Update from 2014 is at the bottom of the original review :)
2011: I purchased the Remington EP6010 Silky&Smooth Epilator from Walmart for $30. I have really dense, thick, dark fast-growing hair and extremely sensitive skin--a hair removal nightmare. My hair has plagued me for almost a decade and I'm sick of shaving daily or growing out my hair to wax. This epilator has been the best purchase I made all year, I wish I had got it sooner!
Why this epilator is a good product for me:
Quick hair removal - took me 30 minutes per leg below the upper knee. About 15 minutes per arm. Haven't tried my upper leg or bikini yet, but will be once the hair grows out again.
Plug in - no need for batteries or recharging in order to use. No risk of the epilator dying mid-leg. Use right out of the box.
Two speeds - for thick and thin hair. I found there was no difference in sensation, though the faster speed removed hair quicker. The slower speed is good for bony areas like your hands and knees.
Pressure sensor - epilator slows down when you press too hard to your skin. There's no risk of pinching yourself. I had no problems while using it, and don't believe it's possible to hurt yourself using this. (Some epilators have been known to pinch.)
Noise - this epilator isn't as noisy as some. I watch TV or put on music to cover up the noise, which also helps pass the time.
Pain - the initial sensation is similar to waxing, but after a minute I hardly noticed anymore. Because my hair is so dense and thick, I probably experienced more of a sensation than most women would with this product. I don't find the sensation is hard to handle and I actually enjoy it after a bit.
Short growth time - I only have to wait 2 to 4 days for my hair to grow out before I can use the epilator. Perfect. Then my legs are smooth for over a month, with few retouches.
All in all, the Remington epilator was a 5/5 star purchase and worth every penny. I have recommended it to my friends, and if this one ever dies, I will buy a new one asap. For anyone who suffers from annoying and difficult hair like me, this product is a godsend. My boyfriend loves how lovely my legs are now and I don't have to suffer the embarrassment of shaving once or twice a day to keep them smooth for him. Not to mention I can wear shorts and skirts again without having dark undergrowth dots show on my skin....And no more razor burn!!!
So I've been using this product for almost 4 years now and here are some new things I have to say about it. Overall, it's still the best hair removal product I've ever used. I use it a couple times a month all over my body (legs, thighs, bikini, arms, underarms etc). I still have to shave after using the product unless I spend more time letting hair grow out (over a week, which is comparable to waxing wait time) but because I usually wait only 3 or 4 days, there are short hairs that can't be caught by the epilator. This is fine for me because my hair is so densely populated on these areas of my body, the epilator helps me greatly reduce the amount of time spent shaving anyway(and I get a lot less or no razor burn).
Some cons that I've noticed over the years that are specific to my skin problems and use:
I get a lot of ingrown hairs and clogged follicles (I always get them, even years before I ever waxed, shaved or epilated because my skin is whack and crazy sensitive), but I find they like to show up about 2 days after I epilate. I don't always exfoliate before and after I epilate, but this step is absolutely needed if you have finicky skin like mine. I've realized now that I need to exfoliate daily with a loofah and possibly also get an astringent/chemical exfoliate.
If you have paper thin areas of skin (like around the bikini crease, or stretch marks), be super cautious and stretch the skin as much as you can, or avoid these areas. If I'm not careful, these delicate areas can be pinched by the tweezers. I've never been cut by it but it can result in a small blood bruise beneath the skin. This has only ever happened when I was careless going over some stretch marks that I have near my bikini line and abdomen.
Be careful not to drop or tap (bang) the epilator against surfaces. This causes the little metal balls (in head of the epilator which I believe help it rotate) to become misaligned or dislodged. This can cause the epilator to heat up or become a pinching risk. I replaced the epilator when this happens.
It's happened with both epilators I purchased (both around 1.5-2 years old), but it's because I was tapping them against a chair to dislodge baby powder buildup because I didn't want to take the time to shut it off and clean it properly with the including brush.
The lifespan of this product is at least 2 years with rough, continuous use. With gentle care, lifespan is estimated to be 3-5 years of use. For a cost of $30 to $40, it's a stellar deal. I believe this product is best for people who have troublesome hair woes and want to reduce visible dark hair after shaving and speed up daily hair management--where only shaving just doesn't cut it! Ladies with blessed sparse, light, slow growing hair--this product may be a waste of your time.
Overall, after 4 years, this is a product I will continue to purchase until the day that I magically don't grow leg hair comes around.