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*NEW* Kotex Natural Balance @ Walmart $2.47/ea

So…. one of my great readers, Andie, told me that she found the Kotex Natural Balance pads (ultra thins, maxis and pantiliners!!!!!) on sale at Walmart this week. Of course I’m not sure whether this is Canada-wide or Province-wide, so please check your local flyers online or at the store. For those who I know didn’t buy into the U by Kotex line will be happy to know that the Kotex Natural Balance line follows suit with the traditional line-up of available sizing, including the thick pad form. I know a lot of my fellow menstrual enthusiasts weren’t too happy that UbK forwent having a maxi-lineup in their product and was a disappointment.

The picture shown in the flyer is still of the “traditional” Kotex pads and doesn’t make it clear that they’re also offering Natural Balance pads. Well good news, THEY ARE! They’re also available at the same price as the regular line of Kotex products (so perhaps they might cease to offer the regular line at some point – I don’t know, I don’t work for Kotex, just speculation) at $2.47 per pack at Walmart! I have to admit there appears to be quite the “confusion” in the sense that the women who are doing pad-shopping seem to really be caught up on this new pad line. I can tell that as I was picking out products, they too, were taking the time to check out the Natural Balance pads. The crazy thing is I saw some lady who seemed totally flustered at it – as if a new addition on the shelf has unearthed the equilibrium in her world. I know having new pads on the shelf gives people something extra to look at, but that lady seemed on the brink of implosion, hehe.

Kotex Natural Balance (Regular Maxi w/o Wings)

   

Kotex Natural Balance (Overnight Maxi w/o Wings)

The new packaging is quite appealing, but the package material is the same – plastic. The package lists all the features of the new pads. Oddly enough, the entire line actually has some minor differences in what they offer.

The overnight absorbency only lists that it has “Aloe” and is “pH Balanced” BUT the regular absorbency has “Touch of Cotton“, “Aloe” and is “pH Balanced” … I haven’t quite looked into the composition of the pad to see what the difference is as a result of having a “touch of cotton” for the regular absorbency. I’ve already opened the package and began testing it, but I’m not going to include the review for this post until I’ve done some thorough testing and get some opinions from my girls! One thing I have to say is that the feeling of the Natural Balance pad is very very comfortable, a very soft top layer and while it worried me initially from the flimsiness, it’s good fitting. The aloe on the pad top helps skin stay smooth and in a way, helps keep the sticky/wet feeling away from the skin. I’m sure this pad is great to use long-term, because it has infused vitamin E and a light scent from the Aloe which helps maintain odour control without being too pungent. I will say however, in order for you to smell the Aloe, you literally have to put you nose to the pad as it’s not a very prevailing smell.

For the time being, I’m going to gather my research for this pad so I can write a good review. Will do some testing myself as well as get opinions from my girls as to what they think of the pad. Luckily, a few of my girls will be starting their period in the coming week, so it won’t be long! I realize I could probably write a review right now and that other menstrual-site owners will try to beat me to it – but I don’t really care, I don’t write this blog to race people 😆

If you’ve already used these pads and would like to speak up about them, feel free!

If you’re looking at giving the Natural Balance pads a shot, this week is THE week to get your hands on them, on sale, for $2.47 from Walmart!

Kotex Natural Balance – A Disguised Entry?

Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to provide a small update on a new pad that seems to be sliding its’ way onto Canadian (select stores) Walmart shelves. I just got note from one of my girls who mentioned she picked up a new Kotex line of pad and liners while visiting her local store in Ontario. The new line is supposedly deemed “Kotex Natural Balance” and while she didn’t have any detailed pictures to show me, she did manage to give me a sneak peek via webcam. I was excited to see that Kotex is planning to introduce (hopefully) a new series to North America. As I keep up-to-tabs on new products from the “big 3” pad companies, I didn’t see any notes on the Kotex site about them introducing this new series over, so this almost feels like they’re not ready to push the marketing yet, but decided to put some on the shelves, perhaps to see the reaction of buyers. My friend not only showed me the packaging, but even took one of the pads apart to show me what it looked like and really, I think Kotex is just trying to introduce a new product here, not that it is necessarily “new” worldwide. For instance, Kotex Natural has been around for sale for quite a few years in Hong Kong already and these two lines look very similar, so I have a feeling their pad design and technology is already present and just mimicking what’s available overseas.

The pad hosts a “green tinted” center and a very soft, cottony cover (based on my experiences with Kotex Natural in Hong Kong – not the new Kotex Natural Balance in Canada)

There honestly appears to be very little public information available other than this snapshot of a Trademark Issuance which looks pretty recent:

KOTEX NATURAL BALANCE

By: KIMBERLY-CLARK WORLDWIDE, INC. tweet it Tweet Logo Share on Facebook
Feminine care products, namely, sanitary napkins, pantiliners and tampons

Perfect for these industries

Words that describe this logo

feminine   care   products       sanitary   napkins     pantiliners   tampons
This is a brand page for the KOTEX NATURAL BALANCE trademark by KIMBERLY-CLARK WORLDWIDE, INC. in Neenah, WI, 54956. Write a review about a product or service associated with this KOTEX NATURAL BALANCE trademark. Or, contact the owner KIMBERLY-CLARK WORLDWIDE, INC. of the KOTEX NATURAL BALANCE trademark by filing a request to communicate with the Legal Correspondent for licensing, use, and/or questions related to the KOTEX NATURAL BALANCE trademark.
On Tuesday, March 22, 2011, a U.S. federal trademark registration was filed for KOTEX NATURAL BALANCE by KIMBERLY-CLARK WORLDWIDE, INC., Neenah, WI 54956. The USPTO has given the KOTEX NATURAL BALANCE trademark serial number of 85273181. The current federal status of this trademark filing is NOTICE OF ALLOWANCE – ISSUED. The correspondent listed for KOTEX NATURAL BALANCE is AIMEE A. ZALESKI of KIMBERLY-CLARK WORLDWIDE, INC., 2300 WINCHESTER RD, NEENAH, WI 54956-9321 . The KOTEX NATURAL BALANCE trademark is filed in the category of Pharmaceutical Products . The description provided to the USPTO for KOTEX NATURAL BALANCE is Feminine care products, namely, sanitary napkins, pantiliners and tampons.

