Sanitary Items to suit you | Mildura Intimate Photography
With well over 60% of Australia (and the Worlds) population, sanitary items are a big ticket item that impacts women socially, financially, mentally and physically EVERY month!
Up until last year, Australian women were taxed on these products as a Luxury Tax!!! Can you believe that!? We were charged extra on buying necessary items, because it was deemed a luxury by the Government!!!!
Mass marketing will tell us that the only options available to women to use each month for their menstrual cycle are Sanitary Pads or Tampons, BUT did you know that there is a whole new world out there of options?
Let's explore some options......A girl has to have options! Am I right???
Traditional Sanitary Products - Pads & Tampons
My journey into "womanhood" began through scrolling through my friend's older sisters copies of Dolly, where we would cut out and fill in all of the free product samples, and send them off. We sent off to all the brands of pads and tampons. To say we were well stocked up when we did eventually begin menstruating is an understatement!
Back in those days, we only had the options given us of pads and tampons - so really, we needed to decide what we preferred, which brand, with an applicator or not, and what suited our lifestyle at the time.
Sanitary Pads come in all shapes and forms - wings, no wings, ultra thin, maxi, maternity, overnight - the list goes on!
Many women don't like the feeling of "leaking", or the impact of not being able to go swimming, or the general bulkiness (well not so much any more - trust me, they were pretty bulky back when I was a teenager!) But much has changed nowadays, but obviously the swimming is still an issue!
Many pads now shape to your body (so you no longer feel like you are walking with a baguette between your legs), have odour neutralisers (whatever that is!), are ultra thin but have maximum absorbancy, and stick to your underwear (with the wraparound wings) to hold it in place. My how times have changed! Pads obviously need to be changed regularly, and the size or absorbancy level of the pad will depend on your cycle flow and the corresponding day (ie: Day 1 is obviously usually the heaviest, with Day 4-5 being the lightest)
Tampons are obviously worn internally within the vaginal cavity, and absorbs the blood whilst the vaginal muscles hold the tampon in place. The tampon expands as it absorbs, and must be changed throughout the day. Different sized tampons are available, dependent on your flow, with a heavier flow perhaps requiring a larger sized tampon for your earlier days, and then changing down to a smaller sized tampon for your lighter days.
Keep in mind that tampons will also absorb the vagina's natural lubrication and bacteria, which can change the normal pH, increasing the risk of infections from the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), which can lead to toxic shock syndrome (TSS). TSS is a rare, but life-threatening infection that requires immediate medical attention.
Tampon design varies between companies and across product lines in order to offer a variety of applicators, materials and absorbencies. There are two main categories of tampons based on the way of insertion - digital tampons inserted by finger, and applicator tampons. Tampon applicators may be made of plastic or cardboard, and are similar in design to a syringe. The applicator consists of two tubes, an "outer", or barrel, and "inner", or plunger. The outer tube has a smooth surface to aid insertion and sometimes comes with a rounded end that is petalled.
Differences exist in the way tampons expand when in use: applicator tampons generally expand axially (increase in length), while digital tampons will expand radially (increase in diameter). Most tampons have a cord or string for removal. The majority of tampons sold are made of rayon, or a blend of rayon and cotton. Organic cotton tampons are made from only 100% cotton. Tampons may also come in scented or unscented varieties.
A menstrual cup is a feminine hygiene device which is inserted into the vagina during menstruation. They come in many shapes and sizes, so obviously, it can be difficult to find the right fit (clearly, there is a no-returns policy or a "Try before you buy" option).
Its purpose is to collect menstrual fluid and prevent its leaking onto clothes. Menstrual cups are usually made of flexible medical grade silicone, latex, or a thermoplastic isomer. They are shaped like a bell with a stem. The stem is used for insertion and removal. The bell-shaped cup seals against the vaginal wall just below the cervix. Every 4–12 hours, the cup is removed, emptied, rinsed, and reinserted.
