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Laser update: bikini line

In a previous post I mentioned the new course of laser hair removal that I am doing. It’s going very well, and it’s time to give you an update.

I’ve had one more session on the face since then, but this post is an update on how successful the sessions on the tummy and bikini line have been.

[WARNING: NSFW pics]

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Posted by on December 9, 2017 in Hair Removal, Photos, Uncategorized

 

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More laser hair removal (pew pew anew!)

More laser hair removal (pew pew anew!)

In a previous post I mentioned that I was re-commencing laser hair removal after 3+ years, and since then I have had several sessions so I thought it was worth posting an update for those that are interested.

I’m going to go into some fairly intimate detail, so if you might be offended by such things then you may want to skip this post.

But, if you’re happy with it, then read on…

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Posted by on November 11, 2017 in Hair Removal, Health and Beauty

 

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Review: Homedics Mē Plus

Me My Elos Plus

Manufacturer: HoMedics
Product: Mē Plus (also known as the HoMedics Me My Elos Plus)
EAN: 4051123000848
RRP: £449
Price: Around £200

Introduction

This is a review of the Mē Plus by HoMedics, a home permanent hair removal system using a combination of IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) and RF (Radio Frequency) technologies.

I bought this in Costco for £179.98, which included Costco’s current special offer of £18 (£15+VAT) off the usual price of £197.99. I bought it because, although I have had quite a lot of professional Laser Hair Removal (as regular readers of this blog will know), I do have problem areas of regrowth including my face, and I thought that for less than the cost of one session of laser, this item might save me some money.
I confess that this was a bit of an impulse (no pun intended) purchase and I did not do any research on it or read any reviews beforehand.

Disclaimer: I have not been paid for this review, nor received any remuneration, discounts, or reward for writing it. I have no connection whatsoever with the manufacturer. I bought the product myself with my own money, and as such this is an honest and independent review. All opinions are my own.

 

Overview

I’m not going to go into great detail about what this product does and how it works, because that information is freely available all over the internet. Suffice to say that this product uses Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) in conjunction with Radio Frequency (RF) to zap your hairs, giving semi-permanent hair removal (no hair removal treatment is truly permanent). Although very similar to Laser Hair Removal, IPL does not use a laser but uses something analogous to a high intensity camera flash gun. The effects are much the same though.

Unlike all-in-one rechargeable products like the Philips Lumea range, the Mē Plus is corded; it consists of a base station that is plugged into the wall, and then a corded flasher unit that is permanently attached to the base station.

The instructions say that it is not suitable for use on the male face since it may cause “patchy beard growth”. I have chosen to ignore this as I want to totally eliminate my facial hair and have had many sessions of professional Laser Hair Removal on my face already and am no longer able to grow a beard. So I figure the warning doesn’t really apply to me. 🙂

It’s worth noting that although the lamp is good for around 150,000 pulses, it is expensive to replace when it does go. A replacement “Quartz” lamp costs around £100-£150 depending on seller.
The lamp for the non-Plus models are much cheaper but also are rated for far, far fewer pulses making them actually poorer value for money.

There are various accessories available at additional cost – a shaver, an epilator, and a facial adaptor. The latter allows for more focussed single zaps to the face, although the manual points out that you can zap the face without it though. Some research online suggests that the shaver and epilator are readily available, but the facial adaptor is harder to find, and appears to merely blank off half of the flash window and reprogram the on/off button to be one flash per press.

 

Unboxing

The Mē comes in a square box.

The box

The box

Slipping the sleeve off it reveals a shrink-wrapped plain white cardboard box with everything neatly packed inside.

Neatly packed

Neatly packed

Inside is a thick instruction manual, the unit itself, some sunbed goggles, a cleaning brush, a power cord and two blanking guards – one for the accessory slot and the other for the flash unit. Presumably the latter allows you to use the shaver or epilator accessory without the flash unit, if you so wish. The accessory slot guard is pre-fitted to the head, whilst the flash unit guard is supplied loose.

Contents laid out

Contents laid out

Looking through the instruction manual reveals that only a very small proportion of it is actually in English and hence relevant. The picture shows the relative proportions – the English is the thin collection of pages on the left (obviously).

User Guide thinner than it looks

User Guide thinner than it looks

The ‘sunbed goggles’ are two heavily tinted lenses threaded onto a length of elastic. The elastic was secured with a tight knot of itself, rather than a cable tie, and I found it extremely fiddly to unpick this knot.

 

In use

Upon switching the power on, a fan in the base station immediately comes on and this appears to stay on permanently.

