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Shelby Foster

Beauty gift sets are a staple every holiday season, but Advent calendars full of special cosmetics are gaining in popularity. Before we delve into the best beauty Advent calendars for 2016, a quick history lesson: The season of advent, usually beginning near December 1, is observed in Christianity to prepare for the birth of Jesus Christ. Advent calendars were first used by German Lutherans in the 19th and 20th centuries to count down the days in anticipation of Christmas. Back then, each small door tucked inside the calendar revealed a story, Bible verse, or small gift. As time rolled in, small chocolates, puzzles, prizes and even beauty products became common items to discover inside.

L’Occitane Holiday 2016 Advent Calendar ($55)

Give the gift of relaxation with L’Occitane’s adorably illustrated Advent calendar. Treat yourself to a deluxe sample of their must-have skin care, bath and body items, and hand care gifts each day. The total value of these products ($107) is only half the price, so this is a great way to save on your favorite items from the French beauty company.

bareMinerals Countdown to Gorgeous Advent Calendar ($79)

Any beauty lover would be thrilled to receive the bareMinerals Advent calendar. It contains miniature sizes of the brand’s Marvelous Moxie Lip Gloss, Pop of Passion Lip Stick, eyeshadows, blushes, Mineral Veils, Lash Domination Mascara, Lash Domination Petite Precision Brush, SkinLongevity, and a keepsake keychain – all adding up to an impressive $213 value.

LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics 12 Days of Christmas Gift ($99.95)

You may come across some Advent calendars that are only 12 days, instead of 24 – like this LUSH 12 Days of Christmas clock. This reusable hat box is filled with 12 limited edition holiday treats, featuring fan-favorites like Butterbear Bath Bomb, Candy Mountain Bubble Bar, Snow Fairy Body Lotion, Baked Alaska Soap, and more.

diptyque Advent Calendar 2016 ($390)

For those seeking true luxury this holiday season, look no further than the stunning diptyque Advent calendar, set in a beautiful, larger-than-life storybook in the brand’s signature black and white. A whopping 15 mini candles are hidden inside, as well as mini fragrances and skin care items. Act fast – this calendar has already sold out online, but it is still available in the NorthPark boutique.