14 August 2018

The Finishing Touches

When it comes to designing your home, whether you are on a budget or have money to spend, it is the finishing touches that will make or break your room and are what makes it special and stand out.

There are a million ways that you can add the finishing touches to your home, whether it be a wall mural in an otherwise white room or a large painting, or how you use textures and accessories to pack a punch.

When I think of what I would like to do with my own home, I always think of the quirky touches that I would like to add.  In particular, pieces that you would not expect to be a feature, but really makes the room.  For example, how about a contemporary radiator in a room that doubles as a statement piece?

Is it art or a integral part of the home?  Those kind of interesting questions about how you can combine design and usefulness really interest me.

They say that the best things in life are free, and in your home, one way that you can utilise a free resource is through the way that you allow the light in.  A skyline in a previously dark room or using the windows as your focal point.  No curtains, simple design and just letting the light flood your interior, allowing the sunlight to create the light and shade in your room.

Making your home stand out and make your own personal statement and aesthetic does not have to cost the earth.  It can be about the little touches that you make or alternatively larger pieces that make a larger statement.

I love the idea of a wall mural from Paris in my bedroom, or using an element that is both functional and artistic to create a talking point.

The most important thing for me about designing your home is that you put your own stamp on it.  Expressing your personality through the pieces that you choose, the colour on the walls and the way in which you choose to have the room speak to the person that enters.

Are you going for cool and classic?  Comfortable and snug?  Anything is possible whatever your budget if you put your mind to it; above all keeping your design to what you will love.  You have to live with it after all?

What design elements do you love in your home?

9 August 2018

Romantic Destinations

When you think of romantic destinations to visit with your partner, where do you think of?  A romantic weekend in Paris or Florence perhaps?  A week in New York might encourage a dozen romantic moments; a walk in Central Park, a jazz club with cocktails and dimmed nights at 1am...

For a longer stay, perhaps a honeymoon or anniversary visit, I always think of an island, a beach, turquoise waters and just you and your partner.   For me, that place is Mauritius. 

Mauritius is the perfect destination for a long haul getaway with your love and Destination2 has some amazing places that you can stay on the island.  You can visit the website here.  

Whether you want to do nothing but lie on an idyllic beach and have a dip in the crystal clear waters or whether you want an excursion or two, Mauritius has everything that you could want.

Perhaps a romantic horse ride on the beach at sunset or maybe a diving experience in a submarine underwater trip?

You can also visit Des Deux Cocos which is a private island only a five minute boat ride away from Mauritius where you can experience the feeling of perfectly alone together, in a setting that is nothing short of paradise.

Don't think however that Mauritius is only beautiful beaches, there is a life and a beat to Mauritius that you have to experience.  How about a visit to Le Caudan waterfront in St Louis where you can find shops, craft markets, bars and casinos as well as the famous umbrellas on the waterfront.

Romance does not have to be a holiday or a trip.  It doesn't have to be a romantic meal out or a boat ride on a lake.  Romance can be as simple as running your loved one a bath surrounded by candles, a snuggle together at 5am, a note left on the fridge saying "I love you".

When it comes down to it, romance is a personal thing and revolves around the pair of you, together.  Whether it is waking up to a kiss in the morning, or lying on a beach, holding hands in paradise.

What is your kind of romance? 

3 Good Reasons to Collect Jewellery

Image via Pixabay

People collect all kinds of things, from stamps, to old coins, knives, pocket watches, and beer mats. Oh, and, of course, also jewellery.

Society tends to frown a bit on people who are constantly buying jewellery — it’s often seen as a sign of an obsessive-compulsive shopping disorder of one variety or another.

A bit disheartening, no? But what if there were actually some good and compelling reasons for collecting jewellery, and not even feeling ashamed to admit it?

Well, here are a few such reasons.

Its value increases as time goes on

As a general rule of thumb, anything that improves in value the longer you’ve held onto it, is a winner, or is at least worth feeling somewhat positive about.

