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Braun Silk Epil 5185 Xelle

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13 Reviews

Brand: Braun / Type: Epilator

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    13 Reviews
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      21.12.2013 12:50
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      No more sandpaper legs for me

      I was given this as a birthday present by my husband as the epilator I was using was quite old and I had mentioned (well hinted) once or twice that I thought it was on its way out as I was sure it was getting more painful than it used to be. Obviously as it was a gift I didn't ask how much it was but I had a look online and they range from £39.99 to £69.99 however I don't think I would pay the higher end for something like this however good it was.

      The first time I used an epilator I thought it was a sort of torture implement and actually remember crying but like most things you do get used to it and I think the more confident you get using it the smoother the process becomes so it is less painful. This epilator is mains operated so you do need to make sure that you are near to a plug, but I would say that the cord is over a metre in length so I find that this is enough to plug it in both plugs in my bedroom. I think that an appliance like this which is mains operated is better then cordless as you need to have the maximum power in order for it to work efficiently and a half charged appliance could cause you some pain and discomfort as it wouldn't have the power to pull your hairs out completely. I will make sure that I do it over a towel, usually the one which I have just used for the bath or shower as I can just shake it out over the bin and then put it in the wash straight afterwards as I don't really think anyone would like to dry themselves with a hairy towel!

      The epilator is white and turquoise and has the Braun logo on the front. There are two speed settings which are basically fast and slow and it comes with a starter head, a bikini head and a pro-head. There is a smartlight which directs a small light in the direction the epilator is facing which I find particularly useful when I have a light on rather than natural light from the window, as you get more shadows. It also came with a massaging head but I have never used this, nor the starter head either as this is not the first epilator I have had but I would think this would be good for the complete novice as it has fewer tweezers and you would be more confident using this smaller head at first. The pro head is ideal for your legs and underarms and to be honest I usually also use this for my bikini line rather than keep changing the heads but I don't do my bikini line so often as my legs and underarms. It is easy to change the heads by sliding them on and off. When I do my bikini line I will just trim the top of my legs and sometimes neaten around the top, however if you wanted a Hollywood or a heart, or are preparing yourself for a vajazzle then this just wouldn't give you the precision you need.

      An epilator removes the hairs from the root so as you can imagine you do get a tugging sensation when the hairs are being removed. I find that the best results are when my hair is about three to four millimetres long, much shorter and it is sometimes a bit hard to get a good grip on it, and much longer and it seems to miss hairs as if it can't work out where to pull them from. If I do find any stragglers afterwards I find it is easy just to pull them out with tweezers but I do not shave unless I really have to as I find that my legs feel stubbly in a few days as my hair is quite strong. I would say it takes me about fifteen minutes to do my legs, and five minutes to do my arms but it did take far longer than this when I first started using one. I will usually use the faster speed as I find that actually this is less painful than the slower speed as it seems to pull the hairs more quickly but I suppose it just is over quicker this way. It does make a buzzing noise when you are using it but it is not loud enough for someone to knock the door and ask you what you are doing.

      I know a lot of people would ask why epilate when you can shave with no pain at all (unless you nick yourself), but the main reason for me is that my legs will stay lovely and smooth for at least a week and then when they do come back they do become much softer and finer, unlike shaving when I have 'sandpaper legs' the next day after shaving. I thought when I first used one that you would need to press it down hard on your skin but it is better to sort of glide it smoothly with a continuous pressure and this will give you the best results. You do feel a pulling sensation but as I said you do get used to it, and I find it far less painful than waxing which I have tried several times but just couldn't get on with this. Also I didn't like the gloopiness of the wax or how it left me feeling sticky afterwards.

      I find it is best not to apply any moisturiser or cream directly after epilating but will do it a few hours later if needed. I love the smooth feeling I get from my epilator and I think that if you break down how much you would spend on expensive razors or waxing at a salon this really isn't an expensive product and if you can get it bought for you as a present it is even better!

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      10.06.2011 22:59

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      Recommended, provided you are willing to spend ages using it on your legs!

      So, I've been using this epilator for the past two years, my opinions of it have changed a lot over time!

