Beauty sites post calendar content at a furious pace, and it looks like the latest issue of the #IDONATE lip kit advent calendar draws just as much controversy as anything the industry churns out, yet it’s not by a well-known designer like Sephora, Glamour, or Makeupalley. It’s by someone with more of a cult following, with 15 million users (according to V) on TikTok alone.
The popular lip kit decoration brand Chanel is scheduled to create an advent calendar this year, but the user-posted, leaked images show what it may look like, and it’s causing quite a bit of controversy—and a lot of buzzing online.
Here’s the thing: Unlike traditional advent calendars, which typically feature a set of limited-edition products and items (not to mention a person’s name and a brief note on why the face is in the gift set), the Chanel x TikTok product consists of a box of lip gloss and a “New Year’s Eve” letter attached. A signature phone call à la Lauren Conrad, you could say. The word “Chanel” appears when users press the start button on the app.
Upon opening the advent calendar, you’ll be treated to the aforementioned lip gloss. See how that works? The lines represent a voice message recording, as seen above.
It’s not just the image itself that’s the source of consternation; comments and debate on the lip kit themed advent calendar leave little to the imagination, from people on social media calling the calendar “horrible” to “epic filth.” One commenter chimed in: “Need to ban all of you skin-flippers from this platform. Also makes me so uncomfortable seeing the empty packages of Chanel sent to some muscly, shrimpy human.”
In an interview with The Washington Post, Alex Friedman, product director at ChéRé Labs, the makeup studio behind the advent calendar, did say that the Chanel x TikTok calendar is “not aimed at every aesthetic.”
“We make stuff for bikers, scooter-ners, it’s silly, it’s almost ‘We were out there for a while, we’re gonna come back,’” he said.
But this is not always true. Popular Instagram-style gift boxes featuring well-known brands began trending in 2017 and have since taken off on Instagram and in pop culture. The AmaroBus Pop-Up Coming to an Instant Debut With The History of Drink Culture
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But unlike other advent calendars, the Chanel x TikTok calendar also includes music-related elements: vignettes. The gifting of music has always been popular on Instagram, and Bieber has even started promoting it on his own channel, even starting The Bartender Booth.
Many of the comments left on the Chanel x TikTok product make it clear what they think of the calendar. “This is so amazing. I can’t wait to get mine,” wrote one Instagram user, adding that “everyone is going to tear down the labels. I am more impressed by the fact they are posting it around everyone’s phone to see what kind of craziness we are all in for.” Another said that the calendar “feels like a sex toy,” while one said, “I think something like this should be banned.”
When a post goes viral, the stakes get higher for brands. Chanel may want to tread lightly because they are doing something “new,” said Ionut Gebreselassie, executive director of communications at the American Association of Advertising Agencies. “There is so much pressure on these brands to pull off these viral campaigns in order to make headlines, which of course brings up expectations,” he said. “But I think they need to consider all the ramifications, from the super important to the completely mundane. If it means no January, it doesn’t matter.”
Hint: “Check the customer reviews.”
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