I had not used an epilator before trying this product. However, I have done plenty of waxing, and also have had laser hair removal, so believe me, I am no stranger to pain when it comes to body hair. I suppose I thought, having gone through those other experiences, that the epilator would be no different.
I was wrong.
The difference between the epilator and waxing:
Waxing removes the hair in entire sections, in one fell swoop, so you can brace yourself with each section, go to your happy place, and then it's over. The epilator is used slowly and methodically, and doesn't stop, and you have to think about it every inch of the way.
The difference between the epilator and laser hair removal:
Someone else administers the laser, so again, you can brace yourself and think about something else until it's over. Plus, the laser is moved around rapidly, so the pain moves around, not isolated to one small area. The epilator is in one area, moving slowly, drawing too much focus, and caused me to repeatedly pull away in a knee-jerk reaction.
Now for my actual experiences...
First off, this thing scared me right out of the box - the noise it makes when it starts is low and warms up to a high whir. But hey, I thought, don't judge it by the sound - give it a try.
Try it, I did. Actually, I have given this product quite a few tries over the last 2 months, because I wanted to be sure I didn't give my opinion based on a one-time attempt. I have tried using it both wet and dry, as well as on my lower legs, upper legs, lower tummy, bikini, and the tops of my feet & big toes.
I did not notice much difference in pain or ease of hair removal when using this wet or dry. The only upside I found to using it dry is that I could see the fine, blond hair on my upper legs much better, as opposed to when it is wet and those hairs become practically invisible. This meant that I was able to tell if I got all the hair, or needed to go over it again.
- My upper legs were much more successfully done than the lower. I didn't notice nearly as much pain, and the results lasted for a good while. I did get a lot of red bumps the first time, but they only lasted for about 12 hours. The occurence of bumps has also gradually diminished with each use.
- My lower legs were just too darn painful to go very far. I tried, I really did. I don't have a high threshold for pain - I have no desire to get a tattoo or piercings for that reason alone. I'd rather shave every day than have to endure what I felt when I tried epilating anywhere from my ankles to my knees!
- My lower tummy area and the tops of my feet & toes were relatively pain free. I'm not sure if that is due to the fact that I have waxed those areas for more than 15 years, and the lack of pain is possibly due to the hairs growing back finer each time after waxing already. The red bumps I ended up with on my tummy lasted for 4 days - I was not happy about this, so I haven't done that area again.
- My bikini area was almost a repeat of my lower legs. My saving grace was that this is one of the areas where I've had laser hair removal done, and most of the hair is already gone. I have a few stragglers that continue to grow in that area, so I still have to do something about them. Those suckers hurt a lot to epilate (I still think I'd rather have it waxed!) but it was bearable because it is such a small section. However, I noticed I had more breakage in this area, possibly due to my own hesitancy.
- I also tried using this to remove the hair on my chin and upper lip. I have fine blond hair in these places, but it has started growing longer since I hit 30, so I've been waxing it. I did not use the special attachment for the face, and I felt the results were acceptable. When I pull my lips in between my teeth, it made these areas taut, which made epilating easy and quick. I did not get the usual red bumps that I normally get from waxing these areas, either, which I appreciate.
The battery life of this product has been very good so far, lasting through 4-5 sessions of treating my upper legs and other small areas. I like that the little low battery light blinks for a while before the battery is going to die, signaling that I have limited time left, instead of the product just dying without warning.
I don't notice much of a difference with the little light that is supposed to help with visibility. I have a fairly strong astigmatism, so showering without my glasses means I don't see very clearly anyway. Light or no light, I can't clearly see what's going on in the shower.
I'm going to continue to use this for the areas that didn't hurt much, but I am going to stick with shaving for those lower legs for sure. My personal pain tolerance can't handle any more than that.