Product Type: Braun Epilator / Lady Shaver
Newest Review: ... I had to get an adapter plug to be able to use it, which I was not expecting. The first time I used the epilator, I wondered why I ever w... more
Do you like pain? If so buy this.
Braun Silk-Úpil 3170 Soft Perfection
Member Name: sandemp
Braun Silk-Úpil 3170 Soft Perfection
Advantages: Does remove hair, long lead, no chance of cutting yourself
Disadvantages: Painful, results don't last long, noisy and did I say painful
The epilator in question is the Braun Silk-Epil Soft Perfection, a basic, mains powered contraption that is primarily designed to rip the hair out of your legs. While the instructions do say that this can be used under your arms and in the bikini area, but why anyone would subject themselves to that kind of pain is beyond me. The pastel green instrument of torture is formed in a shape that is extremely comfortable to hold, so while extended sessions may bring tears to the eyes, it won't make your hand ache. The supplied power cord is about two meters long, so you don't need to sit on the floor next to plug socket, but it's not long enough to tie your victim down while you make them suffer. Unfortunately the power adapter is of the two pronged variety, so you will need a shaving adapter.
Once plugged in, there are two speeds available, slow and fast. Apparently you should use the faster speed over larger, less sensitive areas and the slower speed for the more sensitive areas such as the knees and ankles. But as far as I'm concerned there's only one difference between the speeds and that's how long it hurts for. I swear on the slower speed I can feel every single hair being ripped from it's comfortable home, while with the higher speed it's a less defined pain. There are also two, non-removable green massage bars that look almost as scary as the twenty pairs of motorised tweezers that make up the epilator. As I cannot remove them or move them out of place, I really can't say whether these massage bars actually help reduce pain. But I can say that they give a good idea of whether you have the epilator correctly positioned on your leg.
To use the epilator is simplicity itself, plug in switch on, then move it up your leg against the direction of hair growth and the epilator will remove all that fuzz leaving you hair-free for up to six weeks. Sounds so simple and fuss-free doesn't it? In reality I don't find it anywhere that easy. Firstly there's the noise, imagine starting up a lawn mower in your front room, and then you have an idea how loud this is. It's so loud that it drowns the TV out and it's impossible to hold a conversation while using it, which is a shame because a little distraction would really come in handy.
After switching on my ears are already telling me that I really don't want to do this, meaning that bringing the epilator into contact with my legs for the first time is a tentative affair. Big mistake, if you're wishy-washy with this and take your time getting it into contact with the hair, it will hurt even more as it rips the hairs from their tips. The only way I could manage to use this was to grit my teeth and jump straight in. Even then it hurts, and I mean really hurts, if you've ever had your legs waxed it's a little like that, only waxing only hurts for a second, this hurts for minutes as it takes so long to go over an area. Having given birth to five children, I would like to think I have a fairly high pain threshold, but I can only ever manage to epilate half my leg before having to take a break. Hey, I'm someone who slept through a tattoo, so I'm really not a wimp, but I really struggle to inflict this epilator on myself. And while the fleshy parts of the legs are painful, bony areas are on a completely new scale of torture. Ask anyone, who's had a tattoo on their ankle and they'll tell just how sensitive the skin there is (the nerves are nearer the surface). The ankles and knees may be relatively small, but when epilating they account for fifty percent of the eye-watering pain and because the hairs grow in all sorts of directions on my knee I have to go over them several times, ouch. So if you don't like pain, then epilating is not for you.
Once I've finally finished epilating, which can take anything up to half an hour depending how many breaks I need to take, I'd love to say my legs are silky smooth and begging to be stroked. Unfortunately, they're anything but, instead they are hot, red and covered in little bumps, so I generally need to use a cold flannel to cool them. Once they've gone back to their normal colour my legs do look hair free, but when stroking them I can still feel stubble. So much for six weeks of hair-free legs. Of course this isn't actually the epilators fault, well not completely anyway. The epilator's tweezers can't pick up the very shortest of hairs and as hair has a 6-8 week growing cycle there are always going to be some that have only just started peaking through. One way I could have avoided this problem was to have waited eight weeks before epilating, but I really couldn't bring myself to let my legs get that hairy. The only other solution is to go over my legs everyday so that the epilator catches those stray hairs as soon as they get long enough.
Now either my hair has super powers and grows at a ridiculous rate, or the idea that using an epilator will keep my legs hair-free for six weeks is complete baloney. Personally, I need to go over my legs at least every other day to keep them feeling silky soft. I must say that it doesn't hurt nearly as much if I do this as there are only a few stray hairs removed each time. It's also much quicker, taking just a couple of minutes to go over both legs. But, should I leave it a week, I end up having to go through the extremely painful process of removing lots of hair. Another problem that I have using this epilator is in-growing hairs, which from what I can tell, is common when using any epilator, so I have found myself having to exfoliate more. I also find that my legs require far more moisturiser, and it's best to not use a highly fragranced moisturiser as they do make my legs sting. (Lush Dream Cream works best for me, soothing and moisturising).
Once I've finished torturing myself, this epilator is easy to clean, the rotating tweezer section unclips and the supplied brush does what it's supposed to and allows me to brush the hairs from where they have collected. Obviously as this is an electrical device it cannot be immersed in water, but it's perfectly happy to be wiped with a damp cloth. Talking of hair, I would suggest sweeping or vacuuming after you've used this, as it does tend to fling all those hairs it pulled out about a bit (especially if I let them grow a bit).
I paid approximately ú30 for my Soft Perfection last summer and it's now available in Boots for about the same price. Once I'd got over the pain of epilating my legs for the first time, I did use this every couple of days for about a month. By doing this, I did manage to minimise hair growth, but if I left it more than a couple of days, my legs would start getting noticeably hairy again (I am cursed with thick, dark leg hair though), and I would have to go through a painful session again. I've just started using it again after a winter of shaving and I'm afraid it's every bit as painful as I remember. So I'm not really sure that I can in all honesty recommend either epilating in general or this epilator. As far as I'm concerned it's the most painful hair removal method I've tried almost like the pain of waxing, but lasting for far, far longer. So I'm going to give the Braun Silk-Epil Soft Perfection two stars out of five, because while it does do what it's supposed to, it's noisy and painful, with results that just don't last as long as I would have expected.
Summary: Shave instead at least that doesn't hurt.
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