Last updated on August 15th, 2018 by Garrick Dee
In a previous review, I looked at the Braun Silk Epil 9 that was one of the most high tech and expensive epilators available in the market.
That product is as versatile as any that’s out there with attachments for removing hair on the face, legs, armpits and privates.
If you can spend upwards of $100 then it is a worthwhile investment to keep hair at bay.
However if you’re not so willing to spend that amount of cash for a high tech tweezer then the Philips Santinelle Essential HP6401 is a great option.
You don’t need to spend more than a hundred bucks for this as it’ll only cost less than $30!
But there will be some compromises you’ll have to make.
What are those? We’ll find out in this review.
First let’s look at the features of this budget epilator from Philips…
- Compact epilator will work great on legs and body
- Capable of removing hair follicles up to 0.5mm short
- This product comes with a cord so you don’t have to worry about batteries running out
- Two speed settings
- Washable head
- Epilation head comes with 21 tweezers
- 2-year warranty
- One of the cheapest epilators available right now at less than $30!
- Lightweight and compact design
- You don’t have to worry about it running out of battery because it has a plug
- 2 speeds adds flexibility
- Auto-volt convenience
- No option to epilate wet
- Can be painful to use
- Uses plastic gears so there’s some concern of how it’ll hold up long term
- Does not have any cleaning brush
- Not as versatile
What to expect from the Philips Santinelle Essential HP6401?
In the world of epilators, the Philips Santinelle Essential HP6401 is one of the cheapest options available right now.
When you look at its features, this product is pretty basic. And you’ll have to do away with some of the premium features if you’re looking to save some $$$.
Unlike higher end epilators with features like the pivoting head, massage system and the likes, this epilator is bare bones.
One of the biggest advantages of this epilator would be the ergonomics.
This product is easy to use. Philips did a great job at designing the shape of this.
The compact and lightweight design scores high in terms of ergonomics. It comes with a flat design will fit seamlessly on the palm of your hand.
This makes it an ideal travel epilator if you’re a frequent flyer. And you don’t to worry about voltage because this will work on 100 to 220 volt outlets.
This epilator does not come with any batteries. It relies on a 7-foot cord for power. You don’t have to worry about it shutting down.
The absence of a battery allows Philips to make the design as compact as possible because there’s no battery.
But you’ll need to have access to a power source to use this.
I think the 7-foot cord is enough in most cases as you’ll have access to such near the bed or inside the bathroom.
Dry use only
You can only use this epilator on dry skin for safety purposes because it comes with a cord. The inability to use this wet means a more painful epilation experience.
It also does not have the massage feature that the Braun Silk Epil 9 but it’s much cheaper.
Washable epilation head
Even though this doesn’t come with a brush, cleaning this isn’t hard. The epilation head is removable and washable. Just make sure to pat dry it with a clean towel so the tweezers won’t corrode.
Another downside for this epilator would be the low number of tweezers. It only comes with 21 which is one of the lowest numbers for a full sized epilator.
To put that in perspective, the Braun Silk Epil 7 and 9 comes with 72 tweezers as well as the Emojie Ap-18. The lower number of tweezers means it’ll take longer to remove hair follicles versus an epilator with more tweezers.
One unique feature of this variant would be how much tweezer exposure it has. Philips says that this allows it to pluck hair follicles as short as 0.5 mm. This amount of exposure could also mean a more painful plucking experience.
Which body part can I use this epilator on?
The lack of attachments and tools limits the area this epilator can pluck hair on. This would be best used on flat, non-sensitive areas such as the legs, body and arms.
Using this on ultra-sensitive areas such as the pubic area or underarms isn’t the best idea because it’ll be a very painful experience.
If you read the reviews though, there are women who use this on their underarms with success.
The cord can get in the way epilating this area though the compact size allows it to fit on the smaller area of the underarms.
You’d have to have a pretty high pain threshold to use this on these parts.
And don’t ever think of using this on the face because the tweezers can pull the skin.
How does this perform?
To give you an idea how this epilator performs, watch this video…
First thing you’ll notice is how loud this epilator is. It can be annoying but that’ll depend on your preference.
Don’t let the cheap price fool you into thinking that this epilator will not perform well. Even as a budget option this product is more than capable of plucking hair with the best of them.
The key is prep and technique. Since you can’t use this epilator wet, you’ll need to do your part to achieve the best results.
Prior to epilating, you’ll need to take a hot shower and exfoliate. Some even suggest putting baby powder to help facilitate the drying process faster.
Technique also plays a role. You may need to apply a little pressure and move it slowly to allow this to pluck hair. It will take longer to epilate compared to a higher end epilator like a Braun Silk Epil 7.
Striking the balance between applying too much or too little pressure is a skill you’ll need to learn with this. Apply too much then you’ll risk pinching the skin.
What do consumers say?
Lots of women were happy with how the Santinelle Essential was able to pluck hair off various parts of their bodies.
These range from the armpits, legs and arms. Some even used this on their face and private parts though I would not recommend using on those areas.
But I must warn you to expect a level of pain while using this because of how much of the tweezers are exposed.
How much pain?
Well, that would depend on your pain tolerance.
If you have low pain threshold this may not work for you.
There will also be redness so the best time to use this would be at night.
If you’re using this for the first time then expect it to leave red bumps on the skin.
But as your skin gets used to the epilator, the red bumps will not appear on subsequent sessions.
Let me know in the comments section how your skin reacts.
One issue with the metal tweezers would be heat that will heat up over time. Expect this epilator to be loud. Some say that it is as loud as a weed wacker.
Another potential issue long term would be the plastic gears that will wear out faster. But I wouldn’t worry about too much because this product is so cheap. Buying a replacement won’t hurt the wallet as much.
Where can I buy this?
You can buy the Philips Santinelle Essential HP6401 for less than $30 and it is eligible for their 2-day free shipping if you join Prime.
To wrap up
The Philips Santinelle Essential HP6401 is a great option for women looking to epilate the first time.
It’s so cheap that you can buy one for less than a 6 pack cartridge.
The lack of a wet option makes it a little more painful to use than other brands with a wet option.
If you comb through reviews, you’ll notice a number of women saying it isn’t very painful.
I’m thinking maybe that these women have higher pain threshold.
The best areas to use this would be the legs and arms. Other women also use this on their bikini lines and armpits without any issues.
So this tells me it’s a “your mileage may vary” deal. Women who have a low pain threshold will not like this product or epilating in general.
Garrick spends his days researching and writing about grooming. When he’s not in front of his computer, you can find him hanging around with his wife and son.