When the power button on the head is pressed, it too starts a fairly noisy cooling fan. It will not start flashing until the flash window is pressed against the skin, at which point it will start regularly flashing with a visual intensity similar to a camera flash gun. I’d suggest that at the minimum, you would want to wear sunglasses to protect against this.

I started out on the lowest of the 3 intensity settings, and felt none of the ‘being flicked with an elastic band’ feeling that I am used to from Laser. Moving up from Low to Medium to High, I still felt nothing other than a feeling of physical heat from the flash unit. I did notice that on the highest setting it flashed less frequently than on the lowest setting.

Initially I tried it on my tummy, since I have hairs there that I want to zap. Usually this is a moderately painful area when I have laser, but I felt no pain whatsoever. Next up was my bikini line, which is usually even more painful since some of the hairs are quite coarse and deep there. But, again, it was completely painless and the only sensation was of the skin getting slightly warm. There was the faintest smell of singed hair, so it must have done something but I did not hear or feel the familiar ‘snap, crackle & pop’ that you get with Laser. Finally, I put the sunbed goggles on and did my facial hair. With the Laser this is excruciatingly painful and I can only cope with one flash at a time, but with the Mē I didn’t feel a thing.

 

Conclusion

If pain is anything to go by, then I don’t know how successful this product is going to be. Obviously it is far too early to tell how effective it actually will turn out be though. And, equally obviously, it is going to be a number of weeks before I see the results from using it.

Just like with Laser, it is very hard to know where you have done and where you have not. When I have Laser, the Therapist draws a grid on me with white eyeliner pencil so that she knows where she has been. I will be doing the same for myself. I didn’t in this instance as this was just a test run.

I will post an update in a few weeks when I have something more to report.

 

Where to buy

All prices correct at time of writing.

Note that there is a cheaper version available (which looks the same) that does not include the word “Plus”. Be sure to compare like-with-like when making price comparisons!

CostCo: £179.98 Special offer – usually £197.99
Amazon: £229.95
eBay: £249.99
Boots: n/a Not available. The more expensive Pro Ultra is £349
Argos: £399.99

Note: Costco price is the in-store price. You need to be a Costco member, or the guest of a member, to buy.

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2014 in Hair Removal, Health and Beauty

 

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Heads up: Home IPL on special offer at Costco

Heads up Costco members who want to give IPL hair removal a go.

Costco currently have the HoMedics Mē Plus (also known as the Homedics Me My Elos Plus) on offer at £18 off the usual price, making it £179.99 rather than the usual £197.99 (all prices include VAT). This is an in-store price available to Costco members and appears in this month’s vouchers book. You don’t need to have a copy of the book – the discount is applied automatically – but you do need to be either a Costco member, or the guest of a Costco member, in order to buy.

By contrast, Amazon’s best price is around £229 and the RRP is £449.

I have bought one, but I don’t yet know if it’s any good as I haven’t tried it yet – will probably give it a go on the weekend and I will publish a full review then.

Me My Elos Plus

HoMedics Me My Elos Plus

 


Update

I have now tried it out, and my initial review is now available here.

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2014 in Hair Removal, Health and Beauty, Shopping

 

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Pew Pew Anew!

Smells like victory.

It’s been almost 5 months since I had my final session of laser, and in the intervening time I have kept an eye on how successful it has been. On the whole it’s been pretty good; an awful lot of my hair appears to be gone. However, I have had some regrowth.

On my arms and legs it has been limited to individual hairs here and there; nothing that a couple of minutes with a razor wouldn’t sort out. Likewise with my underarms. My tummy was a whole different story though and has had pretty much total regrowth (albeit sparser and thinner). My bikini line likewise. My chest has suffered some regrowth too, albeit not to the same extent as my tummy. And on my face, there has been some return – not enough that I can grow anything more than salt & pepper stubble after almost a week but definitely enough that girl mode still needs a lot of foundation to cover the shadow.

So, I decided it was time to have a 7th session of laser and made the booking. I had the session today.

The girl who did the treatment was an emergency stand-in who had come over from another branch because the regular girl was ill. This didn’t bother me too much as I have only had one session with the regular girl as the ones I started out with have both left now so I have no real attachment to anyone.

She suggested we ramped up the intensity since the notes said I coped fine with the previous settings; something I was very happy to do as I was just about to ask for that. So right away I felt we were on the same page. And, indeed, it very quickly became clear that she was very competent, thorough and fastidious. I got a very definite sense of her doing a proper job and not skimming over things in a hurry, which is something I can’t say for the girl I had last time who did the whole body in record time. When I posted about it at the time I said that I thought she had done a good job but I can see now, with comparison and with hindsight, that she rushed it rather.

