Monday, April 19, 2010

Epilators: Friend or Foe? ;)

As women, we all deal with a little something called hair. From styling the hair on our heads, to tweezing our eyebrows, to shaving, waxing, threading, springing, ripping, and sanding, we are in a constant struggle to define how the hair on our bodies look.

Now I'm going to be honest. I probably have less body hair than the average person. I don't need to shave my legs since the hair there is basically very fine and nonexistent. I likewise don't have a ton of underarm hair (I know, gross, TMI right?) but since my skin is so sensitive if I tried to shave the few hairs I did have I would get razor burn and ingrown hairs. Anyone who has done this to their armpits knows what I am talking about! Very unpleasant in an already sensitive area! Maybe I just don't have those mad shaving skills that girls who shave their legs everyday honed, but I was reduced to tweezing the hairs with tweezers which gave me headaches from trying to stare at my own armpit. Yeah, just picture that. O_O

So this comes to the topic of discussion: Epilators. I had first heard about epilators from the ever-savvy Soompi Forums crowd. An epilator is an electronic device much like an electric razor except that instead of cutting your hair, it has little tweezers that pull your hair out. It sounds really scary, right? But I figured, I'm already tweezing my 'pit hairs so might as well let a machine do it for me.

The two epilator brands that kept popping up in terms of quality and popularity were Emjoi and Braun.


Both of these epilators run for around $65 on Amazon.com.

Being that I didn't want to slam such a large amount of money down on a glorified tweezer before trying it, I decided to first buy a cheapo epilator from Big Lots. This is the Panasonic Wet/Dry epilator that runs on AAA batteries and was under $20.


Do I recommend this epilator? Not really. I never wanted to get it wet since I was worried that the batteries inside would get wet. Also, wouldn't it be harder to catch the hairs if it was wet? I don't know, maybe that's just in my head. I would store this in a basket on my bathroom counter and sometimes I'd find that the batteries had popped themselves out, as if they were that scared of the epilator itself too. It did remove hairs though, no complaints about that, but it drained batteries, was quite loud, and I didn't even use it very often. The metal guard also wasn't much protection for my skin since I did experience a pinch or two.

I did like how quickly the hairs would be removed though and I didn't have problems with the pain tolerance so at this point I decided that an upgrade would be well worth the money. I'd already been researching the aforementioned Braun Silk-Epil and the various Emjoi epilators when *trumpets sound* my new BFF Hautelook decided to feature Emjoi in one of their sales. 

After some research I decided that the Emjoi Optimini (List price: $59.99, Amazon price: $49.99) would be just what I needed. It's smaller than the full-sized counterparts so it would fit in my underarm area without a problem, PLUS it's corded so I don't have those annoying weakening battery problems. (Weak batteries make for not the happiest tweezing experience, FYI.) It actually fits right in the palm of my hand.



The two sides spin in opposite directions so the skin is pulled taught and isn't punched from bunching, plus there is a metal bar in the middle for the same reason. The ends of the tweezers are actually rounded, not sharp like eyebrow tweezers. The best part? This thing is FAST! It only takes about 20 seconds to have totally smooth underarms with no razor burn, no shaving cream, and no ingrown hairs. There are two speeds but I've found that the fast speed is actually less painful for me, and the pain in general is an amount that is quite tolerable. Loud little thing, but it's sooo nice to have. I do recommend exfoliating your underarms beforehand (I use a bath brush while in the shower) to assure no ingrowns, and I've had no problems.

The reason I decided to bring this all up is because I bought this epilator last time and I've been looooving it! I checked Hautelook today and Emjoi is actually up on there right now so I hurried to make a post recommending it before it's too late! The Optimini that I have is on sale for $41.97 and they have a lot of the beefier epilators for those who want to use it on their legs as well. As of my post, there are 36 hours left in the sale.

If you aren't already signed up with Hautelook you can sign up with my link here:
The inviter does get a hautelook credit after the invitee's first purchase but I do only post about products I bought myself and recommend. I'm not compensated or affiliated with Hautelook in any way, but I do love their sales. ;)

Oh, and I didn't want to forget to mention that Urban Decay is also having another sale on Hautelook starting tomorrow, Tuesday April 20th at 8AM PT (10AM for me here in Central Time). I really don't even need to say how much I love this brand, right? Pretty sure there's something Urban Decay in all of my videos. XD


So anyway, whether you decide to jump on these Emjois or invest in the Braun Silk-Epil or any other number of epilators, I do hope you can try one sometime and be happy and hair-free. They aren't as scary as they seem! Let me know in the comments, have you tried an epilator and if so, which one? Have you tried tweezing unconventional areas? I want to hear some hair-horror stories. ;D

Hehehe.



