Are more expensive epilators worth it or could they work worse?
May 12, 2013 2:39 PM   Subscribe

I have read posts about different epilators and have heard good reviews about Braun, but it seemed like lower to mid price epilators were recommended. I am new to epilating and I want to use it for legs, under-arms and chin. I am looking for the best epilator that is easy, efficient and has high techiness that makes general use of it easy such as wet/dry. What are some of the good epilators to use and does higher cost equate to it being better?

I want to make sure that the options/features making it easier doesn't make it worse in actual effectiveness. I have read of some epilators breaking hairs instead of removing it on wet/dry epilators.

I want a more expensive one since I feel like there may be higher quality but I have seen mid-range epilators recommended on metafilter in past questions as being great and I am not sure if that was just the high end a few years ago or it maybe that is a better option than more expensive versions. Otherwise I am looking at Braun Se7921 spa or Braun SE7681 which are more expensive. I really like the SE7681 model since it has so many attachments that make it seem very multifunctional even with a shaving head to make it an all in one option. Is this really as awesome as it looks?

For Background I am a woman in my mid 20's who has tried laser hair removal on both underarms and face no success probably because my hair is too light. The hair my face is dark enough that it is noticeable and I currently shave everyday to minimize this but I feel prickly (ick). Plucking is not an option since there are just too many hairs and that would take forever to do. I have tried waxing in the past and I loved how my face was actually smooth for the first time in a long time. I am just too lazy to go out and get it done professionally and it will add up over time price wise. I was horrible at home wax. Just way too messy and hard to do on my face and neck. This is why I am looking at an epilator and figured it might be great to use all over and not just my face/chin/neck. To double check, am I crazy for wanting to epilate my face and would it be worse than waxing?

In summary, I want a nice epilator that is great for face/legs/underarms with options or features that make its use easier and more awesome. What recommendations would you have and is more expensive with features actually better than simple cheap epilators? Any other advice is welcome.
posted by Jaelma24 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (11 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
Don't give up on home waxing until you try the cold strips. They are much easier and less messy than the tub of wax you have to put in the microwave. Just as effective and they take all the guesswork out.
posted by steinwald at 5:40 PM on May 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

I have an Emjoi epilator, but I only use it on my legs. One thing to note is that it doesn't work so well with the fine hair, like on my upper thighs. I don't think it would well on the face at all, maybe the way to go is with two lower priced ones, one for fine/facial hair, one for the underarms & legs?
posted by kellyblah at 5:43 PM on May 12, 2013

Best answer: I have the Braun mid-range you link to, and it's held up for close to a decade now. It's great for when my leg hairs start growing back in after a wax, and over the years I think I've ripped the hairs out violently so many times that I've grown more desensitized to the pain. But in the decade that I've used it, I have NEVER become able to tolerate it on my face or underarms. It's just too excruciatingly painful for those sensitive areas of the body. Be careful.

Oh, and do try the wax strips. They're a whole different world than the wax tubs.
posted by sunnichka at 6:50 PM on May 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

I cannot recommend the REM spring enough - it's basically only good for face and neck hair but it is absolutely spectacular for that. It hurts a bit the first time you do it. I cleaned off my whole upper lip in about 15 minutes. But after that initial round, I use it for literally a few seconds every few days and the hair is gone. So maybe that for your face and a more heavy-duty epilator for legs/underarms?
posted by selfmedicating at 7:04 PM on May 12, 2013

Best answer: I have this, which I love. I have been epilating my legs, underarms, and forearms for over a decade and bought this unit several months ago as a long-overdue upgrade. Features that I looked for are:

- cordless
- detachable heads and waterproof (makes cleaning hair from the unit much easier and you can epilate in the shower - although I personally find the process more effective on dry skin)
- interchangeable shaver/bikini trimmer attachment

I have a tough time imagining using an epilator on the face - I think most units are physically too big and the tweezing disks don't have the precision needed to work on facial hair. Gotta say that I'm intrigued by the REM spring though!
posted by kitkatcathy at 7:17 PM on May 12, 2013

Best answer: Emjoi Emagine is the epilator I currently own. I have used epilators for about 10 years, after trying several different brands, Emjoi seems to be the best. This is my second emjoi epilator. The first one lasted 7 years. It was a rechargeable model. It will no longer hold a charge and having it plugged in while using it caused it to run much slower. The Emagine model is an a/c powered unit. I love it and highly recommend it. I don't understand the "wet" aspect of the Braun models, as the hair needs to be dry for the epilator to grab it.

Face use - way too painful, the REM spring selfmedicating linked to is what I use on my face. Search around on prices, I only paid a few dollars for mine.

Underarms - totally doable! The secret is to stretch the skin tightly when using the epilator. This trick works on the legs too.
posted by JujuB at 7:25 PM on May 12, 2013

Best answer: I have the Braun SE7681 that you linked. I basically use it for facial hair and legs. Its reasonably good, although it takes a while to use it on upper lip hair. Its also good for leg hair, but there is an "ouch" factor when you start out. I haven't used the other features, and I don't use it wet, so I cant speak to those aspects of its use.

I don't have the patience for it, but threading is also a good option for taking care of facial hair, and the technique isn't that hard to learn. There are a lot of instructional videos on youtube, if you want to give that a shot. A lot of my friends prefer threading to waxing.
posted by MFZ at 3:36 AM on May 13, 2013

My epilator was a $40 corded conair number from walmart and it works like a charm.
posted by windykites at 6:09 AM on May 13, 2013

Best answer: Oh, and I use mine on my face, underarms, arms and legs, and knuckles and toes, and butt, but I have a tiny, aa battery powered emjoy that I use on the fine hairs on my chin, upper lip, and unibrow.

I advise waxing your underarms and thighs once or twice before epilating, to desensitize them and get rid of the worst of the hair, and then maintain with the epilator. It takes a serious time commitment the first time but upkeep isn't bad. Pop a couple advil about 15 minutes before epilating, and don't epilate when you're on your period! It hurts way, way more! I find the upper lip and thighs to be most painful, but I've been plucking my chin for years so ymmv. I've never gotten the guts to do bikini or brazillian. I likely never will. If you're super-sensitive, rub in some numbing cream to your skin to help dull the pain, but you probably won't need it. And make sure you exfoliate!

(I am a hairy, disgusting creature, and now the whole internet knows it. Sorry for grossness).
posted by windykites at 6:21 AM on May 13, 2013 [2 favorites]

I have the same one as kitkatcathy and love it.

it has a smaller attachment that blocks off half of the little disks, and I've used it on my face and bikini, and as long as it's not that time of the month the pain is bearable.
posted by euphoria066 at 12:30 PM on May 13, 2013

I have a corded Emjoi(don't know the model number) that I got on clearance at Target for like $30. I think folk in this area don't know what epilators are so they're on clearance a lot. Anywho, I do legs, feet, upper lip and chin with mine. A little ouchy on the face areas but tolerable. Haven't gotten up the nerve to do armpits yet. Totally worth it
posted by PJMoore at 1:02 PM on May 13, 2013

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