beauty

You can now laser your underarms and bikini line... without leaving the house.

Just FYI this post is not sponsored. I just have some genuine feelings about this product. 

Guys, no.

The future is now and I like it very much.

When I first heard that there were actual products on the actual market that claimed to perform laser hair removal from HOME I thought that sounded a) made up and b) potentially dangerous.

“Should I really be operating anything more complex than a razor?” I thought to myself. I have trouble turning my washing machine on on a good day, so anything with buttons sounded… scary.

And then I encountered first hand the Philips Lumea Prestige IPL hair removal device and now it’s all I talk about.

Allow me to explain.

The device is shaped almost like a hairdryer, with a little screen on the end where the laser comes out.

Using what Philips call “innovative, light-based technology (Intense Pulsed Light IPL)”, the cycle of hair regrowth is broken.

Gentle pulses of light hit the root of the hair, preventing it from growing back.

As a result of lots of research and application in salons for years, technology has now been developed which allows idiots like me to perform it from home. And I don’t think you could stuff it up if you tried.

WAIT. How much does the Philips Lumea Prestige device cost?

It’s not cheap. But I’d argue it is economical.

You can buy the Philips Lumea Preside IPL hair removal device on Beauty Expert for $637 right here.

They sell at Myer, Harvey Norman, Appliances Online and Amazon.

You can buy a very similar version of the product, also from Philips, at The Shaver Shop for $599 right here.

So – that’s a lot of money to commit to. But you can, with one product, laser your bikini line, underarms, arms, legs and face. Even if you go to a salon, women find that some hair starts to grow back – so it’s pretty handy to own this device for future reinforcement.

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laser
This is how you place the device on your skin. Probably don't do it through ripped jeans but each to their own.

How do you use the Philips Lumea Prestige device?

Here is my idiot's guide to using the Philips Lumea Prestige device:

  1. Shave the area. I wanted to do my bikini line and underarms first, so shaved and made sure there weren't any bumps or abrasions as they can be irritated by laser.
  2. Make sure you've got the right attachment. You know how if you want to blow dry your fringe you've gotta put that attachment on the end? Yeah. Like that. They're clearly labelled, and basically there's a different attachment depending on whether you want to do underarms, legs, bikini line or face.
  3. Turn the machine on. There's an 'on' button - should be no problems.
  4. This is the part where the INBUILT SmartSkin sensor decides what level of laser it should apply to your skin. There are five different settings. Find the button with the magnifying glass on it, then place the machine on your skin. Not a few centimetres away from it, but on it. 
  5. The sensor will do a scan and in a matter of seconds decide what level it should apply to you. I have fair skin with dark hair in those areas, so mine went straight to level five. WOOHOO. You then press the confirmation button (V) to lock it in. Easy.
  6. Things are about to get fun, please.
  7. Hold the machine onto your skin and wait for the light to flash. When it does, press the big button (it's sort of like the trigger on the gun... soz but it is) and BOOM laser comes out.
  8. Before you get too excited, do a patch test. I did a little area on my underarm just to make sure I didn't a reaction.
  9. Then GO WILD. Move the machine along the area you're concentrating on. You can make the flash go automatically, but with such small areas I just did it manually. So slide the machine to the next patch, and push the trigger again. And again.
  10. Repeat.
laser hair removal
These are the buttons. There are five levels, a power button, and the tick is there to lock in your level.
laser lumea
The laser... screen thing is at the front, and the long button below is how you administer the laser.
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Does the Philips Lumea Prestige device hurt?

This was obviously my number one question.

And the answer is: no. It does not.

It feels like an elastic band, or a small flick. It hurts less than plucking your eyebrows, and there is no pain in the seconds afterwards.

When I stub my toe on the leg of a table I faint because THAT IS HOW SENSITIVE I AM TO PAIN. And this rated like... a one out of 10 on the pain scale.

Does the Philips Lumea Prestige device actually work?

YES LOOK AT MA ARMPITS.

It's amazing. I've used the device twice on my underarms, and noticed results after the first use.

Usually I'd have to shave my underarms once every two days if it's summer/I'm going to Pilates, which is super inconvenient. I used to get them waxed, but it really, really hurts. But point is, after I laser-ed them once, I noticed that the hair did not grow back for days. I kept going to fix 'em up and not needing to.

THIS IS FREEDOM.

Underarms, according to Philips' testing, is the most effective area to treat. The hair is dark and the skin is light - which is ideal for laser.

After two uses, I'm shaving my underarms about once a week. On top of being incredibly convenient, it's also made a real difference to my skin. I have really sensitive skin that is prone to ingrown hairs and irritation, and now I have none. The skin is completely smooth and you can't even see the hair follicles. IT'S MAGIC.

The result on my bikini line hasn't been as dramatic as my underarms but I'm still incredibly impressed.

The hair isn't growing back for days, and I no longer have any irritation.

Here's the thing about hair removal...

I've been tending to my bikini line and underarm hair for 15 years, and I'm over it.

When I picked up this device, I was sick of fiddling with my bikini bottoms at the beach, or throwing on a top and thinking "Ah, shit, when was the last time I shaved under my arms?"

It's just a mental load I'm sick of carrying.

I cannot tell you the relief of not having to worry every single day about body hair. It's freeing. And ultimately, I feel far more comfortable in my body.

It's a lot of money but, damn, it's good.

P.S. If you like other beauty reviews/advice, get Mamamia's You Beauty podcast in your ears below. It's bloody good.

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