50 comments:

  1. Ok... I'm intrigued now. I *hate* shaving my 'pits! Aaand I have an Amazon Prime subscription so I think I'll surf around over there. =)

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  2. Thanks for this post!! I've been really curious about epilators but was also too scared to even try them out. LOL. Maybe I'll look into them. They sound really handy.

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  3. i'm intrigued but epilators scare me! o_O

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  4. This is interesting! I have never tried an epilator before, but I did see a YT video of a guy testing one out... and he was screaming like a little girl XD

    I also have pretty much no underarm hair! haha! I barely shave my legs either because the hair is super fine too. Even my arms. I shaved them a couple times and now the hair grows back uber slow and super fine. Sorry if THAT was TMI, lol :P

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  5. i was looking at epilators today too because of the hautelook sale! pursebuzz talks about how she loves the emjoi soft caress epilator if you want to go check out her yt video!

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  6. urmm. I just wax my legs and arms. No epilating, but I might try one day :) a bit expensive for me though

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  7. AHHH! whattt the heck! >< i'm so sad...i spent almost $60 on my emjoi epilator and now hautelook is selling it for practically $10 less T_T
    oh well..i still love my epilator! <3

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  8. the caress light blue one hurts!! but it does work. you just have to go over the skin a couple of times

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  9. Thanks so much for your honesty! This post was super helpful, I think I might check this out!

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  10. Actually, this one made me LOL, "...but I was reduced to tweezing the hairs with tweezers which gave me headaches from trying to stare at my own armpit."

    I've heard from a friend that she does that and I'm honestly a bit :O at the idea of it.

    I'll look into these things sometime. xD Although the idea of it still scares me, haha.

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  11. yay~~~~ good thing that i didn't buy the UD from its own website... I hope hautelook has a bigger sale xD

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  12. Haha these things does look interesting but i think i will just stick to shaving LOL. I can't take pain very well haha =/ I totally know what you mean about getting a headache from trying to stare at your armpits though ><

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  13. LOL omg I laughed out loud when I read the part about your pits cause I thought I was the only one getting a headache from trying to stare at my own pits and trying to pluck all the little hairs out. anyways I'll try this out! thanks Jen :)

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  14. OMG...I've been stressing over buying an epilator for months! Thanks for posting about your experience. Good to hear they're tolerable pain wise, although I'm quite a bit fuzzier than you, so may have a slightly different experience. =P

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  15. this is off topic but... how often do you get a haircut/trim?
    your hair's so long and nice >.<
    my hair sadly never seems to grow..probably cuz it's so damaged and all =(

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  16. i've been using the Braun one since high school, i really love how fast it removes hair. but when i first got it it was pretty painful but the more i use it the more i am use to the pain.

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  17. I definitely get headaches too from staring at my armpits :( Tweezing is no fun at all because it's hit or miss x_x

    I've always wanted to try epilator too ... they're expensive though.

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  18. i prefer waxing over epilators. it also has an exfoliating feel to it afterwards, and one 'rip' does it. i like gigi honey from sally's beauty. i tried epilady (yea, old i know) in the past on my legs and i get ingrown hair, and inflammed skin. also i miss some hair too. sorry, tmi! ;) i will never use epilators , no-no (scent of burnt hair, eeek!), hair disolvers (stinky), etc ever again.

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  19. I have an emjoi and used it for years ... Until I finally shelled out for laser hair removal! Im very hairy for an Asian so the epilator was not so painless and I frequently pinched my skin, but I still prefered it over shaving!

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  20. I'm currently on my 2nd emjoi epilator. I use it solely for my arms and it doesn't hurt at all. Feels like little tickles! My first one "died" because I didn't tie my hair back and it got sucked into the epilator. It was horrible, had to cut my hair off since it wouldn't come out completely from the little machine and the machine was totally tangled in it too. Boo on that.
    I love epilators though <3

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  21. one i started to learn to shave, i never stopped.

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  22. me three! i do the staring-at-my-armpits-while-attempting-to-tweeze. it's about 10x worse when you need glasses but are out of contacts. XD

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  23. Thanks Jen! After reading your post, I immediately went and ordered the Emjoi Gently Silken Epilator from HauteLook. I'm super excited and I hope it works out. :)

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  24. Hey Jen! I actually purchased an emjoi epislim 3 or 4 years ago so my review may be outdated. The epislim is a travel friendly one so it unfortunately, runs on batteries. They probably make one that is rechargeable by now (or i should hope so!).
    The epislim one itself didn't work too well for me. I tested it on my arm hairs first. My arm hairs are very thin and fine so it wasn't able to pick those up. Then I used it on my underarm area and it picked up a good portion of my hairs, but missed quite a few. This may or may not be due to the fact that this is just the travel sized version meant to bring on travels for "touch ups" *shrugs* Still though, it totally beats shaving my under arm area because I HATE SHAVING. I am very prone to ingrown hairs, razor bumps and burns.. Not to mention the fact that I am EXTREMELY clumsy so cutting myself is highly probable. I still use my emjoi epislim though!