Word Mark:

KOTEX NATURAL BALANCE

Status/Status Date:

NOTICE OF ALLOWANCE – ISSUED

8/2/2011

Serial Number:

85273181

Filing Date:

3/22/2011

Registration Number:

NOT AVAILABLE

Registration Date:

NOT AVAILABLE

Goods and Services:

Feminine care products, namely, sanitary napkins, pantiliners and tampons

Mark Description:

NOT AVAILABLE

Type Of Mark:

TradeMark

Published For Opposition Date:

6/7/2011

Last Applicant/Owner:

KIMBERLY-CLARK WORLDWIDE, INC.Neenah, WI 54956

Mark Drawing Code:

Standard Character Mark

Design Search:

(NO DATA)

Register Type:

Principal

Disclaimer:

(NOT AVAILABLE)

Correspondent:

KIMBERLY-CLARK WORLDWIDE, INC.
2300 WINCHESTER RD
NEENAH, WI 54956-9321
Classification Information
International Class Code(s): 005
US Class Code(s): 006, 018, 044, 046, 051, 052
Primary Class: Pharmaceutical and veterinary preparations; sanitary preparations for medical purposes; dietetic substances adapted for medical use, food for babies; plasters, materials for dressings; material for stopping teeth, dental wax; disinfectants; preparations for destroying vermin; fungicides, herbicides.
Class(es) Status: Active
First Use Anywhere: NOT PROVIDED
First Use In Commerce: NOT PROVIDED

The above information is quoted from: http://www.trademarkia.com/kotex-natural-balance-85273181.html– I do not own it.

Since I can’t find any information on the Kotex Natural Balance, if it’s anything like the ones in HK, the whole basis of this line is to create an organic line of Kotex pads, usually with comfortable top-sheet, pH balanced lotion/herbal mask and an organically created fresh, non-pungent scent. This is not verified information so don’t go quoting me on it, nevertheless, I’m very excited at the opportunity to see a new line of pads (especially one brought over “from home”) in Canada! They may be introducing this just like they did with the U by Kotex… very silent, “leaked” (haha, what a great pun) a bit of information out on the internet and then waited for the hype to being before going on an explosive marketing campaign. Either that, or Walmart might just have some left-over stock somewhere that they decided to sell and discontinue. Certainly, that would make me sad 😛 The Kotex Natural’s which I tested were lovely, so if they do “go big” here, it might even put up some competition of organic-pad market and might also affect sales of their UbK line (but doesn’t really matter, the money from ANY of their products all fall into the same coffers anyways).

Do you have any big information on this product that you’d like to bring into the light? If so, feel free to post or comment or contact me!

Looks of Disgust, Jealousy or Perversion?

For those of you who are avid shoppers and have access to a Walmart, you would know that this past week was Walmart’s anniversary. As such, they featured many low-price products and paired with back-to-school and back-IN-school sales, they attracted many shoppers of all ages and gender. As I was walking through Walmart, it was almost like wading through the streets of a busy night in Hong Kong, pushing through throngs of people to get at the “sale bins”. Clearly Walmart was prepared, because many of the sale items were constantly available as I watched the associates fill the shelves again and again as the masses of people stepped away, revealing gaping holes where products used to sit. Of those sales, Walmart featured an assortment of Always pads, liners and Tampax tampons for $2.87/ea – however, with a limit of 6. Obviously if you have those families that have many females in the house, whether living with relatives or with many daughters, girls had stacked boxes and packages at the checkout counter. Let’s face it, a family with 3 girls (let’s just say a mother and 2 daughters), that’s already EIGHTEEN packs of pads/tampons that they would be eligible to buy within the limits.

I swear, while the prices of pads or tampons haven’t decreased, it seems like the quantity of them slowly get chipped away. For instance, the original Stayfree line had more pads per package than the current Thermocontrol series, even though the overall pricing structure hasn’t changed. I can understand developing newer products and technology costs money and that shoppers may be turned off at a price hike, but let’s not assume people buying stuff are blind. We know that every package, there’s a few less before and the price of the package is still the same. That morning, when I got to work, I noticed my Brandsaver coupons had arrived, one of which was a 75-cents off any Always product. Given that the only other sale of Always products I’ve seen so cheap was $2.77 (only on 2 days of the week though), I figured $2.87 -0.75 would be a pretty good price to pick up some pads and tampons. Since the other day I only recently stocked up a variety of pads to revisit and tampons to have one of my girls test for me, I was not in need of them. But as usual, I always have my girls and girlfriend in mind and since bebe isn’t a big Always fan, I decided to check up on some of my other girls to see if they needed a restock!

While I always feel comfortable when it comes to being in the feminine hygiene aisle or that I’m a part of my girls’ purchasing decision, I never flaunt my status loudly. Again, I love the fact my girls allow me to be part of their menstrual lives, so in public I never make a huge deal out of it. I also respect the general public where I know that menstruation and purchasing products is a very taboo thing, particularly when there’s a male presence. Therefore I still try to ensure that the people around me aren’t affected by undue pressure or embarassment. I picked up my cell phone while standing in front of the Tampax bin and quietly, but audibly asked one of my girls if she needed tampons. A few heads turned and because this was in the open-floor and not the aisle (because they were in bargain sections, not in the usual feminine hygiene “corner”), there were young, old, male, female and everyone in between who took a double-take to what I said over the phone. I know I’m Asian, but I also didn’t shout in my phone, but in such a tight environment because of such a busy day, people were close enough to hear. I remember my exact words, “Hey [friend’s name], I’m at Walmart right now and I noticed they have some Tampax Supers on sale… the umm.. cardboard ones, are you interested in me getting some for you?

