TMI Tuesday: Diva Cup review

So the very first TMI Tuesday was all about something us gals know too much about. Our menstrual cycles. In that post, I talked about my desire to be greener and dump the hassle that was sanitary napkins and tampons. Instead, I said I was going to use a menstrual cup. Say hello to the Diva Cup.

After that post (which was almost 2 months ago), I was anxious for my cycle to come so I could give the menstrual cup a whirl. Mind you, I am NEVER anxious for my period to come. For me, my period’s arrival means cramps from hell, lethargy, the desire to stuff my face and tummy hurtin’ gas. I have to endure all of this while keeping a smile on my face at work and during meetings. It’s the worst. Sanitary napkins didn’t make it any better because I always felt…gross and unclean. I changed them far too often and when I couldn’t, I felt….even grosser. I am happy to say that the Diva Cup has SO made my period 10x more bearable.

WARNING: I’m going to do an in-depth description and review of the Diva Cup. If you are squeamish about period talk, discussing the female anatomy or blood, you may want to leave this post.

If you’re a gangsta and still hangin’ with me, pat yourself on the back. 8) I’m going to do this review in a Q&A format for easier viewing.

How does the Diva Cup work?

Here’s how….it sits snuggly right underneath your cervix and catches your flow. Tampons can disrupt our pH balance because of the harsh cotton stuffed up there. The Diva Cup, however, is made of high quality silicone. It does not contain chlorine, dyes, colorings or additives. It is also scent-free. Give me a side eye if you want, but let’s face it….sometimes being on the rag can be smelly. Not the case with the Diva Cup.

Is it difficult to insert the Diva Cup?

Not one bit. Listen here, ladies…learn your body. Seriously. I felt like quite a noob for not knowing where my cervix was. I actually had to Google it. Sticking some fingers up there and searching for my cervix REALLY helped me work with the Diva Cup better. Some women aren’t able to reach their cervices – which is completely normal. Your best bet is to ask your gynecologist where it is. Also, because my cervix tends to sit lower before and during my cycle, reaching it is a breeze.

Is inserting the Diva Cup painful?

No. If it’s painful, that means you have inserted it incorrectly. I find inserting tampons far more painful and uncomfortable than inserting a menstrual cup. I will say this, you have to be okay with feeling inside your vagina to get the Diva Cup in place. Some women don’t like feeling their fleshy parts and may be turned off with the idea of having to do so. I didn’t find inserting, wearing or removing the Diva Cup at all painful.

What about leaking?

My first time wearing the Diva Cup was rough. Simply because I didn’t trust it or my body. Before test driving a menstrual cup, understand your flow. Are you heavy the first few days? Do you have clots? Do you tend to leak at night? Getting an understanding of your period prior to wearing the Diva Cup can REALLY help you out. The one time I leaked was at night and that was because I inserted the cup incorrectly. It felt funny after I put it in and I was too lazy to re-do it. A midnight run to the bathroom left me with Shark Week-type panties. You gals know what I’m talkin’ about. It wasn’t pretty. So yes, the Diva Cup WILL leak if it doesn’t have a snug fit. I highly recommend wearing a pad the first few times you wear the cup. Just in case…

My period is really really heavy. Will the Diva Cup hold my flow?

I consider my period to be heavy for the first few days and don’t have any problems with leaking. On the first day of my period, I change the Diva Cup more often whereas when I’m getting closer to my period ending, I only have to change it twice a day. So yes, the Diva Cup WILL hold your flow. Just be sure to check it regularly.

How is removal? It seems nasty…

A lot of women may freak out at the sight of their menstrual blood in a cup. Quite frankly, it doesn’t bother me. If anything, I find it fascinating. I know. I’m weird. The removal is actually easier than you think. Grabbing the bottom of it and gently squeezing it can relive the Diva Cup’s suction. From there, you pull down and gently tilt the Diva Cup’s bottom toward the ground. Discard, rinse and reuse! I will say this…removal can be challenging in public restrooms. But it’s still 10x easier than dealing with the unwrapping of a sanitary napkin. Before I go in the restroom, I grab a few paper towels with me. I usually carry a bottle of water to rinse the cup in the toilet. I pat it dry with the paper towels and re-insert. I hate to say it, but if I can, I go in the handicap bathrooms when I’m rockin’ the Diva Cup only because it gives me more space to move around. And I can wash my hands without touching much of anything. Keep in mind, that the outside of the cup does NOT have menstrual flow on it. You shouldn’t get blood on your fingers at all.

A quick vid I did of the removal…

 

Do you clean it daily? And how long can you wear it?

