Build your own Birchbox at Intu Trafford Centre Manchester

April 08, 2016

Back in February I was super excited that Birchbox had a pop up confession in Selfridges at Manchester Exchange, you can read my post about that here.

Currently Birchbox has a pop up at Intu Trafford Centre in Manchester until April 9th, I asked over on Instagram to see if there was different products available to the choices at Exchange and there was. There was also a new special edition box design exclusive to Selfridges, I'm becoming a beauty box hoarder lately.

I spent quite a while walking around the lower level beauty department in Selfridges and was a little confused to not find the Birchbox stand, I shortly after realised the counter was located outside the Selfridges store. The stand had the same layout as in the Exchange store and fresh new products to choose from, there was a few assistants floating around to assist customers too.

I started building my Birchbox by choosing the makeup items which isn't a shock to anyone, the makeup items are the main reason I am signed up to Birchbox on a monthly basis. There was 8 makeup items to choose from, some familiar brands and some new.

ModelCo Power Lash Black Mascara - Sample Size (full size £24.00)
The first product I choose was from ModelCo which is a newish brand to me, I've only ever had one product from them before. This ModelCo Power Lash Black Mascara is sample size but great for travelling and holidays. The brush is large and thick so reaches each lash and coats them in the blackest of black product that lasts all day. My only disrupt with this product is that a lot of product comes out on the brush and when putting the brush back into the tube, the left over product leaks out, this doesn't stop you using the mascara at all though.

Laura Mercier Lip Glacé in shade Nectar - Sample Size (full size £19.50)
I choose the Laura Mercier Lip Glacé in shade Nectar as my second makeup product, this is a summery shade with coral and orange tones. I'm not a lip gloss person as I find them sticky to wear but this is a lot lighter on the lips than a gloss so its perfect to wear for me if I want a shine on my lips instead of my usual matte lipsticks. The shade is not in your face and can complement any skin tone because its quite natural and nude in colour and as an added extra the product smells amazing too!

John Masters Organics Citrus Neroli Detangler - Sample Size (full size £16.00)
Moving on to hair care as this was next to the makeup items on the stand, this category had 4 items to choose from including a thickening cream, a prep and protect product, a deep conditioning rinse and a detangler product. I choose the John Masters Organics Citrus Neroli Detangler the product has; coconut oil, neroli and amino acids, which all help to smooth your hair and help with sore scalps meaning no more knots. My hair tends to get knots after washing my it, this product is applied to wet hair and rinsed off after a few mins, my hair combs through easier after using this, I thinking of buying a full size product.

BONUS ITEM - Birchbox Exclusive Hair Ties - 2 ties (full Bag £5.00)
I picked my bonus item next, pretty sure I went around the stand a little backwards but it doesn't matter, again 4 items was available to choose from. The leather Birchbox exclusive key chain and a couple of sleep sprays was in this section; these were items that was available at Selfridges Exchange as well as Trafford, so this time I went for the Birchbox hair ties because the sleep sprays have lavender in them which makes me sneeze. I prefer using these style of hair ties because they don't kink my hair like a normal hair bobble does, the colours are great for summer too.

Walking around the other side of the stand to choose my skin care and body care items was the choice I took the longest with, I couldn't seem to find any products that jumped out at me.

Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant - Sample Size (full size £23.50)
The skin care item I choose was from Paula's Choice it's a Skin Perfecting Liquid Exfoliant. I've found this product to be very easy to use, its like a micellar water consistency so you just need to add a bit to a cotton pad and wipe over your face. I have oily patches on my face and this product is suppose to be help with oily skin, I feel that the product is oily going on my face but once dry it has helped to reduce excess oil during the day after using. One thing I'm not too keen on is the smell, it has a medical smell to it and not a pleasant scent for me personally.

My last item was from the body care category, again there was 4 items to choose from including one item that was available at Exchange. I went with the Bioderma Atoderm Crème, I choose this product because it is for dry to very dry skin. The usual areas like elbows, knees, feet that need extra moisture are where I've used this product and it truly works. Straight after applying I can feel my skin softening, its really smooth to touch! 

The box design is my favourite part of the build your own Birchbox experience, the design is stylish and creative; the box is deeper in size than the monthly boxes too. It will fit more products in when I use it for storage in my bedroom.

Comparing my experience at Selfridges Trafford to Selfridges Exchange, I enjoyed my time at Exchange much more for a couple of reasons. Although my experience at Trafford was still enjoyable it could of been better.

1. I found the choice of products at Exchange to be better value for money, there was a couple of full size products available and at Trafford there wasn't or I wasn't made aware of any full size items.

2. The staff at Trafford wasn't as helpful as at Exchange, they didn't tell me about the products and walk me around the stand. Also with having the stand outside Selfridges, to pay I had to walk back into Selfridges because there was no till on the stand, I understand that this wouldn't be case if the stand was inside Selfridges though.

What I liked about the Trafford experience was the box design and the choice of makeup products, there was a great selection of makeup from some well known brands like theBalm, Lord & Berry and POP beauty. There was something for everyone and you get to pick 2 makeup items when building your own box.

Both the good and bad points of building my own Birchbox would not put me off doing the experience again because I like the fact that I can choose my own products unlike in the monthly boxes and the boxes are well worth the money at just £15.00 and you get a glossy Selfridges bag too.

You have until tomorrow (9th April) to build a box at the Trafford Centre then Birchbox will be in the Birmingham Selfridges store between the 29th May and 11th June.

If your interested in signing up to Birchbox on a monthly basis you can do so here. Using this link will give you £5.00 in points to spend in the Birchbox shop as well as a monthly box full of beauty treats.

Let me know if you've built your own Birchbox and what you thought in the comments below.

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