The looks I received, I couldn’t quite make out the thoughts running through people’s heads. I know that people depending on upbringing, age and culture, all see male-participation in menstruation very differently. I know for one thing my dad would go with my mom to buy these products, but would not carry them and would often tell my mom to stop swinging her bags if they had pads in them, because it would attract too much humiliating attention. Likewise, the older guys in my family would definitely not even be present to buy such products or even recognize the existence of feminine hygiene supplies. For me, periods are something to be loved, cherished and an opportunity for us guys to show a bit of care and extra pampering. Suffice to say, my friend said she was actually running low and would love it if I could buy a few boxes for her and she’d pay me back. While some finished looking, others pretty much watched me and listened in on the entire conversation I had over the phone… perhaps they were interested in why I seem to have no gripes about buying tampons so openly or that I would be the one to initiate an offer to my friend if she needed some. I smiled and said, “Sure. After I get them, I’ll drop them off in an hour or so, is that ok?” and then the call ended. I picked up 4 boxes, cradled them in my arm and walked around for a bit more before going to checkout and getting in my car.

Throughout that time, I asked myself, when people looked at me, was it a look of disgust, jealousy or even perversion? There’s been a few times when I’ve had female sales clerks or cashiers, that they seemed pleasantly surprized seeing my proactiveness or just willingness to carry around pads/tampons without sheltering them. On the occasion where the staff are feeling brave, they’ve even commented on how “lucky your girlfriend or wife must be” even though there are times I were buying them for myself, for one of my girls or whatnot. Surely, I know bebe appreciates that I can openly purchase these products with her and that she never needs to be afraid to ask me to buy them, or buy them in my presence. Ask yourself, the last time you saw a guy buying feminine hygiene products: what were your thoughts? Was it, “ewww, that’s so gross…” or “Aw, that’s nice of him…” or “Gee, I wonder what he does with those..”

If you’re an Always or Tampax fan and have access to a Walmart, the sale ends in 2 days so get them quick!

Buying Pads/Tampons with Your Significant Other

After a hiatus due to a prolonged illness, I am not back in action! My next topic was inspired as I was purchasing some pads to test in Walmart, seeing the reactions of male significant others, and the discomfort that was expressed between couples down the feminine hygiene aisle. I tend to take my time in this aisle, so no doubt during the very busy “back to school” season, I saw both young and old couples alike, with the females vying for these items before heading off for school or as a regular stock-up. I’m not sure how to write this article using proper wording and being sensitive to those who have perhaps gone through sexual reassignment, hormonal injections, people who have chosen to live an alternate lifestyle or even lesbian couples (since they’d be both ‘comfortable’ with the idea of a menstrual period), so I’m just going to write this in my stance of what Canadian society defines to be a male-female relationship.

So as I’m browsing the typical feminine hygiene products, I see a lot of guys walking past me with really uneasy faces – some more obvious than others, but all seem to express common-ground with each other, “let’s get the hell out of here as soon as we can!” and you can tell, because the second they leave sight of that aisle, their posture corrects themselves, their faces are no longer flush-red and they resume normal motion speeds. Of course, there are the odd guy who wanders into that section who don’t even flinch and good for you, but whenever there are males in the aisle with their female partner or friend, you can tell there’s a large air of discomfort – perhaps for both the male and female! I would say in general, most of the people who purchase these items with their significant other is when they’re living common-law or married. I’ve asked my male and female friends whether their counterpart are willing to purchase pads/tampons with them and most of them said no, or said only in major emergencies would they even consider it. Suffice to say, these are exactly “statistically proven” figures, but simply through questioning people who I happen to know – which may very well differ from “credible numbers.” Case-in-point, I recently went with a coworker to Walmart during a sale for tampons and she bought them in my presence and I even carried it for her all through checkout. It was quite comfortable and because she recently found out about my “interests” in menstruation. She admitted though, that did she not know that I was, “not grossed out by periods” that she would’ve asked me to wait in the car or wouldn’t have even bought it when she was with me.

I remember when I bought pads with bebe for the first time, it was such a comfortable experience for us both… I suppose given that bebe has always known about my “interest” that it wasn’t exactly a shocker for her or that she wasn’t used to talking to me about it. We were standing in the aisle and we were openly discussing which pads I recommend and which ones she usually buys. When I was with my coworker, I didn’t give as much of my opinion, since she only knows a degree of my interest and since we definitely don’t share the same comfort-level over her period as bebe and I do, I didn’t want to be the one “giving her pointers” about which tampons I would recommend or whatnot.

So to the guys, how many of you would actually go with your partner to purchase feminine hygiene products and to the girls, how many of you would let your male partner accompany you to buy these products?

Naturally, guys may feel uncomfortable in this aisle because it’s foreign to them and perhaps a bit embarrassing. After all, guys would not be accustomed to going down this aisle since they have no need for these products, therefore being there is almost like being that one guy who walks into a girls-only school or something. Sometimes, when a guy walks into this aisle, he gets a lot of looks from the females too, although luckily I haven’t been a victim myself of those “disapproving-stares” walking in… perhaps I look natural, lol. Once the guy “detects” the discomfort from others in the air, he will often try to escape quickly, for instance, you’ll often see guys trying to push the cart away, glance at other “non feminine hygiene things”, play with items inside the cart or he’ll put pressure onto his female partner to hurry up so they can leave. This is unfair as well to the female since she needs time to look at her options and choices and after all, shopping should be a pleasure and enjoyment right? We should not be rushed to make decisions. Guys will often look disgruntled as well for being in the aisle and you can tell the sigh of relief they have once they exit the section. It’s a privilege and an opportunity for us guys to be able to join our female partners to buy these items. It shows that they have comfort and trust and also it’s an opportunity for us to learn about our partner/periods. Remember that the discomfort may actually be two-way and the more discomfort you show as a male partner, the more your female counterpart may feel embarrassed, pressured or upset. Most females are quite open to buying male items, so why should we as guys feel embarrassed to accompany our female partners to buy her products? Don’t forget that for some women, it’s hard for them even to buy these items for themselves, so we should not heighten their existing discomfort as it is.

