Science for bleeders: completing the Stayfree Challenge

Monday, October 6, 2014

It’s been a while since our last Ladystuff instalment, so when I was contacted by Stayfree about their new Stayfree Challenge, I snapped up the opportunity in an instant. Fake-science that has to do with making periods less awful? Count me in.

Stayfree Ultra Thin pads

This nine-step challenge requires bloggers to begin by laying out three pads: Stayfree’s new Ultra Thin pads (about $7 USD/32 pads) plus two unmarked competitors. Funnily enough, the two competitors are the exact two pads I was using before, so I recognized them pretty easily! (The yellow is Always and the white is Kotex’s Natural Balance Ultra Thin Regular with Wings.)

Once lined up, the challenge itself is pretty simple: you pour 5 ml of blue saline onto the centre of each pad, wait 30 seconds, then top each with a blotting sheet and 5 lb weight. (The package all of this arrived in was so heavy, you guys.) Then, five seconds later, all you have to do is remove each weight and blotting sheet.

Stayfree Challenge
When I completed the challenge, I found that the Stayfree blotter was almost completely clean, with the Kotex blotter coming in second. What was really alarming, though, was that the Always pads I’ve been loyal to since forever (I still remember freaking out about how thin their most recent launches were and how well they absorbed) did terribly — the blotting sheet was so soaked that it stuck to the weight!

What you can’t see in the pictures is the texture of each pad, so I wanted to touch on that briefly, too. I found Competitor #1 (Always) to be the stiffest, and Competitor #2 (Kotex) pad the spongiest; sort of like many layers of netting rather than a compressed stack of fibers. The Stayfree pad fell somewhere in-between — they were a little clunky but very soft, and I found them to be the most comfortable to wear out of the three.

Stayfree Ultra Thin pad review

In conclusion…

I don’t do a “verdict” section for sponsored posts, but I did want to wrap things up with a summary. Despite the fact that I did this challenge for fun, I actually got something out of the results — I found out that there’s something better out there than Always Infinity pads, and that something is Stayfree Ultra Thin. The Stayfree pads don’t just absorb better, but they also feel less like a manilla folder that’s been unfortunately positioned between your legs, so that’s a plus.

Will I be making the transition to Stayfree in the future? You bet your buttons I will. Or – I would (I definitely, definitely would), but I found out a week after receiving this challenge in the mail that I don’t really, uh, have a period anymore?

But that’s an IUD tale for another day…

Stayfree Ultra Thin packaging

Stayfree Ultra Thin padsStayfree Ultra Thin absorption

Stayfree Ultra Thin pad + 5 ml blue saline

Disclaimer: this challenge was sponsored by Stayfree, but my opinions (good or bad) cannot be bought. My priority at all times is our readers, and that’s not going to change! 

To clarify, all I was required to do for this post was film or photograph the fake-science part. The rambling review? That was all me, folks. You’re welcome. 

Essence Beach Cruisers ombre blush giveaway | Summer beaches, summer blushes

Monday, July 21, 2014

Essence Beach Cruisers Summer Break ombre blush

So, I found this wonderfully bright ombré blush at the drugstore last week, and I couldn’t just let it sit there. And one thing led to another, and I was like oh man, I love ombre blushes, and, uh, I kind of bought it. Even though I hate peach and red tones against my complexion right now, and I’m already practically drowning in blush.

Anyhow, long story short, I’m giving away this blush. It’s nothing fancy, but I couldn’t just let it waste away, sad and unloved, and I like you guys.

Essence ombre blush giveaway

Win it

Up for grabs: one Essence Cosmetics multicolour blush in Summer Break, from their Beach Cruisers collection. The giveaway’ll run for a week, open worldwide (read the T&C for more details), and for those with allergies, the ingredients list talc and dimethicone, but no parabens.

I don’t have swatches for you, but Tracy (Beauty Reflections) swatched hers on her Instagram feed — see it here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We-Vibe 4 and Tango reviews, photos | Bedroom Essentials (and not-so-essentials)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

WeVibe 4 Tango review

The products: We-Vibe 4 Wearable Remote Control Vibrator and Tango Waterproof Discreet Vibrator

After how well-received February’s Je Joue MiMi Soft review was (thank you so much, you guys!), I had to follow up with another sex toy review — or two.