      At the very beginning - OW! No doubt, epilation is painful for your first time, but Braun have been kind here to provide different speed settings (slow for the beginners and fast for those with high pain thresholds!), different heads (some epilator heads with more tweezers (super pain), some with less (thus, less pain) ) AND they provide an ice pack for you to stick in the freezer, then stick the pack on your leg to numb it!
      So it takes some time and practice - but the results are worth it! My legs were soft, smooth and hairfree for a good three weeks!! I even got a lot of comments along the lines of "wow you have the softest legs ever!", so definitely go for it ladies!

      (Oh, however I'd like you to note - I tried doing my underarms once or twice...NEVER AGAIN!! This is real pain, but maybe you can give it a shot....)

      Nowadays (after 2 years use) - becoming a pro with a high pain threshold has lead to more rushed epilations, which has actually lead to me not doing a very good job! After a while epilating with this on the fast mode lead to me getting an absurd number of ingrown hairs, and a few hairs that have been dealt with so quickly that they haven't been pulled out the root, leading to faster regrowth.
      My advice when using this product - to get the best long lasting results, take your time (this can mean up to one hour per leg) while you use it and exfoliate your skin regularly.

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      11.07.2010 15:33
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      A mains operated epilator, better look for a chargeable one!

      So, epilation HURTS, that has to be the first point. But it is effective.
      I started epilating about 3years ago when I moved into a flat share (7people, one bathroom), so spending time shaving my legs and what not in the shower with a cue of people waiting was just a no no.
      So, I tried out waxing and just ended up making a mess and not really getting rid of any hair. Whilst the epilator works on a similiar method to waxing by plucking out the hairs, it is more controllable, it doesn't have that whole thing of right, ok, 1...2....3! As happens when ripping off a wax strip.
      So, this epilator comes with some different heads, one is a starter head (with fewer tweezers), hence not as effective but definitely better to ease into it if you're a beginner. Also a bikini head (it is much narrower), and a pro-head (wider with more dense tweezers). Personally I now use the pro for legs which don't hurt at all anymore, at the beginning I would finish an epilating session and literally be shaking!
      I did use the starter head for underarms, and whilst incredibly unpleasant at first it made a significant difference, more so than any other area. The hair grew back very slowly and a lot finer. However I left my epilator at uni one summer and after a summer of shaving all the epilating had gone out the window and I couldn't face putting it to the underarm again.
      As for bikini, it depends how far you want to go. If you want a traditonal style bikini trim (i.e just those strays along the sides/shortening down the top a little) then yes, epilation will be great, BUT if you go for the whole hollywood style bikini cut then I would certainly not reccommend. The skin is just too sensitive and the epilator isn't manouverable enough (in my opinion).

      By far the worst thing about this epilator though is you have to be plugged in the whole time, which means it's dangerous to use in the bathroom (it is always best to epilate AFTER a hot shower/bath), and also it's just annoying having to sit by the plug and hop around the wire whilst getting to those difficult to reach areas.
      Another bad thing which is common to all epilators, is they cause a bit of a mess, always epilate on a towel or your floor/bed/sofa will be covered in tiny hairs.
      Also, don't epilate just before an event where you want to bear your flesh, you will resemble a plucked chicken afterwards :p

      For best results from epilating have a long hot bath/shower, give yourself a good exfoliate and brave the epilator (get as much done as quick as possible). Never apply creams afterwards! I suggest using some disinfecting wipes (the kind you use on cuts and scrapes) to prevent any infecting pores. Don't have a shower for another 24hours and then gently exfoliate. By this point your skin should be looking just as good as before, only hairless.
      In my experience epilating never completely gets rid of leg hair, it just grows too fine in places, so maybe shave on top for an ultra smooth effect.
      It will however completely rid you of more coarse hairs (I think the epilator grabs on to them better), so it is fantastic for bikini/underarms BUT more painful. Also these areas are more prone to ingrown hairs so be careful.
      Whilst epilating bikini/underarms always remember to trim before, putting the epilator straight to a dense load of long hair (when I say long i mean over about 6-7mm) it will make this awful tangley noise and HURT, but probably won't remove that much hair.

      In summary, I highly recommend epilators in general, but I suggest looking for a chargable one rather than mains operated.
      Also some epilators come with icepacks...don't use them, they will only constrict your pores and make it more difficult to remove the hair from the root.

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      20.06.2010 22:30
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      It does what it's meant to do: remove hair from face and body.

      Why did I buy the Braun 5185 Silk-epil Xelle?
      I used to get my legs, arms and underarms waxed previously but went to university two years ago and knew I wouldn't have the money to continue getting waxed so I bought this product.