Some people love these scientific feats of ingenuity, but others just can't get used to them. Speaking from my experience, I was very keen to try a cup. The prospect of limiting that waste of tampons or pads each month was big in my books, as was the fact that I was spending so much money each month on tampons - it seemed very excessive. So, I happily paid $45 for a cup, not knowing what shape or size my cervix was, but having a bit of a guess. I knew that a menstrual cup, once inserted correctly, would not be felt, would stay in place and allow me to continue living my life as per any normal day (because I was doing that anyway????). I must admit, the first few months were a breeze, but then I had a few months where the cup was just uncomfortable and awkward, and I found insertion and removal difficult and a bit of a battle. I admitted defeat, and my cup has sat alone and solitary in its lovely little satin bag in my bathroom cupboard since.
Thankfully, there is so much information available now for menstrual cups, and how to find the best fit and cup for you, which will definitely make it easier to work out your cervix shape and size and purchase the best cup for you.
Head on over to https://www.menstrualcupsaustraliaonline.com.au/menstrual-cups-australia/ for advice on finding the best cup for your needs.
Prior to first use, and after each period, the cup requires cleaning - usually by placing in gently boiling water for 5-7 minutes.
Period Underwear - can we all come up with a better name than this? I know, I get it - it's basically telling us exactly what it is, but Geeesh!
Aside from the name, this is my jam! Great for the environment, resusable, no requirement for any other products to be used with them, underwear ranging in styles, sizes, lacey numbers, patterned knickers or plain or bright colours!
This underwear is seriously comfortable and oh so easy to use!
There are many brands available, but my favorite is definitely Modibodi - 100% Australian owned and designed, I first tried a pair not long after they first launched. Periods, Incontinence, Sweat, Pregnancy - Period proof, Leak proof, comfortable, and sustainable. I love these knickers! They are 3mm thick and have a top, middle and bottom layer.
The top layer is a soft bamboo that wicks away moisture, fights bacteria and stops smells. The middle layer is made of Merino Wool, that absorbs fluid and locks it away, and the bottom layer gives waterproof protection, ensuring any moisture and liquid is securely staying where it is.
They offer options of moisture wicking only (exercise friendly - for sweat) through to heavy/overnight or maximum protection for 24 hours. Size 4 to 20, Maternity, Curvy, Vegan, Swimwear and Activewear are all available.
But how do they work?
Well, let me tell you how simple they are! You've got your period - you put on your underwear (I don my heavy pair & then get dressed in my clothes). I do all the stuff that I normally do - whether I am menstruating or not! - at the end of the day, I remove my knickers & then I rinse them thoroughly in the laundry sink. (You can rinse them in the shower if you prefer!) I place them in a wash bag to wash in my next load of washing. I then put on a fresh pair of my heavy/overnight knickers ready for bed! And repeat....only interchanging with a moderate/heavy and then a light/moderate pair for the last few days of my cycle.
Modibodi sell packs and offer discounts too when purchasing 5, 7 or 10 pairs at once. They also offer a 10% discount off your first purchase if you use the code EMPOWER at checkout. You can find them at: www.modibodi.com/?msclkid=21a45162d39f1e7aa1980ee857e53e3f&gclid=CLqLt-H1uuwCFV0vjgodf1sDXQ&gclsrc=ds
Of course, there are plenty of other brands out there now, but I like keeping my money in Australia.
So I hope this has helped a few of you in possibly changing things up to a more environmentally and cost efficient way of menstruating.
Why You Should Do a Limited Edition Shoot | Mildura Intimate Boudoir Photography
Limited Edition, Luxury, Exclusive, Elite - they all go hand in hand when talking about one of Pure Beauty Photography's Shoots. But did you know that Pure Beauty also offered Limited Edition Shoots throughout the year?
So what are these Limited Edition Shoots, and how can you be an Exclusive Member of this Elite Club?
Limited Edition Shoots offer a Theme, have only availability for four lucky women, but still include your Hair and Make up, One outfit change and 45 minutes of shooting time!
You definitely need not worry if you will get enough images in 45 minutes - I can guarantee you that Lauren will have images in the hundreds for you to choose your favorites from!
Places for these shoots get snapped up seriously FAST, so bookings are taken on a first-in basis, with payment for the shoot itself being made at time of booking. These are not shoots that you have the time to sit back and wait to book yourself in for - these are the shoots that you HAVE to have!
