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. 

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

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!

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