2018 Kiehls Advent Calendar Hits & Misses

Hey everyone, happy Wednesday! How’s your February going so far? Mine has been going well, I finally got a break from work after a seven day stretch. They tried to call me in on my first day off and I was having none of that. Sometimes you’ve just got to put your foot down.

Kiehls Advent Calendar 2018

I’m on a no-buy as we get ready to pack up our home and move next month so I haven’t been trying too many new products. This has turned out to be good because I’ve spent this month project panning and writing skincare reviews, which I’ve been wanting to focus more on in 2019. In December my mom gave me the 2018 Kiehls Advent Calendar to open up through the month so I’ve been testing out all the deluxe minis & sample sizes off and on since then. I didn’t unbox the calendar on my blog but I wanted to share at least some of the products that stood out to me.

Kiehls Advent Calendar

Yes, that’s a skeleton on the bottom. I don’t get it either.

I won’t be sharing a monthly favourites this month because my February Favs are the exact same as my January Favourites. Not a whole lot has changed. In lieu of new favourites I’m sharing my Kiehls Advent Calendar Favourites. This is my first time trying Kiehls aside from the Midnight Recovery eye cream.

Kiehls Ultimate Strength Hand Salve

Kiehls Ultimate Strength Hand Salve

As far as I can tell this hand cream is full sized! There were a ton of deluxe samples and even a few foils in the calendar so I’m really happy that it also included a $20 full sized hand cream.. I have a ton of hand creams in my cue right now so I gifted this to my husband. Even though it’s on his shelf in the bathroom I’ve been using it too! It was kind of funny, about 1/3 of the products in the calendar were skincare products marketed for men, like the “Facial Fuel for Men” moisturizer that I opened on day 2. Expectations crushed lol. But I do love that a lot of Kiehls products are unisex and aren’t packaged to be ultra girly like most skincare products.

I may not be using the manly skincare samples but I’m slowly trying to convince my husband that skincare is important. He started using the Ultimate Man Body Scrub Soap and he actually liked it! I haven’t got him to use a moisturizer yet but he has also been using the Hand Salve cream.

I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned this but Mike is a Medical Laboratory Technician which equates to a LOT of hand washing! Our ultra dry Alberta climate has made his hands extra dry so he’s been using it in the evenings. In his own words he likes that “it doesn’t make his hands feel greasy” and that it helps with the dryness which I feel is a ringing endorsement from a guy who doesn’t always see the importance of washing his face…

I’m also enjoying this hand cream for the same reason. It absorbs super fast and my hands never feel slippery or greasy afterwards. And since my husband likes it too I will be repurchasing it when the bottle is done, along with that Ultimate Man Bar Soap!

Kiehls Midnight Recovery Eye Cream & Powerful-Strength Line Reducing Concentrate

Kiehls Midnight Recovery Eye Cream

Shocker. I was so happy I got a little deluxe sample of the Midnight Recovery Eye Cream. My full size was about to run out! I’ve talked about this eye cream before in last year’s Summer Favourites and more recently in my 2019 Skincare Favourites. I notice a major difference in how my under eye area feels & looks when I use this eye cream.

It smoothes out fine lines and really hydrates the under eye area. I don’t notice a huge difference in puffiness under my eyes in the morning but I’m not working as many early morning shifts anymore so the extra sleep has been helping me to look awake in the morning anyways.

This eye cream also wears well under makeup. It never pills or causes my concealer to separate. I wish this eye cream wasn’t so expensive but I’ve used cheaper ones and the results just aren’t the same. I will definitely repurchase this cream when I run out!

Kiehls Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate

I noticed that my forehead line were much less noticeable when I used this Vitamin C concentrate on a regular basis. My forehead lines drive me crazy, I’ve had them since I was 12, no joke. I don’t think anything is going to get rid of them at this point (it’s downhill from here) but it was nice to see them fade a little bit using this serum.

It contains a 12.5% Vitamin C concentration as well as hyaluronic acid. According to Paula’s Choice Vitamin C is a fantastic ingredient for anti-aging. Concentrations as low as 0.6% can provide anti-aging benefits. *I love to get skincare information from Paula’s Choice because they cite their sources in each article!*

My only issue with this treatment is the price. A 50ml bottle retails for $82CAD which is frankly a little too much for me right now. That’s one of the reasons that I love advent calendars. They provide me with products to experiment with that I otherwise couldn’t afford to buy.

Kiehls Ultra Facial Cleanser

Kiehls Ultra Facial Cleanser

I’m including the Kiehls Ultra Facial Cleanser, but even though it’s a favourite in the calendar I want to emphasize that this isn’t an all time favourite in general. This facial cleanser worked well for me. It didn’t make my skin feel super dry, but I did notice a small amount of that tight just-cleansed-skin feeling afterwards which is why it’s not a holy grail product for me.

The texture was really interesting, it’s kind of like a cross between a gel & vaseline. It lathers up a small amount in my hands but not much. It did a good job of removing makeup & dirt from my skin. I didn’t look like a panda like I usually do after washing my face in the shower with the Ultra Facial Cleanser. Normally my mascara isn’t easily removed by regular cleansers so I was pleasantly surprised that the majority of it washed off with this one.

My one major con with this cleanser is that it smelled like pool water to me. It has a strong chlorine-like scent that I just didn’t like very much. I’ll stick with my Pixi Rose Cream Cleanser for now.

Kiehls Lip Balm #1

Kiehls Lip Balm #1

This lip balm was behind door #1 of the Kiehls Advent Calendar. It feels fantastic on my lips in the winter. What’s even better is that it retails for $13CAD. That’s very reasonable compared to other lip balms with the same texture. I assumed that it would retail for at least $20.

