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Birchbox October 2015 Review – Power Pose Box

Liz Cadman
ByLiz CadmanOct 10, 2015 | 56 comments


3.7 overall rating
659 Ratings | 190 Reviews

Every month, Birchbox lets subscribers pick between a curated box (all samples revealed) or a single sample choice and be surprised by the rest of the items. This review is of the Power Pose curated box selection for October. (In general it seems the curated boxes ship a little earlier than the sample choice boxes).

My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).


The Subscription Box: Birchbox

The Cost: $10 a month (get one month free and $10 to spend in the shop with an annual subscription!)

COUPON: Use code FIRST15 to save 15% off your first Birchbox purchase and get free shipping on $50+ orders! (Not valid for subscriptions).

The Products: Beauty and lifestyle samples selected by the Birchbox team.

Ships to: US, FranceSpain and the UK and Canada

Check out all of my Birchbox reviews and the Beauty Subscription Box Directory!


Each box comes with a card detailing the items included and some tips on how to use them.


This box is curated with Estee Lauder company products and their Breast Cancer Awareness (BCA) Campaign has supported the Breast Cancer Research Foundation for the past 21 years. Birchbox partnered with both organizations this year to fund 1 year of breast cancer research hours.

This card folds out to give tips on detection and prevention and also give subscribers more info on the Breast Cancer Research Foundation:



Darphin Stimuskin Plus Multi-Corrective Divine Cream – 5 ml Value $29.50

Confession – as soon as I saw the full-size version of this cream is $295, I had to get this curated box. I’m a sucker for sampling a pricey skincare product! This cream is designed to soften lines, firm and brighten skin. I’m not sure if this sample will last long enough for me to see any major changes, but I do love how it makes my skin feel. The only thing I’m not crazy about is that it is scented. (Ideally I like my skincare products to be fragrance-free).


Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer – .25 oz Value $9

This is a classic primer I’ve used many times over the years (thanks to subscription box samples) and I’m happy to have more. It makes your skin so smooth and does a pretty good job at eliminating shine.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum Synchronized Complex II – .14 oz -Value $18.20

I love that this sample comes with a pump! It’s a very lightweight formula (almost gel-like) and absorbs quickly. And you only need a small amount each time, so I think this sample will last me a few weeks!


Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief – 7 ml Value $5.50

This is one of those products I’ve sampled so many times thanks to Clinique Gift with Purchase deals! (And this box is making me realize that my love of gift with purchase samples in my teens/early twenties definitely led to my addiction to subscription boxes!)

This moisture cream is fragrance-free and very hydrating/refreshing. It’s a classic, and I will use up this entire sample soon!

Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Mega Melon – FULL SIZE? Value $17

This lip crayon doesn’t have any size info listed on the stick, but it does say “Not for Individual Sale.” The full-size version is 3 g, so I’m guessing this is either a full-size version or very close to the same size. (And I can’t remember the last time I finished a full-size lip product, so it doesn’t make much of a difference to me).

I really like both the formula and the color. It adds a little moisture and color with each swipe, so you can build up the color a bit (and not have to worry about overdoing it). Here it is swatched:


Verdict: This box has an insane value – about $79! (That’s not normal for Birchbox. I would say their values are usually closer to double the cost of the box). I haven’t made any beauty purchases to get gift with purchase samples in a while (thank you subscription box beauty stash), so it was nice to get samples from Clinique, Estee Lauder, Darphin and Smashbox. I’ll use everything in this box too, so the value is absolutely there for me this month.

Plus I love that Birchbox teamed up with Estee Lauder to support the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

What do you think of the October Birchbox? Did you pick a curated box or a sample?

Birchbox ($15 per month) was one of the very first beauty subscription boxes—we’ve been reviewing it since 2012! Each month, subscribers get a new mix of 5 beauty samples, such as makeup, skincare, haircare, and fragrance items. Birchbox lets you choose whether you’d like a box of items picked just... read more.
Liz Cadman
Liz Cadman
Liz is the founder of My Subscription Addiction. She's been hooked on subscription boxes since 2011 thanks to Birchbox, and she now subscribes to over 100 boxes. Her favorites include POPSUGAR Must Have, FabFitFun, and any box that features natural beauty products!