      You can use this product to remove hair from your entire body as well as your face so if you own it, you don't really need any other hair removal products.

      As an epilator, it is very good. It has different attachments for underarms, the face and the rest of the body. The Smartlight helps to make even the shortest hair visible. The process of epilation is quite painful (more so than waxing I feel, because with waxing, you can remove a substantial amount of hair in one go, while with this epilator you have to spend a fair bit of time removing hair from any area and you can almost feel your hair being plucked out). The massaging rollers do help in reducing pain during epilation though. If you have a low threshold for pain, I would not recommend this product.

      As a shaver it is pretty good too and when I just can't bear the pain, I use the shaver head attachment. I have very sensitive skin and I don't like to use razors too often so this is a good substitute for razors. However, to remove all the hair from a certain area, I have to go over it several times so this is more time consuming than using a razor.

      Would I recommend it?
      Yes. It does what it's supposed to do. It is a good alternative to waxing, although more time consuming. It is a bit pricey, but like I mentioned before, it's an all-in-one product so it's all you really need. Also, I have had mine for almost 2 years now and it is still working well.

      This review may appear on other sites under the same username.

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        26.03.2010 20:25
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        put it for sale on ebay

        I purchased this epilator for my summer holidays, in the hope that I could manage the full 2 weeks without needing to shave, this was not so, I found my hairs grew back in a about a week, and I did find that I had a lot of in growing hairs after using this torture machine.

        It does take some getting used to, I shaved my legs, bikini line and even under arms, the under arm and bikini line was the worst, it does also take such a long time and feels like little electric shocks.

        After all my pain and suffering I could still feel a bit of a prickly feeling, I think this was the hairs that it had either broke off at the surface or ones that were not long enough to pull.

        They do say on the instructions that if you use it often the hairs will eventually stop coming through, but I think most people would get fed up of the time it takes and the pain, I think I will stick to waxing, I know that too is painful but it is over much quicker and does a good job.

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          20.02.2010 16:02
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          A good value epilator, perfect for those tired of shaving but too scared to wax!

          I started looking for an epilator at the beginning of last summer (2009) as I was going on holiday and, knowing I was going to be wearing a bikini, wanted something to remove unwanted hair easily and quickly. Up until I bought this epilator I used to shave my legs/ bikini line which, although is very quick and easy, only stays smooth for one day and causes painful red spots and ingrown hairs. I considered waxing but never quite plucked up the courage and thought an epilator seemed a slightly less severe alternative.

          I chose this epilator because of its reasonably low price in comparison to others. It comes with two different heads and combs, which fix on top to help it glide over you skin, a small carry case, a little brush and an ice pack. Before I bought it I had read many reviews saying how noisy this product is, and although it is loud, I haven't found it to be a problem so I wouldn't let that put you off buying it. This epilator also has the advantage of a built it flash light, which I have found extremely helpful.

          The first time I used it I used the beginner's head with only a few tweezers and the comb with a roller either side. I decided not to use the ice pack and I don't think it would have made that much difference if I had. After years of shaving your hair is naturally going to be quite thick and coarse, so the first time you use this epilator, it does take time (especially with the beginner's head) and it is quite painful. However, the finished result was pretty smooth, and although it didn't last the four weeks it had promised, I found that I could go a week before stray hairs would start to appear.

          I now use this epilator weekly and highly recommend it. The results are not always as smooth as shaving or possibly waxing, but the hairs grow back much finer and I have had no major problems with ingrown hairs. I am still using the beginner's head because it is less painful and with my hair being much finer, it doesn't take as long to remove.

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          31.08.2009 13:18
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          If you can persevere through the first few uses the results are well worth it.

          After getting sick of shaving my legs every day to keep that stubble-free feel, I started to search for other ways of hair removal. I dismissed the hassle of waxing, the messiness of hair removal creams and the expense of electrolysis.

          Then I came accross the Braun Silk-Epil online and after reading other consumer reviews, decided to take the plunge and treated myself to one.

          What attracted me to this particular model was the 'Easy Start' kit that was included which consists of a cooling glove which you freeze before use, an easy-start head (with less tweezers in) and massaging roller attachment.

          So I froze the glove in the freezer and numbed a patch on my leg for the required time...started using the epilator on the area....and then screamed the house down. I am not going to rose tint it, the first few times I used this it really hurt. I've never had my legs waxed before but people who I know that have epilators and used to wax have told me that it wasn't too bad.

