My Thoughts on the Zoella Advent Calendar Scandal

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few days, you’ll be well aware of the massive controversy surrounding the Zoella Advent Calendar. Basically, mums and dads up and down the country have been buying it for their children, and once they’ve opened them they’ve been bitterly disappointed. As the calendar costs £50 for just 12 little gifts, you can understand why they’d be mad. I mean, it does seem a bit like the YouTube star and her team have been exploiting her young fan base to make a bit of extra money this Christmas.

But as a massive fan of beauty and beauty advent calendars myself, I actually think £50 is quite a reasonable amount of money to spend on something like this. Just as long as the products inside justify the price tag, of course, and it’s not just full of tat. So when my 14-year-old daughter Stacey asked if she could have the calendar when we were in Boots a couple of weeks ago I told her I’d have to look into it first. And let me tell you something, I’m really glad I did!

My Thoughts on the £50 Zoella Advent Calendar Scandal

OK, so first of all, let me start by saying how pretty I think the Zoella Advent Calendar is. It has a lovely green background with rose gold lettering, which I think is super festive-looking. I also love the big bold lettering on the front, although the Zoella branding is quite difficult to read from a distance. The calendar looks quite big and bulky, as well, which led me to believe that there might be some really great products inside. But, sadly, that’s where my love of this calendar ends and my disappointment in it begins!

Zoella 12 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar


Inside the calendar are a few branded Zoella products, and then a load of things that I feel have no relevance to her whatsoever. In fact, I’d bet diamonds that you can pick most of what’s inside up from Poundland or Amazon for less than a quid and save yourself some serious money!

The contents include a Christmas bauble, a packet of confetti, a cosmetics bag, a votive, 2 cookie cutters, a keyring, a pen, a jotter, a room spray, 7 stickers, and a mini candle. And at just over £4.16 per window, that makes all of the items bar maybe 4 or 5 of them seem incredibly expensive! If you want to see the products in action, I highly recommend giving JaackMaate’s review video a watch on YouTube. I guarantee you won’t know whether to laugh or cry …

I also find it really hard to believe that Zoe picked these items out herself and was happy to stuff them into her calendar. I mean, if I was her I’d be wanting to fill it with lots of sample sizes of my beauty products so that people could try them out, and (hopefully), go on to buy the ones they love in full-size. I thought that was the whole point of these types of advent calendars. Have I been wrong in my thinking all these years?!


Well, like I said before if I’m buying a ‘branded’ advent calendar, I kind of expect to see ‘branded’ stuff inside. I honestly expected the Zoella Advent Calendar to have lots of her lovely bath and body products behind each door. You know, the ones she sells all year round. And I thought it might have one or two items that were exclusive to the calendar in there too.

Today I thought I’d make a list of 12 Zoella Beauty/Lifestyle products that I think would have made her calendar truly amazing for her young fan base had they been included in it. So, make yourself comfortable and I’ll tell you a little bit about why I’ve chosen each one.Zoella We're On A Roll Perfume Rollerball01. Perfume Rollerball

If you’re a fan of Zoe’s, you’ll know that she has a number of different fragrances that she sells all year round. I think it would have been amazing if she’d included one of these fragrances in her advent calendar. She has a set of three perfume rollerball’s in her Christmas Gifting Collection this year, and one of these would have been the perfect size to have popped behind one of the doors.Zoella Snowflake Shaped Lip Balm02. Snowflake Shaped Lip Balm

Every year Zoe releases a pack of two super cute lip balms as part of her Christmas Gifting Collection, and this year they come in dinky star-shaped tins made to look like snowflakes. I personally think that popping one of these behind one of the doors of Zoe’s advent calendar would have made a lot of young girls very happy. I mean, who doesn’t love a good lip balm? They’re practically a winter essential!Zoella Snowflake Shaped Bath Fizzers03. Snowflake Shaped Bath Fizzers

Next up, I spotted this pack of two snowflake-shaped bath fizzers in this years Christmas Gifting Collection. They’re perfect for crumbling into hot, running water when it’s bath time, and as they’re enriched with Shea Butter, softening Peony, brightening Winter Cranberry and soothing Mint they’re bound to help you feel relaxed after a long day at work or school. Bliss! Just finding one of these behind one of the doors of Zoe’s calendar would have made a lovely treat.Zoella Winter Wonder Hand Cream04. Hand Cream

I absolutely love the look of the Zoella Snowella Winter Wonder Hand Hand Cream, and this a miniature version of this hidden behind one of the doors of her advent calendar would be a welcome treat. The cream itself is said to be deeply nourishing, so it would help to keep hands happy all winter long.Zoella Make Your Mark Pencils05. Pencils

