Product Type: Braun Epilator / Lady Shaver
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Epilating and Shaving in Perfect Harmony?
Braun Silk-Úpil 7891 Series 7 Dual Epilator
Member Name: dahlin
Braun Silk-Úpil 7891 Series 7 Dual Epilator
Advantages: Effective epilation, waterproof, easy clean, holds charge well, looks good
Disadvantages: Combination of shaving and epilating doesn't really work
The Braun Silk-Úpil 7 Dual Epilator is the world's first epilator to combine the effects of epilation and shaving in one stroke. It is fairly widely available both on the high street and online and whilst it has an RRP of ú169.99 many places are currently offering it at a sale price of around ú100.
How I Came to Own It
As a BzzAgent (a member of bzzagent.co.uk) I am regularly given the opportunity to join campaigns whereby I trial new products in return for giving feedback to the manufacturers and spreading the word about the product. I've been using a Braun epilator as my hair removal method of choice for years, but the one I had was looking close to giving up on me, so the invitation to the Braun Silk-Úpil 7 campaign couldn't have come at a better time for me. I received the epilator and it's accessories, along with several replacement heads, replacement blades and shaving gel, entirely free.
What's In the Box
Included as standard with this epilator are a charging stand and cable, a 'Smoothing Cap' (with Gillette Venus blades), an epilation cap (for epilation only), a cap for sensitive areas (for epilation only), a cleaning brush, and a little drawstring bag to keep all the accessories in.
A big disappointment for me with this epilator is the lack of an electric shaver attachment. I used the shaver attachment of my old epilator for my bikini area and so because this one doesn't have one I've had to invest in a separate bikini trimmer, when I'd really rather have it all in one device.
In all honesty if I'd had to buy a new epilator I probably would have chosen this one based on looks alone. I'm a sucker for good looks and nice colours and for me this epilator looks perfect. The epilator itself is white with a sparkly panel on the main body, but it has a 'no-slip grip' which fits over it and is a gorgeous translucent turquoisey blue colour. There are also two small panels of turquoise on the front of the epilator where the controls and the light are. The charging stand is a white part-dome in which the epilator stands upright. The shape is sleek and curvy and the overall design is very modern and elegant looking. It looks great whilst not being so obtrusive that it sticks out like a sore thumb in my bathroom.
*40 Tweezers with Close-grip technology - The tweezers have been engineered to close at the optimal angle and grip hair even closer to the skin for better removal of hairs as short as 0.5mm.
*Smoothing cap with Gillette Venus technology - Integrated triple blade razor follows behind the epilator, capturing stubborn hairs and lifting away dead skin cells to reveal fresh new skin.
*Pivoting head - The flexible head can pivot up to 15 degrees forward and back, allowing it to better adapt to the contours of the body for more comfort and maximum thoroughness.
*SoftLift tips - Designed to effectively lift even flat-lying hairs and guide them into the tweezers for removal.
*Smartlight - The Smartlight shines light onto even the finest hairs, allowing removal of hairs that would otherwise go unnoticed.
*Wet & Dry - The epilator is designed specifically for use in warm water. It can be used in the bath or shower in combination with shave gel for extra comfort.
*Cordless use - Gives you the freedom to epilate whenever and wherever you like. Up to 30 minutes of operation from an hours charging.
*2 Speed settings - Select speed 1 for extra gentle epilation, or speed 2 for extra efficient epilation.
*Waterproof and washable - The sealed body allows it to be used and cleaned under running water for better hygiene.
The curves of the unit are perfect to fit neatly and securely in my hand, and it feels very comfortable to use and hold. The removable 'no-slip grip' gives extra grip to the otherwise smooth unit, which is essential for ensuring a secure hold when using it the bath or shower.
The unit is considerably heavier than my previous epilator, presumably due to having to house a battery as it is rechargeable whereas my old one wasn't, but the weight isn't enough to cause any problems or feel uncomfortable, and in fact just gives it a more high quality feel.
The flexible head allows the unit to glide smoothly over all the curves and contours of my body, making light work of even awkward areas such as behind the knees and underarms.
The epilator is very easy to use, the only control being a simple dial. Just turn the dial clockwise to turn it on, one click for the first speed setting and another for the second, and to turn it off or down just turn it anticlockwise. Then it's just a case of running the head over the area you want to epilate. I can't say I really notice any difference between the two speed settings, but it would probably much more noticeable for anyone new to epilating. It is fairly quiet in use and I can happily sit using this whilst watching TV and still hear everything, whereas my old one drowned out pretty much any other noise.