It’s formulated with Vitamin E, Squalane, Lanolin and Wheat Germ Oil. I often se esqualane as an ingredient in more expensive skincare products. That being said The Ordinary also has a squalane oil you can buy for $7.90CAD.

This balm instantly nourishes my lips. The hydration doesn’t fade away in mere minutes like other lip balms. It’s more of a vaseline texture so it really lasts. The only strange thing about this lip balm is the applicator, or rather the lack of one. When you unscrew the lid it’s just a flat surface with a hole in it to squeeze the product through. Not the end of the world of course, but a little strange!

2018 Kiehls Advent Calendar Favorites

Did you unbox an Kiehls Advent Calendar last year?

These are the products that have stood out to me as hits in the Kiehls advent calendar. There were quite a few products that I wasn’t a fan of, like the Avocado Eye Treatment and the Calendula Toner. If you guys would like a post on those product misses please let me know! I hope your month has been amazing and that you’re staying warm during this freezing cold winter (Or cool in the Australian & NZ Summer!) Talk soon! x



  1. February 27, 2019 / 3:20 am

    Goodness me I haven’t seen an advent calendar in ages! This one looks like it had some amazing products in it. I can’t say I’ve ever tried Kiehls before but I’m really intrigued by some of the products you’ve mentioned here!


    • AlwaysCleia
      February 27, 2019 / 10:27 pm

      My mom and I are super into them, we usually buy each other one for Christmas lol. It’s so fun opening a door each day!
      This is my first time trying their products other than the eye cream, I’m glad I got the calendar because I wouldn’t have purchased a lot of these full sized. Thank you for reading! x

  2. February 27, 2019 / 3:07 am

    Ohh I didn’t know they had a calendar, it’s such a great way to try new products and you get to have minis (I’m such a sucker for mini products haha!). I need to check out this brand, I really want to try their lip balm and eye cream. Hope you had a lovely break hun! x


    • AlwaysCleia
      February 27, 2019 / 10:26 pm

      I didn’t know either until this year! I guess they don’t advertise it too much. Minis are one of my favourite things, I love that they’re so easy to use up in a reasonable amount of time. Thank you! x

  3. February 23, 2019 / 8:52 pm

    Ooh I’m going to keep an eye out (haha) for that eye cream; there’s very few that I feel actually do anything. I’m currently using one by IT Cosmetics that’s just okay but I have two travel sizes of it to go through first. I’m also super intrigued by that hand cream, my hands get so dry in the Winter and that usually triggers my eczema so I need something super hydrating but that’s not greasy. Thanks for sharing!

    • AlwaysCleia
      February 27, 2019 / 1:01 am

      I never notice really spectacular results when I use eye creams but I do notice a big difference when I don’t use them if that makes sense. My under eyes get soo dry and concealer looks awful if I don’t use a hydrating eye cream before doing my makeup.
      And eye creams seem to take forever to use up! I had a mini tarte one from Sephora and it took me two months!
      I hope the hand cream works out for you if you try it! This winter has been awful for dry skin 🙁
      Thanks for reading!

  4. February 21, 2019 / 2:15 pm

    OH! If I had known Kiehl’s had a calendar I would have bought that! None of the other calendars really impressed me (but that’s probably because I’ve had them all before LOL).
    I don’t mind their men’s line! I’ve actually bought a couple products from them for myself LOL. And my Mom bought her fiance a few products that he didn’t care for, so I used them! 😁
    I will have to check out that lip balm. Lip balms are so hit and miss with me, I find most to be useless. That Kiehl’s one has all the good stuff!

    • AlwaysCleia
      February 27, 2019 / 12:42 am

      So many brands have advent calendars these days! I know what you mean, I’ve had both the body shop’s & the L’occitane calendars in the past and the products don’t vary much year to year.
      That’s good to know! If my husband won’t use the products I’ll try them out myself lol.
      Some lip balms do absolutely nothing! I’m addicted to the feeling of having a lip balm on my lips but I don’t know if they’re actually hydrating or not. I think I really just need to drink more water!
      Thank you for reading! xx

  5. February 20, 2019 / 8:46 pm

    What a great way to try a bunch of products from a brand!
    I definitely need to pick up another tube of that Kiehl’s eye cream soon…I’m been using a Drunk Elephant eye cream mini and it is not good at all, especially in this dry, cold weather. That Kiehl’s eye cream is honestly good for any weather!
    Unfortunately, I didn’t like the cleanser or the lip balm. I thought the same thing about the chlorine smell of the cleanser – pass! Although I felt that the lip balm formula was too thin and greasy for my personal tastes, it’s too bad they didn’t give you a scented version in the advent calendar…they all smell really good!

    • AlwaysCleia
      February 23, 2019 / 9:23 pm

      Oh no! I’ve only heard good things about the DE eye cream so that surprises me. Is it just not hydrating enough?

      That chlorine smell is so strange! I hate strange smells in my products..

      That’s too bad the lip balm didn’t work out. I need to try that Jack Black lip balm you’ve talked about on your blog, I just have such a backlog of lip balms that I never purchase them anymore lol

      • February 24, 2019 / 6:30 pm

        Yes, not hydrating AT ALL! My undereyes have looked so dry and crepey lately because I’ve been using the eye cream…I saved a little to test in the summer, but I wouldn’t buy an eye cream that is only hydrating enough to use in the summer…

        I feel you! My list of lipbalms I want to try keep getting longer, but I can never finish the ones in my stash, haha!

        • AlwaysCleia
          February 27, 2019 / 1:07 am

          Oh no, that sucks! Yes I would rather use an extra hydrating eye cream year round than one that is only hydrating enough for a few months 🙁
          I’ve only been using up my lip balms lately because I keep forgetting them in my pants pockets when I wash my clothes xD I ruined two recently like that. I really need to check my pockets beforehand…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: