Last month I decided I'd had it with depilation! I've been shaving my legs and other areas for the past 10 years and even though it is pain free I seem to always have stubble even though I always seem to be shaving - well every other day.
So my very kind and considerate boyfriend surprised me with this - the Philips HP6509 Satinelle Soft Sensitive Total Body Epilator with Shaving Attachment £27.99 (what a mouth full) as he had seen me eyeing up the Epilators whilst food shopping.
Now firstly I have to say he picked very well indeed as this does quite a lot for only being priced at £27.99 with free delivery down from £56.17 (here) which is definitely at the lower end of the price scale when it comes to epilators. It does however have two draw backs due to the low price 1. You can't use it in the shower 2. It is mains operated. But then again it has the bonus of having a shaving attachment... but I'll get to that later.
Before reading on I think it is worth noting with my review that like waxing, epilating can range from feeling like a slight pull on the skin to extreme pain for some - everyone has a different pain threshold and even though I think this isn't even that painful (more of an odd pins and needles sensation) I'm sure some people could find it on the painful side. However out of 106 customer reviews on the Amazon website only 17 rated it between one to three stars, which speaks volumes I'd say. So it is worth reading over all the reviews here.
What you get
Philips Satinella Soft unit, shaving head attachment with plastic protection cover, epilator head attachment, additional comb for shaving, additional lift and massage attachment for epilating, cleaning brush, mains plug with long lead, waterproof drawstring pouch.
As mentioned above the unit comes with two different heads and also two different plastic attachments that fit over the heads, which I was instantly wary of. As I know from past experience of using different electrical products - changing parts can be a total faff. But actually changing the epilator into a shaver couldn't be easier, you just have to push the head left and it comes alway from the unit and to place the attachment back on you just place it on and push it right. As for the plastic attachments they just clip over. The device comes with two speed settings the 'normal (1)' speed is for fleshy areas such as around the knee and also for getting stubborn hairs so it is less painful (but not that I find using the epilator painful). The 'quick (2) speed is for larger areas like the rest of the legs and it basically picks up faster which is the speed I prefer to use as on a pain level it makes little differance.
Using the Epilator attachment
As I'd never used an epilator before I really didn't know what to expect, though I have to say the noise mixed with the rotation speed is pretty damn daunting to say the least (see video below for evidence!). But nor the noise or the speed reflect how it is going to feel to be honest! My initial thoughts on the pain front were that is wasn't too bad... think similar to plucking your eyebrows but the longer I did it for the more I got use to it. Definitely nothing like the pain I had conjured up in my head when I switched it on for the first time. I now, dare I say it, slightly enjoy the sensation! Yes... I know that is quite odd but it is quite satisfying and like a pins and needles feeling on the skin. However if pain is an issue using a hot flannel to open hair follicles or having a bath or shower prior to using the epilator will make a difference seeing that it is a dry epilator.
As for how it performs it definitely isn't a quick fix unlike shaving, taking around 5-10 minutes per leg. Mainly because you do have to re-go over areas to get most of the hairs though the more hairs that are removed the less sensation there is.
For me personally the only down side to the epilator is that is doesn't have a light on the front (which I guess would make it more pricey if it did have one) as I have blonde leg hair which are near to invisible if I'm not sat in direct sunlight. But anyone with darker hair will be more than fine. I also don't love that it can't be used in the bathroom as the hairs do need to go somewhere!
I have also only used this once of my armpits but I actually think the hairs could of been too long (I'm talking 6mm at most.. no gorilla lady here) as it hurt quite a bit and until further reading of the instructions I realized you can use the shaving attachment to shorten the hair to the correct length for epilation. So I will have to give it another try.
Pros - Not that painful, easy to hold, lightweight and east to clip of different heads.
Cons - Need to go over some hair a few times to remove them, doesn't remove all hairs, legs never feel perfectly smooth and no light.
Using the Shaving attachment
This is such a great additional extra for the price! This can either be used on the legs if the leg hair is too long prior epilation, to remove any extra hair that you missed when epilating, to trim the bikini area and shave armpits. I really cannot fault this as it does the job and even my boyfriend has used it to sneakily shave his face and even commented on how it is better than his own shaver. I've mainly used this to shave my armpits instead of using a razor in the shower which I've finding quicker to do and I've also been using it on my bikini area with the added attachment.
Pros - Easy to clean head, foil and razor edge, quite gentle on the skin, effective.
Cons - Hairs do fall on the floor while shaving as it is mains operated. Whilst removing hair with the foil part (so using it in more circular motions) the head has come off once or twice.
Regrowth and problems
So far I have only had to epilate twice as the hairs on my legs took around 3 weeks to re-grow to being around 4mm and I definitely didn't notice any hair growth in the first 10 days. But as the epilator doesn't remove all hair (as I think a few hair are either too short or snap off) you don't get the smooth feeling like you do with a wet shaving. The only problem I have encountered though is ingrowing hairs which I've never really had before.
I only noticed this when I went to epilate again and it only seems to be on one leg and on the soft part of my calf and I developed around 5 of them. But unlike full on ingrown hairs the hair instead of growing downwards they seem to have all grown sideways under the skin (as I can see the full hair under the skin) so I used a pair of tweezers to slightly break the skin and then the hair pops up and can be removed with the epilator or plucked out. So not so much of a big deal as it didn't create huge spots but it is something that I really didn't think about. But again ingrown hairs really depend on your hair type and body so this is just my own personal experience. I am hoping after a few months of use I will have less ingrown hairs... well fingers crossed!
Lift and massage attachment (above left)
This attachment is designed to make epilation less painful or for first time users... which I of course didn't read in the leaflet when I got it and went right a head and used it on the fastest setting minus this attachment! But when I did use the epilator with the lift and massage attachment I couldn't really notice a difference. The lift side does nothing as the comb isn't fine enough at all to touch the hairs and the massage turny twirl thing really isn't all that noticeable as it's so gentle, though it does guide the epilator better so it does pick up more hairs if you are unsure which angle to hold it at. All in all a pretty pointless attachment if I'm honest.
Shaver comb attachment (above right)
Now this makes total sense for the bikini area, especially if you don't want to take everything off if you know what I mean! This guides the hair nicely and gives an even shave. Without this you definitely wouldn't be able to trim the hair at a longer leanth as the shave head is too small really. So glad I have this!
Calypso Aloe Vera Gel £2.89/250ml (here)
After epilating you do get red lumps that die down by the next day. To ease the skin and to put some moisture back into it though I have started using the after sun gel by Calypso which can also be found offline in bodycare/pound stretcher for a similar price as above. It also has a very cooling effect which is nice after plucking all them hair out!
This isn't needed but I really do prefer it to a moisturizer which is more likely to sit on the skin or be a bit sticky but the aloe vera gel just sinks in within seconds leaving the skin feeling fresh.
All in all I am really pleased with the epilator as other than there being no light and it not being cordless it really is everything I wanted. The regrowth period is better than I expected and the additional shaver if such a bonus for the price which I am also getting a lot of use out of.
If you are considering trying out this type of hair removal but are nervous or unsure of the pain involved then I would highly recommend this one as it isn't too pricey and as the sticker states on the box "Love it or your money back" you can try it out and return it if it really doesn't suit you. Which is such a good thing!
Gee-zoo that was one long review!
But I really hope I have covered everything as I know I had quite a lot of my own quandaries when looking for one.
Feel free to ask me anything about the product or epilating in general of course!