I pondered through this age, and eventually just went for it, I'd been looking into them and so I am now the proud owner of an epilator.
I chose the Braun Silk-Epil, mainly because (up until then) it was the best I'd seen, but had previously been too expensive. Plus, it states you can use it in water & it claims to remove hair as long as a grain of sand. It has a 'smart light' which focuses in on the pesky hairs that try and get away from being removed & has two speed settings, supposedly for 'comfort' and precision.
The Pain Part...
For those that still may be in the dark, epilating is basically numerous mechanical tweezers that pull the hairs out from the root. It doesn't sound pretty does it?
After continued use, it got easier. The first is the worst, and every other use that follows, it gets a little bit easier.
The Hair Removal Part...
On the first use, on the precision setting it got pretty much every hair with two runs over the same area. As hair grows at different rates, it's unlikely you'll get every single stub.
The first use lasted for a week before it absolutely had to be used again. I try and do it at least once a week, just to keep on top of it & hopefully reduce the hair growth, but I'll tell you now, it definitely lasts longer than shaving from the outset.
The hair as short of a sand removal is a complete myth in my opinion. You're still left with tiny visible stumps of hair and you can feel some slight stubble no matter how many times you go over the same area.
The Unique Points...
Smart Light; Designed to scout out all the hairs that can be removed, but is also useful for when you use it at night, because even with a normal light on, it's very easy to miss strips of hair. It's particularly useful for behind the knees.
Multi Speeds; This has two speed settings, speed 1 is meant for comfort, but to me it's just a slower, just as painful setting that misses a lot of the hairs.
The second is the 'precision' setting, designed to get every hair - this is the only one I use, apart from my first use when I began braving myself into it, but noticed it wasn't doing too much...
Wet & Dry Use; This epilator can be used dry or in the shower or bath. I started out try, but did trial it in the water. I assumed the water would offer a bit of comfort, which it did, but only a little and it was a lot less precise especially in the shower. If you do a really thorough job, the comfort of the water might help, but to me the extra effort isn't worth it.
It was around the £80 mark, on offer, which yes, is still expensive, but is something you're going to have to pay. The cheapest I've seen an epilator was £40 and that was a relatively old model.
The £80 includes 'pre epilation' wipes, which get your legs clean of every scrap of dirt, to avoid the device clogging up - something which you want to avoid, to get maximum use. Also, multiple attachments for various parts of the body, and a regular shaver head. So you're effectively getting two products in one.
Is It Worth It?
Although I never really look forward to using the device, I'm definitely an epilating convert. It takes a bit of extra time (slow and steady is a lot more effective than rushing it) but in the long run, is probably less time consuming than shaving.
I'm in it for the long haul as I'm convinced it will reduce my hair growth, just like waxing my eyebrows has done.
You just need to get over the initial pain barrier, then you'll see how worthwhile it is.
In my opinion it's worth the money & you'll be getting your worth out of it over the years. I really recommend it if you can never really be bothered to smooth your legs with shaving.