It’s unlikely that your collection of old beer bottle caps is likely to become significantly valuable over the years, perhaps unless they’re about 50 years old, and a whole subculture of beer bottle cap collectors has grown up around this particular brand and their quirky, discontinued, bottle cap designs.

Jewellery, however, typically increases in value predictably, kind of like property, with the market for retro and vintage jewellery being rich and dynamic, and with quirky pieces from even a few years ago often being very popular with the right groups of people, who would often pay good money for the sake of getting a hold of them.

And, of course, if you wanted to take a long-term view of things and consider what your jewellery could be worth decades down the line, maybe as a family heirloom, well — just do a quick Google search to see the cost of high-quality jewellery from the ‘60’s.

Jewellery allows you to easily express different aspects of your personality

Jewellery may not be “practical” in the immediate kind of way that a computer, or a screwdriver, is “practical”, but jewellery can nonetheless fulfil various important roles in your life and give you an ongoing sense of joy and satisfaction over time.

Specifically, jewellery allows you to easily express different aspects of your personality, via your appearance, and makes it easy for you to accessorise any outfit in order to blend together different motifs.

Belly bars gold, for example, can be great for when you’re in a more sexy mood. A pair of pearl earrings may be just the thing for that formal ball you’re planning to attend, and plain metal studs may send a no-nonsense signal in the workplace.

You can easily pass it on or sell it if you ever get bored

The thing about jewellery is that pretty much everyone wants it, and it’s rarely too hard to get rid of. If, after a few years of collecting, you decide that you’re bored of all your assorted accessories and want to get rid of them… well, you can.

Many items of jewellery will sell on eBay in a hurry, while others can be sold to various companies and shops who specialise in reselling jewellery.

If you can’t, or don’t want to, sell it, but still want it gone, it’d be an odd day indeed if none of your friends, relatives, or acquaintances was happy to take it off your hands.

3 August 2018

How Should You Style Your Prints?

Have you considered that prints can make or break your look? A floral blouse can brighten up plain office wear, but a patterned trouser and shirt combo could clash. So, how do you decide which prints you should be wearing and which you should stay clear of?

Top tips

A few of the main tips are to complement colours, sizes and not go too over the top.

Just starting out with prints in your wardrobe? You might want to ease them into your outfits by pairing them with solids. For something cool and stylish, match a pair of polka dot palazzo trousers with a plain white crew neck and barely-there sandals to channel summer vibes. Or, tuck a pastel ruffle shirt into a horizontal-striped A-line skirt for an on-trend look that’s suitable for work or play. 

Similarly, you can tone down a loud pattern by layering a monotone blazer or fitted jacket over the top. To add an edge of style and print to your wardrobe, consider patterned accessories such as bags, bandanas, and belts.

Bring pieces together that share similar colour schemes too. A floral print that has elements of pink in the pattern is enhanced by a solid coloured jacket that is the same colour of print. If you want to go for two printed garments, keep your fabrics in the same colour family or pick two stylish prints that share a single colour. This ensures that your outfit doesn’t clash and is a safe way of mixing and matching prints.

Don’t be afraid to bring two different prints together. Try breaking mixed prints up with a neutral garment — channel boho vibes with a paisley co-ord jacket and skirt and separate the patterns with a neutral cami top. Or separate polka dot pumps and a patterned jacket with plain trousers. Similarly, you can also split up clashing prints with a chunky belt and cross-body bag.

Go fully co-ordinated with two garments that share the same pattern. One good way to do this is to invert the colours if you’re using two of the same pattern. For example, if a white cami with navy checks would pair well with a navy cami with white checks. You can also wear the same pattern together with in a larger or smaller scale. Try pairing a high-waisted pair of slacks with a strappy top that’s a smaller version of the pattern. Consider your jewellery in the mix too — if you’re wearing a geometric printed top, opt for jewellery of the same pattern.

Things to avoid

There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to prints.

Stick to one colour scheme. Use this throughout the full outfit — this helps your garments complement each other and prevents an outfit that looks like it’s been thrown together!

Animal print can be quite loud and may not match together in the way that other patterns would. For this reason, pair animal print with solid coloured pieces — try a leopard print cami dress with black t-shirt beneath and black heeled ankle boots — the top and boots will bring out the spots, whereas leopard print shoes would have been too much.