For the females, how comfortable are you when you buy these products with your male significant other? Do you let him pressure you into buying things faster, ask him to go look at something else or do you just take your time despite his discomfort? I saw an older man, who was buying some pads with his wife and he kept on pointing his cart out the aisle. The second his wife turned around and dropped one of the packages in the cart and while she turned around to choose another, the guy was already half-bolting out the aisle. The woman had to yell after her husband and told him to wait because she was not done. The guy sighed in exasperation and turned around and now with the extra attention attracted towards him now, the situation became even more embarrassing as you could see the man’s face going red like a tomato. A female entered the aisle shortly later and was browsing some tampons. I assume her partner came in (not sure if it’s a boyfriend or husband), but he wandered over and stood there with her. This guy seemed a lot more comfortable, but the girl did not. She stopped browsing and kind of glanced around – and gave the guy a really disapproving look. It appeared he didn’t clue in and it was clear she couldn’t comfortably concentrate on looking at her products with the guy’s presence. She prodded the guy to go, but he said to her, “I’m done getting what I need, just waiting for you now” – but the girl still asked the guy to go elsewhere. It was just kind of unfortunate that she was not comfortable with him being there. One could argue maybe they’re not that close, but looking at their buggy, they definitely seemed like a “couple” based on some of the stuff they bought together. Therefore, when it comes to buying feminine hygiene items, discomfort can and does exist on both sides of the fence.

Let’s all try to make shopping for ANY item a comfortable experience and be reasonably inclusive of each other, especially if there’s a relationship involved. If this person will be or already is a “special someone” in your life, then buying feminine hygiene items together should not be alarming. Achieving equality should be for both genders, not just women. After all, it’s pretty typical for women to buy male underwear, but yet, when a guy goes to buy female panties, he is likely viewed as a creep, pervert and is generally frowned. When a female buys male underwear, people will assume it’s for her son, boyfriend or husband, but when a male buys it, people will probably think it’s for him to wear or masturbate in, but not that he’s simply buying it for his daughter, girlfriend or wife. When you show patience and comfort with your partner as you shop with him/her, it makes the experience so much better and is fair to everyone. If she patiently waits for you to pick your choice of condoms, why should you not patiently wait for her to choose the right product so she doesn’t bleed all over you? 😆

Stayfree Ultra-Thins with Thermocontrol Has Arrived In Canada!

You may have seen an entry I made a while ago, regarding that Stayfree Thermocontrol Pads may be arriving in Canada soon! It was just suspicion then or rather, not a clear indication that other than the overnight version of the ultra-thins would be switched, but now it’s becoming quite apparent that they’re squeezing their way into Canadian markets. Of course, the Canadian Stayfree site still does not show any representation of these new pads, but with that said, I’ve only noticed 2 of the many stores that I visit on a regular basis that has even begun stocking the new Thermocontrol pads. This may either be due to old stock that hasn’t been depleted yet, or, the store is not willing/does not offer the newer pads yet. Regardless, if you’re interested in seeing what potential differences of pads may be offered at some point locally, you can always visit the American Stayfree site, which shows the full line of Thermocontrol pads, ultra-thins and regular maxi sizes.

While the pads themselves have not changed in terms of the general look, rest assured the pad feels a lot cooler when worn and even when saturated, keeping the feeling of almost a “crisp wind” near your skin. This may be almost a very foreign feeling for some and rather unnatural due to it feeling cold despite it being between warm body parts and with menstrual flow upon it. One thing that is new to the ultra-thin line in Canada is that they’re also offering the super absorbency in an ultra-thin form, previously only available to the maxi series. What was weird though when I went to pick these up at Walmart is I noticed two things:

1) Only the ultra-thin pads were available with the Thermocontrol technology

2) The ultra-thin pads with Thermocontrol were only offered in the “bonus” packs, there were no ‘regular sized’ packages

In these pictures, I have a ruler stretched across the lengths and widths so that you can see the differences of sizing between the SUPER and OVERNIGHT ultra-thins. Rest assured, I am cautious of not exposing pads to germs, bacteria and humidity and thus, these pads that the ruler “contaminated” were not reused for testing purposes by any of my girls. I take sanitary conditions seriously, particularly when any exposure to these elements may affect the vaginal health of my girls and I certainly would not want that to happen! One thing that is hard to notice in the picture (I tried to use a different surface for the picture-taking, but didn’t work out so well) is that the wrappers have slight differences. The super version of the pad came in a white-coloured wrapper, while the overnight version of the pad actually came with a wrapper that is a very light lavender. The wrapper material has stayed mostly the same.

Since the qualities of the Stayfree pads are very similar, both maxis and ultra-thins (other than the obvious difference in size/thickness), I’ll leave you to read my previous review on the Stayfree pads “in general” and simply refer you to the changes that the Thermocontrol technology has brought as noted in the content of this entry.