Liz Cadman
Liz Cadman
Liz is the founder of My Subscription Addiction. She's been hooked on subscription boxes since 2011 thanks to Birchbox, and she now subscribes to over 100 boxes. Her favorites include POPSUGAR Must Have, FabFitFun, and any box that features natural beauty products!
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I just got the pose birch box this past Saturday. I got the tracking info. last week, but it took forever to update (anything). I sorta forgot about it (actually, just figured it would show up some time this coming week). My husband started laughing because the look on my face (surprise) that it had been delivered to him was “priceless”. I’ve tried all the products and I’m enjoying trying out new things. Very happy that there is more skin care in the box. Looking forward to Nov’s BB. Yaaaay!


I am still waiting on shipping info! Very disappointing start I signed up oct 13 and still don’t have it.

Nancy Thomsen

Is it too late to get the Birchbox Power Pose for Breast Cancer Box?


Yes, they are selling the November boxes now. I tried entering the code they had earlier this month for the box and it says it is not valid, and it is not available in their shop.


How does this compare to the Allure Beauty Box? When I first signed up for Allure, I did my research and it seemed to be the best box for me (mostly reputable, high-end brands, not no-name inflated-RV brands). This box, and the Tati box, are making me rethink that.


I absolutely love Allure.


So how does one go about picking their box? I see allot of comments about a customized curated box option but I never saw that. This was my first box so could that be why? I got Davines love smoothing shampoo with bounce foil pack conditioner, English Laundry perfume, Shisedo ultimune power infusing lotion (?!?) Stila mascara and Too cool for school highlighter.


I opened 2 additional accounts just to get these amazing curated boxes. I got 2 Power Pose and 1 Game Face. These are probably the best curated boxes ever from Birchbox and the value is crazy good. For $30 (actually less if you consider the points) I have enough high-end moisturizers to last several months. It is stuff I would normally use but hate paying retail for (Clinique and Estee Lauder creams, Smashbox primer, and the Chubby Stick) plus a new find, Darphin, that gets great reviews. Once they arrived I was even more impressed with how big the samples were.


When did you sign up for the additional accounts? Did you use the BCABOX code? I want that Power Pose box so bad I am thinking of creating a third account to get it as October box, but I will be traveling for long at the end of this month and am not sure how long it would take for them to send it to me.


I got both of the curated boxes on my 2 accounts. What an epic month! Loving all the Clinique.


I picked this box for this month and I love it. This is be far the best Birchbox box that I have received since signing up a year ago. Thanks Birchbox!


I decided to let Birchbox surprise me this month and I loved what they sent. I received the following.
Avene Thermal Spring Water
BioRepublic cucumber mask
Manna Kadar Lip Locked lipgloss in All of Me
Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray
Stella Huge mascara


BOX TWINS! I Cant wait to receive this! Hopefully tomorrow it says on my shipper tracker….

On my other account I got the curated Power Pose box the same day as Liz. Sigh. Its true- they send the curated boxes out WAY faster!


Wow! That’s an awesome surprise box! I would have loved that box too! I got a great box (left it up to chnce too!) On my 2nd acct. I got the Stila mascara (super excited!), Lollia Lavender & Honey hand cream, Davine’s LOVE shampoo & a Davine’s LOVE conditioner packet, Borghese purifying scrub (this stuff is AMAZING), & a perfume sample called Calypso St. Barth Figue (on the fence about it right now). This is the first time 3 months that I haven’t gotten a repeat item, so I’m happy about that. Plus, all of these products are brands that I really enjoy. I’m glad I went for a surprise box on my 2nd acct! Other than the perfume sample, I LOVE everything! Good job, this month, Birchbox!


This is the first time i have been truly disappointed in birchbox. Harvey prince hello hand lotion- smells horrendous , 1 face mask, a can of spray water, texturizing spray (dry curly hair(!!!) and a mascara. If it werent for the point system this box would be my last thats how bad it was


I got the same box you did. This was my first box, and I was super-disappointed. I’ve received the Avene water so many times through other sub boxes, and I’m not blown away by it. The other products were a big let-down. I’m regretting subbing to Birchbox and may be cancelling if this is what a typical box is like.