And that’s the top tips! The main thing to remember is to wear what you feel confident in, change the fashion rules if you want to!

This article was created by going out dresses retailer, QUIZ.

What To Wear To Every Kind of Hen Do

Hen parties have evolved in recent years, changing from an all-out clubbing and drinking session to focusing on the bride-to-be. It's a day for her and her closest friends and family to celebrate!

The parties are as varied as the brides, with some preferring spa days and others planning to dance the night away. Whatever the hen do plans, be ready with our guide of what to wear from plus size tops retailer, QUIZ. 

A touch of sophistication: afternoon tea

Is the bride-to-be wanting something a little quieter than is tradition? If so, make sure all the girls put the same amount of outfit-prep effort in as they would for a big night out by investing in chic occasion dresses. Think elegant and fun — bold floral prints, pastel colours, and stylish hem and necklines evoke the perfect air of old-time glamour.

A soft toned, frill-front dress would be perfect for an afternoon tea; try a soft lemon colour or powder blue. Wrap-round and Bardot styles will also ooze sophistication and offer figure-flattering outlines, or you can go for simple but effective chic in a midi or maxi dress with a shot chiffon jacket in a complementary shade. We recommend dressing up your look with simple jewellery, a clutch bag and low-heel court shoes — dressed to impress but comfortable enough for a few hours of food and drinks.

A night on the town: partying

There’s no better time to party than a hen do! No matter where you go, you’ll want to look sensational on a hen do night out. So, plan your outfit ahead of schedule.

Stay on trend with a retro ‘80s vibe to your outfit. Go for high-waisted shorts and a square-shoulder satin blouse or try a ruched velvet dress with huge hoops and a chunky necklace. Fusing different, bold shades in one look is also a top trend from recent global fashion shows, but don’t forget that asymmetric cuts, figure-hugging fabrics and bare shoulders are also ideal for the party look. Go for an off-the-shoulder bodycon that emphasise your curves and match with statement jewellery and killer heels to lengthen your legs.

It's 5 o’clock somewhere! Daytime-cocktails

Drinking during the day is totally fine for a hen do, but failing to dress for the occasion isn’t!
No doubt there’ll be a big event on the night too, so your outfit needs to carry you from your daytime cocktails session to the evening. Think skinny leather jeans with mid-heel boots and a shimmery, metallic-embellished cami with a subtle diamante head chain, or pull on a high-waisted print skirt and match with a crop top or bodysuit and strappy heels.

Alternatively, wear an outfit that can transform! Pull on a glamourous, bare-shoulder shift dress with cute pumps and a neutral kimono for cocktails, then simply switch to stilettos, throw on statement jewellery and roll-up your kimono so it fits in your envelope bag for the night! 

Everyone needs some me-tome: spa days

Comfy but stylish is needed for a spa day, because there’ll be selfies along with the pampering! When you pop out of the jacuzzi, you want to dry off quickly — so a bathrobe is essential. Why not order all the girls matching robes with ‘bride’ and ‘hen’ on the back — perfect for that Instagram post by the pool!

Of course, swimwear is a must. A full swimsuit is usually more acceptable in a spa rather than a bikini you’d wear to the beach — but put on what you feel most comfortable in. If you’re going to be lying by the pool all day, you want something that you feel comfy both in and out of the water. Don’t hesitate in wearing a swimsuit with a pop of colour or embellishment, like frills. You’re at a party after all! And make sure you pack your fluffy sliders and flip-flops for the perfect base to any spa pool outfit.

Keep in mind you'll need to plan for any lunch outings and drinks too. Luxury spas sometimes have a certain dress code you should bear in mind — so keep it classy and understated. Peplum tops and skinny-sit trousers look gorgeous for lunch dates and evening get-togethers or why not opt for a stripe, culotte jumpsuit with a belt and pair of suede, ankle-wrap sandals? Finish with a tote bag or quilted clutch and be prepared for all eventualities at your hen spa weekend.

