Fashion Fridays, or something like that | Soul Beautiful Strap Solution review

Friday, August 5, 2011

Fun fact of the day: if I’m on the fence about whether or not to accept a PR request and you tell me the brand’s Canadian, I will fold like a cheap suit. Seriously, it gets me every. time. The crazy Canadian in me kicks into high gear and starts shouting nonsense like “all Canadians are awesome people!” and “it is your civic duty!” and “maybe they will pay you with maple syrup!

Okay, so perhaps I was joking about one or three of those. But my point is-

What was my point, again?

Oh, right:

The product: Soul Beautiful Strap Solution

About the company: Canucks can find the Soul Beautiful line online, Walmart, and Mureale. A strange array of shops, if you ask me (Murale and Walmart, in the same list!?) but I’m not going to complain: the more easily accessible the better, if you ask me! Just keep an eye out for their signature turquoise packaging, which – in case you couldn’t guess – I totally adore.

About the product: The Strap Solutions come in a three-pack, so you can change the one you’re using based on what colour bra you happen to be wearing. Designed to change any bra into a racerback, they’re great for keeping your bra straps hidden (especially in the sleeveless summer), without having to buy a new bra altogether.

Now, I happen to think that all bras should come with this kind of hook on the straps, but these are definitely the next best thing!

The bottom line

Surprisingly, these plastic thingamabobs aren’t any more uncomfortable than your regular racerback bra. I thought I’d be able to feel them poking into my shoulder blades and just generally getting in my way, but even on my 5’2″ frame, they’re not too large or ungainly. As an added bonus, they’re easy to clean (just wipe down or rinse) and small enough to throw into your handbag as a just-in-case, which is always nice!

P.S. I forgot to include another item for scale, but these are about 6 x 4 cm large.

(For all you Americans, that’s 2 1/2 by 1 1/2 inches, give or take :P)

The Cup Reviews: instead Softcup

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

For a bit of background information on menstrual cups, read this post.
Oh, and also:
TMI alert! TMI alert! Alert alert alert!

What it is: instead Softcup disposable menstrual cups

What we love

  • The Softcup is a lot less icky than other menstrual cups! There’s no washing/scrubbing/boiling involved, and removal is quick, painless, and relatively clean. It takes a bit of practice, but I can get it out with just a bit of blood ending up on my fingertips; no messier than a tampon.
  • It’s also a lot easier to get in (and out) than other cups — you pinch the two sides and insert it like a tampon. The pink plastic is very malleable, so they really do pinch right together. It’s no harder to get in than a regular tampon (and way easier than supers and extra supers!)
  • There are a bunch of “side benefits” that come along with using this kind of cup. For starters, there are no strings attached, literally! Nothing… hanging out of you. (Ahem.) And while I can’t vouch for it, they do say you can wear the Softcup during sex while you’re on your period for less, erm, mess.
  • The Softcup can be worn for up to 12 hours, unlike tampons (which run 4-8 if I’m not mistaken.) Of course, I have to change mine more often, but my lighter-flow friends (aka every single !@)#!@$ person I know; it’s just not fair!) should be fine.

What we don’t

  • These cups are one-size-fits-all, and unfortunately… we’re not all the same size down there. I found it to be a touch too long for me; it slips too low every now and again and can be hard to get all the way in. So, make sure to sample them first! If they fit, you’ll know: when they’re in properly, you can’t feel the cup at all.

Tips and tricks
As I’ve mentioned, I find inserting the Softcup to be a breeze. It’s awkward the first time, but the process is just so easy to get the hang of. Anyone who can insert a tampon should be fine! (And to be honest, it’s easier to insert a Softcup than it is to insert an extra super tampon, or anything by OB…)

However, I know not everyone is as utilitarian about their female reproductive system comfortable with their ladybits as I am. So I asked Tracey Croughwell (Evofem’s Marketing VP) if she had any tips of her own! She had a ton of incredibly helpful ones to share, so here are a few of them:

  • To insert the Softcup, sit on a toilet and relax. Compress the Softcup, then push it into the vagina. Push it back, not up. You should feel the Softcup go past your pubic bone, and when it’s in place it will be tucked up behind the pubic bone. Once it’s inserted correctly, you won’t feel it.