          So the first session it took me about 2 hours to do my legs fully and they were so red when I'd finished!!

          But as I was determined to use this new gadget I'd just bought, I forced myself to persevere with it, and moved on to the advanced head after about 4 weeks when it had stopped hurting as much, this head has more tweezers in so it's quicker.

          The small smartlight on the front helps you to notice the hairs which you've missed.

          After using this for 2 years I hardly feel anything now and only have to use this once a week to keep my legs smooth.

          I have a very low pain threshold, ask anyone who knows me, but after a lot of perseverance I've been able to use this successfully. After all, I've been tweezing my eyebrows for years and that doesn't hurt a bit now.

          I don't think I'd use this on my bikini line or my underarms though, ouch!

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          14.07.2009 16:15
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          Best thing since...well...razors

          Shaving your legs daily is not something I imagine most women enjoy having to do, however, it is necessary (well for most of us anyway). I used to use razors and shaving gel but no matter what razors I used, whether they be cheap or expensive ones, I always ended up with a horrible razor-burn type rash on my calves...not attractive. I tried waxing them once but only managed half a leg before I could take the pain no longer.

          I had been pondering over whether to buy one of these bad boys for some time - after all they are quite expensive for what is pretty much just a giant tweezer - but it's not like you can return it just because it hurts. Anyhoo, I finally took the plunge and I must say it is excellent.

          I won't lie to you, it most definately is not painless no matter what it says on the box about it having massaging rollers to ease the pain. The first few 'plucks' are quite uncomfortable and it does sting a little but trust me, it only hurts for about 3 seconds then goes away. You eventually get used to the feeling and your leg goes sort of numb so you don't feel the pain.

          If you are going to use an epilator before an event or a big night out, I would suggest you do it a few days before you plan to bear your legs as it does leave you looking a bit like a plucked chicken for a day or two. But after this point the results are fantastic - smooth legs with no nasty stubble and it really does last for weeks. Plus it really helps if you are prone to ingrown hairs that you get with shaving.

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            18.05.2009 11:54
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            great way to remove hair at home

            This is my second epilator and the design of this one is much better
            then the first. The grip makes it much easier to hold, the parts are
            easier to take off and clean (it comes with a little brush-you have to
            clean the tweezers and the motor beneath) which you should do well at
            least once a month.

            I understand that some people might be reading this looking to buy
            their first epilator and I would whole heartedly recommend getting
            one! Yes it hurts a lot at first-but so does waxing! It can be a bit
            hard to get going the first time since you're inflicting the pain on
            your self, but if you persevere it will become a lot easier. Epilating
            can be done in the comfort of your own home and it a lot cheaper then
            waxing, it can also be done on shorter hairs so you don't have to
            wait until you're really hairy to go and get a wax. I would recommend
            always doing it on short hairs, if they are too long the can get
            caught in the tweezers twice and its hurts twice as much.

            Epilators work by having a series of rotating tweezers that go around,
            grasp hold of the hairs and pull them out from the roots, This leads
            to longer between hairs growing back and the hair follicle will
            eventually give on producing new hairs (but don't hold you breath
            we're talking years) This model comes with two heads that each have a
            different number of tweezers on them, so for beginners or use on more
            delicate areas there is a head with only a few tweezers.

            There is a light which is excellent for seeing any areas of fine hair
            that you might have missed, some massaging rollers which in my opinion
            do nothing, and it came with a cooling pack (pop in the freezer
            before hand) to numb the area a bit before/after use, I've never used
            it but then after 5 years of using an epilator I can't feel it on my
            legs any more (underarms still hurt like hell!) It makes an awful
            noise (my boyfriend refers to it as the formula one car) so you can't
            hear when someone about to walk in on you! I paid about £30 for mine,
            but boots often do 1/3 off electrical good and they have a wide range
            to chose from. It all comes in a nice bag which can be tucked away and
            makes it easy to keep all the parts together.

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            27.03.2009 18:27
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            It's not as painful as you mights think , and is really effective

            I was terrified the first time I used this epilator- borrowed off a friend to see if I could stand it, but surprisingly it was actually a really pleasant experience!

