Friday, June 22, 2007
My little sister & I co-invested in an epilator a few years ago. It had fancy protruding massage-y bits to lessen any discomfort and came with a shaver head attachment. It was the Rolls Royce of the epilators then on the shelves. Like so many purchases, it seemed like a good buy at the time: we would save an absolute fortune in leg waxing costs over the lifetime of the epilator and would have silky smooth pins for weeks on end. No more frantically hunting for a razor when you decided at the last minute you wanted to wear a skirt!
The pain of my my first [and, as it happened, last] use of what I like to affectionately call The Devil's Own Hair Remover was so excruciating that it made my eyes water. It was incredibly, roar-inducingly sore. I could have understood it if I was a shaver; I'd have put it down to the roots of the regrowth being really strong and never having had the experience of getting my leg hair viciously reefed out of my skin. In fact, I had been getting my legs waxed religiously for a couple of months before trying epilation; theoretically, it should have been grand.
The epilating head of the device was relegated to The Bottom Drawer, where it probably still languishes with little plastic Barbie shoes whose pair could never be found, tubes of hair mascara and pages of stick-on nail tattoos.
Once bitten, twice shy, right? You'd think I'd have learned my lesson.
I had in me eye.
Only a few weeks ago, I read of the arrival into our fair isle of a new, improved and - wait for it! - practically pain-free epilator, Braun's Silk-épil Xelle. Ladies Who Expertly Epilate over on beaut.ie were calving about The New Magic Epilator and assuring epilation virgins that epilating really doesn't hurt anyways. Heidi Klum loves it too, according to the Braun website. And it was June, and I had two fabilis Karen Millen skirts sulking in my wardrobe about not getting worn on sunny days ["What does she mean she hasn't time to shave her legs, the hairy cow!"]
Now, I didn't just rush out and purchase the appliance in question. Give me some credit! No, I thought about it for a fortnight and did a bit of research and then rushed out and got it ;) It came with an ice pack to numb the area you were going to epilate and about fifty billion different heads to cater for beginners, facial epilation, bikini line epilation, the works. And of course it had the ubiquitous shaver head attachment.
Even though I was periodic, I used The New Magic Epilator for the first time the night that I bought it - when I purchase new things, I get so excited about them that I have to dive straight in and try them out immediately. Given the time of the month, I was expecting an inordinate amount of pain - which failed to materialise as far as my legs were concerned. I was really impressed - if it was this easy while I was periodic, how brilliant would it be when I wasn't?! My underarms were a different story though: the epilation itself felt like Beelzebub was ripping out each hair individually with his teeth and I couldn't put my arms down by my sides for ages and ages afterwards. The upshot was that I didn't so much have armpits as firepits for the next 24 hours.
Yesterday evening, I gamely decided to have my second epilation session: I had some pesky regrowth and wanted to organise nice silky legs for myself for the weekend ahead. So I took my leave of Property Ladder and retreated upstairs with my well-frozen ice pack to sort it aaaaht. I decided to tackle the underarms first; I must have been doing something wrong the last time, I convinced myself. I froze the relevant bits as instructed, stretched the skin taut, poised the epilator... and nearly collapsed with the soreness. It was absolutely horrendous, if anything, it was worse than my previous attempt. Gritting my teeth and blinking back the tears, I somehow managed to do both underarms without fainting.
With that ordeal out of the way, I froze my legs up good and proper, keeping my arms at a 90° angle to my body and occassionaly blowing on my poor underarms in a desperate attempt to ease the burning pain. I was actually looking forward to doing my legs: they hadn't been sore the last time I'd done them and I wasn't even periodic now, this was going to be a total breeze.
Only it wasn't. It was more of a Category 7 hurricane. That's right, the class of storm that would signal the end of the world. My shins were actually ok, but the pulling sensation on the rest of my legs - no matter how careful I was about keeping my skin stretched - was unmerciful, and the stinging! My God. And I noticed something that I hadn't previously: over the diabolical whirring noise of the epilator, I could actually hear my hairs being ripped out by the root.
I only managed to get one leg done. [The right one, for anyone who was wondering.] I had to leave it so after that. My leg was absolutely roasting and looked red raw - there weren't just little red pinpricks here and there, it looked like I'd gotten a rash on top of a second-degree burn - and it was actually a bit swollen.
What has me really narked about the whole episode is that the epilated areas weren't even left as fuzz-free as they would have been if I'd shaved. But I'm determined to make this work, dammit, red raw legs or no! If I actually get a couple of weeks of hairlessness out of the operation, I might give it another go. If I don't, well, I might have to compose a letter of complaint to Mr. Braun or Mr. Whoever-Invented-The-Epilator [because we all know it was a man]. It will be a brief letter, to the point, something along the lines of "Dear Sir, it is my sad duty to inform you that your latest effort is an unmitigated heap of sh*te. Yours, etc."
We'll see how it goes. Right now, I think I'd rather turn into a hairy molly than ever use it again.