  • If you can feel the Softcup, it probably is not in place. Simply remove it and try again. To remove it, insert your finger into your vagina. When you bear down with your muscles (like you’re pushing out a baby), the rim will come down and be easier to hook your finger around. Hook your finger around and gently pull it out.

  • When removing the Softcup, remove it slowly and keep it horizontal (so it’s less messy).

  • Removing the Softcup will be messy at first. You’ll eventually get used to taking it out, and the whole insertion/removal process will become quicker, easier, and less messy… and it’s totally worth the freedom and comfort you experience with the Softcup!

Psst — did you notice the “How-To” tab at the top of the Sofcup site? Definitely worth checking out if you’re not sure how to go about using your cup!

Other things to note

  • The Softcup is just over $10 for 24, but the samples are available for $2.50.
  • Because they’re non-absorbant, the Softcup doesn’t cause irritation or dryness. I mean, don’t get me wrong; I love tampons just as much as the next gal (most days)… but there’s nothing worse than inserting a tampon when the last one wasn’t totally soaked!
  • For the same reason, menstrual cups aren’t associated with TSS. And on a health-related note, they’re also free of things like bleach (used to get your tampons that clean-looking white-white,) and latex.
One last thing: we decided to do this review in point-form, just because there was so much information we wanted to share. (And we didn’t want to force you to read three and half hours of text!) If there’s anything we missed, though, don’t hesitate to ask questions in the comments :)

P.S. Purple packaging? We approve!

TMI Time: an introduction to cups that go "down there"

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Menstrual cups. That’s right. I said it. Intrigued, aren’t you?

Well, everything else is hiding behind a cut so that we don’t scare the ability to reproduce out of passerbys. So click on through if you think you can take it!

The basic facts 

Menstrual cups are soft, malleable pieces of silicone or rubber (no, not like the “dimethicone” kind of silicones, and no, not the “elastic band” kind of rubber) made to hold, rather than absorb, the sloughing off of unfertilized endometrial tissue your period. They’re shaped like closed funnels (don’t scoff; you totally know it’s true) or small bowls (in the case of the disposable cups.)

(Or should that be disposa-bowl?)


The first cup was patented in 1932 (!!!) and was made from rubber. Most menstrual cups are not associated with high frequencies of TSS, unlike tampons. There are a few questions, and by this we mean like, “one question by one study one time,” being raised about the relationship between cups and endometriosis, but there are questions being raised about everything… I mean, your sunscreen can give you cancer, gluten will kill you, and your dog secretly wants to eat your brains.

(Sorry if I’m offending anyone. I just don’t buy into irrational worries until someone else* does.)
*Someone else, like maybe… the federal health authority. Which for the record, still supports cups being on the market. So there! 

[gets off soapbox]

Why they’re gaining popularity

Greenliness! (I’m sorry. I don’t know what’s wrong with me today.) But no, seriously — reusable menstrual cups mean that you buy one cup and it lasts you anywhere from one to ten years. So sure, they’re synthetic, but so are many tampon applicators and pads. Plus, the durability of cups means a greatly reduced amount of wastes associated with pads and tampons: plastic wrappers, rayon-cotton absorbencies, bleach used to make them white, transport fuel, packaging…

The point is, overall, reusable menstrual cups reduce waste. Also awesome? The fact that many of them can be worn in anticipation of your period (no more washing your undergarments in the sink!) and they can (but don’t always) hold much more than the average tampon — while a regular absorbency tampon will hold 6-9ml, and an extra super absorbency will hold 12-15ml, cups start at 10ml and go right up to 30ml. 30ml!!!

The disposable

“Well, okay,” you say, “but what about the disposable? They don’t reduce waste!”

