I have more body hair than is generally considered decent, hence my interest in anything that might aid my daily fuzz cull (though god in all his mercy has spared me the misery of a full beard and tache). Waxing (and all things related) is generally the most effective way to tear our the hair, but if you're tired of having to let your leg hair grow long enough for plaiting corn rows, an epilator could be the thing for you. Daily shaving leaves me with a five o' clock shadow, while creams are useless and result in a horrendous stench that lasts for days. Epilators, meanwhile, merrily harvest your leg hair, plucking away efficiently until you can again see the colour of your skin. But then of course there's the pain. It's basically a much slower version of waxing, with each hair being torn from its follicle in turn, which is why the brains at Philips have been turning their attention to designing more painless epilators.
First up is the Satinelle Massage. This comes with a massage attachment which basically pummels your skin after it's been plucked, effectively removing some of the pain by using a mother-style "rub it better" technique. It also has the added benefit of being a rechargeable cordless unit and the one I got sent came with a shaver head attachment, one of those body puff things and a storage case.
Next is the Satin Ice, which has an icey attachment designed to numb away the pain. You store it in the freezer and pop it on come hair removal day. It also comes with a shaver head, and exfoliating head and a carry case.
In the name of science I tested both epilators and discovered that the pain isn't too bad the second time around (although those not already used to waxing may find it worse). Neither managed to get all the hair in one go, and my preference was for the pummeling Massage rather than the freezing Ice. Although I'd say that waxing is still going to give you a lot smoother and more reliable finish, these things are great either as interim options, or for those like me who just can't get a regular waxing regime together. I'm not entirely convinced that they take out the full root either, but it's still much better than shaving or cream, and since the hair doesn't grow back in a day I'm happy. Both come in at around the £50 mark.
Word of caution: at no point should you even consider using one of these things on your armpits or your bush. Even if you're good with pain. Just don't do it. I speak from experience.