I handpicked this duo for two reasons: (1) the brand’s reputation for making high-quality, durable toys, and (2) the We-Vibe 4 and Tango’s rather singular designs. Whether you added the MiMi to your bedroom repertoire or you’re still looking to start your collection, I think these will serve a purpose unique to themselves!

We Vibe 4 Tango couple's  vibrator review

The “Bedroom Essential”

The rechargeable We-Vibe Tango recently got a waterproof update, and now comes in fuchsia and this lovely, slightly-desaturated blue. It’s now a little bit longer and just a hair wider than it used to be (source), but should still be able to replace any sad, weak bullet vibe — which takes it from “great starter toy” to “bedroom essential” status.


We Vibe tango bullet review

Powerful and quiet, the Tango is a great option for a small, discreet clitoral vibe. It runs for up to 2 hours (I find it lasts for less than that) and features 8 vibration modes (4 speeds/4 patterns), with a low battery warning that flashes through its base. But, while it’s not as rumbly and cushy as the Je Joue MiMi, it can also be used in place of your standard bullet.

And the thing is — the Tango is strong. At $80, it’s relatively affordable for a luxury sex toy, but it’s more like two toys in one: your basic clitoral vibrator, and something that’ll super-power anything with a bullet cavity (cock rings, vibrating dildos, harnesses, the base of a strap-on, most things Tantus, etc.)

We Vibe Tango review

We-Vibe Tango (Waterproof) in Blue

The Tango is made out of body-safe ABS thermoplastic, and its plastic finish means that it doesn’t pick up too much fuzz or create too much friction when being inserted into another toy. (Add a bit of water-based lube to ease a tight fit). It has the same motor as the line’s discontinued, cult-followed Salsa, but features a slightly different tip.

We Vibe Tango charger

The “Nice in Theory”

Despite testing this one for (literally) months, I just couldn’t get it to work well for me. That said, however, it is a really unique kind of sex toy.

Made for solo or partnered play, the We-Vibe 4 features the brand’s first “echo” vibe — that is, there are two separate vibrators in this device (one for the clitoris and one for the g-spot) that vibrate in alternate patterns at three different speeds & three additional patterns. It’s waterproof and relatively flexible with a soft, safe silicone finish, and comes with both an on-vibe control and a battery-operated remote.

We Vibe 4 dual vibrator review

But, even though I like everything We-Vibe has included in this toy (especially its 3 hour battery life and space-agey stand-slash-charging-station), it just doesn’t fit my anatomy – which is a risk that you always run with any dual-stimulation vibrator, no matter the style.

So, here are my recommendations. If you really want to try a couple’s vibrator, choose this one. LELO launched the Ida to compete with the We-Vibe last year, but based on the reviews I’ve seen, it’s a sloppy, painful imitation of a couple’s vibe. If you really want to try a wearable vibrator, choose this one. Like all wearable vibes, it’s not perfect (too loud for a library, and the remote has a garage-door range), but it packs way more of a punch than your typical vibrating panty or remote-controlled bullet.

We Vibe 4 couple's vibe review

But here’s the thing: if your ladyparts are on the small side, skip this one. It turns out that I have a fairly short vagina with an extremely retroverted uterus (which, by the way, makes getting an IUD excruciating), so the We-Vibe 4 can be pretty painful when I use it. Plus, I mean, the clitoral arm goes way past my clitoris.

Honestly, though, I don’t think most people will have this problem. The We-Vibe 4 probably won’t be perfect for everybody, but I think it’ll be a pretty good fit for most — just give it a pass if you’re really petite down there. (Note that having a small frame does not necessarily translate into having a small vagina or a close-set clitoris! Vaginas are kind of like penises in that way: you get what you get, height be damned.)

We Vibe 4 review base charger

The We-Vibe 4 in its charging base/case (lid at left) and remote (at right)

The verdict?

If you have to have a remote-control vibrator or couple’s vibrator, I say get the We-Vibe 4 – it’s probably your best bet. BUT that said, I don’t think it’s worth the price, and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who didn’t have their heart set on this type of toy already. The clitoral vibrator is just placed too far forward, and at $160, I would have liked to see far less visible, uneven seams.