Both of these packages were 5.97 each, which were on sale in “last sale week” at Walmart. I had a coupon that bebe gave me (since I had it sent to her house, hehe) that was expiring next week, so I really wanted to use it before it went to waste! Also, I’m excited about Stayfree Thermocontrol arriving in Canada not only for my girls and I, but for bebe, because this technology in the Stayfree products were already available to her back at home. To come to Canada where you can’t buy the same product sucks, so now that Thermocontrol pads have arrived, it’ll make her monthly period that much better. Speaking of which, it seems like I will be missing her period this month 😦 I am sad, but I will definitely continue doing my usual of getting her flowers each month to remind her how special she is to me and how much I care for her and want to be there for her 😛 The cashier rang my items through properly this time, only charging the GST (5%) portion of the HST implementation in Ontario for feminine hygiene products. The total came to $7.54 after the coupon and taxes, for 44 Stayfree Super Ultra-Thins w/ Thermocontrol and 40 Stayfree Overnight Ultra-Thins w/ Thermocontrol pads. These pads all together were only 8.97 cents each!! Looks like these pads will definitely keep many of my girls stocked-up for a while, especially when a few of them took-on this sale with me!

Haven’t tried Stayfree before or haven’t tried the Thermocontrol ones yet? You should now, because they’re more comfortable than even before! (Yes, 2 pictures came out horribly, alas…)

Always Maxi Leakguard Plus with Odor Lock (Regular) Review

So after receiving quite a few emails, IM’s and tweets inquiring about the lack of reviews lately, I finally decided to pony-up and do one. Suffice to say, I only blame my own laziness since I tested this product like 3 weeks ago but just never gotten around to writing something for it. It’s one of those few Always products that I’m really impressed with and the last one to truly make me go “wow” was the Always Infinity. The Always Maxi Leakguard Plus with Odor Lock has really changed the face of Always for me, particularly when it comes to their worst “feature” – the comfort level of their ‘like cotton’ top-layer, which really, feels more like plastic. Another reason why I had delayed the posting of this was to give it to two of my girls to try and lucky for me, when I acquired the pads, 2 of them were days away from getting their periods so I thought, “Hey, I might as well wait until their period comes around to test them with me!” and thus, the procrastination began. Bebe bought these pads for me, so it was extra sweet-sweet 😛

So people have often asked me what is it that I have ‘against’ Always… is it just because they’re such a big brand name and they’re so “popular” that I force myself to dislike their products? Absolutely not. I’m one of those people who like to give credit where due, so if they do make a good product, despite how much (example only) I dislike them, I would still give them the thumbs up. As I previously mentioned, my biggest “problem” with Always pads is ever since they switched to the so called “feels like cotton” top layer, which I have found to actually be more “feels like plastic” giving a very wet, uncomfortable feel. The worst is when there’s sweat involved, then it just compounds the feeling of the plastic-feeling. You don’t have to take my word for it since most people will point out, “But you’re a non-menstruating guy, how would you know?” – well, at least you can take my girls’ word for it. My ex was a huge “Always girl” even when she was with me and we were exploring with different stuff, but after a long-day out in a hot summer’s day or if we were involved in strenuous activities, whenever she changed her pad in the washroom she’d always complain about how terrible the sweat on the pad felt because it caused a “rough sliding” feeling due to the plastic-feeling of the top layer of the traditional series of the Always pads. Whenever she tossed me her wrapped pad to throw in the garbage, the days where her sweat started to collect in the pad was noticeable and rather gross, so I can only imagine how the feeling of a sweaty-period-soaked pad felt on her. In the Leakguard w/ Odor Lock series of the Always pads, they really stepped up their game by changing the top-cover to truly be comfortable, with a dry weave that REALLY feels like cotton, is smooth and flexible to conform to the contours of the body.

It would appear that none of the Leakguard w/ Odor Lock pads come with wings and why not, I have no idea. However, despite not having wings, they still fit well and hold well to undergarment. I’m sure for the women who are devoted to using winged-pads only, this might be a worrying test for them. When it comes to getting the pad out of the package, it is just like any typical Always pad. The pad unfolds into 3 sections and you simply remove the pad from the adhesive. The wrapper has a white resealing tape that allows you to wrap/roll up the old pad, secure it and dispose of it. Because the pad itself does have a light scent it even passes it to the wrapper and helps mask the used and disposed product. This is very useful for the women who often will “pool up” numerous used pads before taking out the garbage, because it helps control the amount of dried menstrual fluid that it begins to affect air quality. This was a very noticeable thing because when I went over to one of my girl’s house who was testing this product for me, her trash full of these (and different) pads didn’t give off the usual menstrual smell. Since she’s living with 2 other female friends who appears to also be having their period, the scenting from the disposed wrappers really helped to kill odour which emits from wrapped, saturated pads.

Another weird thing is that this line of product doesn’t have a lot of variety, they only come in two sizes/absorbency: Regular and Super, limiting the flexibility of the product since it cannot tailor to the various changes while menstruating or that is, unless you simply over-use or under-use the product. Supposedly, the pad is supposed to be able to deal with slight urine-loss, not that most pads can’t do that if it’s only a minor amount, but there’s one thing that’s particularly important when it comes to incontinence problems. Because urine is actually a lot smellier than menstrual flow, it’s an absolutely necessity for any form of odour control to be present in incontinence or partial-incontinence products. Since these pads had both period and incontinence handling in mind, the odour locking methods were rightfully used to design the product. Mind you, a pad like this does not replace pads like Poise or Tena, since those were truly designed for a higher degree of non-menstrual fluid absorbency and the Always Maxi would only be suitable for those who have leakage as a result of a sneeze, cough or a small tinkle, but will not be capable of absorbing a bladder-full of urine – leave that up to the REAL incontinence products.