It is recommended to wear the cup for no more than 12 hours at a time. Obviously, if you have a heavy flow, you’ll want to check it more often. The first few days I wore the Diva Cup, I checked it every 2 hours or so. Just out of sheer paranoia. I recommend doing this when you first wear the Diva Cup. Just so you know what your flow is like. At the end of each day and before bed, I wash my with soap, rinse and re-insert. There is also a Diva Wash you can purchase but I’ve found my unscented homemade soap works just fine.

How can you not feel it, B? I just don’t get that…

Seriously. You DON’T feel it. The Diva Cup is not recommended to stay in for more than 12 hours but because it’s so comfortable, I have accidentally forgotten that it was in. No more having to feel that “gushing” feeling when wearing a pad. I can wear thongs, sleep through the night, work out with ease and soak in bath water without fear of creating pools of blood. Which sounds gross, but come on, gals…I know we’ve all been there before.

I’m a teenager. Should I try the Diva Cup?

I’m 27 and I can honestly say that if the Diva Cup was presented to me as a teen, I WOULD not have given it a chance. Then again, I was a teen afraid of tampons. That said, I recommend teenagers consult with their gynecologists first before considering the Diva Cup.

How much is the Diva Cup, what comes with it and where can I get it from?

I scooped up my cup from a health food store here in Orlando. I have also seen it at Whole Foods and on Amazon. I got mine for $35. Pricey? Yes. But it’s the best investment I’ve made in quite some time. And did I mention that the Diva Cup can last for years? Years, ladies. Years. Meanwhile, those bloody pads and tampons go straight to clogging up landfills. The Diva Cup comes in a girly box with the cup itself, a nice carrying bag and a DIVA pin. And plenty of instructions.

There are 2 kinds of Diva Cups. How do I know which one is for me?

There is 1 for women under 30 and one for women over 30 OR who have had children. I got Model 1.

How do I clean and store and the Diva Cup until my next period?

When your cycle is over, it is recommended to boil your Diva Cup for 5 minutes. Obviously, you’ll want to designate a pot just for your Diva Cup in this case. Afterwards, put it in its pouch and leave it somewhere dark and cool until it’s time to reuse. I leave mine in my panty drawer.

Bottom Line:

The learning curve for the Diva Cup can be challenging. My commitment to greening up my period and finding a better alternative is what motivated me to keep going. I wish that all women would give menstrual cups a try, but I know they won’t. There are way too many “factors” that can turn gals away. The price. The fact that you have to reach inside your vagina to insert it. The removal. So yeah – I get why many women won’t consider the Diva Cup. Quite frankly, I would pay $100 for this menstrual cup. It has given me a level of confidence and peace that I didn’t even know existed during my period. No more having to run out and get pads because I’ve run out. Everything about the Diva Cup is wonderful. And if you still aren’t convinced, check the reviews online. Just about everyone that uses the Diva Cup loves it. The Diva Cup is antibacterial, comfortable and rocks in every way.

Pro’s:
-Catches WAY more flow than the average tampon and pad.
-Doesn’t disturb the body’s pH balance the way a tampon does.
-Doesn’t stink the way a pad can.
-Antibacterial and reusable which means no contributing to the landfills..
-Long lasting. Some Diva Cup users have had theirs for close to a decade.
-Comfortable for active ladies. I’ve played soccer, done yoga and ran with my Diva Cup with zero problems.
-Helps you monitor your menstrual flow. This may be important for women who need to keep a closer look at their cycles every month.

Con’s:
-A costly investment (although you do see a return in that investment in a good 7-8 months).
-Can be challenging to use the first few times.
-Takes some time figuring out how to use it in public.

What do you think? Think you’d try one or are you sticking to the pads and tampons? The Diva Cup website does an amazing job about answering almost every question under the sun regarding the cup.

 

ETA: The lucky winner of the Diva Cup was Selena in California! 

 

Schick’s Hydro Silk. The razor you need in your life.

A new razor has hit town, y’all. And it’s a big deal. Laugh if you want, but if you’re like me and endure an insane amount of razor nicks from dealing with crappy razors, you know finding a GOOD razor is a serious, mega and colossal deal. Shick is bringing us their new Hydro Silk Razor. And uh…I hope this doesn’t seem to forward but you need to get one.

Like fo real fo real. This razor is amazing. And for several reasons.

  • This is Schick’s first 5-blade razor. Finally! Why the fellas always got 5 blades and us gals didn’t is beyond me.
  • There are skin guards on the top of the blades to help smooth the skin while shaving.
  • The inclusion of water-activated moisturizing serum is genius. I don’t know how it works but this lubricating strip stays slick for several shaves.

