Haven’t epilators come a long way? Many women remember medieval torture devices (to borrow a phrase from one woman) from the 80s that resulted in more shrieking than silky skin.
Fast forward to the new millennium and we have a host of attractive, effective epilators that have been designed to reduce pain as much as possible.
Here we review five of the best epilators available for Christmas 2019. You can skip straight to the reviews, or hang around as we explain a little how the reviews work:
As always, we have some criteria to evaluate each product:
- Effectiveness – how well does it remove hair?
- Comfort – Does it hurt? How much?
- Speed – Does it get those pesky hairs first go, or is this going to take all day?
- Ease of use – Will you get into power cord tangles? Does it fit everywhere it should?
- Value – considering both the purchase price AND ongoing costs.
We assign each criteria a value from 1-10 to help you choose the best option for you. We’ve also assigned a color-code to each score:
Emjoi AP-18 Emagine Dual Opposed 72 Tweezer Head Epilator
Emjoi created a lot of excitement with this epilator when it was first introduced to the market. It’s been around a while now, but it’s still one of the finest epilators available.
Read on to find out what’s got everyone talking.
Emjoi have made a superbly effective epilator. Users have been exceptionally impressed with smooth results delivered by the AP-18 Emagine on the legs, underarms and chin.
This no doubt has a lot to do with the 72 tweezer heads arranged in a staggered formation to cover as much area as possible, as well as what Emjoi call ‘lifting fingers’ to feed hairs into the tweezers.
While the Emjoi Emagine does an amazing job of hair removal, it doesn’t have quite as many features for comfort as some other models.
Emjoi’s marketing literature says that the AP-18’s ‘Glide Technology’ helps lift hairs and cut down on skin irritation, but as we know, it’s pulling out the hairs that will cause the most discomfort here.
As usual, the best way to avoid discomfort will be excellent preparation prior to epilating. Read our epilating guide to find out how to get the best results with the least amount of discomfort.
Not only effective, the AP-18 Emagine is also one of the fastest epilators available. Many women can finish epilating their legs in between 10 and 30 minutes with the Emjoi.
While the tweezer heads are very effective, the fact that there are 72 of them covering a very large (as epilators go!) area of your skin makes the biggest difference to epilation speed.
Ease of use
This epilator is for plugged-in use only. This means you won’t be able to use it in the shower, but you’ll always have enough power to finish you epilation.
One trade-off that affects ease of use with the AP-18 Emagine is the size of the epilator’s head. This is fantastic for fast epilation, but does make it more difficult to get the unit into tight areas like the bikini line.
While the price has come down recently, the Emjoi AP-18 is still one of the more expensive epilators on the market.
We feel however that the performance of this epilator justifies its relatively high price. There are few epilators that deliver the same performance, and the AP-18 Emagine earns its premium position.
Philips HP6576 Satin Perfect Deluxe Epilator
Welcome to your limousine.
Well, it’s an epilator, of course. But the level of luxury Philips have brought to the Satin Perfect Deluxe epilator makes it feel like a limousine experience.
It comes with a variety of attachments that aren’t directly related to epilation (like the shaver attachment and tweezers fitted with a powerful flashlight!). We’ll stick to reviewing for epilation, which it fortunately does a pretty good job of.
With nearly 75 years in the business of mechanized hair removal, Philips bring a lot of experience to this epilator. Luckily, they don’t disappoint.
The Satin Perfect Deluxe utilizes the relatively simple ceramic disks for hair removal, and they work very well. Very few users report having to re-do areas to get all the hairs out, and most are very satisfied with the results – smooth legs and little lasting irritation.
Some of the many attachments included with the Satin Perfect Deluxe from Philips are the massaging epilator heads that can be used to ease discomfort during epilation.
Many women have found that the massage heads help them get through their epilation with less pain.
As we always say, your preparation prior to epilation will help the most here.
Since this epilator can’t be used plugged in, speed is an important factor here. You want to complete your epilation before the battery runs out!
The epilator will hold around 40 minutes of power, and many women report being able to finish their legs in 20 minutes. This provides plenty of time to do your underarms and other areas as well on a single charge.
Ease of use
Since the Philips Satin Perfect Deluxe runs off a battery, you’re free to wield it as you wish, without worrying about a power cord getting in the way.
Unfortunately, the two places you can’t use it are in the bath or shower – it’s for dry use only.
