Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Review: Braun Silk Epil 7 Epilator

I've delayed my review of this for some time so that I could give my full, thorough, thoughts on what many will associate as a modern day torture device. I'm well aware that hair removal isn't the sexiest of topics, but it is one that seems difficult to get right. Balancing frequency, convenience, pain, cost, effectiveness, and for some modesty, etc. can be tricky business.

The last time I had tried an epilator was about 10 years ago, when my mother in law "gifted" me her barely used devil incarnate because she simply couldn't take it. And at the time neither could I. It was loud, painful and all-in-all a bit barbaric. So I had relegated it to not even being an option for the last decade.

Fast forward to a few months ago when Lily Pebbles and her model friend Keisha Lall did a video about hair removal, and Keisha's method of choice was epilating! She made a strong case - you don't have to wait for regrowth, you can do it at home, to most body parts, and apparently, it gets less painful over time. That week I found myself at Boots, tenuously purchasing the Braun Silk Epil 7. God. Help Me.

The device itself is great - it charges quickly, can be used wet or dry, and comes with different heads for different levels of sensitivity, speed, coverage, etc. No complaints there. So, how have I gotten on??

Arms: My first foray was on my arms, hairy buggers as they are (sorry). An awkward bit to shave or wax, but a bit unwieldy if left untouched, epilating seemed a great middle ground. The pain was medium, but overall it was quick and effective. It didn't get every hair, but on my arms my priority is more thinning out enough to be presentable, so I'd give it a thumbs up.

Legs: Life changing. Doing your full legs takes a minor investment of time (say, 20 minutes?) but I'm left with perfectly smooth summer-ready legs for a full 2-3 weeks. As a perpetual lazy shaver, this is absolutely brilliant. Of course, waxing would do the same but I can do this at home, without any outlay, and without the faff of booking an appointment. You can also target bits that grow back at different rates, rather than having to wait until things get dire. My new method of choice.

Armpits: I've never waxed my armpits, but I had been shaving in the shower as part of a daily ritual. The first go using the epilator was the most pain I've ever felt short of an acute injury. I mean, one requires a serious amount of stoicism to go through with it. However, when the hair grows back it is far less coarse, and far more sparse. I can get away with doing it once a week now, and it's quick and comparatively pain-free. Again, my new method of choice.

Face: I'm not one for threading my whole face, but if you are I think this would do a good job. I've used it on my upper lip, and between my eyebrows, and it kills having to book in for a threading session. There is a special head for facial areas which is much smaller and more precise, and as an in-between solution it's really great. Of course, it's not precise enough to shape eyebrows, so don't even try!! But by keeping the unibrow and moustache in check, it definitely prolongs the time between threading sessions.

Bikini: This is where the rubber hits the road. I've not yet brought myself to use this down there. We all know that bikini waxing is basically the least pleasant thing ever, but at least it's like quickly ripping off a band-aid. Using an epilator means sustaining the pain for much longer, and something about the anticipation just makes it very hard to self-inflict. If you're of stronger character than I, then go for it!

Overall: Since hairs are pulled out from the root, re-growth is equivalent to waxing. When it does grow back, it doesn't all grow back at once, so after the first go the hairs always seem to be thinner and more sparse, which also means it's quicker, and less painful. So one upside is that if you stick with it, the experience really does become more tolerable. I like that it avoids the embarrassment of exposing your body hair to to a beautician, whilst also saving the time and expense of having to book an appointment. It's also more on-demand, and I don't experience the same redness or sensitivity afterward. All in all, if you can stomach the first few uses, I'd encourage you to re-consider the modern-day epilator as a decent option that covers most bases. Something I never ever thought I would say!

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