Beauty Review: The Sephora Once Upon a Castle Advent Calendar

Beauty Review: the Sephora Once Upon a Castle Advent Calendar | Writing Between Pauses

A very funny thing happened to me a week ago. It was a typical Monday. Actually, scratch that: it was not a typical Monday. Forrest had slept until well past 6am, which is very weird for him; when I finally woke him up, he was grumpy and just not his normal self. When I dropped him at my mom’s, he didn’t want to eat, he just wanted to lie on my mom’s couch. I arrived at work worried about him and a little flustered. And what did I find at work?

Advent Tweet
All my Advent Calendars

In October, I had tweeted about a dream I had where I received 10 Advent Calendars in PR. It was a silly dream and a silly tweet and I had kind of forgotten about it. Clearly, my coworker had not! This is one of the funniest jokes I’ve ever had played on me. She really committed! It was not what I expected to happen that morning, but alas, it did.

And even better, one of the Advent Calendars she got me was the Sephora Once Upon a Castle advent calendar. Last year, I dutifully reviewed the Ulta Beauty 12 Days of Beauty Advent Calendar to great success, but had passed on getting another one this year; I just wasn’t feeling it and I hadn’t had time to check for sales on beauty advent calendars.

This review, for that reason, is brought to you by my dutiful, lovely coworker who knows how to pull off a good joke!

The Sephora Once Upon a Castle Advent Calendar Value

(And yes, before you ask, I opened everything when I was bored while Forrest was sick. He’s better now, but I am barely able to speak I’m so sick!)

Here’s everything that came in the calendar, as well as the value:

  1. Peony Fizzing Cube - $1.44

  2. Eye Pencil to Go in Intense Black - $6

  3. Universal Brow Freeze - $12 normally (currently $5 on sale)

  4. Color High Nail Polish Mini in It Girl - $5

  5. Lip Liner to Go in Classic Red - $6

  6. Cotton Flower Fizzing Cube - $1.44

  7. Cream Lip Stain in 01 Always Red - $14

  8. Express Eye Make Up Wipes (2) - $1

  9. Blueberry Cream Body Wash - $1

  10. Instant Nail Polish Remover Wipes (2) - $1-2

  11. Color Hit Nail Polish Mini in Sugar Coated - $5

  12. 1 Small Nail File - $1

  13. 4 Stickers - $0.50

  14. Spiral Hair Tie - $0.50

  15. Small Owl Post Its - $0.50

  16. Flat Make Up Sponge - $2

  17. Charcoal Nose Strip - $3

  18. Colorful eyeshadow in Lazy Afternoon - $8

  19. Blush in Shame On You - $14

  20. Small Mirror - $1

  21. Cherry Fizz Cube - $1.44

  22. #LIPSTORIES in Labyrinth City - $8

  23. Express Eye Make Up Wipes (2) - $1

  24. Spiral Hair Tie - $0.50

All in all, not bad! Sephora originally listed the value of this advent calendars as $95; it’s no longer listed on the Sephora website because it’s sold out. When I calculated the value, even with my guesses for the smaller items (which, I’ll admit, are a bit generous), I got a total of $96.32. So, $1.32 off, which feels like a weird amount to be off!

A few items I could not find on the U.S. Sephora website. These include the Fizzing Cubes, which I found on the Australian Sephora website for $2 AUS; that’s about $1.44 US, so it was an easy conversion. This is actually where the extra $1.32 comes from exactly. It feels so weird that I estimated everything else correctly—the stickers, the mirror, the nail polish wipes—but an actual price calculated from one of their websites was wrong! So, they’re putting the value of the Fizzing Cubes at $1 even, even though they sell them for way more than that in Australia. Interesting, huh?

So what are the highlights of this advent calendar? Are there any really good items?

Short answer, yes. There are some duds, but I’ll get to those.

The Universal Brow Freeze, Lip Liner in Classic Red, Cream Lip Stain, Blush, and #LIPSTORIES Lipstick are all absolutely amazing products. I would say those 5 products alone make this calendar worth it. The Cream Lip Stain is in one of the most perfect red shades I’ve ever found; it is both blue-toned and firetruck-y, so it’s nice and bright without being orangey. I’m a little obsessed with it. I also love the #LIPSTORIES lipstick, as it is so smooth to apply and feels wonderful.

However, I do think the items need to be divided up a little more evenly: the item for door 24, the last day before Christmas, is a little hair tie! I feel like that should be one of the lipsticks, at least, or a bigger item. The last two items are repeats in general, so again, just a bit disappointing! I think that’s one of the things that makes this calendar feel a big wonky is that there are big stretches where you get a bunch of little things: the first doors open to such great items, then suddenly you get a nail file, stickers, a hair tie, and tiny post its… all in a row!

This is such a lovely calendar though and I’ve already repurposed the box into a toy for Forrest when he’s hanging out in my room. Pop a few small toys behind the doors and bingo, fun for kids!

While at the mall over the weekend (I know, sick and inexplicably at the mall? Sounds fun) I saw that my local Sephora still had a few of these in stock, marked down to a really decent price. So if you’re in need of a treat for yourself (or want to play a last minute joke on your coworker), now is probably the time to grab one!