The We-Vibe Tango, on the other hand, is definitely a toy I’d recommend. It would be my top pick for a bullet vibe, and my fondness for it sits about on-par with my love for the Je Joue Mimi Soft (which delivers more satisfying vibrations, in my opinion, but is larger, more expensive, and a little bit louder.)

Availability: $79.99 USD (Tango)/$159.99 (We-Vibe 4) at the awesome SheVibe.com, who sent these products in for review. Both of these toys can also be found at PinkCherry (Canada) and LoveHoney (UK).

Tip: These both charge via USB, so consider buying one of those $0.99 USB power adapters on eBay while you’re at it! (I have this one – no sense paying $10 for a brand-name copy, you know?)

Keep reading! »

Lunette menstrual cup re-review & giveaway

Monday, June 16, 2014

Lunette cup wash giveaway

Do you remember way back when when I reviewed the Lunette menstrual cup for theNotice? It’s been a while, but I still love my Lunette just as much as I did then (which is a LOT). So, when they contacted me this month to see if I wanted to give one away to one of you, the answer was, of course: yes!!

–skip to the giveaway–

About the Lunette

Lunette cup review giveaway

from my original Lunette review (with size comparisons!)

I love my Lunette for two reasons: 1) the über-comfortable product, and 2) the brand. Lunette has a wonderful, friendly site, and a great education section on everything from the female anatomy to how to choose, use and care for your cup. Using a menstrual cup for the first time can be a little scary, especially for a teen, but I found that they made the transition the easiest & least… threatening.

Unlike tampons, menstrual cups can be worn for up to twelve hours, last for years, and create virtually no waste — so instead of going through an entire box of tampons every month, you just empty and rinse your cup between uses, boil at the end of your period, and re-use the next month. No need to worry about running out of tampons, and you save around $70/year in the cost of thick pads & tampons.

Lunette size 1 vs 2

Lunette menstrual cup – model 1 vs model 2

Of the three cups I’ve tried (Lunette size 1, Diva cup size 1 & 2), the Lunette is the most comfortable and easiest to use. It washes out with the least hassle, can’t be felt while being worn, and is easy to insert and remove after a little bit of practice (just a few tries should do it!)

If you’re not sure which cup size is best for you, there’s a great size guide on the Lunette site – check that out if you want to read more.

Enter to win

Lunette menstrual cup giveaway

win me!

Lunette has generously offered one of our North American readers the chance to win a Lunette cup in the size of their choice, plus a bottle of their pH-balanced Feelbetter Liquid Wash to keep it clean. I know using your first menstrual cup is a little, uh, terrifying, so hopefully this’ll be the push some of you need to take the leap!

It’s worth it, I promise. You create so much less waste, save a ton of money (for me, I think it would be around $700 over the lifespan of the cup!), and they’re so comfortable and easy to use. Pair that with no dry-tampon feeling and a whole ZERO reported cases of TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome), and I think it’s an easy decision to make.

Availability: Can’t wait? You can buy the Lunette cup ($39.99) and wash ($9.99) on their site. And you can order them in different colours!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fibromyalgia is…

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Fibromyalgia is: staying home.

Fibromyalgia is missing birthdays, missing dinners, missing holidays.

(Fibromyalgia is: “oh, you get to stay in bed all day? Must be nice.”)

Fibromyalgia is redefining your goals, your future.

Fibromyalgia is learning to be zen. The most zen. The zennest.

Fibromyalgia is re-learning how to live: how to move, how to dress, how to wash and sleep and play.

Fibromyalgia is “not today, I’m too tired.”

Fibromyalgia is learning to be proud of the little things. The little, little things.

Fibromyalgia is learning to ask for help (I’m still learning this one.)

Fibromyalgia is people leaving, people leaving, people leaving.

and people staying.

Fibromyalgia is surrounding yourself with only those

who really, really love you,

because there isn’t room for anyone else.

 

Fibromyalgia is sacrifice.

 

Fibromyalgia is being stronger than yourself.

 

////

 

In the comments, I’d like to invite you to share your own “is” statements.

 

What is being healthy, to you? What is being sick? What is being a minority, or a majority? What’s it like to be an accountant, a makeup artist, a college student? What’s it like to be tired, or loved, or a mother or daughter or cousin?

Big or small, I want to know what it’s like to be you. So: will you take a minute out of your day to tell me?

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