As you can see, these pad wrapper design has followed suit with the changes to their regular Always-line. The colour coding for the pad wrapper is the same as their regular series as well, yellow for REGULAR and green for SUPER. It has been a while since I’ve last held a REGULAR Always Maxi (original one), but I actually think the Leakguard Odor Lock series is actually lighter, probably due to the composition of the pad. Dimensionally, it FEELS smaller/shorter, but I think probably not, so maybe it’s just my own bias. The regular-sized package of these pads come in 22 units. I paid (or well, Bebe paid) $3.88 for a pack of these, working out to 17.6 cents per pad. I was talking to one of my regular readers, Andie, and it seems like Walmart only likes to stock the REGULAR absorbency and not the SUPER, because the only place I’ve been able to find the SUPER absorbency ones are at the Rexall’s and SDM’s… so what’s up with Walmart not buying the larger ones? LOL. Speaking of which, I can tell that this line of product does not really appeal to the masses, because the inventory on them were nearly untouched compared to other brands or absorbency. I realize it’s a new product and not everyone likes to dive head-first, so hopefully this review will be able to help people out. Really, the pad is far from being an incontinence product, so there should not be a fear or shame that buying these pads will automatically mean you have bladder issues.

As you can see, just by the looks of it, it appears to be a lot more comfier than the traditional Always pad. They’ve finally decided that the rough, plasticky dry weave isn’t good enough for a “new product” and decided to use some REAL material that helps make the wearer feel much more comfortable and secure. Like the typical Always pad, they have the famous blue lock-in core. What’s very noticeable the first time you get a hold of the package or open the first pad is the scent. The scent is not strong like the Stayfree pads, but is still quite pungent. It takes a bit of getting used to and while it is “light” in terms of the strength of the scent, it is one of those unmistakable smells. The smell luckily does not stick around as long as the Stayfree pads, but it is noticeable when the pad is worn, especially if the girl is wearing something that allows air to travel between her legs, like shorts or a skirt. I don’t want to get people all riled up over it not being discrete or obvious, since a smell like this would only ever be detectable by someone who even knows what the scent is, such as a fellow female or menstrual enthusiast. The scent is really useful however as I stated before, both during period-use and as well as for post-usage when it is disposed. The pad is 8 inches (~20 cm) long and is a uniform 3 inches wide (~7.6 cm), except at the front & rear of the pad.

   

The scent is very interesting, because it does more than give off a light smell or to cover-up odour, but also acts as a very cool and smooth feeling against the body. The feeling of this pad when used is similar to that of the Stayfree Thermocontrol pads, where it leaves a cool and comfortable feel on the skin. The pad cover, when saturated, begins to lock in odour, absorb quickly and emits a cool-like feeling. The smell of the scent is hard to describe, I would actually say that the smell is similar to herbs and gives a very soothing type of aroma. The absorbency of the pad is not as quick as the Always Infinity line, but is faster than the standard Always line. The pad itself is lightweight, again, lighter than the standard Always, but not as weightless as the Infinity.

The disposal of the used pad is also nice because of the soft cover, unlike the standard Always line it isn’t as hard and tough to roll or fold up. When doing a test and twisting the pad, the flow managed to stay well-locked in the pad and did not flow back to the surface. With the suggestion of Andie, I disassembled the pad and could not find any obvious traces of absorbing gel and appeared to be made completely of cotton and cellulose-type material. The top cover continued to stay intact even during disassembling and it was very obviously that the “contents” of the pad were locked underneath and not sitting on the top layer, therefore, creating a very comfortable feel when the pad is saturated. The only problem with this design is that because it absorbs so well, it’s hard to tell when the pad has absorbed enough to be changed since it stays light and distributes flow underneath well where it isn’t apparent that it’s already “on the fringe” of leaking. One of my girls who tested this for me did mention that she came to a near-leak incident because the pad didn’t appear or feel like it was ready to overflow because the center of the pad did not look saturated, nor did the pad feel weighty that would make you think it has collected quite a bit. I suppose this pad may take some getting-used-to to avoid the possibility of not being able to gauge when it is necessary to change.

I would definitely recommend this pad to others and has given me renewed confidence in Always. It’s nice to know that they’re trying to get ahead-of-the-game and also moving away from their so-called “like cotton” dry weave and moving to one which feels comfortable, regardless of the weather. After all, pads are terrible when it’s gross outside and you’re sweating, mixed with menstrual flow smell and if incontinent, even urine – so to have a pad that can stand up to that really is impressive. Although the price is steeper than the usual line of pads or other brands, for $3.88 everyday low price at Walmart, I can’t complain. While at first glance this pad might not seem like a good idea to switch because of the price point, remember that comfort, security and absorbency brings a very important feeling to a menstruating individual. If Always continues to modify their pads with comfort in-mind, I’d be a lot happier to start supporting more of their products and perhaps they can win their business back from me and my girls!

Walmart Sampling (Canada): U by Kotex

Looks like Canadian Walmart’s are finally adopting American Walmart marketing tactics. Walmart (Canada) is now beginning to offer samples via their site to promote products which they sell. Up for grabs this round is 2 U by Kotex tampons and 1 U by Kotex pad.

You can access the samples by filling out the order form at… https://sampling.walmart.ca/kimberly-clark/

UbK has been in-stores in Walmart for quite a while now, but they just recently released this banner to make it sound like it “just” arrived… which is not really the case though:

You can see all the UbK products available at Walmart (location dependent) in their Health & Wellness section of the website at…

http://www.walmart.ca/Health-Wellness/Product-Collections/U-by-Kotex-products

I like rather than demonstrating the features and all the great protection value of the pad, they emphasize “style” and “cute”… oh man, is the next generation of pads and tampons going to look pretty but work like a rag? LOL…

Stock-Up on Stayfree Pads @ Walmart

$2 Sale - Stayfree Pads @ WalmartOH MY GOD! Yes, that’s right.. Stayfree Feminine Protection, assorted types and sizes (Maxi/Ultra Thin pads) are now on sale at Walmart this week! The sale goes from Feb 11th to 17th here in Ontario. However, please ensure you check your local flyers and applicable Walmart stores to see if they offer the sale as I’m not sure whether all Walmarts across Ontario offer the same sale-products! I’m totally going to take a look and see how much stuff I have left over at home, maybe stock up for myself, some of my girls and perhaps for bebe! 😀

If you have the “Save $5 when you buy 2 Stayfree, Carefree or O.B” products coupon, here’s your chance to use it and even get $1 back! I’m going to wait until near the end of this sale-week to see if my coupon arrives and that’d be great if it did. Walmart does have some awesome $1 and $2 sales this week as well, so everyone is advised to check out the flyers whether on-paper or on-line while taking advantage of this great pad-sale! I’m usually not a fan of Walmart, but hey, gotta give it to them if they really have a good sale on!