 

Oh, and then you’ve got the nice handle that makes moving around easy peasy .

Because I suffer from razor bumps, burns, nicks, scraps, cuts (you get the idea)…I like that the razor has 5 blades.

That means, I’m not only getting rid of the hair with one swipe, but my skin is left smooth and irritation free. It’s a fantastic razor, y’all.

If you can find it in your drugstore, get it with the quickness. It retails for $9.99 for a razor and 1 cartridge. I loves it.

In extremely random news, how beautiful was the sky the other day?

I have this thing for glaring up at the sky and taking pictures of it. It’s the little things, you know? I get this calming wave of relaxation when I look up at the sky. Even if it’s in the middle of a lunch break.

XOXO –

B

Alba Botanica Hawaiian Cocktail Body Wash is la-la-lovely.

Guess who, for the first time in a looooong time, has stepped away from bars of soap to play around with body washes again? Meeeee! I think I’ve forgotten how awesome body washes are. I’ve been so stuck on making my own soap that I haven’t even touched body wash until a few weeks ago. This divine bottle of liquid gold that is Alba Bontanica’s Hawaiian Cocktail Body Wash broke my fast.

Have you seen these in stores? I’ve spotted them in Target and Whole Foods. The fragrance of this body wash is just absolutely incredible. It reminds me of Hawaiian punch with a citrus kick to it. Folx always hate me for bragging about how it’s a good 80 degrees in Florida in November, but a whiff of this body wash will transport you to a tropical paradise.

Like…for reals. The best thing about this body wash is what it doesn’t have.


Yep, my skin and I are both product snobs (unapologetically so) and I love how this body wash does a whole lot of omitting of the stuff that my skin hates. It is chock full of artificial fragrance but it smells so pleasant that I don’t mind using it for time to time.


Not bad for $8.95. You down for a tropical body wash?

Glitter bombs from Hard Candy

I don’t care how old I get, I’m always going to love glitter. I’ve heard these stories about how women should over a certain age shouldn’t wear glitter. Whatever yo. I’ll be 93 years old with glitter on my nails and won’t give a darn what anyone says. Shoooot. Life is short, wear glitter. Hard Candy would agree with me.

Who knew they had so many glitter bomb-y type products? I didn’t!

Check out this Eye Def creamy eye shadow for example:

While my oily eyelids won’t let me get down with creamy eyeshadows, I absolutely love the intense glitter in this baby.

In fact, there is so much glitter in it, that when you smooth it out, it becomes more of a pewter grew with a punch of magenta glitter. That said, this will probably be worn best solo than as a base. Throwing another shadow on top will take away from the awesomeness that is this Eye Def. If you’ve got oily lids like me, you better wear a primer. Not a bad deal for $6. These Eye Def shadows also come 7 other stunning shades. If you’d rather have your glitter be a little more versatile, check out the Show Girl All Over Body Glitter for under $4.

This is your basic arts and crafts-type glitter. And it’s loose alright.

Use too much of it and it will be everywheeeere.

Buuuut, if you need something a little more concentrated, there’s the Glitteratzi Body Spray for $6.23.

The distribution of glitter was there but the fragrance was just so…unpretty.

Yep. You’re better off rolling with the loose glitter. Still. If you’re a lover of glittah, Hard Candy at Walmart has you covered.

TMI Tuesday: Aunt Flow’s Baggage

My first capture of leaves changing in FL. Woot!

Okay, I don’t think I’ve ever done a “TMI Tuesday” post, but let’s pretend that it’s a normal act here on Clumps of Mascara, mkay? Although I can be quite prude-ish, I really do enjoy TMI (too much information) conversation. It’s the free spirit neo-hippie in me and discussing things that used to be taboo can be enlightening and informative.

But of course, I’m a little immature so they can be funny too. 8)

One of my favorite TMI discussions that I love rapping with my gal pals is talking about our periods. As much as I haaaaaaate that red monster, I find it fascinating. I think our reproductive systems are just so complex and interesting. I could talk about it all day. Especially since, growing up, I didn’t talk about it much. You know, because everyone was so embarrassed or whatever. I don’t really care anymore. The fact of the matter is, women all over the world have periods, will have periods or had periods. We are all in sync. I’ll be Justin (haha, see what I did there?).

Soooo, while I’ve always been a pad wearer (because tampons are just too painful for me considering I’ve suffered from dysmenorrhea for years), I’m thinking about switching to using menstrual cups. I’ve got my eyes on the Diva Cup. Have an open mind here, okay? There’s nothing particularly attractive about ANY of Aunt Flow’s baggage, but in attempts to green up my life a bit, a menstrual cup sounds, dare I say it….cool.

