Showing posts with label hair removal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hair removal. Show all posts

Friday, 1 November 2013

Review: Braun Skin Spa Epilator

This new epilator from Braun offers a number of functions in one box - it comes with five heads, including a shaver, an epilator, a couple of trimming caps, and an exfoliating brush.

The epilator head looks a bit scary, and indeed, given that epilation works by mechanically pulling out the hairs at the root (think automated tweezing on overdrive), it's something with a reputation for being a bit painful.

If you're not in the mood for epilating, you can click off the epilator head and replace it with the skin cleansing brush head, which is a little bit Clarisonic.  It can be used wet or dry for a skin smoothing, exfoliating effect without the need to rub yourself with scrub.

As an epilator, it's actually very good - it has two speed settings (which apply to all heads, btw), allowing you to ramp up slowly to full on epilating power.  There's a built in light which helps you see exactly where to target, particularly good since this device is capable of whisking away hairs as short as half a millimeter.

The real question, though, is whether it hurts.  I can report that yes, it does hurt a bit, but not as much as I thought it might.  It's not pleasant, but it's not awful - totally bearable.  Going over areas which have thinner skin or are closer to the bone is more painful, but even so, I've been doing both legs in twenty minutes or so, and I'm not scarred for life.

The first couple of times I epilated, my legs came up in little red bumps, where the hairs had been pulled out - this disappeared within a few hours, though, and wasn't really a problem.

Overall I'm really impressed with this little tool.  It offers a variety of functions in one unit, which is handy, and my husband has even nabbed its shaver head when his electric razor has been out of battery.  The exfoliating brush won't change your life, but it is a nice alternative to manual exfoliation.  At £100, it's not cheap, but it is cheaper than monthly waxing appointments, and you can deal with regrowth virtually immediately.  Impressive stuff.  Find it now at Boots.

Disclosure: PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Quick Pick: Veet High Precision Facial Wax

Fact: I have a very short attention span.  I get bored with plucking my eyebrows past removing the obviously dark blonde / light brown hairs which make them look messy, and I can barely be bothered to remove those fine, light hairs which don't really mess with the overall shape, but rather stop the brow from looking super sharp.  So, I decided that I would have a go at this new Veet Facial Wax, to see if I could get a truly killer brow look.

The kit comes with a tube of water soluble wax which you heat up in a cup of hot water, much like I used to do with Hot Oil hair treatments when I was fifteen.  There's a precision stick for applying the wax with ultimate carefulness, but I've found that the slanted tip of the wax tube is actually reasonably precise in itself.  The premise is pretty simple: you warm the wax, squeeze a bead out of the tube, apply it to the area to be waxed, smooth on one of the reusable waxing strips, and once set, pull off against the direction of growth.

Now, admittedly, my forays into using this kit haven't yielded immediate, quick results like a professional eyebrow wax.  I have had to go over the area under and atop my eyebrows a couple of times to ensure every little hair is removed, which can leave my eyebrow area looking a little bit red and raw.  The redness calms down within half an hour or so, and even if it's not the quickest thing in the world, it's a darn side quicker than using tweezers to remove every tiny follicle, even if you do need to do the last bits of tidying up with a tweezer regardless of your waxing skillz.

So far, I've used the kit twice - and twice have been incredibly impressed by my sharply defined, clean brow area.  Granted, I've spent half an hour per session on my brows - but the results are worth it, in my mind.  My brows, once filled in, look like someone's actually spent some time and effort on them, and the lack of even the tiniest hairs makes my eyes look wider, and my eye area look cleaner.  Love it.

Veet High Precision Facial Wax is available from Boots, where a kit will cost you £8.49.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Philips Lumea IPL review - final verdict

Disclosure - PR trial/sample

I have now completed my eight-week trial of Philips Lumea. I have had four sessions, each two weeks apart, which took place under brand supervision at the Lumea "pop-up spa" in London.

The fact that it was a supervised trial meant that the timing was regular and my technique for using the device was exactly as intended by the manufacturer. I hope these reviews will be quite representative of the results you can expect if you follow the directions thoroughly.

In the interest of speed and convenience, I was testing the device on my armpits (which I photographed for you last time - no more pics though, it was just too terrifying).

After my first session, I noticed a real difference in the amount of regrowth (you have to shave before using IPL devices like Lumea, so this was shaving re-growth rather than regrowth from IPL-removed hairs). After that I saw slow but steady reduction in the amount of remaining hair patches over the subsequent weeks.

Now at 8 weeks, I'm seeing about 70% less hair on one side and 60% less on the other. I have also seen a difference in the skin around the remaining hairs - I don't see the dark shadow of new hairs lurking underneath the skin anymore - just clear skin, as if hairs had never grown there.

Sadly my time with Lumea has now come to an end, and since I already have a Boots iPulse Smooth Skin that I'm testing, I doubt I will buy a Lumea to continue my trial with (one IPL machine is enough, even for me). However in the 8 weeks I used it, I definitely saw a noticeable reduction in hair and I'm confident that if I kept going with it I could reach a more or less hair-free state given time.