The more intense settings were extremely painful at times, and we had quite a bit of ‘snap, crackle & pop’ and a definite smell of burnt hair in the air. Smelled like victory.

Another thing that was pretty cool about this therapist is that pretty much nothing phased her. I tentatively asked if she’d zap my bum crack and perineum and, without even blinking, she said she was happy to do that, which is totally awesome. I’d already shaved myself down to a neat triangle and, um, also in the areas I just mentioned (I’m probably giving TMI here) and she just zapped my bikini line to where I’d shaved and also the aforementioned (blushes). As I said earlier, she was very fastidious which means I am a little sore because hairs got zapped that have never been zapped before. But it was so worth it.

For my chest and face, she dropped to a smaller spot size but put the intensity up even further to compensate. The chest didn’t hurt much but the face was excruciating and we did it in little zaps with rests in between. She also zapped hairs on my underchin and neck which I realise now, with hindsight, that the previous therapists missed. So, as I said, this girl was *really* thorough. I mentioned this to her by way of compliment and feedback, and she said that she likes to provide a level of service that she would want to have if someone was doing it to her, and also she doesn’t like to waste customers’ money. Amen to that – I wish more people had that attitude. She also said that she wished she had my pain threshold to do the entire body at once. I have to say, I’ve never considered myself to have a particularly high pain threshold. But I can be pretty determined when I want something and I have quite a lot of mental fortitude, so I just deal with the pain because I know it is transient and it is worth it. I don’t think I would cope well with systemic or chronic pain though.

Finally, and this is a first, she got me to sit up so she could check the tops of my shoulders and did some final zappage there. So, just to say this one more time, she was *really* thorough and fastidious. I really felt like I got good value for money on this one.

It turns out that the branch she usually works at is actually closer and more convenient for me. The only reason I go to the branch that I do is for historical reasons; it’s because a good friend recommended them and was able to get me a referral discount there too. But the people that my friend recommended are long gone now so I have nothing to keep me going back there. I’ve therefore asked for my records to be transferred to her branch so that I can get her again.

Right now I’m a little sore but extremely happy about today. I’m looking forward to seeing what the long term effects of today’s session will be. Certainly I am left wondering where I would be now if my previous 6 sessions had been done to this standard.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on June 7, 2014 in Diary, Hair Removal

 

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Lean times

As you can see, there hasn’t been a lot of activity on my blog for a little while.
This is mostly down to the fact that there hasn’t been a lot of activity in my t-life either; the muse has not been upon me (so to speak). Also I’ve been out of work for a few months (I’m self-employed and business is a bit quiet at the moment. I’m not on the dole or anything).

Now I know what some t-girl readers will be thinking right now, which is “Awesome! Dress as often as you want”, but that’s half the problem; I’m at the stage in my t-life where just getting dressed for no other reason than to do it just feels like a completely pointless faff and I literally can’t be bothered – I need to be doing it for a reason. Often that reason is to go out shopping, but since I have tightened my belt until I am earning again, that’s not really an option. Besides, I kind of have enough clothes and shoes at the moment (I never thought I would say that!!). Another reason is to go up to London for a Way Out Club meet, but again, finances don’t really allow at the moment – the petrol, admission and drinks prices soon add up. So that’s sort of on hold too.

I’m not sure what it implies for me to be where I am on this; I don’t believe that it means that I am tiring of the whole girl thing. I think it is more a case of it being so ‘normal’ for me that I would no more dress for no reason in girl mode than I would in guy mode, if that makes any sense. Or maybe I have just become very lazy. I don’t know.

In other news, my pierced ears have been a total success. I can sleep overnight without studs in and the studs slip in without fuss in the morning. Previously there would be a feeling of breaking a seal when putting them back in after having none in overnight, as they were starting to heal up in just that short time. But no longer. Yay!

On the depilation front, I’ve got odd hairs growing here and there everywhere, but for the legs, arms and chest none are noticeable enough to matter. And any that are noticeable can be quickly swept off with a disposable razor used dry. My face is still proving an issue though – the upper lip and chin are seeing some regrowth which is quite annoying. I will need at least another session of laser, maybe more, to sort that out and then electrolysis. I don’t want to start electrolysis until all the dark hairs are gone though.
Considering the cost of laser hair removal, and how just one whole body session is a comparable in price to buying a home IPL machine outright, I’m considering the latter. Then I can just keep zapping that upper lip until I beat it into submission. Something to look into when I am earning again I think.

