I’ve been a loyal waxer for a fair few years now (11 years exactly) and I certainly wouldn’t go back to shaving again, ever (the Italian blood in me means I’m cursed with dark, dense regrowth if I do). But there comes a time every year (around June to August to be precise) where I get a bit ratty about having to regrow hair long enough for waxing.
Those hotter months where you can’t bear the touch of excess material against your skin are those whereby I (and fellow waxers) am having to still trouser up my hairiness that, disappointingly, isn’t quite hairy enough to be removed. So this year, I wanted to come up with an alternative that wouldn’t ruin all the good work I’ve put in with years of waxing (if you want to read all about how waxing works and why you need to stick with it to reap the rewards, read my previous post here).
My mum’s epilated on and off throughout her life and is more consistent with it now that her regrowth is giving up the ghost and there’s almost not enough to bother waxing. This meant I felt fairly confident about the ins and outs of epilation (in that it continues to remove hair from the root and you remain hair free for the same amount of time) but with it comes the added benefits: that you can do it quickly and whenever you like (without having to book an appointment or set aside a husband-free evening to practice contortionist skills you don’t have) and you don’t have to grow your hair nearly as long in order to rip it back out again. This solved my summer hairiness problem and would also save money on waxing products.
The next task was scanning the market to get a feel for what was out there, what sort of price I was looking at and what the reviews were like. I wasn’t going to spend ages over this (I can’t afford to spend ages over anything these days) and, in the time I gave to my research, I found the brand that dominated the market was Braun, with Panasonic, Philips and Remington coming up (quite far) behind. I went to the Braun website to check out their offering and their most recent Silk-epil 9 model ticked all my boxes in terms of promising the most effective hair removal at the shortest length (i.e. the least regrowth time possible). I also liked the fact you could use it wet or dry; I’m not sure I’d use it in the shower (I’d run off all the hot water) but possibly in the bath… it’s good to keep your options open (I later decided against this, as the thought of sitting in a pool of plucked hairs just turns my stomach!).
This model boasts a wider head (meaning it removes more hair more quickly) and MicroGrip tweezer technology (as in, the tweezers are more precise, removing hairs as short as 0.5mm long). Particularly appealing to me was a comment I read that claims “when used regularly, epilation is virtually painless”. It’s true that having waxed for so long, I’ve definitely become accustomed to the sensation of the hair being taken out by the root but it’s never been comfortable and so I loved the sound of “virtually painless”!
I looked around at older Braun models and other brands but I felt happy that the Silk-epil 9 was an up-to-date that would do as good a job as I could hope for and the reviews were pursuading me to go for it, so next was to see where I could get it and for how much.
The Braun website states that this model retails for £149.99 but I found retailer prices varied from as little as £94.99 (Superdrug) to as much as £164.99 (Boots). I was hoping to purchase it from Boots, as I had a few vouchers that would boost my advantage card points substantially but I wasn’t up for that much of a price hike compared to other retailers! Later that week however, I happened to be in Boots and it was on offer at £99.99, so, because I would be receiving a load of points back in return, this reduced the cost further than I’d seen it for anywhere else (and that was the line I went with when telling the husband about it as well).
I’m a shameless tart when I buy things, so if the product looks good as well, I’m sold. I love the colour of this model: it has rose gold trim and a white glitter handle, which is about as pretty as you could hope an Epilator to be!
I’ve been using this a few weeks now and I love how I’m practically hair free all the time, because it literally takes minutes to take it over my legs of a morning if a have a few sprouts threatening a leggy outfit… I also wish I had this on my honeymoon a few years ago: you know what it’s like, you get a wax for a two week holiday but by the second week (and if your hair growth cycles are not synchronised (again, read my previous post here)) you might just have the odd hair rearing its head. If I’d had the Epilator with me, I wouldn’t have had to reach for my husband’s razor in desperation!
The first time I used it, I noticed a line of slightly spikey looking rollers in front of and behind the tweezer head (you can just see these in the pic above) and I really noticed the sensation they created ahead of the hair being removed: they vibrate to minimise discomfort but the shape of them also presses into the skin somewhat to almost confuse the sensations. It sounds wierd but actually I quite like it, they totally take your attention away from feeling the hair removal and honestly, it ends up (after a few uses) being “virtually painless”, it really does. I’m so pleased it’s lived up to that claim.
This is also the fastest Epilator I’ve ever seen; it successfully removes only ‘just visible’ hairs in just one stroke, without the need to keep going over the same patch, which means the whole process takes far less time than I’d anticipated. In summary, I can do a whole half leg (from the ankle to just over the knee) in about 15 minutes. Not joking.
- A charging lead (top right)
- Face caps (middle right and bottom right) if you want to Epilate your face?!?!
- A charging stand (bottom centre)
- A cleaning brush (left of centre)
- The Epilator itself (top left)
- The thing at the bottom left (that looks like a tampon) is actually the pouch it all comes with for you to keep it in but you can see I haven’t even opened it; I wrote it off as thin and boring when I saw it, so I keep all my bits in a small wash bag I had going spare.
- This product doesn’t come with a mains plug adapter and it doesn’t state this anywhere on the packaging either, so I was a bit disappointed when I found out I couldn’t use it until I’d bought one (for about £1.40 on ebay)
- You really need to amp up your exfoliation game. I’m unlucky enough to be quite prone to ingrown hairs (thanks mum), so I scrub like a crazy lady most days anyway but I think because you use this product more frequently than waxing, there’s a need to be more mindful of finer tipped regrowth trying to push through the skin. Exfoliation and moisturising are therefore going to be your best bet against ingrown hairs, keeping your skin at its softest, so the hairs find it easier to come through.
I really do enjoy using this product and it’s successfully met all my needs for the purpose I bought it for. I would even go so far as to say that I may use this for the foreseeable future, not needing to return to waxing for any particular reason, although I always thought I’d go back to waxing over the cooler months, as I’ll be trousered up anyway.
I’m interested to know: how do you cope in the hotter months and what’s your favourite method of hair removal so that you can wear what you like, when you like?
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