October Birchbox Sample Choice Comparison

For those of you not familiar with sample choice, it’s a program that began last August where Birchbox subscribers have the option to select a sample to be included in next month’s box. Each month 3-4 samples are revealed and the sample you pick will replace one of your traditional 5 samples. This month, Birchbox subscribers have the chance to choose from a wild 5 samples, or select one of two curated boxes. This is a comparison of those options based on research I’ve done using other blogs and my own calculations. This month I’ve taken all of my images as screenshots from the official Birchbox video.

First, the sample options. This month’s theme is “The Power of Beauty,” and the boxes were inspired by October being breast cancer awareness month. The sample options are all mascaras.

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The first sample choice is W3ll People Expressionist Mascara. Lilly from Genuine Glow has a brief review of it here, and Quin of Around the World to the Left has another review here.

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The second option is Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash Mascara. I received this back in my February Birchbox. I actually hadn’t opened it until recently, because I’d been working my way through other mascaras, but now that I’ve tried it I am very much in love with this. I’m seriously considering selecting this so that I have a backup!

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The third sample offering is also from Benefit and is the Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real MascaraSharon provides a great visual of the brush differences between the two Benefit mascaras, while Becca has you covered with the formula differences.

The fourth sample option is Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara. The name sort of freaks me out, because I don’t like my lashes being too huge, but to get a different opinion see what Christine from 15 Minute Beauty and Natalie of Ivory Avenue have to say about it.


Although the October video only covered 4 mascaras, the subscription page actually shows that there are 5 options! The final option is Eyeko London Black Magic. Reviews for this can be found at the London Beauty Review and Dani’s So Many Lovely Things blog.

The two featured boxes are sponsored by Estée Lauder and both filled with products from brands that are committed to breast cancer research.

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The Power Pose box (on the left) includes:

– Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum Synchronized Complex II
– Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer
– Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief
– Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Mega Melon
– Darphin STIMULSKIN PLUS Multi-Corrective Divine Cream

I love that this box contains a little bit of everything — the only repeat is two moisturizers, and they’re targeted towards different goals so I don’t mind that.

The Game Face box (on the right) includes:

– Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+
– Prescriptives False Eyelashes Plush Mascara
– Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash
– Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer
– Estée Lauder Revitalizing Supreme Global Anti-Aging Creme

This box is also very well put-together, despite not being as personally attractive to me. Once again, it contains a little bit of everything, including another moisturizer repeat.

The regular boxes this month are a gorgeous marbled pink, while the featured boxes have a basic pink ribbon pattern.


Sample choice will happen on September 29th for subscribers (September 28th for Ace members and referrers).

Although it’s awfully tempting to test out a different mascara, this month I think I’ll be sticking with a tried and true favorite and picking up a backup of my newly-beloved Roller Lash. If I could pick two, though, I’d definitely be testing out either the Eyeko London Black Magic or W3ll People Expressionist Mascara. Even though I’m going with sample choice this month, I’m still considering picking up one of the Power Pose boxes in addition to my regular subscription.

Which sample choice option are you leaning towards?

If you’re planning on purchasing a Birchbox subscription, please consider using my referral link: https://www.birchbox.com/invite/justabirchbox

2 thoughts on “October Birchbox Sample Choice Comparison

    • Thank you for your nomination!!! I can’t believe it took me this long to reply to you — wow, has this month been hectic! I love your questions, and I’m excited to answer them soon.

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