Some of y’all out there are probably already freaking out and when I first heard about menstrual cups, I was too. I was all like,

“Wait, so there’s basically a cup of blood just chillin’ under my cervix?”

“Won’t it spill or leak out?”

“It’s reusable? But how….” 

“Won’t it hurt going in?”

And while I haven’t tried the Diva Cup yet, my apprehension has been eased a bit after reading a very honest blog post from one of my favorite bloggers. In her comment section, many women admit to using the Diva Cup and products like it. Soooo, they are saving a crap ton of money (Diva Cup @ $30 can last for 10 years) and they aren’t exposing their lady parts to chemically saturated pads and tampons. Aaaaand, they aren’t clogging landfills. Excuse me, but with that many benefits, shouldn’t we all be wearing menstrual cups?

Maybe.

The learning curve will probably suck for me but I’m willing to give it a try. And as Caitlin mentioned in her post, she felt using the menstrual cup helped her be a little more connected to her period because she was able to monitor her flow. That part sold me. I’m obsessed with my reproductive health and I like the idea of being able to see what’s goin’ on up and around there. A girlfriend of mine said she used to be squeamish at the thought of it but figured if she could pick her dog’s poop a few times a day, getting that close to her own body’s fluids wouldn’t be THAT bad.

So yeah. I’m going to give the Diva Cup a try.

What do you think? Would you try menstrual cups or do you think you’ll stick to pads and tampons?

Also — let me know what you think about these kind of posts. If you have any ideas for what we can talk about on TMI Tuesday, let a sista know. 8) Or, if TMI Tuesday scares you a bit, let me know that too.

 

St Ives’ newest: Naturally Smooth Body Lotion

We all know our how much I love St. Ives. And I mean, I LOVE St. Ives. Even more so now that they’ve become paraben-free. My eczema-ridden skin sings praises. I’ve tried several of St. Ives lotions and I am excited to announce that they are adding a new kid to the crew.

According to St. Ives, “Formulated with a natural, fruit-derived AHA complex, the dual-action, non-greasy formula absorbs quickly to provide intense hydration while a multi-fruit blend with alpha hydroxies gently exfoliates skin by promoting cell turnover. Perfect for all skin types, Naturally Smooth Body Lotion works to improve texture, revealing fresher, smoother and younger looking skin – naturally!”



Like all of the newly formulated St. Ives lotions, this one feels absolutely wonderful on the skin.

Aaaand, the paraben-free formula means that my skin won’t have to go haywire shortly after application. I’m not the biggest fan of this fragrance though. While it isn’t overpowering, it doesn’t smell THAT good. It has a plasic-y/fruity smell. The good news is that is dissipates quickly and is virtually hard to sniff once on your skin. Woot!

My skin does 10x better with products that aren’t heavily scented and loaded with synthetic ingredients. Which is why St. Ives is one of my top drugstore-friendly skincare lines.Them being super cheap has something to do with it too. ;) Because I’ve only been using this for a few weeks, I can’t really speak on if my skin has improved or not. My guess would be that it would take a good month or so to determine that. The good news is, because this lotion feels good all over and is great at ash bashin’, the likeliness of me using it to actually see results is pretty high. It’s getting a little colder ‘roun these parts and this lotion will be one of the ones in my stash.

Any St. Ives lovers in the house?

Want skin that smells like Strawberries & Milkshake?

Look at that pretty body butter thingy. It’s darling, uh? I’ve been spotting I Love… Cosmetics and have kept my eyes on their cutesy pieces. Popular and well known in the UK Canada, the brand I Love… reminds me of someone. Philosophy, that’s who! With similar packaging and flavor-esqe scents, I was hoping that I Love..’s products were just as nice as Philosophy’s.

Good news is, they kinda are. I tested the Moisturizing Body Butter ($7.99) and while I’m not a fan of fruity scents, I have to admit, it smells pretty good. And the consistency is whippy and creamy.

The Strawberries & Milkshake scent is pretty dead on but it isn’t overpowering. It lightly scents the skin but won’t leave you smelling like a strawberry field and dairy farm. The body butter feels good on the skin too.

It isn’t watery and sinks into the skin nicely. While this isn’t a butter that I could regularly wear (you know, with my skin issues and all), this will make for a perfect holiday gift for my sisters. I Love… also has other fantastic scents like Blueberries & Smoothie, Coconut & Cream, Mango & Papaya and Raspberry & Blackberry. They also have a slew of other lovely goodies including shower gels, hand creams and balms.

Keep your eyes peeled for this kid. Duane Reade, Walgreens, Walmart, CVS  should ‘em.