Category : Review

2 posts

A menstrual cup is a reusable product that is typically made of medical-grade silicone and catches menstrual blood inside instead of absorbing it like a tampon or pad.

Ultucup

It was a long journey of initial failure but I have finally found my holy grail, my goldilocks cup! I purchased the Ultucup, which can also be found under other companies such as: Casco, Green Cup of Maine, Hesta, Mahina, V-Cup, EverCup, etc. Apparently Casco Bay Molding is the main manufacturer and sells the cups to different private companies.

Thank the heavens I finally found this cup!!!

I purchased 4 other menstrual cups that just didn’t work for me. My first cup was the Saalt soft cup. I tried the Peachlife¬†soft cup due to its ringed stem. I tried both sizes of the Lily cup (both sizes). I purchased all of these cups with my own money in my quest for the perfect one that would work for me. Here are my thoughts on each cup:

Saalt is just way too short for my super high cervix. It led to some slightly traumatic times in the bathroom with me trying desperately to remove it. I had no idea my cervix was so high up; this is key finding in determining what cup would work best. I also had a lot of trouble getting the Saalt soft cup to open up upon insertion. I will say the quality of the cup itself was very good and their customer support & Facebook support group is extremely wonderful. You do feel like you have a support team with you every step of the way.

Peachlife has an awesome ring as the stem which made removal leagues easier. It gives you something to easily grab at. However, due to the firmness and shape of the cup (I chose their softest cup), my urine flow was completely obstructed when I tested out the cup. That really scared me so I didn’t attempt it again. The thought of having to remove and insert with every single pee break seemed a huge hassle. This cup was questionable in my opinion since it is not registered with the FDA. It’s cheaper than other cups. I originally decided to give it a try since there was even a 40% discount on top of the reasonable price due to COVID-19. It was basically $12 including shipping so at least I didn’t feel like I lost much. Regular pricing is about $20.

Lily cup is honestly the best designed and quality cup out of all the cups I’ve tried. The quality of the silicone feels extremely premium – velvety and smooth to touch. Very soft in terms of firmness so it’s extremely comfortable to insert. Unfortunately, because it is so soft, I think that caused issues for me in terms of the cup failing to open up properly after insertion and leaking. The long length was extremely helpful for my anatomy and the hefty stem makes it more sturdy for gripping & removal. I just couldn’t get the cup to work (likely issues w/ the cup fully opening up). I purchased both size A and size B, but unfortunately I still had to wear pads to catch half of my flow, which defeated the purpose of using a cup.

Enter the Ultucup! Not quite as long as the Lily but long enough so that when I bear down with my pelvic muscles, the cup is within reach. The silicone feels like high quality. The cup is not as soft as the Lily but still softer than the other cups in my opinion. Its firmness is perfect to keep it comfortable but still open up easily after insertion. The shape fits my anatomy well since it is narrow and long.

The stem does not aid too much in removal and acts more as a guide, since it is a very small, smooth nub. However, that also makes the cup more comfortable for me, especially if the cup tilts inside of me and causes the stem to poke at an angle. I guess I’m tilted down there because the stem often points to my right side! With the smooth nub, it’s not a problem at all. The things you learn about yourself, haha.

The 4 air holes are a great size: not too big and not too small (smaller is harder to clean).

The rim helps create a good seal but it (personally) doesn’t create any discomfort or impede on urine flow.

There are no seams in the silicone that would cause any discomfort or irritation.

Last time I checked, the Ultucup company has a 3 cycle guarantee where if it doesn’t work for you, you’ll be able to get a refund! That was initially what sealed the deal for me since it felt like I wasn’t going to sink more money into failed cups.

I highly recommend the Ultucup to those who have a high cervix and have had issues with other cups. The Ultucup is the perfect middle ground between a cup that’s too short or too long, and a cup that’s too stiff or too soft.

Other related posts in my menstrual cup series: My Menstrual Cup Experience & Tips

I was not sponsored or gifted to write this review and dropped some serious dough ($$$) on these shoes. There’s a huge buzz about them on the web and they aren’t cheap, so I thought I’d write a review with my personal experience to help people make their own informed decisions and have an idea of what to expect. ^_^

I first found out about Tieks after doing a Google search on what was the best brand of flats to buy. Women raved like crazy about them, but I wasn’t quite convinced mainly due to their most basic styles starting at $175. @_@ If you’re used to buying things for cheap or only buying things on sale, you’re probably thinking, “I could buy multiple shoes for that price!” I definitely felt that way.

I decided to take the plunge and splurge, mainly because I thought about all of the flats I’ve purchased and every single one either gave me extreme foot woes or had some kind of drawback at the end of a long day. Plus, Tieks has a great return policy if you don’t wear the shoes outside of the house.

Note: My camera made the colors look kind of green but they’re really more of a blue/teal color.

Packaging:

Cute Box

It was nowhere near any type of holiday or special occasion, but once I opened up my package, it sure felt like it! So cute, I love the tiny box and the cute flower on top.

Handwritten card

The personalized, handwritten card is also super cute.

Compact

Blue stripe on the back

Fun package!

