I discovered the Braun Silk-épil through my sister Sinead, who’s also had hers for, oh, maybe a couple of decades now. And for many years now, this has also been my go-to hair remover, and it’s saved me (no lie) thousands of dollars on leg and bikini waxing, not to mention the hassle of scheduling and keeping appointments.
Here’s how it works: It’s an epilator, which means there’s a rotating head with inset tweezer-type things that spin around akin to a paint roller. You move it over your skin as you would a razor, except instead of shaving your hair, it’s plucking each one out. Even the short, fine ones. It even has a little light, so you won’t miss even the finest little hair. Sure, the concept of mass tweezing may sound insanely painful, but it isn’t — for me and my sister anyway.
Having said that, one’s pain threshold is a very personal thing, and the enclosed leaflet does say it’s most painful the first time you use it, but that it gets subsequently less painful with frequency. I can verify that this is true.
The pain is alleviated somewhat thanks to a “massage” element in the roller that stimulates the skin with micropulsations while in use. It’s less painful to use on wet skin (it’s chargeable and waterproof, so you can use it in the shower), not least because your pores are more open in warm water. And the smoothness, you guys, the smoothness! It feels like your legs have never even grown hair! Are there red spots after like with waxing? Sure, but only for one night, and when you wake up in the morning, it’s just smooth, clear, Mr. Bigglesworth–bald legs.
I’m going to be real with you, however: The bikini line does hurt a bit more. As with legs, it gets somewhat less painful the more often you use it on that area, but it’s certainly not something I get excited about every few weeks. It’s not dreadful, but it’s not enjoyable.
The newest version comes with various interchangeable heads, including a shaver, exfoliating brushes for face and body, and even a rubbery massage head to improve skin texture (read: cellulite), which I’m convinced is actually working.
Other Hair Removers We Like
According to the Cut’s beauty editor, Kathleen Hou, these tiny Japanese facial razors are “small enough to fit under your chin, with enough of an edge to remove peach fuzz, yet not so sharp that they’ll nick you.” Read more here.
We went straight to the obsessive testers of Amazon’s reviews section for the best women’s razors of all types (and oh, boy, were they excited to talk about “mowing the lawn” for this one). Read their favorites here.
Writer Kurt Soller recently named this Philips Norelco the best electric beard trimmer: “All I can say is that this is a godsend. No man likes wiping his (or his boyfriend’s) stubble from the sink, and I’m willing to deal with this shaver’s slightly clunky hand-feel to reap that reward.” Read more here.
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