The date(s) are pre-set to fit in with the optimal shooting duration, and best time of the day for the location (if outdoors).
These Limited Edition Shoots are a fantastic way to accept and embrace the skin you're in, boost your self love and self confidence, and do it all with the amazing support of Lauren and three other incredible Beauties embracing their own confidence and bodies at the same time!
*Not all Limited Edition Shoots are in a Group Setting. eg: Sheets to Shower
Here's what some Lucky Ladies have had to say about their Limited Edition Shoot....
"So much fun! We had a good time chatting and laughing while the other ladies had their sessions. Stripping off among the trees is definitely something I am pretty comfortable with! Haha!"
"It was an experience like no other. I was on an absolute high the entire time and the women were all so supportive and encouraging! LOVE LOVE LOVE!"
"So much fun! It's great doing a shoot in a small group because everyone is really supportive and we all thrive off each other."
A Limited Edition Shoot will help you overcome those initial nerves, put you at ease, and you will start to feel relaxed and excited, and perhaps even forget you are in your lingerie!
These Shoots are seriously FUN! You will be laughing the whole time, and the confidence boost you gain from not just Lauren, but also the other participating ladies, just skyrockets! It is like having a professional photographer along on your girls weekend away!
Like a full Experience, Lauren guides you throughout with poses and positioning - this girl has an eye for locations, and always gets the perfect shot that is only enhanced by the theme or place!
Pure Beauty Photography aims to run up to Four Limited Edition Sessions each year - each time, embracing a new theme.
What themes or locations would you LOVE to be a part of? Drop us a message to let the Team know what you absolutely NEED to do! What Shoot could you not say NO to?
So we all talk about how life changing an Exclusive Experience with Pure Beauty Photography can be, how does this differ to a Limited Edition Shoot?
If anything, it is like a concentrated shot of confidence. All the feels in limited time! It's a major boost immediately, and you leave feeling all the incredible perks and bonuses of an Exclusive Experience.
"It renewed the want to accept the things I currently have and not be so negative about changes I have gone through."
"I feel more comfortable in my skin and more free to let loose around my husband."
"After every shoot I do, I see myself in a better light then I did previously. I accept who I am and love the body I am in, I still face challenges when I don't feel great BUT I can look back at these photos and just think WOW! That's me, I look amazing and I felt fucking great. This helps that journey continue."
"I realised that I'd been hanging onto something that was dragging me down and holding me back at my last few sessions, and in life in general. I just totally let that go and had such a great time! I love my body and what it is capable of, and I love that Lauren captures it in all its glory, and I can truly be myself and it all translates beautifully into the images."
So what are you waiting for girl?????
Do you want to get in on a Limited Edition Shoot for yourself? There is just a couple of spaces left for the Sheets to Shower Exclusive Limited Edition!
Just think....45 minutes to yourself, getting pampered and glammed. 45 minutes of everything being just about YOU. Feeling like the Goddess that you are, and proving to yourself that you are one sexy, beautiful, incredible and empowered woman!
"Honestly, just do it, even if you think its not for you or you wouldn't be comfortable, book an introductory session, have a chat with Lauren let her know how you are feeling, Lauren and her team have incredible way of easing those feelings and you will only ever do what you are comfortable with. It's an experience you will never forget and you will absolutely treasure the photos forever (one warning, it can be addictive, you will want more!)"
"Do it, and if you get the chance, do it again! Relax and trust that Lauren will make you look and feel amazing."
Behind the Scenes with Zoey Andrews | Mildura Intimate Photography
I’VE been a freelance writer for more than two years and a journalist for over three years prior to that.
But never have I struggled to write something as much as I have sitting down to write this about myself for Pure Beauty.
I guess most of us just aren’t used to talking about ourselves, maybe I’m a bit scared also about how honest I will be. I’m probably more uncomfortable with being the focus of something.
But here goes anyway.
My name is Zoey. I’m 34 and have a husband, Daniel, and two amazing children - Lucas (seven) and Bohdi (three).
My husband works away from home a lot so mostly it’s just the boys and I hanging out, navigating life together.
