(3/04) Now, I am not some weirdo who lives for pain or anything, but I admit, I find myself looking for places other than my legs to use this thing. Legs, armpits, bikini line, big toes... It's just so satisfying to use, knowing that the two hours you may have to put into the process (as one reviewer claimed) is worth it for not having to worry about nicks and cuts at ALL or stubble for at least another two weeks.
A few things from my own experience for those of you considering:
I bought this intending to use it on my legs and bikini line only. I was thrilled that it is AC powered, because I feared batteries would become a real budget-killer.
YES, I did use the attachment thing with the rolling beads the first time I used it. I also used the slowest speed. Decided it wasn't so bad, so I sped it up, then removed the attachment. No problem. I may have even thrown the attachment away...
YES, you should exfoliate your skin before use. The directions tell you it wouldn't hurt to take a hot shower and exfoliate, then when dry, use the gizmo. Your pores are open, your skin fresh, and the little hairs should be more willing to let go.
YES, it DOES hurt to use on your underarm. Doing so took a bit of acrobatics, because I found I had to try to pull my skin taught while using it. I also found I got a few ingrown hairs there from use. Decided that using a razor on this area isn't that bad after all.
NO, it is NOT impossible to use on your bikini area. Just be prepared to sit in some funny, yoga-like positions to get to the areas you want. Also, make sure you keep up on exfoliating here: I find I have the worst problems with ingrowns in this area.
YES, you can get stubble. If this becomes a problem, wait a few days for the stubble to grow long enough to grab. Before you use it again, shower, exfoliate, dry and try again. I'll bet you'll end up with less stubble that way.
YES, it CAN take a while. I even found that if I don't soak and scrub before using, I'll miss a few hairs and have to go over an area again days later. No big deal if you have the time to spare.
As for the pain level: If you have a tattoo, then why are you even bothering worrying about pain? You should be able to handle this baby toy. If you, like the average person, can handle things like paper cuts, needles, and insect stings, you can probably handle the pain level of this thing. Or, if you've had professional waxings done before, you probably won't have a problem. If you can't stand pulling an adhesive bandage off of an area with hair on it, then perhaps this isn't the choice for you. Note: I've never had a professional waxing done, just those messy at-home kits. To me, the kits hurt more than this thing! Probably my fault, though -- can't ever get the mix at the right temp or work quickly enough before the stuff cools again!
Soooo... if you're fed up with the blade and want an alternative to wax, smelly hair dissolvers, or sanding disks, try this. I felt it was definitely worth the money! (Bought & have used since September, 2003)
(UPDATE 10/04) STILL use and love this thing! I'm even considering buying another to have on hand for when the inevitable happens and the first one dies on me. Couldn't even guess how much I've saved on replacement blades & shave gels... this thing has definitely paid for itself many times over.
(UPDATE 11/07) Mine (the original one) is still running great, and I still love it. Bought one for my sister, but she doesn't like it because she's apparently more of a wimp than I thought, even though she's got 2 tattoos! I may just steal hers back to keep in reserve for when mine DOES decide to die on me.
(UPDATE 6/10) Original Silk-epil still running perfectly. It sure did come in handy while pregnant last year! Still love this thing!
(UPDATE 5/12) STILL use my original Silk-epil. STILL runs perfectly! To add to the record, I now have three tattoos (ring finger, shoulder and foot - OUCHIE!!!) and I can honestly say using this device does NOT, in ANY way, hurt even a FIFTH as much as getting a tattoo does!
(I realize that this review is for a very old version, but I believe they couldn't have changed and evolved this technology very much to make this review invalid.)