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  25. hahaha You got me interested about this product. When I was reading your blog post, I got a good laugh about the staring at your armpits part while tweezing... it gives me a headache too (but I'd rather do that than shave). The product itself, I'm quite interested in. I've heard about them before but never got around to trying it. Although, after reading your post about the epilators, I think I should give it a try. Finishing up in 20 seconds? That sounds SO much more convenient!

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  26. This post is very interesting. You make epilators seem better than what most people imagine. I actually might try it too.

    Thanks for sharing! :)

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  27. I have used the Braun one.
    Painful and doesn't work for that area.

    It just breaks the hair. You will have to go in with real tweezers to get rid of them. It can be more painful if the thing just tries to pull that hair out but just keeps breaking it.

    Tweezerman tweezers...not braun for sure.

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  28. like you, i used to tweeze the few sparse pit hairs i had. it would seriously cramp and hurt my neck, and i'd get the worst headaches! sometimes, i would just stand closely to the mirror and that would be helpful; it just took a long time to get every single hair out! way longer than 20 seconds.

    does anyone have experience using the epilator on their bikini line? just curious...feedback will be much appreciated!

    thanks

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  29. I purchased the Braun Silk-Epil Xpressive Epilator 7781 in Canada for about $100CDN. I think it is cheaper in the US. I hate using the epilator..I try to wait as long as possible..but the longer I wait..the more it hurts. But the results?? AMAZING!!! Like you, I'm not very hairy..but hairy enough that I will need to do my underarms every 3 months. I dont think there will ever be a epilator that doesnt hurt..but I love my machine. I prefer waxing..but I just dont have the time. I highly recommend my machine because it hurts less then others but still a pain! =)

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  30. it's nice to know i'm not the only one that plucks the under arms XD I ordered the purple emjoi yesterday ^^ i saw some braun epilators at my mall but the prices were nearly doubled :S

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  31. I have the Braun epilator you have pictured in your post. I've been using it for nearly a year.

    The first time I used it it was amazing, making my skin smooth. The pain didn't bother me at all, and felt like tiny pricks at most. I've always had to touch up every few days though, because it misses quite a lot of hairs. It does pinch in more sensitive areas such as the armpit.

    Honestly, I have to say the epilator has caused my skin to look horrible. I frequently get ingrown hairs and inflamed bumps that are very noticeable. I have many spots where I have scarring from removing the ingrown hair. The hair follicles are darker and more visible as well.

    It works the best on the fine hair on my forearms. I don't know if it's actually plucking or just breaking it off, but my arms are super smooth after.

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  32. i use the emjoi corded one, and its quite awesome. my pain tolerance is quite high since i used to wax (it's way less messier than waxing!)

    horror story? no real one, but sometimes, in the back of my knee, i dont pull the skin taunt, and it gets eaten by the epilator, but no burns or cuts. lol.

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  33. you're so lucky not to be hairy :p I used to use epilators but it was just too long to remove the hairs and sooo loud (not very discreet when you're at bf's!)so i just use a razor now.

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  34. I love epilating, or at least the after effects. I hate the process, since it takes forever and a day (I do my legs, too). For fair skinned people with dark hair, epilating is a wonderful option, since there's no "shadow" from the hair under your skin, since you pulled the whole thing out.

    I agree, you need one that you plug in. My Braun is still going, and I've had it for years. Think of how many razors I saved, and how much money. $60 is nothing when it lasts as long as mine has.

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  35. Sorry for the double comment, I just saw this, and thought I would reply:

    Anonymous:
    "does anyone have experience using the epilator on their bikini line? just curious...feedback will be much appreciated!"

    Actually, I do use mine there (after a bath, so I'm clean, sheesh people). I actually think it hurts way less than waxing, but you have to make sure you really pull your skin taunt. I think it works really well there, actually, since you can easily go back over the area, there's no wax and cloth to mess with, fewer ingrowns than shaving, and no stubble.

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  36. hahaha, I also pluck my pits. I dont have a lot of hair so it's quick for me. and I'm too cheap to go get them waxed. plucking leaves me smoother longer.

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  37. I've always been interested in trying one of these but the price turned me off a lil.