I love that it comes with a tote bag to hold your other shoes and a tiny bag to hold your Tieks when you’re on the go and want to switch out shoes. I can imagine this being useful for the commuter who’s on the go, or a gal who can’t stand it for too long in her high heels.

Sizing and comfort: I’m normally a size 5.5 and maybe a 6 (typically the 6 is with sneakers and shoes that have more leeway). I decided to size up and try the size 6. It was a good decision that left a thumb’s width of room at the top of my toes, which gives my toes plenty of comfortable wiggle room. The instant I put them on, they felt pretty great! I could feel a little pressure on my big toe, but other than that, no pain or discomfort at all. I was expecting more tightness, but since I sized up rather than down, I think that contributed to a comfortable fit right out of the box.

Arrows pointing to irritated parts of my foot after wearing them

After wearing the flats inside of the house for the entire day (with minimal walking), I found three areas where they left my feet a bit swollen and red. These areas didn’t actually hurt and I wouldn’t have guessed where they were if I didn’t look at my feet, so they definitely looked worse than they felt. I have narrow feet, so I would imagine someone with wider feet will have more initial discomfort that I did. I think if they don’t already feel relatively comfortable the instant you put them on, you’re going to have a bad time with breaking them in and it may not be what you hoped for. It’s absolutely necessary to walk around the house in your Tieks for a while just to make sure they don’t cause any problems (you can still return them if they haven’t been worn outside).

The blue soles at the bottom of the shoes are nice and thick, so you don’t have to worry about feeling all of the pebbles underneath your shoe like you do with cheapy, thin flats. These feel very durable, and the non-skid rubber soles saved me from crashing into my kitchen floor when our fridge was leaking water all over and I slipped on it haha.

After wearing them for a few full days of long days in clinic, I found a slight pain in my big toe and the side of my feet near the big toe, where the elastic dug in. If you’re still breaking in your Tieks, I would be wary of wearing these shoes to drive home after a long day of walking (major big toe pain). Some sandals or a change of shoes in the car might be wise. After maybe 4-6 days of wearing my Tieks, I found the big toe pain decreasing and the elastic didn’t dig into my foot like it did initially. It does feel like the comfort will keep getting better and the Italian leather will continue to mold to my feet.

Side Profile

Squeaky Noises: I experienced a silly, squeaky, farty noise from the shoes. Yes, my flats were farting with every step I took. :D No, I didn’t have too many beans for lunch. Something about the way my feet rubbed against the inner sole was causing a squeaky noise. Definitely comedic and distracting if you were to walk in a quiet room. After a day, the noise decreased, but it didn’t disappear completely until after a few long days of wear. One solution would be no-show socks or a liner if you don’t find any improvement in the squeakiness. I could be wrong, but I think it’s just the new material rubbing against your feet causing that noise. Maybe getting it “dirty” and sweaty with extended wear was what made the squeaky noise go away for me.

Smell: Speaking of sweaty feet, mine definitely sweat in these flats if I’ve been wearing them all day, or if it’s particularly hot. I think that’s inevitable with any type of flats, but after a few weeks of wear, I still didn’t notice any offending smells from my feet or the shoes. Still just smells like leather. Personally, I think having smelly feet is yucky. It’s the worst when girls take off their flats in public to air out their feet and then BAM! You smell something super funky/ripe and the smell is unmistakably someone’s sweaty feet. *sick*

Aesthetics:

(Sorry for the poor quality indoor dirty mirror photos haha)

Personally, the Tieks had to grow on me first. The toe area is just some soft leather, so there is no rigid structure to that area. It leaves a toe indentation that doesn’t look that flattering, but it’s just something people don’t mind or learn to not care about anymore. For some people it can be a deal breaker. For me, I hated it at first and then I just grew to feel neutral about seeing my toe indentation. I do like the lowcut design though, and these ballet flats can really go with any outfit. Dressed up or dressed down. That’s part of the reason why I was willing to splurge on a pair of flats, since I knew I would be able to wear these with anything.

Big toe indentation

I chose black because surprisingly, I don’t actually own any black flats, and figured if I was going to splurge on an expensive flat, it might as well be a classic color I wouldn’t mind wearing every day if I wanted to. Tieks’ blue soles and the thin, blue stripe in the back are also interesting. I went from skeptical, to neutral, and then grew to like it. It’s pretty unique and it’s kind of fun spotting someone else who is also a Tieks wearer. It’s a pop of fun color. You would think the blue would clash with different colors, but I think it kind of works well with all of Tiek’s flats, despite the color. It’s also relatively subtle (being just a thin stripe in the back and mostly underneath your feet anyways), so it doesn’t bother me.

Blue soles

Overall…I found it interesting that at least in my experience, there was no discomfort right out of the box, but I did have discomfort for the first week of wearing them. I can safely say they’re the most comfortable pair of flats I’ve owned, where I can go through a 12 hour workday with lots of standing/walking and say that my feet felt fine at the end of the day. I wouldn’t say I have zero discomfort, but I have a good feeling I’ll get there eventually as I keep breaking in these shoes. I certainly would recommend trying Tieks out if you’ve never had any luck with flats like me and you’re willing to let this be an experimental process.

Do you own any Tieks? What is the most comfortable ballet flat you own and why?

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