This epilator is very effective if used correctly, but if like me you're the impatient type you'll have to reign yourself in before you see the best results. As with any epilator, the key is to work slowly and steadily, allowing the tweezers optimum chance of picking up all of the hairs. Even after epilating for several years I still find it difficult to stop myself from rushing it even though I know I'll just end up with a patchy finish and have to go over it again, meaning it will actually take longer in the end.
I do find that it removes even the very shortest of hairs easily and effectively, and as long as I've exfoliated first to remove dead skin cells from the surface, it also picks up flat-lying hairs. It doesn't pick up the finest, fairest hairs, but this is a downfall of epilators in general not just this model. The hairs that it does leave behind, however, are really only the very finest that you cannot feel and would not notice unless specifically looking for them under certain lights.
The Gillette Venus blades are also very effective, providing a really close shave and leaving my legs feeling smoother than any other razors I've used. Unfortunately it doesn't work so well in combination with the epilator. The applied pressure needed for optimum results differ for shaving and epilating, so combining the 2 means you can only get the best from one. This head is also quite large and not as flexible as the others, which makes getting a smooth finish on awkward areas such as the knees almost impossible.
Wet use is clearly beneficial for the shaving element, helping to minimise irritation and provide a closer shave. On the other hand it only serves to hinder the epilation process, as does the use of shaving gel, which is advised for use with the shaving head. I find with wet use the epilator is able to pick up far fewer hairs, making the process much longer and more arduous, and despite the Smartlight the hairs are much more difficult to see, meaning I'm always left with at least a few hairs that I've missed simply because I've not noticed them. I also find that after wet epilation I'm left with a lot of angry looking red dots where the hair has been removed, a problem I've never had with dry epilation.
As I've been epilating for years I don't find the process remotely painful anymore so I can't really comment on how pain-free or otherwise this particular model is, but I would suggest if you are using an epilator for the first time to expect some mild pain or discomfort which will lessen with regular use. Making sure you follow the directions given in the manual on how to epilate effectively will ensure the process is as comfortable as possible.
In addition to my legs I have used the epilator on my underarms to great effect, but when attempting to use it on my bikini line it just took off layers of skin rather than removing hair, which is not a remotely pleasant or comfortable experience, so I would definitely not recommend it for use on this area!
Cleaning the device is made super-easy by the fact that it's fully waterproof. Switch it on for a few seconds underwater and the tweezers are fully cleaned, detach the heads and rinse each part underwater and they all come up sparkling. And for dry cleaning you have a little brush which can get into all the nooks and crannies, quickly and easily removing any hairs or dirt.
The fact that it is rechargeable and I can use it anywhere is a major plus point for me, I hated the limitation the cord on my old epilator imposed on me. I find it holds it's charge really well and even after the low charge warning light starts flashing I still have plenty of time left to finish up, so I've never had the frustration of having to recharge it before I can finish my legs.
The Big Claims vs. My Results
The biggest claim made about this epilator is that the combined action of epilation and shaving means that after weekly use for four weeks optimal results are achieved and you will then only need to use it monthly to keep your legs perfectly smooth.
Well as a natural blonde my body hair is fair and fine but I've always found it grows much quicker than the suggested re-growth times for any hair removal method. Everyone seems to suggest that epilation should leave you smooth and hair-free for 2-4 weeks, but I always find I'm feeling a bit stubbly within a few days, and there's no exception with this. I used it weekly for several months and still found no improvement whatsoever in the re-growth time, so I'd have to say that for me it really didn't live up to it's main big claim.
It is also claimed that whilst the epilation function removes hair at the root, causing it to grow back finer and more slowly, the razor function promotes the renewal of the outer layer of skin by removing dead cells, the combined action of the two revealing new, smoother skin. Unfortunately I have not seen any difference in how smooth my skin is after using this when compared with my old epilator, so again it doesn't live up to it's claims for me. The only difference I have noticed between dual and normal epilation is that dual epilation makes my skin itch.
Whilst this device is more than adequate as an epilator I firmly believe that other than making my legs itch the integrated razor adds nothing significant to the experience. It seems like innovation for innovation's sake, rather than solving a problem or fulfilling a need. I would definitely recommend Braun epilators, but I would suggest it's not worth paying any extra to have this particular model.
Summary: An efficient epilator with an unnecessary twist
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