However Philips make up for that significantly by also providing a powerful light on the epilator to highlight any hairs you may have missed during epilation. Many women find this feature incredibly useful, especially for spotting hairs on the crook of the elbow, behind the knees, and so on. It increases effective epilation dramatically!
It’s a pricey epilator, but between its performance and the extra features and attachments provided in this package, we think it’s definitely worth it.
In addition to this, Philips provide the same warranty and guarantee they do with their electric shavers – you get a two year warranty, and you can try the epilator out for 45 days – if you’re not happy with it, they’ll return your money. So hang on to your receipt!
Emjoi Epi Slim Battery Operated Epilator
This epilator from Emjoi has been built to serve the budget and convenience end of the market. It’s cheap compared to many of Emjoi’s other offerings, and it won’t cover the same amount of skin as quickly as other models.
So why does everyone like it so much?
This is a small epilator. It’s so small that it would take a very long time to do your legs. It uses the usual Emjoi metal tweezer technology to remove hairs, but it has only 36 pairs of them (exactly half as many as the very good Emjoi AP-18). The motor is powerful and reliable (assuming you have fresh batteries – more on that later).
It’s the other areas of your body that it really shines, especially your face.
You would not believe the cries of joy from women who’ve started using the Emjoi Epi Slim on their face. The size of the epilator makes it very easy to maneuver around the jaw and chin, and comfortable to hold in your hand.
Women who’ve previously had to use tweezers on their face, or even shave, have found the results from the Epi Slim to be a tremendous relief. The best results come from the usual epilator best-practice: use it frequently to make sure hairs don’t build up – this keeps pain and epilation time to a minimum.
Besides the face, the Emjoi Epi Slim also does a great job epilating the armpits and bikini line. You can use it on your legs if you want, but you might be in the bathroom all day!
Because the Epi Slim epilator is designed for use in more sensitive areas, such as your face, armpits and bikini line, extra care needs to be taken when using it.
This unit includes no special features for reducing discomfort, like the skin-stretching and massaging heads found on other models. If you take the usual precautions while using it (after a bath or shower, and keeping that skin stretched tight!) you’ll keep discomfort to a minimum.
Since this unit wouldn’t normally be used on your legs, expectations are a little different with the Emjoi Epi Slim.
Once an epilation routine has been established, some women have found they only need 30 seconds or so every couple of days to get their face smooth and hair-free. Of course armpits and a bikini line will take longer.
Some people find that they need a few passes over the same area to remove all the hairs, so the Epi Slim has some room to improve here.
Ease of use
This epilator is small, slim (hence “Epi Slim”), and battery-operated. This means it’s very easy to maneuver around your body, especially tight areas like your jaw, bikini line and armpits. That’s a giant plus.
Note that we say ‘battery operated’. As with similar budget options, this epilator doesn’t include a rechargeable battery; you’ll need to buy a couple “AA” size batteries to get it going. This is great if you’re on the road – those “AA” batteries are available absolutely everywhere in the world, so you’ll never have to worry about finding a socket to plug the thing in.
If you’re at home and the batteries have run out – you’re stuck. At this point a charging cord would be incredibly convenient. Instead, you’ll have to run out to the store, or raid the TV remote. It’d be best just to keep a few spares lying around.
We’ve marked the Emjoi Epi Slim well on value because it’s perfect for a specific audience – those women mostly interested in removing facial hair. If you’re looking for an epilator to use on your legs, this in an epilator to avoid.
The epilator is very reasonably priced, compared to the premium models. However the low price if offset by the need to keep buying batteries to keep it running. This is a cost that will add up over time, however, unlike rechargeable models, you’re not held hostage to a rechargeable battery that will eventually fail. As long as you keep feeding it the “AA”s, it should keep running.
Epilady Legend Rechargeable Epilator
Epilady have created a solid performer at a reasonable price, and say that the ‘Legend’ is their ‘strongest and fastest’ epilator.
We take a closer look to see if their claims are justified.
Good, but not the best.
This epilator does a credible job of removing hair, particularly the legs, but women have found that there are occasions where the epilator needs to be passed over the same area a few times.
The ‘Legend Rechargeable’ from Epilady uses discs to remove hair. Epilady refer to them as ‘tweezer discs’, but it’s important to note that they’re not the same style tweezers used by other brands such as Braun and Emjoi. Nonetheless, Epilady have put 40 of the discs into this unit, and overall they do a good job of hair removal.