This is what I got except minus the hand lotion! It was my first ever box with them as well. So disappointed!!!!! Everything was sooo tiny as well. I really want to cancel…but they’ve already sucked me in with their points system, (maybe I should spend ’em & cut my losses).
Should I change my profile??
I would have loved to get a hand cream or a lip gloss… It would have saved the box for me 🙁 🙁


I got the same box you did. I don’t mind the lotion that much (not my favorite and I have plenty others to use so not sure if I will get any use out of it). The water threw me off. Is it seriously just water in a can?! Come on….. I do love oribe so that will probably get used but not the best with my hair (gets too sticky/hard). I got my sample choice of mascara so I’m happy with that and I always love to try new masks but those are the only things that are truly exciting in this box.


Same here 🙁 I received the exact same box as you and was extremely disappointed. I should have gotten the curated box. I got the surprise box thinking well maybe they will stick something Clinique or este lauder in it, I was wrong. 🙁 I also HATE anything Harvey prince, cannot stand the smell.


I received the hand cream in a sample pack and thought it smelled terrible, I threw it out after one use. I was so surprised by all the great reviews. Every month I hope that doesn’t show up in my box.


I got this box, It’s an awesome box ! But I’m also really disappointing With the Darphin cream…The perfume is really strong, it’s like you putting some perfume all over your face. And this cream doesn’t appear to do much on my skin…
I really like the primer, the chubby stick !
the clinique cream is maybe too much for my skin, makes breaking me out. And the night eyes serum is nice, really easy to spread !


Can we purchase this box separately? I opted for the mascara but wanted this box, too. I can never find it on their site!


This one was available in the shop during sample selection and I had to buy it especially since it was just an extra $10 with free shipping. I am so happy I did, I love it! Everything in it is great and I got it super fast, about a week ago. I wanted the other curated one but it want available to purchase and I wanted those mascaras! I am a mascara addict so I was so happy about that this month!


I purchased a full size chubby stick a while back and have compared it to these sample sizes. While the chubby stick sample looks generous, there’s not that much inside the container compared to a full size. From my memory of comparing the two (several months ago) I’d say this is maybe 1/4-1/8 or less compared to full size product . Again, the container itself is very deceiving.

Still a good sample size though, no complaints. That chubby stick was my reason to get this box since I wanted to try another color. Not sure how I feel about how neutral this one is. I highly recommend Super Strawberry though! Looks good on everyone I know and I’ll be purchasing a 2nd full size one once I run out.


I have several of the full-size Chubby Sticks already and I compared them to the one I just received from BB. I would estimate the one in the BB is about 1/2 the size of a regular one. It is certainly not a 1/4 or an 1/8 of the original!


How did you find the Bo’s I couldn’t find it and wanted to order it in the shop can you reply with a link. I am a birchbox subscriber but I am can’t find it. Thanks for Any help


Hi everybody; I’m new to this site and I love It! I am as addicted to it as I am getting to be with subscription boxes! I enjoy all your comments and all the reviews, especially Liz’s. I found this site about a month ago while searching the web looking for info how to buy beauty samples and I can’t go a day without browsing all the great fun reviews (I’ve had a lot of fun reading all the reviews for all the boxes since the blogs creation).
I started with Ipsy and I now have 7 subscriptions; and I’m like a kid in a candy store (a candy deprived kid, I own very little make up and skin care I’m so looking forward to my beauty boxes, I need everything! I love this month’s Birchbox, it will be my first box. I can really use all the products especially the face and eye creams. I haven’t received an email to choose the box I want, I did check to make sure I’m subscribed for notifications and also sent them a note, so wish me luck! But I’m sure I can use whatever they send me. Sorry for the lengthy post, just wanted to say hi and thank you Liz for such an amazing job!


Agree with what you said. MSA is the best!

Liz Cadman

Welcome to MSA! Thanks for such a wonderful comment! 🙂


I got this box because it looked good and because I didn’t want to get a mascara in the random box (still using and love the mascara in the From Korea With Love box). I really like the eye serum and the chubby stick in this box. I’m not crazy about the Darphin sample – it doesn’t appear to do anything for my skin.


