Hair removal is something that I rarely read about on blogs despite the fact that for most women (and a lot of men) it's part of our weekly, sometimes daily routine. Over the 14 or so years that I've been removing unwanted hair I've tried almost everything. I think a lot of younger girls tend to follow the footsteps of their mothers and sisters and my mam was always a waxing kind of woman so naturally that was my first foray into hair removal. I remember going into the salon with no clue as to what I was getting myself into. My first experience with waxing resulted in me going out the next day to buy a razor and shave gel.
I was shocked that women paid other women money to inflict them with so much pain. I didn't think it was worth it and so began my relationship with shaving. It was a novelty at first, feeling like a grown up shaving my legs and under my arms but that feeling soon wore off when I got annoying stubbly regrowth and had to invest in body scrubs and pay an extortionate amount of money for razors. The added joy of having sensitive skin that would get red and itch after shaving didn't enamour me with the process in any way. It meant I couldn't shave my legs more than once a week, twice at a push, because it would really irritate my skin.
When laser hair removal came onto the beauty scene a few years ago it seemed like the answer to my prayers, an expensive answer at that and to be honest although I have seriously considered booking a consultation, I never really had the extra money lying around so I put it on the long finger and kept shaving. I gave waxing another chance before holidays in recent years and yet again I decided it wasn't for me. In theory I love the idea of waxing because you get a lot longer out of it than shaving and it doesn't seem to irritate my skin at all, however waiting 4-6 weeks between appointments is difficult and I always end up shaving in between because the regrowth gets to me.
All options exhausted or so it seemed until my mam bought an epilator last year. She had similar struggles with hair removal over the years and decided to give epilating a go. My sister in turn bought one after trying out my mam's one. I borrowed her's to test it out before we went on holiday to France in August.
I bought the Braun Silk Épil 9 which after much research seems to be the best on the market, it's also the one my sister has so I knew I liked it. I was quite apprehensive at first after being warned my both my mam and sister that it is very painful the first time you use it. I think they both have much higher pain thresholds than me so this made me very nervous. They did also say that it gets less painful each time you use it so I just had to get through the first time and I knew it'd be okay after that.
I braced myself by having a bath first, blaring some tunes that I could sing along with to distract myself and drank a couple of glasses of wine. I can't tell you if it all made a difference but I feel like it did. I'm not going to sugar coat anything, it hurts like hell. The pain, if you can imagine it, is almost exactly like someone plucking all of the hairs out of your legs at the same time. I got through the first leg, just about, and the battery died which I was extremely grateful for because I don't think I could have made it through both legs in one night. The next evening with a freshly charged battery I soldiered on and managed to finish the second leg.
I have to be honest there was a point when I didn't think I could take the pain anymore and yet again questioned why on earth women do this to themselves, I thought, there's not a chance in hell men would inflict this much pain on themselves voluntarily. Looking back on it now I'm so glad I persevered because it really does get less painful each time. Obviously the first time epilating is the worst because it's all of the hair at once whereas after that it's just a case of maintaining it which isn't pain free but completely bearable. I have yet to brave my armpits which my sister has warned me is excruciating the first time you do it.
I thought I would do a quick list of the pros and cons of epilating using the Braun Silk Épil 9 for anyone who wants the main features.
- One time purchase (hopefully, unless it breaks!)
- Cost effective (no need for razors or shave gel or paying for a wax every month so it works out less expensive in the long run)
- It's longer lasting than shaving so you don't need to do it every day
- It's convenient (because you don't need water or shave gel in can be done any time or anywhere)
- Travel friendly (It means less liquid for your carry on on if you're traveling by plane)
- Cordless (comes with a charger but once it's charged you can use it in your bathroom or wherever you like)
- Can be used wet or dry, it's waterproof so you can use it in the bath or shower which helps with the pain
-Charges in one hour and can be used for up to 40 minutes
- Good option for anyone with sensitive skin as it means you won't get razor burn or a reaction to wax
- Hair grows back more sparse
- It comes with a trimmer cap and shave head so you have three products in one. It also has a tiny light to help guide you in lower light
- Very painful at first
- Expensive if you're on a budget (depending on what option you go for, mine cost roughly €110. However you can get other models for around €40)
- Can't be used while being charged (however it charges very quickly)
- There is no cap to cover the head which can be an inconvenience when travelling, the travel bag it comes with is poor quality, I would have expected more for the money you're paying
- Like waxing it's difficult to get a completely smooth finish as your hairs grow at different rates
- Not all models are cordless and waterproof
- Like with waxing you might suffer from ingrown hairs so having a good exfoliator like Tend Skin or the Waxperts Wonder Pads is a must
I got my Braun Silk Épil 9 from Amazon as I found it was the best price. I got the one with the bonus facial epilator which I haven't properly tried yet but the reviews I've read seem to to be very positive, it's around €50 by itself so it's deinfitely worth it if you think you'll use it as it won't cost you any more money. You can also get them from Boots, Argos and Littlewoods which are considerably more expensive or Target and Ulta if you're in the US. With the current Pound to Euro exchange rate it's definitely worth it buying from Amazon, you save about €50 compared other retailers.
I wanted to write about my experience with epilating because I couldn't find that many reviews or articles about it when I was doing my research and I thought this might be helpful to anyone thinking about investing in an epilator. It's not exactly an inexpensive purchase and it's hard to test it out beforehand unless you know someone who has one so I think it's important to have as much information as possible before investing in a beauty tool like this one. I have to be honest I don't know if I would have bought one outright if I hadn't tried my sister's one and heard her and my mam rave about their ones.
I'm so happy that I invested in an epilator, it's one of those "how did I not do this sooner?" products. I actually enjoy epilating my legs whereas I used to dread having to shave. I hope that I've covered everything in this blog but if you happen to have any specific questions please leave a comment or email me privately.