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2014 in Diary, Hair Removal

 

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The final “pew pew” (for now)

Today I had my sixth and final full body laser hair removal session. That’s not to say this is the last time I’ll have laser, but it is the final session of the six full body sessions that I paid for up front in exchange for a discount.

Cynosure Elite

Cynosure Elite

For this session I was with a new girl who I had not had before, as the two that I had built a rapport with have both left for pastures new. However, this girl (whose name I did not get) was extremely efficient, professional, confident and quick. It look quite a bit less time than in previous sessions to do the whole body and the professionalism extended to having absolutely no hangups about zapping wherever I wanted to be zapped (*blushes*).

On the whole, it hurt a little less than previous sessions although the chest and tummy were still rather painful. And, of course, the face was really painful but a little better than previously. As with last time, we used the same 15mm spot size on the face as we used on the body, only she stretched the skin on my upper lip (the most painful part) with her fingers before zapping me, and also rubbed / massaged my skin with her fingers between zaps. This seemed to make a huge difference to the pain (or perceived pain anyway). I mean, yes, it still really hurt but it somehow seemed more bearable.

One little thing that did make me giggle was this little snippet of conversation:

*crackle* 
"Some of your hairs popped right out of their follicles"
"Um, that's good, yeah?"
"Oh yes!"
15mm

15mm

We finished up in record time; just over 90 mins I think it was, compared with the 2+ hours it usually takes. Yet I didn’t feel like this girl was rushing; she was just very efficient and confident. I did tell her so, and she thanked me for the compliment, although I’m convinced it all came out wrong and that I sounded like an idiot. Oh well.

Now that this course of six is over, I am going to take some time out to review the results and keep an eye on the regrowth. Then I can decide what areas need further treatment, and how often.

From shaving myself in the bath this morning, I can say that my arms and legs are pretty much hairless now apart from the odd rogue hair here and there. Certainly I would not need to shave them before going out, although for a special occasion I might carefully examine them and take off any stray hairs with a dry disposable razor.

My chest and tummy are likewise, apart from a couple of hairy moles which can’t be lasered. But. again, the razor will take care of that. My chest has been a particular success as before I was pretty much denied low tops as no matter what hair removal I used on my chest (I tried waxing, depilatory cream, shaving and an epilator*) I would end up sore, red, blotchy and, in some cases, bleeding. But no more. Yay!

My back was never particularly hairy, although hairy enough I would think twice about wearing a dress or top that showed it. No such worries now.

Finally, my face. Sadly my facial hair was a bit ‘salt and pepper’ (with maybe a hint of blonde) before and, whilst the laser has eliminated all the pepper, the salt is unfortunately still there. This means that although pretty much all the dark hairs have gone, I don’t have a smooth & hairless face. The inescapable fact is that I will need to have extensive electrolysis in order to finish the job and that is really going to hurt.

Would I recommend this to others? I would, but with certain caveats. The results will depend on your hair colour and skin type. I am very lucky in that I have dark hair and fair skin, so I am absolutely perfect for it. What would have been even more perfect is if I’d done this 10 years ago before I started getting any grey hairs, but there’s not much I can do there. But if you are suitable, and can afford it, then go for it. Certainly I have no regrets.

 


Footnote

* – I am of the opinion that the epilator should be banned under a special meeting of the Geneva Convention as a “cruel and unusual punishment” and banned from sale or use.

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2014 in Diary, Hair Removal

 

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Zap, Crackle and Pop

On Saturday I had another session of laser hair removal, and since this was session 5 of 6, I wanted to see some real progress. That’s not to say that there hasn’t been huge progress already; far from it. My legs and arms are pretty much hairless apart from the odd little clump of hairs, or lone stray hairs, or soft downy hairs. On my chest and tummy there are more clumps. Nothing that is too much of a problem, but when you’ve made as much progress as I have then what is left becomes more noticeable and annoying. It’s the Law of Diminishing Returns, of course.

The one area where I really wanted to hit things hard was the face as it’s proving particularly stubborn. Last session I decided I could have taken more to the face and we were treading too softly. No pain, no gain as the saying goes. So this session I asked for the same 15mm spot size as we’d used on the body, and the same intensity.

“This is going to hurt”, said the therapist.

Well, no kidding. It was extremely painful. Imagine, if you will, being stabbed in the face with a heated needle. Now, imagine multiple needles in a 15mm disc and you have some idea of what it felt like. We had to take frequent breaks and I had to tell her several times not to turn the intensity down because it was clear it was *really* hurting me.

