Friday, April 10, 2015

What using an epilator is really like

What is an epilator? Is it something that shouldn't be discussed in polite company? Why on earth is ATW writing about this?

Here's the back story: sometimes I get Ideas. These Ideas are sometimes useful and other times they are trouble-causing. My newest Idea was that I wanted to have summer-ready legs (i.e. sans cheveux). My current bathroom set up is not at all conducive for someone who wishes to remove leg hair without potentially gouging herself and bleeding to death in the tiny, slippery shower.

I thought that surely there was some other way that doesn't involve nicking oneself with a razor and/or falling in the shower. Mr. Google delivered, as always. Apparently there is a torture device that is a rotating mass of tweezers that will painfully efficiently remove hair: the epilator.

It sounded great! Sign me up, I thought. Some people said it was painful. I agreed more with the people who said that it's slightly painful in the beginning but is easy enough to withstand. The other ones were a bunch of wusses, I thought. Of course it made perfect sense that I would form an opinion before using the torture implement epilator, right?

I ordered one online and received it today. Fridays are Lazy Days for me, which means that I am loathe to make plans. I'm usually exhausted after a week of work and lots of activities. It would be the perfect day to try out the epilator, I thought. I could relax, rip hair by the roots out of my legs, and bask in silky smooth skin afterward. Sounds great, huh?

This is how it really went down.

1. Unwrap epilator, plug it in, and turn it on to the slow setting.
2. Instantly feel a deep sense of foreboding because the slow setting blasts along at warp speed and looks quite threatening. I haven't had a heart attack yet so I turn it on the fast setting. Whimper. The things hasn't even touched me yet and I'm already afraid of it.
3. Tell myself to stop being a wuss and just get on with it.
4. Turn on the slow setting and (stupidly) start working on the area by my ankle.
5. After touching it to my skin, nearly hit the ceiling and immediately turn it off. Did it just cut me?! What the heck! It felt as if it cut me.
6. The shock wears off a little and I look at the skin. No, it didn't cut me, but there is a drop of blood from where it yanked out a hair. There are also razor burn-looking bumps too.
7. Take a picture of epilated spot and text it to my colleague. We had been joking that the movie name that would describe this event would be There Will Be Blood. There was indeed blood (albeit not a lot) so it seemed important to text the picture. She had wanted to know how everything turned out.
8. Go back and forth via text a little bit, being a total smart aleck. Think for a moment that it's really weird that I am texting my colleague a picture of my newly shorn leg on a Friday night. Don't normal people go out to dinner and a movie or something?
9. Plan to go back to the torture.
10. Get a phone call from R. just as I am beginning. Talk to him for a while. Mention that we were considering doing this as a party game and anyone who can stand it gets a prize. Then realize that it would probably be too germy for my slightly germophobic American ways and decide not to do it after all.
11. Finish phone call and get back to business. Wish I had been drinking some wine so it wouldn't be quite so painful.
12. Oh lawd is it painful.
13. Couldn't I at least have a bullet to bite to get through this? Seriously, how is it not cutting me but feels like it is?
14. Finish one leg. Oh, man. I have another leg to go.
15. Really wish that I had been drinking some wine.
16. Am a little smarter on leg #2 and do not start on the incredibly sensitive areas above my ankles first. 
17. Power through leg two and even do the sensitive ankle-ish areas.
18. Really wish I had been drinking through this.

Several hours later, I tried to admire my (mostly) hairless legs but instead can't help but notice the redness and bumps from the procedure. I also notice that I need to moisturize.

I can't believe that I'm saying this, but I am curious about trying this again. Next time, though, There Will Be Wine.


  1. HAHA!! I have an epilator as well, 2 actually! It DOES matter which one you have as the pain level can be different with the different models, believe it or not. I really like my Emjoi A-18 and it hurts a lot less than my Remington. The Remington can leave the feeling of slight electrocution while "shaving" and the Emjoi is much more subtle about it. The Emjoi, however, requires itself to be plugged in where the Remington has a battery pack. The Emjoi is good for big areas, the Remington is better for small areas. Pros and cons of each.

    It helps to take a few Advil an hour beforehand and it does in fact get better. If you do it weekly, you may even be able to say it doesn't hurt at all after about week 2 and all you end up feeling is a tug. Those first few times though? Phew!

  2. I think I'm going to take some wine an hour before next time. I was considering my next epilating session today. I think I have Stockholm Syndrome for epilation!

  3. good review! i've always wondered about trying it but that sounds painful! Does it last longer than shaving?

  4. I would say that, in a way, the results do last longer, at least in my limited experience. Since I'm only one cycle into using this, I could feel light stubble two days later because I am not sure if it grabs all the really short hair during the first session. However, my legs don't *look* hairy, which is awesome, and I don't plan to have anyone touching them, so I don't care about the stubble so much ;) Plus, I think that once I use the epilator through several different growth cycles, it will help. I'm not really a expert on this though so take it with a grain of salt. I *can* say that I'm not dreading the next time as much as I thought that I would.