Women have found that while the Epilady Legend doesn’t perform as well as, say the Braun or Emjoi AP-18 we’ve reviewed here, it is less prone to pinching the skin (like if you’re pressing a little too hard).
It doesn’t have any special features to make epilation more comfortable – so it’s all up to you to do it right! See our guide on how to get the best out of your epilator with the least pain.
As with other areas, this epilator is a solid but middle of the road performer here.
Women report that they can get their legs epilated with the Legend in around 30 minutes or under. This is good, but we’ve looked at epilators that are much faster.
As always, it’s important to remember that the subsequent epilations will take less time, as you get better at using the unit, and your hair starts growing back thinner.
Ease of use
Here’s where Epilady’s Legend Rechargeable shines.
It’s small, maneuverable and cordless. You’ll be able to get it practically anywhere you please, and the charge lasts very well. Some women have been able to get 10 days of use with this epilator from a single charge, which, given the size, makes it a great option for travel. The included cap to protect the epilator head is also a great bonus when you’re taking this epilator on the road.
Additionally, the Epilady Legend can be used plugged-in. It’s a dry-use only epilator, so keep it away from the shower, but being able to use it plugged in is great if you need to use it right now and it’s not charged.
The Epilady Legend Rechargeable represents good but unremarkable value. It performs in line with the expectation you’d have from the price, but no better than more expensive units.
There are no ongoing costs associated with running the epilator (other than the power you use to charge it! Hey – if you find a wind-up epilator let us know!), so what you pay up front is the total cost of the unit. Like other rechargeable epilators however, the Epilady Rechargeable’s battery will stop holding a charge eventually. You’ll then be faced with using it plugged in all the time, or getting a new one.
Braun Silk Epil-7 SkinSpa (Se7921)
Braun have created an epilator that removes hair up to 0.5 mm, and testers have found this unit does a great job of getting a silk-smooth finish, especially after the first epilation.
This epilator removes hairs using small metal tweezers, and Braun have put 40 of them in the epilator head, which is plenty to do a great job, it’s not the best we’ve seen (See our review of the Emjoi AP-18). Braun have also added vibration to the head to get more hairs close to the surface of the skin.
While it’s mostly used for the legs, it can also be used for the underarms and face, but it’s exceptionally important to make sure the skin is pulled very tight in both cases.
Even though the unit is cordless, testers have found that a full charge is enough to get through the arm pits, bikini-line and legs at full strength – this is an important point as we don’t want the epilator at half charge as it’s more like to just pull on your hairs, instead of removing them!
Epilation will always be a trial, especially the first time! After that it gets much easier. Braun have done as much as possible here to keep the pain at a minimum with their pivoting cap’s comfort rollers.
The cap and comfort rollers help lift the hairs up to feed them to the tweezers, and also stretch your skin a little, which helps reduce pain.
The included brush head for exfoliation may not help your comfort levels during epilation, but will definitely help after, since it’s always very important to clean and exfoliate after epilation to avoid ingrown hairs.
This is definitely a cordless-only operation. This can be both a blessing and a curse.
The blessing lies in the fact it’s so much easier to use an epilator without a cord getting in the way. You can pass it back and forth around and under your legs without getting tangled up in the cord or pulling the cord out of the wall.
The curse? If it’s not charged, you’re not epilating. The Braun Silk Epil-7 SkinSpa will absolutely not work if it’s plugged in. This, of course, is to protect you from an electric shock if you try to use it in the shower or bath plugged in!
Just make sure it’s charged when you need it, and enjoy the blessing of cordless epilation.
Besides cordless operation, another feature that affects ease of use dramatically is the light that Braun have added to highlight any hairs you may have missed. These hairs are usually difficult to see, and maybe hard to feel as well if you’re epilating in the shower. The added light makes a big difference to getting an all-over smooth finish.
The only concern we have regarding the unit’s value is that it can’t be used plugged in. As we’ve said earlier, there are two sides to this. The final point about this is that once the battery fails (and sadly, it uses the kind of battery that will eventually stop holding an effective charge), you’ll need a new epilator.
Other than that (an this issue is hardly restricted to the Silk Epil-7 SkinSpa), this epilator offers solid value, with good performance for the price.