Keeping it cosy: girly nights in

Girly nights in are arguably even better than big nights out. If you’re celebrating your hen do indoors with your best friends, then make sure comfort is your priority.

Athleisure is a hot trend this year, and perfect for a girls’ night. Pair a pair of skinny joggers with a casual crop top and over-sized jacket or go for leggings and high-top trainers with a slouch sweater and headscarf for a contemporary, urban look. 

Alternatively, opt for a skort or shorts with a bold coloured tee shirt for a trendy, yet comfy outfit. And if you’re wondering about footwear, we say go for sandals, flats or espadrilles.

Hen dos are all about the bride-to-be, so don’t stress too much about your outfit; focus on the fun! Keep these hen do style tips in mind and make sure you pack the right outfits ahead of your next hen experience!

2 August 2018

Exorcising The Ghosts Of Relationships Past

* Long read

Hello there.  It has been sooo long since I have written a personal post.  So long since the words have floated around in my head until I had no choice but to filter them down through my fingers on to the page.

As ever, I can articulate so much better when the words flow through my fingers as I type; but tonight is the first time in a long time that the words have danced, demanding to be set free.

So what am I talking about tonight?  The ghosts of past relationships as a fat, insecure woman.

Looking back at past experiences with men in my life is hard for me to remember.  The experience that I have had with relationships is little, the heartache, a lot.  I have been hidden, I have been put up with; I have been the dirty secret and the one that was so nearly "the one", had it not been for my body.

What I have come to realise over the past few months is that although I have been treated badly in the past, I have allowed this to happen to me.  When society and your peers tells you that as a fat woman, you are not good enough, eventually you believe it yourself. So you overcompensate.

When the #MeToo movement was starting to take shape, I shared some of my own experiences of what happened to me in the past.  I was a fat teenager, but I knew that the actions of those that touched and grabbed at me were wrong.  I knew that the words said to me were unacceptable.  I railed against them, but my words were ignored; my experiences were explained away by others as "wear a baggier school shirt".  "You have large breasts, what can you expect".  A look at my body and a "you should be grateful for the attention".

Those last words shaped me and the experiences that I have had with men for a long time.  Be grateful.  So I allowed transgressions to happen to me because, maybe, I should be grateful.  I allowed myself to be hidden because who wants to have a fat girl as a girlfriend, right? Be happy that he likes you in private.

My love life up until this point has been a car crash, with me shaving off pieces of my soul and handing them over on a plate trying to find that love, that attraction; so that someone, sometime will think that I am good enough for them.  That I deserve more than to be hidden or been embarrassed by.

The problem with shaving pieces of your soul off is that eventually, you start to become a shell.  You have given away so much of yourself that there is nothing left.  When you give your  heart away each time, especially to someone that doesn't deserve it, you lose a piece of yourself.

I have always avoided men that found the larger woman attractive.  I did not understand how they could think of me as more than a fetish.  I had no clue or realisation that someone could actually find me attractive, sexy.

As I type right now, I am dating someone.  We met through Tinder, on my first couple of days when I thought that I would give it a whirl.  We have been dating a few months now.  I will call him A.

With A for the first couple of months I found myself in the same familiar cycle.  The insecurities.  The wondering if he really did find me attractive.  The fear when he said that he liked larger women.  Was I just a fetish?  The familiar feeling I got when he said that he couldn't promise me anything in terms of commitment, but also wasn't saying that nothing might progress one day.  I had heard those words before.  The feeling that I was once more being hidden returned and my insecurities nearly  made me end it.

But the truth was, he wasn't hiding me.  He isn't.  He isn't ashamed to be seen with me in public on dates.  He makes me feel sexy, for the first time in my life.  I no longer feel like that I need to give so much of myself to overcompensate for my body.  He likes my body.  He is attracted to my body and again, for the first time in my life; I believe it.

So as these new experiences wash over me, I realise that I am in no rush.  I don't feel the need to be his girlfriend.  I don't have the craving for commitment and am in no rush.  We may progress, we may not.  But I am enjoying dating someone and just, for once, having fun.  The pressure to hand myself, my heart over on a plate is no longer there.