I just wished they’d bring the Thermo Control Stayfree pads over to Canada, ARG!

“Sales” Might Not Be Worth Buying Into

You may wonder what I mean by my entry title, but you will after reading this! I was talking to one of my readers and she mentioned a few pads that she asked me to take a look at and one of them got me interested. I had been hunting for sales for a week already since it would appear that my supplies at home are running low and it’s time to switch it up a bit. With her recommendation, I decided to follow suit and had already been scrounging my e-flyers and deal-sites online to see if I can find myself some upcoming sales. On Thursday night, I still did not find any store that had good sales (most stores have their “flyer week” start on Friday or Saturday, but display their ‘upcoming’ week deals by Thursday).

I was a bit frustrated, given that I’ve been back in Canada for 2 weeks already and haven’t even noticed any decent sales on pads/tampons. I understand that the whole O.B. Ultra fiasco may have put everyone into a high-alert situation, but come on, they already pulled the O.B. tampon sales right out of the flyers now, because usually they get included in the same sales as Carefree Liners and Stayfree pads. Oh, speaking of the whole O.B. Ultra tampon shortage, feel free to read about it here: http://www.chatelaine.com/en/blog/post/23534–why-these-tampons-will-cost-you-79-99

O.B. Ultra Tampons - Discontinuation shocks the world!

Pulling a well-known tampon off the market is like taking well-known condoms away from guys!

Anyways, off this whole O.B Ultra tampon situation because there’s tons of sites covering that already. So as I was getting annoyed at the fact I’ve been trying to find sales for several weeks already, I decided to look up some manufacturer coupons right off their sites, rather than relying on clip-outs or store-sales. So then I found a new coupon since their old one expired. If you’re an existing or potential user of Stayfree pads, feel free to checkExclusive $2 Off Coupon for Stayfree Maxi Pads this out: http://stayfree.ca/sampling/en/coupon.asp — although I believe that THIS coupon is only usable in Canada and participating stores. Please note that the expiry on the coupon is March 31, 2011.

I was quite happy, that is, until I read closely at the use-of-coupon terms and conditions. One of the key terms state that, “Not valid in combination with any other offers. Offer only valid on regular-priced STAYFREE® products.” and so after reading that, it set me back a bit since “regular priced” pads are usually quite expensive. So I continued to mull around and then my reader told me about Walmart, being one of the cheapest place to find pads/tampons (or well, mostly anything) at a reasonable price when other places don’t have them on sale.

As I was checking the flyers once again Friday morning at work, I did notice that Shoppers Drug Mart had Carefree/Stayfree (yep that’s right, no O.B.) liners and pads on sale for $2.99. Unfortunately the sale didn’t start until Saturday though, so I frowned. I was bored at work and still trying to think of where I can get myself an awesome deal, I decided to print out 4 of the Stayfree coupons (wasn’t meant to be greedy, but more of the fact every 8.5 x 11 page fits 4, so I don’t like wasting so much space) and just keep them in my car whenever I see a chance to use it.

It dawned upon me what one of my readers said. She did say that Walmart tends to be a good place to buy cheap products when other stores are selling them at (higher) regular prices, so I thought I’d do some research. Of course Walmart’s online site is a bitch and I couldn’t find the price of Stayfree products for some reason, so I decided to go there since I live less than 1km away from one. The reason why I was interested in going to Walmart is to see their “regular price” because that means I’m eligible to use the coupon. Since SDM had them on sale for $2.99 already, the coupon would not be valid under the clause. When I reached the feminine hygiene aisle and spotted the Stayfree section, I was happy to see it was $3.93 and doing a quick head-math, it would mean I’d be able to acquire a pack for $1.93 after the coupon deduction!

Stayfree pads @ regular price paired with a $2 off coupon!

Stayfree pads @ regular price paired with a $2 off coupon!

==MAJOR INTERRUPTION START==

As I was looking at the receipt more closely, I just noticed they applied HST to this purchase. As I recall, only the GST portion (5%) is supposed to be taxed on feminine hygiene products! The 8% PST portion should’ve been exempt or an “instant-rebate” should’ve been applied. Those Walmart fuckers charged me 31 cents more than they were supposed to on the tax! Yes, I understand that taxes are usually calculated on the pre-coupon prices which is fine, but the total tax should’ve only cost 20 cents!! I should take the receipt back and bitch at them, or report them to the government for incorrectly charging me, but they’re lucky it’s only a few cents or they’d never hear the end of my wrath!

==MAJOR INTERRUPTION END==

So ya, I realize after all this, I could’ve told my story in a paragraph of something, but the point I’m trying to make is just to remind people that sometimes we’re blinded by the allure of seeing things “on sale” because as you can see, with a coupon, I ended up getting a much better deal (even after being ripped off, lol). To make the most economical choice, you have to weigh whether the sale is better WITHOUT a coupon, or better WITH a coupon, even buying it at “regular price”. However, I should also note that there are some coupons (like Brandsaver/Save.CA) that don’t have this restriction, so make sure you read carefully all the coupons/deals you use to ensure they abide to the store/coupon policy! And so, for $2.44 total, I got myself a wonderful pack of…

Stayfree Ultra Thin Overnight Pads

Disclaimer: I did not get the bonus pack, the picture is JUST for reference

Stayfree Ultra Thin Overnights!