            What's in the box?
            My epilator set, which was about £50 off Amazon, comprised:
            Epilator
            Mains plug
            Main epilator head (aprrox. forty tweezers)
            Starter head (about 15-20 tweezers)
            Precision head (about 5-10 tweezers)
            Cleaning brush
            Shaver adaptor
            Carry case

            What does it feel like?
            I don't think the horror stories about epilating are true at all- although it sounds gruesome they work by pulling the hair out, I find using it feels a lot like i'm scratching my like, or brushing against a slightly prickly plant. It can sting a bit as you move higher up your legs, above the knee to the thigh, but the more you use the epilator, the less you feel it.

            Is it better than shaving?
            For me, definitely yes. I only need to epilate about once every 4 weeks or so because my hair grows back relatively slowly. Also, once you've been epilating for a while- I've been epilating my legs for about a year now, the hair roots become weakened and stop producing hair properly, so I have little patches on my legs where the hair simply doesn't regrow! You do need to take your time with the epilator- to do my legs up to the mid-thigh takes about 15 minutes to do it properly. Working against the direction of the hair growth tends to work best.
            One of the great things with this epilator is it can work on shorter hairs than many other epilators, so you can epilate when your hair is as short as 0.5mm!
            It also comes with a little spot light, which helps to illuminate any hairs that you may have missed.

            Where can I use it on my body?
            The epilator material says, with the changeable heads, you can epilate basically all hair on your body (legs, underarms, bikini line, face). I use mine for my legs, but I do have friends who epilate everything and find it perfectly comfortable.

            Is epilating any different from shaving?
            I do find that it's important to moisturise my legs after epilating, as they can look a bit red and sometimes I get little raised bumps where the follicles have become slightly irritated. I find I get a few more ingrowing hairs than with shaving, but these can be easily dealt with, and moisturising helps keep them under control.

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              21.11.2008 09:21

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              An brilliant longer lasting alternative to shaving

              I bought this epilator as my alternative to waxing which is far to messy and painful.

              The epilator looks like an electric shaver, whici is is, it also has a shaver attachment. The epllator attachment, instead of teeth to cut the hair has lots of tiny little tweezrs that pluck the hairs out as you roll it along the skin.

              This does make your skin sore to start with and does take a little will power and perseverance to continue. It comes with a cooling pack whic you pop in the freezer and then put on your legs to numb them a little. I didn't find this worked, I was just cold and sore! You do get used the sensation and soon it just feels the same as shaving. There are a few different settings, a slow and fast, and two different attachments, one with a small number of tweezers and one with lots. If you use the smaller attachment and the slow setting it will take ages to do both legs, but it is good to start off and then build it up fast and chnage to the other attachment when you get used to it.

              It does take a lot longer than shaving, you have to move the epilator slowly to allow it to pick up all the hairs, but it's worth it as the results really do last. They say four weeks but I found it's more like five or six. I guess it depends on the person.

              It is a pricey buy, I paid nearly £70 for mine when they first came out. But I'd say it was worth it.

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              07.10.2008 19:11
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              Pluck pluck away!

              Reasons for taking the plunge!
              ---------------------------------------

              Like most of us ladies (and some men?!!) we are always looking for ways to remove unwanted hair and I am no different! For years I have shaved my legs and underarms and experienced the pain of waxing the bikini line! I was fed up with the tiresome job of shaving my legs every other day and an epilator was recommended to me by a friend.

              I decided to do a bit of research and was at first quite shocked at the prices of these 'torture tools'! However the promise of smooth legs for up to four weeks was too much of a temptation so I took the plunge! I decided on the Silk-epil model as it was a brand I was aware of and the extras seem to make it a good buy.

              The product
              ---------------

              This epilator comes with the following attachments:

              - Precision head for use on face
              - Narrow head for sensitive areas such as the bikini line and the underarms
              - Easy start head for first time usage
              - Nomal head
              - Shaver head with clipper attachment for trimming hair
              - Massaging attachment to go over epilator heads.

              The following items are also provided:

              - Cooling mit which you cool in the freezer
              - Storage pouch- Pre-epilation facial cleansing wipes

              The unit itself fits really nicely in your hand and is quite light weight. There are two speed settings, the first is soft and the second faster one is optimal speed. It is mains powered so you don't need to worry about changing batteries all the time!

              There is also a 'smartlight' which lights up the area you are epilating.

              Here we go...
              --------------

              Ok, the time had come! Out came the ice mit from the freezer and I tried to numb the first area of my leg. I began with the starter head but the pain was still pretty extreme! The most painful part was the shins! The smartlight was great though and even highlighted the small fine hairs!