They sure don’t. And you know what I have to say to that? Pthooey!

…I’m just kidding. (Seriously, what is wrong with me today?!) Disposable cups come with their advantages as well! For instance, they’re much more portable (you have to wash and sanitize a re-usable menstrual cup completely before re-inserting it,) they can be worn during intercourse (yes, that kind of intercourse… stop your snickering!) and they’re much easier for some (no, not all) women to insert and wear comfortably.

Plus, they look like very short, overweight condoms, which makes for a great conversation starter.

What peaked my interest

All of the above! But more specifically, here are some stats about my own period that might help put future reviews and babble into perspective:

  • I feel incredibly guilty each and every period because of the amount of waste I produce. It’s obscene!
  • I always carry my bag into the washroom with me (must… have… lip balm!) so the whole “sneak in a tampon” thing isn’t an issue — but I always worry about when I do need to go change it. Always.
  • My flow is incredibly heavy, especially for someone my size. During a good cycle, I can use about three extra supers on my heaviest day (that’s about 45ml,) but on most of my cycles, I go through seven. Think about that for a second — SEVEN extra super tampons, plus a few pads. That’s A LOT OF FLUID.
  • Seriously. Think about that for a second. I bleed like a medium-sized animal being drained for– I should stop talking.
  • The point is, if I can use something that doesn’t mean having to change a tampon every hour and a half, I’m so in.

Still interested?
That’s good, because I’ll be posting more about them shortly, with a few reviews and thoughts. This post isn’t going up real-time, don’t come crying to me about why I’ve been oh-so-bitchy recently (that’s just my winning personality,) but as I write this, I’ve just finished using cups for my (entire!) period. And you know what?

…I loved it!

A great resource for information on menstrual cups that I’ve recently stumbled accross is the livejournal page of the not so creatively named “Menstrual Cups” community. So maybe the name is a snoozefest, but I kid you not: this page is likely the most helpful page you’ll ever come across, relating to cups!

Would you ever think about trying a menstrual cup? Have you already? Let us know in the comments!

all images credit the sites they link back to. honestly, these three were chosen at random, and there are many many others! they just happened to have the types of images I was looking for. 

TMI Time: Tampons

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How do you guys feel about the occasional TMI day? Anything that you feel is too embarassing or awkward for real life can be discussed on said days — or emailed to me as a suggestion for the next TMI Time! The only rule is that it cannot be lewd, and the subject matter has to be appropriate for [most] ages.

TMI Time will always be under a cut, so by clicking on the “read more” button, you can choose to read it or skip it. Also, by clicking, you accept that you are… [legal jargon] and [more legal jargon stating you cannot sue me or any of my readers, who are AWESOME, might I add.]
To start this off: what type of period care do you use?? I’m a Tampax girl, my sister uses only plastic applicators (preferably Playtex) and mother can use whatever the hell she wants. I have an aunt that uses only pads and a friend who loves her DivaCup…

And now, to take it up to the TMI level… pro/cons!

  • Tampax (traditional): cardboard applicatiors are better for the environment than plastic ones but harder to insert (I have no problem with this, though my sister does… and I use Extra Supers [ugh] in comparison to her Regulars!) They expand in this [] shape, so they’re easier to remove.
  • Tampax compak: small, with a plastic applicator for easy insertion. They also expand [] thisaway, so they’re easy to remove. Unfortunately, they’re also pricier and generate more waste than a traditional tampax.
  • Playtex (traditional): plastic applicators with rounded tips, which is more wasteful, but wayyy easier to insert. What I have trouble with is the removal — they expand like this <> and when I’m bleeding to death, tired, and anaemic, it is physically distressing to have to remove these. Plus, it hurts!
  • Pads: messy. That is all.
  • DivaCup: I would love to try one of these, because they sound wonderful! Reduced waste, one set cost (no monthly rebuying) and, from what I hear, very effective. The only problem? I haven’t the ovaries (har, har) to try it out!!

Now it’s your turn — respond!!

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