I have no idea what will happen with myself and A.  We may date for a while and it may fizzle out.  It  may progress.  Who knows?  But what I do know is that I can be myself.  I can be goofy.  I can be silly.  I can feel attractive and know that he is attracted to me.  I don't hold back on what I think or who I am.  I may even let him read something that I have written.

I feel good enough for someone.  If nothing else happens between A and I, that feeling will stay with me.   For the first time I feel like this thing we have is 50/50.  We are figuring each other out.  I no longer feel, as I have done every other time, like I am on an audition.

We are on a dance and who knows whether it will end or whether we will continue to dance.  All I know is that the pieces of my soul that I gave away are coming back to me and it feels amazing.  A was the kickstarter of that, but the journey has been my own and the parts of me I gave away, I took back myself.  I am whole again (sorry for the Atomic Kitten reference!).

The dating experience I am having now, I should have had so long ago.  It is only now that I realise that this is what I always deserved.  What has happened before I let happen.   That is on me.  What happens now?  Who knows.  But I sure am enjoying the experience.

5 July 2018

5 Things to Do to Deal with a Flight Cancellation

It's easy to feel yourself tumbling into a state of panic when you hear those horrifying words at the airport, "Flight Cancelled." After all, whether you're on your way to a family holiday, or you're waiting to get home after a long trip, no-one likes to spend unnecessary hours waiting around for someone to tell them that they can finally board. 

1.     Know Your Compensation Rights
2.     Do Your Homework 
3.     Book Flights with Care
4.     Prep for Each Flight 
5.     Manage the Crisis with Care

Although there's a good chance that you'll be able to get some compensation for your troubles if the flight your taking is from or to somewhere in the EU, that might not make you feel a lot better straight away. On the other hand, the following steps could ensure that you feel confident and empowered the next time you find yourself in a travel-related bind.

As mentioned above, if you're flying within the EU, then the good news is that you do have some rights when it comes to compensation. Although the amount of support you're entitled to can vary depending on who you fly with, you should be eligible for something if your flight is cancelled or delayed for a period of three hours or more.

Importantly, you will only be eligible for compensation if the reason or your flight cancellation was under the control of the airline. In other words, you might not get anything if you're grounded because of a bad weather condition or something similar.

Before you even book your flight, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of a travel disaster. For instance, you can research the cancelled-flight and on-time-arrival records for your chosen airlines. Though this won't tell you for certain whether your flight will be cancelled or not, it can at least help you to choose someone to fly with who has a good history.

At the same time, it's worth looking into other airports close-by that you may be able to drive to if they can offer you a flight in the case of an emergency. The more research you do before your flight date arrives, the more likely you are to be ready for anything when disaster strikes.

Another thing you can do to reduce your risk of a flight cancellation is make sure that you book your travel plans with care. For instance, although it can be much cheaper to pay for a connect-flight, you'll be much better off with a direct trip if you do happen to be hit by a delay or cancellation. The more connections you have, the more risk you have of facing a problem.

At the same time, it's a good idea to make sure that you book the first flight of the day whenever you can. Late flights are generally more likely to suffer from compounded issues caused by backlogs throughout the day.

Prepping for your flights will help you to ensure that you have a very limited risk of encountering any unforeseen problems. For instance, when you book your trip, you can sign up for flight alerts to be sent straight to your phone whenever there's the chance that something could go wrong. You can also download the airline's app if they have one to keep an eye on your plane.

Another way to make sure that you're prepped for your flight is to check the weather in both your starting and finishing destinations. Watch out for any storms that might be coming your way, and make sure that you pack a carry-on, rather than taking all of your luggage in a large suitcase if you can manage it. If you can move quickly after a flight cancellation, you could be one of the first people to get a seat with another airline.

Finally, as soon as you hear about a delay or cancellation, start taking steps to fix the issue. Speak to a customer service agent on the phone or on social media instead of waiting in a huge line. Alternatively, you can try connecting with someone over your app.