In terms of useability and comfort, Lumea is superb. It is well designed, easy to handle and requires minimal prepping of the skin (no gel!). Its only shortcoming when compared to the Boots iPulse Smooth Skin (in my eyes its main competitor on the UK market) is that it only claims to provide a temporary result. If the power were increased to offer a permanent effect, I'd be recommending it wholeheartedly. However, I think most people will expect a permanent result for something at this price point (Lumea is £399), and would be disappointed that they'd have to keep using this every two weeks to keep their hair-free results. Don't get me wrong, it's a vast improvement on shaving and waxing. But ideally we want something we can stop using after a while, and Lumea makes no promises of that. I learned at the sessions that there has been anecdotal evidence of long-term users being able to space out their sessions to 4 weeks, but this isn't "official" information and shouldn't be taken as an indicator of performance.

Verdict - great design, great results, but the lack of a permanent outcome lets this product down.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Boots Smooth Skin (iPulse) IPL device - first impressions

Update: If you've landed here from Google, looking for honest and thorough reviews and opinions on IPL devices, you'll find a wealth of information here on the LBR via our IPL tag.

Disclosure - this unit is a PR sample, we did not pay for it

My first treatment session with the Boots Smooth Skin iPulse unit was completed yesterday afternoon.

The Boots Smooth Skin will be a familiar sight to many. It has been on sale at Boots since last year, and has set in train plenty of speculation and curiosity owing to its promise of permanent, painless hair reduction. It originally cost £299.99 and was offered at £249.99 during promotional offers. The full price has since gone up to £324.99.

Needless to say I was more than happy to avoid the £325 outlay in order to give the system a try - I'd been wanting one since they came out, although on my budget it wasn't going to happen any time soon.

As regular readers will know, I am also currently trialling Philips Lumea, a rival home IPL device, so there is a comparison element to my reviews here.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Philips Lumea IPL - first impressions

Disclosure - this product was tested during supervised sessions provided free of charge by Philips.

As mentioned earlier in the week, I'm currently trying out Philips' new home-use IPL device, Lumea. Yesterday I had my first session, and came face to face with the Lumea handset for the first time.

My first impressions are very good - the Lumea is about the same shape and weight as a travel blowdryer, and feels very solid, smooth and well-made. It's cordless and has an intutive control system - there's a trigger button, an on-off switch and a range of intensity settings (1-5) which can be adjusted according to skin and hair type.

The window at the head of the device is quite large - it took me about 15 "flashes" to do each armpit and I'd done the whole of both sides in under 3 minutes. Much much quicker than expected.

Lumea has a few advantages over its competitors - it doesn't need a contact gel, it's a cordless all-in-one unit, and needs no bulb replacement within its 40,000-flash lifespan (estimated to last about 5-7 years with normal use). However it's not a "permanent" solution. Instead, it's something you need to use every 2 weeks to prevent hair growth. If you stop, the hair comes back. Unlike more intensive treatments, Lumea doesn't claim to kill the hair root - rather it forces the follicle into a resting phase so that it doesn't produce hair.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

New product trial - Philips Lumea IPL device

This week, I begin my sessions with the Philips Lumea, a hair-removal device which uses IPL technology. I have been intrigued by the idea of IPL since Boots released their Smooth Skin machine last year, and I'm quite excited to be trying this out.

IPL stands for "Intense Pulsed Light". It's a progression from traditional laser hair removal, and it started out in salons. Basically the little "window" in the head of the device shoots out a burst of incredibly bright light which is absorbed by the dark hair shaft. It is transmitted to the root of the hair which is then frazzled out of operation. The treatment needs to be repeated because hair follicles have different phases of growth and dormancy, so you need periodical re-treatment to catch them all.

IPL is now coming to the home-use market via brands like Tria, Philips, Boots and Remington, all of who offer a hand-held unit costing roughly £300 - £400. The Lumea retails at £399.99.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Review - Bic Soleil

This product was sent to us free of charge to review.

If there is one thing that truly infuriates me (and there's more than one, trust me) it's paying through the nose for razors and razor cartridges. I'm looking at you, Gilette Venus.

I mean seriously, what are they, made of gold and forged in a secret smithy in the mist of some sacred mountain by monks? Why does it cost me the best part of a tenner to buy four blades with which to shave my hairy calves? Why?

Owing to this long-standing resentment/bafflement, I was glad to get the chance to try out some razors from the more reasonable end of the pricing scale. Four Soleil disposable razors cost £2.95 - less than half the price of four Venus cartridges.

The variety I received was Soleil "Scent", one of several variants available. The handles of the razors in the packet are various shades of pink purple, each one slightly darker than its neighbour. It's a nice design touch. The "scent" is lavender, and it's included to make the shav
ing experience more luxurious, apparently.

In practice the scent of the handles was mostly eclipsed by the pleasant scent of the shaving ge
l I was also sent to try - a light floral fragrance that I found surprisingly nice for a product from a "budget" range (it costs roughly £3, depending on where you shop). The Soleil shaving gel is called "Lady Gel" (and please excuse me for a moment while I crosscheck that in my Profanisaurus). It proved pleasant to use and definitely allowed for superb razor glide without that strange "tacky" post-soap-like sensation that some shaving foams cause.

However, I discovered midway through shaving that the Soleil razor itself is not a serious
contender for the throne of dastardly Venus - I nicked the back of my leg quite painfully with it. And over the next couple of days the regrowth of hair on my legs generally was unfortunately noticeably quicker than with the Venus.

Verdict - Lady Gel, great. Soleil Scent, not a match for the cruelly expensive market leader.
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