I’ve experimented with these before, but it wasn’t until one of my readers informed me that they changed the pad a bit and added rear-wings (similar to the ones I displayed in previous reviews of pads I bought in Hong Kong) – so after hearing that, I certainly had to give them another shot to let them redeem themselves! Not only that, but she also said she really liked them, so heck, never hurts to revisit a pad I haven’t tested in so long. Who knows, maybe it will surprize me – and it sure did! However, lets leave that for the review later.

So there you have it folks, make sure you take some time to do some quick math and consider whether just shooting for the sales or making use a coupon (or both if you’re lucky) will net you the BEST pad/tampon shopping price! The world has changed a lot, so don’t forget that not only can you clip-out coupons from the paper/flyers, in-store/on-shelf rebates – but that you even have online/printable coupons as a resource! I have heard of some places that refuse to accept printable coupons, so make sure you check the store’s participation level ahead-of-time or if they give you a hard time, speak to one of the supervisors/managers of the store! A couple dollars here and there may not seem like a lot, but your wallet or credit card statement will notice the difference!

If you have any comments or hints for fellow readers, feel free to share!

Incognito Samples Are Here!

For those who have read one of my previous reviews and hypes about Incognito pads, found rarely in Ontario – you’ll be happy to know that this Quebec-grown company is now spreading their influence outside of their local province. The sample looks really cool as it gives a variety of products for you to test, including pantiliners, ultra thin pads and tampons – along with a pamphlet. Included is also a tin carrying case which is similar to the Kotex Luxe lines found in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Philippines. Although the sample itself is for young-women as their “First Period Kit”, it’s still a great way for post-menarche women to test out a new product that may lead you down to exploring and switching to some of Incognito’s great products!

Better jump on the offer and get your free sample today! From the last update of my previous entry, Incognito now has TWENTY NINE (29) products, ranging from pantiliners, ultra thin pads, maxi pads, tampons and feminine cleansing cloths. Unlike most of the “brand-name” pads in North America, a few of their products not only act as a form of menstrual protection, but is also capable of dealing with light incontinence and one for maternity use.

Although it has been a while since I’ve bought and tested any Incognito products, it has definitely proven to have a lasting, positive impression – everything from the innovative channel designs, elastic side-guards, body contour, comfort, absorbency and of course, affordability! Incognito may still be rather evasive in stores, but I’ve read that it can be purchased (outside of Quebec) at Walmart, but have yet to verify this. I’m not a big fan of Walmart myself, but I’ll make sure I put it on my “to do” list and check it out. However, Giant Tiger stores do stock Incognito and their prices doesn’t make your head spin.

I also found a coupon that doesn’t expire until the end of this year! I’m not sure how many stores will take these printable coupons, so better find out ahead of time or if you’re willing to take a shot at it either way. I have not verified whether this coupon is accepted and whether it’s usable outside of Quebec… so if you find something out, please let me know.

For your convenience, the $1-off coupon is provided above, however, I recommend you check out their awesome new site anyways! The official company coupon can be found here.

I have to say, while their site isn’t as interactive and engaging as other large sites hosted by Always/Tampax or Kotex – I did read through many of their sections and enjoyed the layout and content of it, short, simple and yet, effective. The “floating box” they have on the left side that changes with each section/refresh cycle gives some new insight on every page you navigate through, including the ability to “add a comment” to a particular pop-up or even “love” the information (probably to simulate the LIKE button of Facebook). The Q&A sections need some work as it could use a bit more info and all.

The biggest thing you will probably notice is the site (in my opinion) hasn’t been fully converted and some things still appear in French, in their English version of the page. For the most part though, all main body content has been changed, but some title texts haven’t. Nevertheless, I guess they have all the right to still honour their native language! Under the personalized tools section, there’s also a simple period calendar to help you predict your menstrual cycle. It’s a bit unfortunate that unlike other tampon makers that they didn’t include any pictures to understand the concept of tampon insertion as it can be a very foreign thing for girls who’ve just started their period and don’t understand how it works. I understand information like this will probably be included in the tampon box as well in the usual fold-ups, but it’d be nice to have something like this on the website as well for a “one-stop shop.”

For those who have access to a Giant Tiger, give Incognito a shot! Poke around some smaller stores, home-grown shops and MAYBE even Walmart and you never know what you’ll find. I can’t imagine that Incognito hasn’t become popular yet given their great products and as my dedicated reader Andie says, it’s “made in Canada” and that’s important in helping our economy and local manufacturers 😀

Recently, I’ve noticed in my eBay updates that there are more and more sellers offering sanitary napkins from other countries, particularly from Asia. I’m happy to see this and perhaps one day soon, shipping of those pads from those countries won’t be super-expensive. I’ve seen some shipping prices down to $4.99-6.99 which isn’t all too bad, however, you never know if you’re going to get nailed at customs so it’s best to buy them in smaller quantities. The last time I wanted to get some Laurier and Sofy pads shipped from Malaysia and Kotex Whites from Hong Kong, it was like $20 shipping for a $3 pack of pads, lol, talk about nuts. I was like, “Are you kidding me?” … especially when the item is not exactly “heavy.” Still, I understand something traveling half-way across the world is not cheap, but surely, there needs to be some economical options!

On a final note before closing for the night, I do believe Costco has jumbo boxes of Playtex Tampons (84) regular or super coupon for $3.20 off from the original price of $15.59 – or $12.39 post-coupon. I actually only know one girl who uses Playtex, so I guess not many of my girls will benefit from this, but have to be fair and spread the news anyways!

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