Remember, whatever happens, it's important to be polite. It's probably not the airline employee's fault that something went wrong with your travel plans. The best thing you can do is treat these people with care and respect, as that will make it more likely that they'll want to go above and beyond to help you. However, make sure that you do keep a note of their name so you can refer to it later in discussions about compensation.

30 June 2018

Debenham's MUA Masterclass

Last Sunday I had the pleasure of being invited to a Celebrity MUA Masterclass arranged by Debenhams with Amy's Makeup Box

Having never been to a makeup masterclass before, especially with a Youtube blogger with over 400,000 followers, I was more than a little nervous and unsure what to expect.

The event started with an introduction at 10.30 and we were greeted with muffins (always a good start!) and refreshments.  Amy was immediately lovely.  Friendly, chatty and open to any questions that we had throughout the day, she immediately put everyone at ease.  Amy was also more than happy to share her experiences of how she became an MUA and gave some great tips and advice of how to progress/start your career as a MUA and what you could expect.

We were shown how to do 2 looks over the course of the day, a bridal look and a glam look.  Amy told us what product and brush that she was using at each step, also suggesting alternatives and giving lots of tips along the way.  

I definately learned some great tips throughout the day, including a fool proof way of how to keep your eyebrows perfect all day with a great tip when applying pomade.  Check out Amy's Youtube channel (link above) to find out how!

I particularly loved the bridal look and thought that the model looked beautiful.  Gorgeous makeup without being overdone and was definately a look that I would re-create.

We broke for a lovely lunch of sandwiches and an array of cakes before getting into the second look, full on glamour.

I would not hesitate to recommend attending an future celebrity MUA masterclass. The whole day was wonderfully organised and we were made to feel very welcome.  I have started using some of the tips and tricks I picked up on the day in my makeup routine, particularly in terms of preparation and longevity.  

We were also gifted a wonderful goody bag of products supplied by Debenhams featuring Benefit, Dolls Beauty and Urban Decay which was a real treat.

If you see another event organised, particularly with the lovely Amy, go!  I would definately repeat the experience and pick up even more tips!

* The ticket for the event was gifted to me, but all opinions are my own, as always!

21 June 2018

Junior Styles

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not the maternal type.  I do not coo over babies,  I do not yearn for a mini me (god help us all) or a child that I can teach the ways of the world and hopefully, make it a better place.

I do confess though, I am a little obsessed when it comes to children's clothing.  I long for the day when my best friend has a child so that I can buy them all the amazing clothing.  There are so many funky, interesting and fun pieces available for children now and I do have a hankering to buy some of them, I'm just waiting for a friend to have one!

I was having a look at the OD's Designer Clothing website the other day and found myself, once again, checking out what options are out their for children, in particular girls.  I tell you, when my friend does have a child, they are going to be the best dressed child, ever.

Hear are some of my favourites:

There are so many styles available now and many, I confess, I would wear myself!   That gingham playsuit is simply adorable and can we talk about how utterly cool the Moschino playsuit is?   I think that I may need to create a "Best Friend's Baby" shopping list!

All of the above pieces are available on the OD's Designer Clothing website under Junior Clothing

Now can someone please make me that duck print dress in my size?

17 June 2018

Guest Post: Top 3 Menstrual Cups To Consider

One of my major life regrets is not discovering menstrual cups until my early 30's. Now that I know how amazing they are, I can't believe that I wasted so much money, exposed myself to more toxic chemicals than necessary, and threw so much trash into the landfill.

I'll give a brief introduction to the main benefits of menstrual cups, and then get into the details of my top three choices to consider.

Menstrual Cup Benefits

There are plenty of reasons why you might want to make the switch from disposable pads and tampons to a menstrual cup. The three biggest ones are health reasons, environmental benefits, as well as saving some cold, hard cash!

Health Reasons

Here’s something that scares me a lot…

Disposable pads and tampons sometimes contain pesticides and other toxic chemicals in them. Even though there are only trace amounts, it’s thought that repeated exposure to this stuff can cause some pretty serious side effects.