              After about fifteen minutes I gave up with using the cool minute as it was taking far too long and I decided to be brave! It took me about 30 minutes to do the first leg (knee to ankle) and the thought of having to endure all that pain on the other leg almost brought me to tears! I took a deep breath, bit my lip and managed to complete the task (over an hour later!).

              First impressions were quite dissapointing. Visually my legs looked smooth and hair free but they weren't very smooth to the touch, all that pain for nothing I thought! I put this down to the fact that the hair follicles were raised due to the epilation and decided to wait a day before I made any real judgement.

              The next day I still had quite a few red spots where the hairs were removed and the effect was not as smooth as I had hoped. After a few days I noticed hairs starting to grow back...four weeks they said!!

              The following week I decided to go for the 'normal' head which has double the amount of tweezers. To my amazement the pain was very bearable! I can stick at this I thought!

              I had no problem in using this on my bikini line as I was used to waxing. The results were just as good as waxing and no more painful!

              The underarms were a different story! Owwwww the pain!! I managed about ten seconds under each arm but couldn't stand the pain any longer and haven't tried it again! There were even a few timy spots of blood and my underarms were quite sore for a few days!

              A few months on...
              --------------------

              I am still having to epilate ever week and now it only takes about half an hour for both legs as the hair growth is much less. This is much better than shaving every other day and the epilator has more than paid for itself in the savings on purchasing razors!

              The only slight problem I have had is a few ingrown hairs. I would recommend exfoliating every other day in order to minimise this.

              Price
              ------

              I purchased mine from Argos for £49.99.
              Cheaper alternatives are available but you don't get all the attachments.

              Summary
              ------------

              After six months I am still using this epilator regularly so that is pretty much proof in itself I think. I won't lie to you, the first time you use it is very painful but everyone has different pain thresholds (mine is quite low!). Once the first time is out of the way the pain reduces each time you use it. I now feel no pain at all when epilating!

              If you want silky smooth legs though you will have to still shave as you do not get the same effect with this epilator. It is one of the better ones on the market for removing the short hairs but it still leaves the realy short ones behind!

              Hair regrowth has also slowed down however I do still use it once a week to keep nice and smooth! I do forget to exfoliate at times though and the ingrown hairs can be a bit of a nuisance but no more really than half a dozen each week.

              Overall I would go for it! This is a great bit of kit and will save you a fortune in razors in the long run!

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                01.09.2008 13:53
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                It's not a bad as you would think

                I hate shaving my legs, it is a complete pain, it takes up far too much time and my ankles always react and go all bobbly. As I have fair hair I can get away with shaving every three days at most, but if I could magic away the hair forever I would. With the prospect of another summer of wearing skirts most days I decided to look into other methods of hair removal that may last a bit longer. The options seemed to be waxing and epilation. I had no intention of home waxing so it would have to be a salon job, and having seen the results of someone else's waxed skin, and seem the reaction their skin had I decide this was not for me. So that left epilation, which sounded like self induced torture. I looked into it on the web and read a few reviews to see how others had got on. The general consensus seemed to be that it hurt, a lot, but less so with time, and the results lasted a fair while, and the regrowth was finer.

                I decided to go ahead and purchase an epilator, the choice was between a Braun one and a Philips one, and I decided in the end to go with Braun as their epilators have more tweezers per head than Phillips do. Having compared all the models on Braun's website I decide to go for the cheapest one as I did not need the shaver attachment (already got a few electric razors) or the other attachments for underarms and eyebrows. I bought it about a month ago for £39.99 in Boots, it was on offer at the time and should have been £49.99, but annoyingly it is even cheaper there now (always the way).

                The Product

                The epilator is an oval shape, sort of the shape of a large pebble, the main body of it is a glittery green colour. This model is the basic model and comes with a silver net bag to keep all the bits in and the starter pack. From what I can gather each model is the same but a different colour, with different attachments depending also on the model. All the models come with the active massage rollers, SmartLight and efficiency pro cap. All are mains operated and have two speeds, fast and slow, and all come with a cleaning brush and pouch.