After we had finished, it felt like I had been slapped in the face several times and my face felt stingy, sore, and the skin felt taut. It was far worse and more intense than previous sessions, but that’s because we’d previously gone for a smaller spot size and a lower intensity.

Writing this on the following Monday evening, I still have some discomfort in the face and still have some red blotchiness, so it’s clear that I really got zapped far harder on Saturday than in previous sessions. Hopefully that will show some good results though.

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2013 in Diary, Hair Removal

 

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Pew! Pew! Swipe! Swipe!

A couple of days ago (ie. Saturday) I had another session of laser hair removal. Nothing much to report really – it hurt like hell as usual, and it took two hours as usual. I’m definitely showing progress though, with large areas of my body completely hairless now apart from annoying little clumps here and there. But my face, especially the upper lip, is still stubbornly refusing to die off although hair growth has been much reduced. But I can definitely see me having to have further sessions on the face beyond the six I pre-paid, and I’ll probably need electrolysis too in order to get the light-coloured hairs that the laser cannot get at.

Jane Norman dress

Jane Norman dress

Whilst I was in Epsom, which is where I go to for the laser, I did a little shopping. I don’t enjoy shopping half as much when in guy mode, but I’m confident enough in myself that I have absolutely no problems buying girl stuff when presenting as a guy. I find staff are generally completely fine with it; they either assume I’m buying for a girlfriend or simply don’t care. Besides, a sale is a sale isn’t it?

Anyway, I saw this absolutely gorgeous sweater dress in House of Fraser in the Jane Norman concession. Unfortunately it was full price and a little more than I would want to pay, as it was £32, but I absolutely adored it. I think it will look fantastic with a pair of leggings or thick tights, and knee length boots.

What I didn’t realise is that it is 10% Angora. I’m allergic to animal hair on the whole, especially cats, and also I don’t tend to wear wool as it makes me itch. So I’m hopeful that I’m not allergic to Angora hair or else this could be the only garment I own that requires me to take antihistamines in order to wear it. ha ha

Now, really I shouldn’t have bought that as I’m trying to cut back on my spending at the moment. So I certainly shouldn’t have bought my other purchase. But, again, it was one of those “I must have that” things. I went into Jones Bootmaker and I saw these Timberland boots and fell in love with them because they are exactly what I have been looking for.

Timberland Boots

Timberland Boots

There was a little bit of confusion with the member of staff when I asked if they had them in my size. She went away, and after a while came back with them in a box and moved as if to take me to the till. I said I’d like to try them on, and she apologised and went away again and came back with another one. Presumably those were the ‘trying on’ pair. So I thanked her as she handed them to me, and casually said that I knew I wasn’t really dressed for buying ladies stuff that day but the boots were so nice I had to. A little light bulb went on over her head, and then I tried them on and walked around the shop in them not caring what anyone thought about me.

They fit perfectly and were really comfortable, so a purchase was made.

The boots are waterproof (as you would expect from Timberland), and as you can see from the photo on the right, the lower part of the zip opening is sealed so stepping in puddles should not be a worry. With the weather we are having in the UK right now, that could be a distinct advantage!

The leather is heavily grained and feels very sturdy, but is also butter soft. I think it may be Nubuck from the texture of it and the way it’s almost suede-like when you stroke it. Naturally when I got them home I gave them several coats with Scotchgard-equivalent generic “Leather, Suede and Nubuck Protector” spray.

I adore the lace detail on the back, and also the fact that it’s functional as well because it’s not lacing; it is elastic. It’s a lovely little design detail.

Price-wise, they were equivalent in price to my DUO boots. However, Jones were running a £20-off offer which lessened the financial sting a little bit.

I can’t wait to wear both the sweater dress and the boots, and I think they will go really go well together. I plan to wear them this Saturday when I go up to London for another session of Voice Therapy.

 

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Pew!Pew! Six

laser-symbolI had another session of laser yesterday. It hurt just as much as the last one but I just gritted my teeth and got on with it. The pain is only transitory and the redness and swelling goes down really quickly with me. By the time I left I didn’t even look like I’d had laser, even on my face. I guess I’m really lucky there because some people are inflamed and blotchy for several days after.

I’m really pleased with how it’s going so far. My arms are completely hairless now, as are my legs apart from the odd rogue hair here and there. My back is also looking really good too, to the extent that I’m now confident about wearing tops and dresses that show your back. My tummy and chest are pretty good too, although there are little clumps of hairs here and there still. Hopefully this latest session will have nobbled some of those. We’ll see over the next few weeks.

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2013 in Diary, Hair Removal, Out & About

 

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