So then it was time to have a period! yay! it's funny to get excited about these things when you're 24 years old, but you do when you've got pretty new pads to try.
They're made from soft flannel with snaps on the wings to hold them in place, which is nice because I hate how terrible the adhesive on pads is sometimes. To get really sticky ones, you have to buy Always or another expensive brand. Then you always have to stick the wings TOGETHER just perfectly, and even then it's only good for three hours or so. If you've just gotten out of the shower, you're screwed, because if you're not totally 100% dry the adhesive absorbs the humidity and doesn't stick. Lunapads STAY IN PLACE... overnight, out of the shower, all day, whatever. That's why I was sure to save some for my lighter days when I really still need a pad but one will do for a long time; disposable pads just aren't acceptable for those days anymore.
In addition to staying put, they're also incredibly comfy and soft. Most disposable pads these days have this plastic dry-weave to keep things cleaner, but after a while it can chafe a little. Hey, it's plastic! Skin is delicate down there, especially if you shave... places. The cotton flannel is much more comfortable.
Lunapads suck for the obvious reason: you have to wash them. but that's really not as sucky as you might think. The first month, I used each pad twice. I'd wear it, take it home, wash it, and lay it out to dry. If I put it in between two towels and stepped on it to really towel-dry it first, it'd be dry by the next day (of course you can put it in the dryer, but I don't have a dryer). In the months after that, I didn't have time to wear each one twice. I just wore them and threw them in the laundry, bloodiness and all, and did laundry at the end of the week. Whatever works. Yeah, they're blood-stained, but fuck, they're pads! Who cares?
Also, the deluxe mini pads come with little straps to hold an additional top liner layer in place. This seems like a good idea, but it's not. It shifts around and doesn't really do much. My advice is to get the plain old mini pads, or the real full-size pads if you have heavier periods (I really don't... but for heavy days I still prefer tampons).
I also took one look at them and said, "I can totally make these myself." I was basically right, but it took some doing to get the pattern down (will publish this later) and the process is VERY labor-intensive: lots of hand sewing, basting, cutting, etc. It takes like two hours to make one. I'm not buying any more, I'm making my own, but unless you sew I'd recommend buying... if nothing else so you can kinda copy the design.