                The main head contains 40 tweezers which allows you to remove more hair with each sweep, so in theory it will take you less time (although might hurt more). According to Braun it removes more hairs in one stroke than any other epilator. The head also has something Braun call SoftLift tips which are there to raise flat hairs and problem hairs making them easier to remove, and it can even remove hairs as short as 0.5mm. You put a cap over the head, and it comes with a choice of two. One cap has the 'active massaging rollers', which move in four directions and stimulate the skin before and after hair removal to help minimize the pain. The other cap is called the Efficiency Pro cap, and allows for a wider skin coverage to increase the efficiency of the epilator (hence the name). The SmartLight is automatically turned on when you switch the device on, and is basically a torch shining onto the path of the epilator to illuminate the hairs. This model comes with the EasyStart set (some don't), this consists of a cooling glove and a starter head. The starter head has fewer tweezers than the main head so that fewer hairs are pulled out at once, so it doesn't hurt as much and lets you get used to the process. The cooling glove is basically a gel ice pack that you put in the freezer for at least 2 hours before you want to use it, you then put it in its glove and it numbs the skin making it less painful. It is apparently approved by dermatologists (why?, its plastic for heavens sake) and soothes the skin minimizing any discomfort.

                Other models can come with an additional shaver head attachment, a narrow epilation head (for underarms and bikini area) and a precision head (for use on the face, it only has 4 tweezers), but none of the epilators come with all of the options. The power cable is quite long so you don't need an extension cable.

                The Basics of Epilation

                Epilators are basically an electrical device used to remove hair, they are a similar size and shape to an electric razor. Most epilators have a rotating head which contains lots of tweezers to pluck the hair out at the root. Because the hair is removed from the roots the results can last up to four weeks. When the hairs grow back they will be finer and sparser compared with after shaving, and it is a myth that epilation increases hair growth or makes the hairs darker when they do grow back. Epilators are mainly used to remove hair form legs but can be used on underarms and the bikini line (ouch). As the hairs are in different stages of the growth cycle it can take a few attempts before you achieve a state of prolonged smoothness. This also means that after the first epilation, assuming you epilate at regular intervals, there will be fewer hairs to remove each time.

                Epilation Advice I Have Found

                * The best time to epilate is in the evening, this will give any skin irritation the chance to fade overnight.
                * Make sure your skin is dry and free from grease or creams before epilating.
                * Rub the skin beforehand to lift the hairs to and upright position.
                * Guide the epilator against the direction of hair growth (so for legs from ankle to knee).
                * Hold the epilator at a 90 degree angle against the skin.
                * Stretching the skin with your other hand makes the hairs stand up so they can be removed better.
                * Regularly exfoliate the skin to avoid in-grown hairs.
                * If you need to apply a moisturiser after epilation use one that is fragrance free and avoid using very rich or oily lotions as they can increase the risk of skin irritation.

                My Experience

                Having read how painful it can be I decided to take preventative measures and took 2 ibuprofen tables at 8pm. I then read the instructions manual and 20 minutes later I decided to go for it, I got the gel pack out of the freezer, laid a big towel on the bed and plugged the machine in. To start off with, as suggested in the manual, I used the starter head. This contains fewer tweezers than the main head so it pulls fewer hairs out in one go, and hence hurts less for beginners until they get used to it. I put the gel pack in its glove, then realised I'd put it in the wrong bit and started again. I decided to start with my left inner ankle, I placed the ice pack on it for 30 seconds (it is recommended to leave the ice pack on for between 30 seconds to 2 minutes, but not for any longer). This was very painful, but at least my leg was numb. I dried my leg and turned the epilator on to full. I had had a play with it when I was reading the instructions so knew how loud it was, but it still gave me a little shock, it is very noisy. I placed it on my ankle and began. All I can say is ouch. Even with my ankle numb it hurt. I looked at the patch I had just done and was rather disappointed. Rather than there being a nice hair free strip like you get with shaving, there were still hairs. It was clear I was going to have to go over each section of leg many times for it to be smooth and hair free. I continued anyway, numbing my leg then going over it with the epilator until I had done half of the front of my left leg. At this point I got fed up with the ice pack and ditched it.

                It is probably worth talking about how painful it is at this point. Pain is a personal thing and everyone has different pain thresholds, but I was expecting from the reviews I had read for the pain to be eye watering. It did not hurt as much as I was expecting it to, nowhere near. At the time I put this down to the painkillers I had taken, I thought they must be working and what a good idea it had been. Now even without painkillers the pain is bearable, it's more like a prickling sensation. I did the rest of my left leg without the ice pack, it took my over an hour. Having gotten thoroughly bored and fed up with the whole process I decide to move onto the normal head for my right leg. It hurt more but I quickly got used to it. I found by the end what was hurting the most was the massaging rollers and the heat of the tweezers after having been on for two hours. I had to turn it down from full speed to gentle in the end, not because of the pain of the hairs being removed but because I could no longer take the pummelling the rollers were giving me.