My daughter Stacey has a pack of these pink pencils from Zoe’s lifestyle collection, and she absolutely loves them. Each of them has a different quote on, and they have dinky little erasers on the end as well. I think it would have been nice if a pack of 2 or 3 of these had been included behind one of the doors of the calendar. Or even a pack of 5 miniature ones! Just imagine how nice white pencils with Christmassy quotes on them would have been?!Zoella Notebook06. Notebook

I understand that there’s no way Zoe is going to be able to include a full-sized notebook in her calendar, but she did manage to squeeze a smaller one in there, didn’t she? I have to admit that I quite liked that idea, but I wasn’t overly keen on the design. I’d have preferred to have seen a mini version of this gorgeous notebook with the word ‘Wonderful’ on the front. I love the colour of it, and it would go nicely with all the other items I thought should have been included in there.Zoella Soak Opera Bath & Shower Cream07. Soak Opera Bath & Shower Cream

Ever since the release of Zoella Beauty, I’ve been a fan of the Soak Opera Bath & Shower Cream. It smells gorgeous, lathers up nicely, and leaves my skin feeling lovely and soft and smooth. I noticed that there is currently a ‘midi’ version of Soak Opera on sale at Superdrug, and I think it would have made a perfect addition to Zoe’s advent calendar. I just can’t understand why nothing like this was included in there!Shower Lily08. Shower Lily

I don’t know if you guys will remember, but when Zoella Beauty was first released, there was a super cute shower lily available that was exclusive to Feel Unique. It was a lovely cream colour with pink polka dots all over it. I absolutely loved that shower lily! Yes, it was pricey for what it was, but I didn’t care. Anyway, I would have loved to have seen a smaller version of this included in Zoe’s calendar. It would compliment lots of the other items I feel should have been included in there just perfectly.Zoella Gelato Shower Shake09. Gelato Shower Shake

Next, I’ve picked out another shower product I think should have been included in Zoe’s calendar in miniature – her super cool looking Gelato Shower Shake! I love the packaging of this, guys. It looks good enough to drink! According to the reviews I’ve read of this online, it’s the crème de la crème of body washes! Blended with extracts of Elderflower and Pomegranate to help brighten, smooth, tone, and moisturise. I think that makes it the perfect product to use in the shower during the winter months.Zoella Double Creme Body Lotion10. Double Creme Body Lotion

Because I like to try out a wide range of different products when I buy an advent calendar, I decided to steer away from showery things for my next pick, and I went for a body lotion instead. It smells like macaron’s and is absolutely divine. I have to admit that I’m a bit rubbish at using up full-sized body lotions when I buy them (because let’s face it, applying them can be a bit of a faff), but I can usually finish off a sample size before I get bored of using it. This makes finding one in an advent calendar a nice little treat.Zoella Cosmetic Bag11. Cosmetic Bag

I absolutely love the idea of including a mini makeup pouch in an advent calendar like this, and as nice as the one Zoe included in her actual calendar was, I would have preferred to have seen one of her current ones in a smaller size in there. I just love this polka dot print one with ‘Fairest of them All’ emblazoned across the front. It just screams ‘Christmas gift’, and I know my daughter would be over the moon to find something like this behind one of the doors of an advent calendar.Zoella Festive Cookie Reed Diffuser12. Festive Cookie Reed Diffuser

And last but certainly not least, I’ve chosen the gorgeous festive cookie reed diffuser to include as one of the things I think Zoe should have included in her advent calendar. Now, I know what you’re going to say! You’re going to say that she included a couple of candles, so why am I not including candles? And I’m going to tell you honestly. Zoe’s calendar is aimed at the teenage market. And teenagers aren’t always the most careful of people. They could easily light a candle in their room and forget all about it. They only need to fall asleep, accidentally catch the flame with their duvet, and ‘poof’ it will go up in flames. I think reed diffusers are so much safer for them to have. Now, I know it would be impossible for Zoe to have included a full-sized reed diffuser in her calendar, but I think a miniature one would have been just fine.

My Thoughts on the Zoella Advent Calendar Scandal

And there you have it – my thought’s on Zoella’s Advent Calendar and what I thought should have been inside instead. What do you guys think? Do you like it how it is, or would you have preferred the products that I thought should have been included in there? Make sure you let me know in the comments below.

Stacey has told me she doesn’t want it now because she doesn’t think the items inside are very good. So we’re currently looking at getting her one that’s better value for money. As always, guys, thank you so much for reading and commenting. It honestly makes my day.