Top-quality menstrual cups are made from medical grade silicone. Be sure to get a cup from a reputable company (keep reading for our recommendations) and wash it well before use to ensure yourself a chemical free period experience.

There’s more! To date, there has been one case of Toxic Shock Syndrome associated with menstrual cup use; there are thousands of cases each year from tampons.

Environmental Considerations

Disposable pads and tampons create a lot of waste that goes straight into the landfill. Considering that the average person menstruates for 40 years, this really adds up. A portion of this waste is non-biodegradable plastic, which will still be here thousands of years from now. Due to the nature of these products, they cannot easily be recycled.

Compare this to menstrual cups—the average one can last for five years, and sometimes up to 10 with proper care and cleaning. They can often be recycled, depending on where you live. 4-8 menstrual cups over the course of a lifetime is certainly better than thousands of pads and tampons.It really does make a huge difference! Imagine if every single menstruating person in the world switched from disposables to reusables?

Save Money
I’m sure you know this already, but pads and tampons are expensive. This is especially true if you have a heavy and/or long flow. According to the Huffington Post, the average person in the UK spends 13 GBP on period products each month.

A menstrual cup costs about double that, which means that you'll recoup your costs very quickly. A bit more up-front, but savings for years down the road? It's a price I'm willing to pay!Let's get into the Top 3 Menstrual Cups that you might want to consider.

#1: The Diva Cup
The Diva Cup is the most popular menstrual cup in the world. The name is often used interchangeably with "menstrual cup" for this very reason.

The Diva Cup is made in Canada, and has a reputation as a top-quality cup. It's often the one that people try first, and end up sticking with for the rest of their lives. It really is that good!

The Diva Cup has a nice firmness to it, which beginners usually appreciate. The advantage to this is that it should just "pop" into place once you insert it in your vaginal canal. It will then seal to your walls, and not leak.

Check out the Diva Cup website for additional information.

#2: The Lena Cup
Although the Lena Cup is a bit of a newcomer to the menstrual cup scene, it's becoming increasingly popular. The company's mission is to provide an affordable, high-quality menstrual cup and they have certainly done that; it's often a little bit cheaper than something like the Diva Cup.

The Lena Cup is made in the USA from top-quality, medical-grade silicone and it has some of the highest user ratings on Amazon. It's easy to insert, and remove and most people find that it doesn't leak.

The regular Lena Cup has a medium level stiffness, which means that it's easy enough to insert, but not so stiff that it's uncomfortable. There is also the Lena Sensitive if you’re looking for a bit softer of a menstrual cup.

Find out more details at the Lena Cup website.

#3: The Ruby Cup
Taking the last spot on our list of the best menstrual cups is Ruby Cup. Although it's one of the most expensive cups, it has a place on our list because of their buy one, donate one program. For every cup that they sell, they give one to a person in need. To date, they've donated thousands of cups to underprivileged people around the world.

As far as the Ruby Cup goes, I love that the small size is actually small, and the large size is actually large. This is unlike many menstrual cup companies who put out two cups, where one is slightly above, and one slightly below average.

Although the Ruby Cup is made in China, they do have strict manufacturing standards and quality checks in place.

More details at the Ruby Cup Website.

How to Choose Which Menstrual Cup is Right for Me?
If you take a look over on Amazon, you’ll notice that there are 100+ menstrual cups. It can be a bit overwhelming to choose one.

A good place to start is out list here: the Diva Cup, Lena Cup, and Ruby Cup all make an excellent choice for your first menstrual cup.

Of, you could also consider this menstrual cup quiz. There are five simple questions that will only take a minute of your time. At the end, you’ll get a recommendation for the best menstrual cup for your body type.

What do you Think?
Leave a comment below and tell us your pick for the top menstrual cup.
 Author Bio: Jackie Bolen is a tree-hugging, friend of the Earth who can usually be found paddling the rivers, on top of a mountain, or drinking organic coffee around Vancouver Canada. Her hope is that reusable feminine hygiene products will be found in the hands of every single menstruating person in the world.

You can find her at Reusable Menstrual Cups (https://reusablemenstrualcup.com/) or on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/menstrualcups1234/).