For this edition of My Cycle Routine we speak with the Founders of sexual wellness brand FIGR - Eloise O’Sullivan and Eloise McCullough (yep, same name).
Eloise and Eloise are reframing how we think about lube, with a pH balanced lube, made from naturally derived ingredients and packaged in a luxe and sustainable glass bottle. As modern brands, we share a commonality in sticking it to the stigma surrounding periods and sexual health, so naturally we had to chat.
We spoke to the creative duo about their period routine, from first time period stories resembling scenes from The Shining, how their cycles are totally in sync and why self-care on their period includes baggy clothes, a steady stream chocolate and cancelling plans.
EO: I remember I got my period in San Francisco on a family holiday. I remember being so scared to wake up the next morning because my mum told me to expect my period to be gushing out from being horizontal for a long time & all I thought of was the elevator scene from The Shining. Of course it never did, but I remember being so scared.
EM: Yes I remember it so clearly. It was on the 7th of November 2007 to be exact haha! I remember that date as it was 7-11 day and after school I had gone to get a free giant slurpee to return home and find a red patch in my underwear. I felt so embarrassed and had to work up the courage to tell Mum.
EO: I think I’m quite lucky with my symptoms. I know my period is coming when I start catching myself tearing up over the smallest of things, along with getting out of bed being extremely difficult. Cramps only occur on the final few days & they’re minor, which I feel very lucky about (it’s nothing an orgasm can’t curb). I use the scarlet period cup which I lube up before inserting which has changed my life. However, during lockdown I’ve found myself staying in my period undies.
EM: Eloise O and I are in sync so when one of us has our periods we know the other will be shortly behind. I get irritable a week or so before my period, during my period I’m okay and then afterwards I’m like ‘oh, life’s actually good’. Before I discovered period cups I was using tampons and pads, but wow the Scarlet period cup has changed my life. I can leave the cup up there all day and not have to worry about it.
EO: I like to be a lady of leisure when bleeding & that includes staying in trackies all day, cancelling plans and indulging myself.
EM: I totally soak it in (not literally!), indulge in chocolate, accept that I’ll be feeling low for about a week and then try to remind myself that it’s only a phase and that I’ll feel fabulous once my period is finished.
EO: I don’t have the energy to do high intensity workouts during my cycle. I usually take a hiatus on Pilates and stick to at home yoga and walks.
EM: I go easy on myself during my period, but to be honest, I’ve been going easy on myself the whole lockdown so my fitness routine has taken a big hit!
EO: I try to avoid wearing makeup to allow my skin to have some time off. I tend to break out more on my shoulders during my cycle, which is really irritating. So I love using GlamGlow Supermud Clearing Treatment on my face & shoulders as I feel it really clears everything up.
EM: I get a stray pimple a few days before my period - it’s like clockwork and signals that my period is coming. I don’t really feel the need to do anything about it though, it’s natural.
EO: I feel really sluggish and heavy during my period so I struggle to feel sexy, but my boyfriend is a darling and he knows his job during this time is to fill me up with fantastic food & give me the best cuddles.
EM: Not that I’m aware of ha!
EO: Since working full time on FIGR, my period hasn’t interfered as I’m on my own schedule. I don’t put too much pressure on myself and do the bare minimum during this time.
EM: Not anymore–wearing a period-cup has made my period less of a burden.
My period described in 3-words...
EO: welcomed, sensitive and mushy
EM: reactive, sensitive and emotional.
I know my period is coming when...
EO: The tears are flowing & my boyfriend alerts me.
EM: A stray, solo pimple emerges.
Do you use a tracker?
EO: Not yet, patiently waiting on Scarlet to release one. (*we'll get there girls*)
EM: I used to but not anymore. I used the Flo app when I did track my period.
My period self-care toolkit’...
EO: Cuddles, chocolate & baggy clothing
EM: Ditto on everything Eloise O said!
On day 1 you can find me…
EO: A nice cocktail of being emotional, irrational and exhausted.
EM: Eating chocolate, but I do that any time!
The period products that make up my period routine...
The TV series I’m currently obsessed with…
EO: The Simpsons
EM: Squid Game! And trash reality shows like Love Island – my guilty pleasure.
A bad habit I’m trying to break….
EO: My pessimism
EM: Rolling out of bed at 9:25am – I start work at 9:30am.
Self-pleasure or be pleasured…
My period playlist consists of…
EO: McCoppins Techno Playlist on spotify.
EM: Daughter. Perfect for a good cry.
If I had to choose 3 beauty products for the rest of my life…
EO: Sunscreen, toothpaste and soap (would we classify these as beauty products?)
EM: Sunscreen, cleanser and can I say lube?
When you’re feeling down my advice is to…
EM: Remind yourself that it’s only a phase and it has to go up from here.
My advice on dating…
EO: Trust your gut & listen to your friends opinions
EM: Don’t rely on the other person to give you your happiness.
Words to live by…
EO: No is a complete sentence.
EM: If not now, then when?
The book every person should read…
EO: Rage Becomes Her: Power of a Women’s Anger, by Soraya Chemaly
EM: The Power of Now