      December 29, 2018 at 1:01 pm
  • Reply Petite Style Beauty

    I like advent calendars because I get to try some products I wouldn’t have bought probably on their own. This one sounds so interesting!

    December 29, 2018 at 2:17 pm
  • Reply Lucy

    I had the M&S beauty calendar this year as well and I wasn’t overly impressed but there were a handful of products that were brilliant. My favourite product from the calendar has to be the Shay & Blue perfume, its absolutely gorgeous! I’m loving the Pixi Rose Tonic as well though – will probably purchase the full size of this!

    Lucy | Forever September

    January 4, 2019 at 2:20 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Its a shame you weren’t impressed overall, but I agree there were some really good inclusions. Black Tulip is a gorgeous scent isn’t it? Its definitely one of the products I’m pleased to have discovered x

      January 4, 2019 at 7:58 pm

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