I can be bright and bubbly but can also be plagued by anxiety and doubtfulness. Sometimes I hide a lot behind a huge smile.
Compared to who I was, I’ve definitely conquered and continue to overcome some challenges, and coincidentally enough I have Pure Beauty to thank for that.
My first experience with Pure Beauty was just over a year ago now.
It finally happened with a lot of encouragement and persuading from my husband, to do something for me in hope I would see how others apparently see me.
A few years ago I experienced something that not only destroyed my self confidence but also my self worth.
Little did I know that Pure Beauty was what I had been waiting to stumble across and when I did it began my journey of recovery; my path to self confidence and self worth.
I’m not “fixed” by any stretch, it’s a continual process, but Pure Beauty opened my eyes to the good stuff about me and showed me the not so good parts of me are insignificant.
I remember driving to my consultation with Lauren before booking my experience.
I’d spent so long viewing photos that Lauren had captured of other beautiful ladies.
I remember being ashamed and embarrassed that, in my current mind, she was never going to be able to turn me into one of her works of art.
I told her this so many times during our chat - that although I believed she was a miracle worker, I was definitely beyond her help.
She didn’t bat an eyelid and knew better. Even if I didn’t.
Fast forward to my actual experience and I was a mess of doubt and nerves beforehand.
And then I stepped into the studio. Vee did my makeup and Mairee my hair. I loved both and I started to feel comfortable.
Being in front of the camera took some getting used to but Lauren’s energy and enthusiasm was infectious.
I left the experience feeling content and happy, promising myself that even if I didn’t love the photos I would remember how the experience made me feel.
In hindsight, I had no idea how those couple of hours that Saturday morning would change me.
Lauren flicked a sneak peak through to me that night. I was working doing media and publicity at Timmis Speedway for a Series my husband and I covered at the time.
I remember what I was wearing at the time. I remember where I was standing at the time.
I remember taking a while to come back down from the shock of what Lauren had captured and I remember not being very productive afterwards.
I couldn’t believe it was me. It clearly was. But wow.
At that moment I realised I didn’t care if my arms weren’t firm, I didn’t care I had a podgy stomach, I didn’t care that my thighs were wobbly. I had good bits and they far outweighed the insignificant bad.
That was my lightbulb moment and when I viewed the rest of the photos Lauren had taken at my shoot, I no longer cared anywhere near as much what others thought of me, I accepted myself - all of me.
I’ve now booked in my second experience with Lauren and I am so bloody excited. I cannot wait to push myself that little bit further and see the magic Lauren can create once again.
To be involved in Pure Beauty in the capacity of a blogger is exciting and a privilege to me.
Lauren has built a platform of inspiring and rocking women. You might just all not know how amazing you are yet.
That’s why I would love for each and every one of you to experience a Pure Beauty shoot.
You deserve it.
So that’s me and my Pure Beauty experience.
But who do I look up to, who inspires me?
It’ll probably come as no surprise to those that know me when I say my Mum - Lee.
Dedicated, giving, hard-working, loving, loyal, patient and strong is how I would describe her.
She’s everything I aspire to be in everything that matters in life.
In the public eye, there are two famous females who I look up to.
The first is New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
She’s awesome because she’s a boss! She runs a country, manages a family and takes it all her stride.
The second is Meghan Markle and I think we can all learn a bit from her.
How much criticism has she faced? How many people have tried to sabotage her fairytale?
And yet she’s made her own decisions and is living her own life, even if it is against the grain.
She’s brave and opinionated and not afraid to stand up for what she believes in.
I hope I can enlighten and entertain you through my blogs for Pure Beauty and if there is anything you would like featured, please don’t hesitate to let me know.
I’ll leave you with this inspiring quote, one of my favourites:
“And one day she discovered that she was fierce and strong, and full of fire and that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears.” - Mark Anthony
Here you will find my featured babes, #wearepurebeauty , as well as some tips for your boudoir shoot- from lingerie shopping to hair and makeup
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Mildura resident and Photographer, Lauren Southwell launched Pure Beauty in late June, 2018 & is committed to helping woman feel beautiful, sexy and empowered through the art of Boudoir Photography.