Zoella 12 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar – £50 £25 ||link||
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  1. 16/11/2017 / 2:56 pm

    I definitely think £50 is far too much for what’s in it and definitely wouldn’t buy it. I think your ideas of what should have been in there are great and definitely would’ve been much better. I like to hope that it was boots idea with the pricing rather than zoella to be honest.
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  2. 16/11/2017 / 3:05 pm

    I completely agree with you, miniatures of her beauty/bath range would have been far better! As you said, people would buy this to try them and then go on to buy the full size! Also, I think she’s more well known for the beauty/bath products than her lifestyle bits, so I have noooo idea why she chose to try and do a lifestyle calendar over a beauty/bath one, which would have justified £50 as for example the soap and glory one is £40. Especially as seeing the popularity of beauty and cosmetic calendars. Poor strategy from her and the teams behalf! Maybe a lesson learnt for her next time! Can I suggest the soap and glory, or lush calendars for your daughter, I watched an unboxing of both and they look wonderful!
    Lydia x

  3. 16/11/2017 / 3:09 pm

    Hmmm it does seem like a complete rip off for £50! Luckily my lot make do with chocolate advent calendars (although we did go with Playmobil one year – the stable version had horse poop in one window, very festive!!)… I had heard about this, so it was interesting to know a little more about it! 😀

  4. 16/11/2017 / 6:26 pm

    Oh what a disappointment!! That really does sound like a rip off! My kids have asked for novelty calendars this year but I’ve told them we will do our own, most seem to contain cheap plastic tat!
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  5. 16/11/2017 / 8:09 pm

    I’m a huge fan of Zoella, so ive been keeping up with this. I think people were really nasty to her for absolutely no reason. She was a huge part of the creative process (so she did indeed handpick everything that did go inside the advent calendar), but her contribution ended there. She didn’t have anything to do with pricing. She did make a video further explaining (It’s not till the very end though). I’ve personally never spent money on advent calendars and prefer to make them, but I’m definitely a huge supporter (albeit not financially) of Zoe.
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  6. 16/11/2017 / 8:22 pm

    This is so awesome!! Definitely gonna have to buy one! The only advent calendar we had growing up were the ones with the cheap chocolate.

  7. 16/11/2017 / 9:38 pm

    Sorry, complete tat and a cynical money making exercise. Your choices are much better but would cut into the profit margin a lot more. I worked in marketing for many years and I’m sure Zoella’s management knew exactly what was being produced. My two will be getting much cheaper chocolate ones as usual. You could make something much better yourself if you were crafty and had a tenner to spare.
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  8. 16/11/2017 / 11:26 pm

    I am unfamiliar with this, but I would have assumed that it contained all product samples as well. I guess a Christmas babble or 2 would be fine.

  9. Melissa major
    16/11/2017 / 11:39 pm

    I do like the box but the contents aren’t brilliant but it would of been better with more of the mainstream zoella products like the ones you said above.

  10. Hannah
    16/11/2017 / 11:55 pm

    I was reading about it earlier. Its expensive foe what it is. If you ask me just looks like a load of rubbish in it

  11. 17/11/2017 / 4:10 am

    OK to be honest I’m not familiar with Zoella, I’ve heard of her but didn’t know she had such a cute and pretty brand! The advent calendar is clearly made to profit, given the cheap gifts inside! Your idea is way better and her marketing team should get their act together!

  12. 17/11/2017 / 8:37 am

    This calendar is very disappointing, and not good enough considering how many there are available now and how competitive this has become. Plus making your own seems like the best option if you want to give this as a gift to someone and can be sure you know it’ll make them happy. It’s a shame with so many of her own great products available, she (well, her marketing team I’m sure) chose to include tat that’s not even relevant to her.

  13. lisa prince
    17/11/2017 / 8:57 am

    i have seen the other video review and i though it was a little ott but i do think it was over priced originally and glad theyve dropped the price , its quite a lovely calender i just think pricing is a little silly this year with not just hers but others to

  14. 17/11/2017 / 10:22 am

    I need to watch Jack’s video as everyone has been going on about it. I think it’s so sad that she seems to be shifting the blame about the pricing. Yes someone might have told her they were going to sell it for £50 but she could easily have refuted that and made them price it lower x
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  15. 17/11/2017 / 11:45 am

    This is a great post! You’ve highlighted what I think is one of the biggest problems with this whole situation – Zoe has SO MANY nice products of her own that she could have filled the calendar with, and even if it ended up being a bit overpriced people wouldn’t have minded anywhere near as much because at least you’d have got a load of products that you would probably enjoy.

