Tweezing, burning, waxing, cutting. None of these options can be described as glamorous, but they’re the only options out there for beautifying our skin – or are they? Epilators first came on the scene in 1986, with the release of the original Epilady. The initial design incorporated a coil spring that was bowed into a curve. Part of the coil was bunched up on one side, compressing the coils together while the other side left the coils spread apart.
The motor inside the machine rotated the spring around causing it to flex and spread. As it was moved across the skin, hairs would get caught in the spring as it rotated, causing a somewhat painful but effective removal of the hair by the root.
More modern designs use either a rotating disk or tweezer-type design, but the basic idea is the same. If you’re looking for a new way to torture yourself on a Friday night, or you just want to look good for your next date, here’s what to look for.
Your basic options for power are corded and cordless. The corded options generally have a more substantial feel and will perform better, all things being equal. But, cordless options let you take the hair-pulling magic with you anywhere you go.
Some models have a duel corded and cordless option – this is probably your best bet for maximum flexibility.
Get a unit with variable speed, if you can afford it. These are the best because you can adjust the speed of the pulling mechanism to suit your needs. Variable speeds let you remove hair from different parts of the body. You don’t want to use a monospeed unit, for example, on sensitive areas like your bikini zone or underarms.
You’ll pay more for the speed options, but you’ll be glad you did.
Take the Philips Satin Perfect Epilator, for example. It’s an epilator that’s made for women who want to be able to use the device on their legs as well as more sensitive areas like the bikini zone and underarms.
Designed with a wide head, pivoting cap and uniquely textured ceramic discs, this epilator removes even the finest hair with a more-than-gentle touch that follows your every contour and curve, plus the vibrate and hair-lift system catches flat-lying hairs, while also stimulating the skin. Also including a shaver head, illuminated tweezer, trimming comb and more, this set takes care of hair from head to toe.
The Satin Perfect kit retails for $149 although it can be purchased on Amazon for $92 (as of 2/2015).
A skin guard is a must. These things can be quite painful if you’re not used to them. Some epilators have solved the problem with a skin guard option that protects your skin from being taken up by the pullers. There’s nothing like pinched skin “down there” to make you give up the idea of tweezing forever – all it takes is one bad experience.
For skin guards, you really want to do your homework and read as many reviews as possible. For example, beyondtalk.net reviews the best epilators on the market with these types of features. Find yourself something that’s also compact if you happen to travel a lot or that has an extra-long cord if you have to share space in the bathroom.
Wet-dry models are also good if you’re the type who likes to shave and primp in the shower. These are usually going to be cordless units, or units with a cordless option, as well as being waterproof.
Why do you need lights on an epilator? Because you want to be able to see in the dark? No, you want to be able to see finer hairs or hairs that are hidden in shadows. A light on an epilator helps you do this. But, not all of them come with one, so make sure you look for one that does. The Philips Satin Perfect Epilator I mentioned above DOES have a light on the unit and I can attest to the fact that it comes in very handy. I consider it to be an essential feature.
Money-back guarantees are usually a good thing. Sometimes, even with all of the reviews out there, it’s impossible to know that what you’re buying is a good product. If you read enough reviews, you start thinking that there are no bad products.
But there are, and money-back guarantees are the last line of defense against them. Most manufacturers offer at least a 30-day guarantee on personal care products, but some do have a lifetime guarantee though this is against defects in manufacturing.
In general, you get what you pay for (that shouldn’t be news, right?). So, when you’re deciding between a $30 unit and a $150 unit, if you can afford it, the $150 unit is probably the better buy.
But, beware. Just because something is expensive doesn’t always make it a better unit. Again, you’re going to have to fall back on a mix of reviews and experimentation. And, even then, there are units that some ladies like that others can’t stand.
Would YOU consider using an epilator? If you have one, tell us what brand it is and what you think!