                In total to remove the hair from my legs, including lower thighs and knees, took just over two hours. The result? My legs were hair free as far as I could see but were definitely not smooth. In places where the hairs had been pulled out the pore was raised. My legs looked all blotchy from where the hairs had been pulled out, but once again not as bad as I had come to believe they would look, and I thought the marks could have just been down to the massaging rollers leaving marks on my legs. The skin on my legs didn't hurt like it does after shaving so I did not need to put any moisturiser on. So thoroughly fed up and bored I went to bed. Next morning I admired my smooth legs. All the redness had gone and they felt smooth and hair free. I made sure I exfoliated my legs for the next few days.

                Unfortunately the hairs started to grow back a few days later, so one week on from the first time, I epilated again. This took nowhere near as long. This time I used the efficiency pro head, partly because I thought the hairs might have got missed in the first place as the other head does not sit as close to the skin and secondly because I could not face the pummelling again. Once again within a few days hairs were growing back. I read somewhere that it can take a few attempts until you get hair free skin for weeks. Unfortunately I found out the hard way just how important it is to exfoliate regularly. After the first epilation session I exfoliate for a few days and then got lazy and didn't bother. I rather stupidly didn't exfoliate after the second session, so the third time I came to epilate a week later I noticed that a lot of the hairs weren't being plucked out by the epilator. On closer inspection I discovered that they had not broken through the skin and were lying flat just beneath the surface. Utterly horrified I got out my tweezers and tried to pluck them out, a very painful and longwinded experience, not recommended at all. After that I made sure that I exfoliated, at least every other day.

                Just under a week later I epilated for the fourth time, that was about a week ago. The hairs are still starting to grow back within a few days. My legs are nowhere near as hairy as if I had shaved but I certainly could not show them off. Because of all the ingrown hairs and my attempts to remove them my legs look a right mess. I have decided to let the hair grow a bit longer then go back to shaving for a while, I'm hoping this will remove the surface layer of skin that is trapping some of the hairs. Once I have sorted out that problem I am going to start again with the epilation, but this time I will exfoliate religiously.

                I can't blame the epilator for the problems I've had. It works very well at removing the hairs, and hopefully with regular use my legs will be smoother for longer. The main advantage epilation has over shaving is that it does not irritate my legs. At the moment the results do last a few days longer than shaving, but it takes me currently just under an hour to do both legs, which is less than ideal. I've read that it takes some people only 10 minutes so maybe it will take less time in the future when I am better at it and the regrowth is sparser. I wanted to save time by epilating rather than shaving, and as seeing that is only takes my 15 minutes to shave them and I would have to do that 2 or 3 times a week I would be happy if I could get away with epilating only once a week. Any more than that and I can't be doing with it.

                The only problem I have had with the epilator itself is that I find it difficult to remove the finer hairs, especially around my knees. No matter how many times I go over them there are always some very short hairs left. Because these have been trimmed rather than plucked they grow back quicker so I would have to do my knees more often than the rest of my legs.
                I found that the pain was very bearable. It hurts the most in the first minute or so each time I use it, but the pain lessens until I can hardly notice it at all. Do not let the thought of how painful it could be put you off buying an epilator; it doesn't hurt as much as you would think. I have not used it on my underarms and have no intention of ever doing so therefore I can't comment on how much that hurts, but I would imagine it would hurt an awful lot. I am not that brave.

                In summary this is a very good product. I would recommend it, it does hurt at first but you soon get used to it and the regrowth takes longer to appear than with shaving, and is finer and sparser when it does. The epilator does cost a lot of money, but this is a one off outlay (apart from the electricity) so think of all the money you will be saving by not buying razors and shaving foam. The starter pack is useful and I think it is best to buy one with it than without. But please remember to exfoliate afterwards so you don't end up in the mess that I did. If you are fed up with shaving I would recommend giving epilation a go, and this Braun epilator is very good.

                Thanks for reading. Also on ciao as rd52169.

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              • Product Details

                Removes hairs in a single stroke right from the root for a silky smooth skin that lasts up to 4 weeks.