    Also I'd be worried about the pain o.O I normally just shave my legs but I wax my legs occasionally too which is pretty painless but I've never gotten the nerve to wax my underarms so I'm not sure I'd be happy about using an epilator there either!

    I know I'd pinch myself way too much! XP But they do sound handy, minus the noise issue.

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  38. Thanks! I just signed up and purchased the Soft Caress one =)

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  39. Yeah I saw it on HauteLook too and I was thinking about buying it but wasn't too sure if I should. And then I saw this post and decided why not! :D

    Thanks so much for the review!

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  40. I've been curious about those things!

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  41. I purchased the Emjoi Soft Caress Gold Cordless Rechargeable Hair Removal System from BeautyChoice.com last spring for $77 (with tax). BeautyChoice ships orders over $50 for free. They also send out 15-20% coupon codes on a regular basis. I had to follow up on my return with three phone calls before it was credited to my account and they do charge a restocking 15% fee. I've heard mixed reviews on their GHD flat irons (in regards to their authenticity)--so beware. They do carry quite an extensive range of epilators but good luck on returns!

    I love the epilator for my legs. My sister uses it for her legs and arms. We use it on dry skin though. The noise it's too bad at all. It feels like lots of pinches as the tweezers roll the hairs off--kind of like the game of strawberry patch. All the friction though makes my skin very dry/flaky so moisturizing right after is important. Sometimes, my pores look a little irritated right after for a couple hours. I hate the epilator for my underarms though. It causes ingrowns for me. This is most likely caused by the back and forth rolling motion. For the bikini line, it's way too painful. If you have very fair skin and thick dark hairs, the epilator does remove the hair and follicle, so this may cause visible little black spots.

    Waxing my eyebrow fuzz, lips, underarm and bikini area produces the best results. Professional waxing services add up really quickly. So I had my best friend's mom (nail technician/aesthetician) teach me. I invested in a waxing kit (warmer, wax, paper rings, muslin strips, popsicle sticks, wax remover, aloe vera cooling gel, baby powder & TendSkin = $100) and do my own face. I get my sisters to do my armpits, stomach and bikini line. In my experience, honey wax/soft wax is much less painful than hard wax (the kind they rip off after it hardens). However, the results make the pain entirely worth it.

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  42. I've been epilating for 3 years now and I still maintain it's the best investment ever. Mine's the Emjoi BodyBareGo with the 24ct gold tweezers. I agree it it gets rids of armpit hairs amazingly and it doesn't come back for a week.

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  43. I'm curious to try to Emjoi that we sell at my drug store now.. it's only $19.99 though, so I wonder if the quality is still good. It's the Emjoi Slim. Would you try it?

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  44. I have both the Braun and an older emjoi model. The Braun does pinch when I'm not careful. In terms of performance I think the emjoi is better. I use the Braun for my pits and legs. The legs take about 15 mins each and it doesn't get the ingrown well. I have used the emjoi on the most "sensitive area" and it hurts of course but it does the job well.

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  45. Hey guys! use a numbing spray before you do any hair removal..it works great..and before you tattoo or pierce anything..you can get it at sallys or cvs or maybe walmart..good luck!!

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  46. Does this epilator work as a leg or face shaver?

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  47. I have the Braun one (got it as a gift from one of my girl friend ;D We so understand each other's pain) and it was really really well too. I'm glad this gadget was invented because waxing didn't work too well and left me with so many ingrown hairs.

    Def a friend :D

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  48. I've just purchased the Braun Silk Epil Xpressive (it has changeable heads for different areas & a shaver/trimmer attachment (which I haven't used yet) this epilator can be used in wet & dry, the sales lady said it is a good option as using it when wet means the folical is more open to releasing the hair.

    I used it straight away on my legs & in hindsight it was totally fine, I went slowly & got quicker when I realised it did hurt that much. Then I moved onto my bikini line... WOW, the pain was fairly full on, I was sweating & had to stop a few times, I didnt get the whole thing done & the area is VERY irritated (sore to touch) now. I've been reading online that this is common for some people, so I am going to stick with it as long as the irritation goes away first.

    I also tried my underams, this hurts less than the bikini but I did accidentaly pinch my skin on both my underarm & on my bikini line, my fault, I didnt hold the skin taught.

    I tried the area between my eyebrows & it worked a treat, painless & only a little redness for about an hour.

    I am kind of scared of my epilator now but I think I owe it to myself to persist as people say it gets easier!

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  49. Thank you sooooo much for this post. I always wondered about the eficiency of these epilators, and when I read your post, I bought one, and it works perfect!!!!!!!!!!!

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  50. how can i open it and change the battery

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