  16. 17/11/2017 / 1:02 pm

    I’ve clearly been living under a rock as this is the first I’ve heard about the Zoella calendar, lol! How disppointing that the items weren’t worth the value of the calendar. It’s only mid-November though, what are you doing opening advent calendars so early! 😉
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  17. Dawn Nieves
    17/11/2017 / 9:06 pm

    This is the first I’ve heard of this but I totally see why you’d be disappointed! I love the gift ideas you picked it though!

  18. 17/11/2017 / 9:19 pm

    I’m with you, £50 for an advent calendar is okay. However, the Zoella one just looks a complete and utter shambles. Definitely a big disappointment for so many things!
    C x

  19. 17/11/2017 / 10:35 pm

    I live in the U.S. and this is the first time I’ve heard of this. So disappointing that it’s not living up to the expectations. As for the things you’d include instead, I’d definitely vote for the perfume rollerballs! I use them all of the time and love them. So easy to take with me on the go. x

  20. Joanna
    18/11/2017 / 6:38 pm

    I have seen that youtube video and thought to myself… wow, what a waste of money! Surely, she should have added nice, branded products inside, not confetti and cookie cutters. It definitely something that I would not buy.

  21. 18/11/2017 / 6:51 pm

    What a disappointment! You would have thought it logical to use small sizes of her products to than encourage you to purchase more in the regular sizes! Definitely not worth the price, Sadly

  22. Dannii
    18/11/2017 / 7:59 pm

    I think they can be worth that amount if the contents inside are worth it. But from what I have been hearing, a lot of it is cheap tat.

  23. 18/11/2017 / 8:02 pm

    I’d seen a few tweets about this, but I didn’t know what they specifically talking about! It makes absolutely no sense that she wouldn’t put her branded products inside!!! Great picks – I would buy your Zoella calander 😉

  24. 18/11/2017 / 9:04 pm

    I’ve been following this story with interest! I do think it was overpriced and I think she probably should have held her hands up to that really x
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  25. 18/11/2017 / 10:17 pm

    Shame on her for putting out such a shoddy calendar. Though, now Zoella has had a lot of promotion over this. I had no idea about any of this but I know about the Greggs scandal. That’s much more my style.

  26. Sarah Ann
    18/11/2017 / 11:22 pm

    Jack’s video was one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a long time! The advent had so much potential, but it’s poorly our together and full of tat.

  27. 19/11/2017 / 10:33 pm

    I was shocked to see the contents of the calendar alongside that price, and was even more shocked when Zoe said she spent a year choosing the content. I can’t imagine she actually spent 52 weeks looking at different confetti colour options. I think the whole situation is a complete shambles

  28. 20/11/2017 / 11:03 am

    Everyone is getting way too heated about this calendar. What makes the gifts seem so ridiculous is the retail price and Boots had the final say on that.

    I’m not a huge Zoella fan but people seem to forget the process of wholesaling exists and that RRP isn’t always adhered to. Boots put this on half price after the backlash. If they can afford to drop the calendar to half price and still make a profit, it stands to reason that Boots are the issue here. Not to mention, they’ve been known to do this outrageous pricing before – like the morning after pill debacle that they were pulled up on a few months ago.

    That said, I do agree with you in saying that there could have been more beauty products in there just to mix things up. The notebook also would have been a very cute addition, although it would have to be a big door! 🙂

  29. Candice Nikeia
    20/11/2017 / 11:50 pm

    Yeah 50 is way too much for the little you get! I am glad people are speaking up about the entire thing! They need to just add more products and go from there.

  30. Emily
    21/11/2017 / 2:01 pm

    This really has caused a storm, hasn’t it? It’s a shame as I don’t like to see any hard working person get attacked but equally I can see that contents simply doesn’t justify the price. I didn’t know Zoella had such a lovely product range so I think it’s very balanced of you to share your thoughts on those.

  31. 21/11/2017 / 8:20 pm

    There are so many Zoella products, I definitely agree that it seems not only a shame but a wasted opportunity by the star to not include these in the advent calendar! I feel extremly sorry for the parents/friends/family of the young impressionable girls that ended up buying this calendar, they must have been so disappointed with the contents! x

  32. 26/11/2017 / 9:35 pm

    I don’t follow her, but I did hear that the calendar wasn’t worth the money and I have to agree. I don’t think that any calendar that is targeted at children should be £50. But even more so when the products are clearly not even worth this.

  33. 27/11/2017 / 11:39 am

    I think you should be in charge of Zoella instead! That’d be one fabulous calendar!! I saw that video and had such a laugh – he really told it like it is!! It’s great you looked into it before purchasing! x

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