Wow, this is a nice box! I left mine to chance (always do) and got a pretty disappointing box. Included in my 5 samples was 2 nail polish remover pads (um.. Thanks- I can go out and buy myself an entire bottle of remover for $1) and a perfume vial sample (I hate perfume & said so- I think they’re over the 2 max per year that is the most they said they’d send. Plus- this is a free sample handout)


Unfortunately, you can opt for a max of 6 perfume samples per year. I wish it were 2.


Mine was a rather sad selection this time, too… 🙁


Loved this box. Was going to go with the Game Face one until I saw the price of the Darphin and changed my mind. Don’t link the perfume scent, but all of the products in this box are great!


If I subscribe for the month of October, can I receive the curated box or will they ship me the random products box?

Debbie DeLeon

I am not sure I can post my link here, but if you go to Posts
To Page section on the Birchbox Facebook page I have included my link and the code to enter for this box!


This selection is my favorite one so far.


Same here, I really excited, I have never been allowed to choose before!


Looking forward to getting this. It brings back memories of my mom going to multiple stores to get the gift with purchase so she could get extras for my sister and I.


I’ve had those sample Chubby Sticks before and I’d estimate they are maybe 2/3rds of a full one. I used mine up and bought a replacement and compared them. Pretty generous for a sample.


Thanks for the review! I’m getting the same box as you did. Feels like Christmas day when I get any of my BBs. Hooray!!!!


I wanted to pick this box as well, but never received the email or could find the link to choose my sample/curated box. So, I am receiving a box with random samples. Does anyone have this issue? How do I resolve it? Last month was my first box.


I had the same problem and I receive e-mails from Birchbox. If you look at the comments in the October Birchbox choices article(?) in MSA you will see that even some VIPs never received an e-mail. It looks like these curated boxes were popular.
I contacted Birchbox to let them know I never got an e-mail and they asked me for my choice. I didn’t know at the time that this box was gone. I learned that after I popped on MSA to see if anyone else had issues. I got a reply the next day telling me to chose from one if the options (only mascaras) in the next couple of minutes. They never even acknowledged the curated box I asked about.
I resubscribe after years of absence because the ability to chose from the curated boxes or samples was intriguing, especially this Power Pose box. I am going to see if I get an e-mail for November’s box if I don’t I will probably be done with Birchbox again… This time for good.


Birchbox does not always send the same box to first timers as they do to regular subscribers. There used to be a welcome box that all first monthers got- sort of a “best of” from the last few boxes. I have been subbed since 2010, but get annoyed and unsub every couple years for a few months. I re-subbed for October with an annual subscription (because I am a sucker for the big whoosh of points AND the fact I am getting 13 boxes for the price of 11 with some code!). I don’t think I have ever gotten the sample choice option with any of my re-subs, and I know I got a welcome box the very first time I subbed.

My May 2015 box is still showing in my profile. I wish I had gotten in on this one- reminds me of the olden days when a lot of samples in BB were this size, along with the ubiquitous Harvey Prince or Twirl perfume sample!!


Whoops – just realized you said LAST month was your first box- I must not read and fold laundry at the same time.


I had the same problem – make sure you haven’t unsubscribed from emails from Birchbox. If you can’t figure out how to enable it, email them and they’ll do it for you!


Yes! This definitely was a throwback to my college gwp days at the mall! I loved, loved this box and my only regret was I didn’t get another one 🙂


$300 for a face cream is absolute insanity! Lol. I got this box for the Estee Lauder serum, for my mom, & had no idea the Darphin was worth that much. I gave it to my mother in law in her birthday basket & I didn’t know the full size cost until your review. Looks like I’ll be doing some major swapping for more if she loves it, b/c there’s no way I’d ever be able to afford this product, if paying out of pocket. I would never be able to even save enough BB points to buy it that way! I told my MIL that, for the crazy cost, it better tirn her into 20yr old super-model!


I got this box too! I actually got it for the eye cream, and I’m pretty impressed with it so far! I’ve noticed that my fine lines are slightly smoother. I love the rest of the box, and will use everything except probably the chubby stick, which is a bit too brown for me.

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Our reviewers research, test, and recommend the best subscriptions and products independently; click to learn more about our editorial guidelines. We may receive commissions on purchases made through links on our site.