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I'm posting mostly over at Quirky Cookery right now, where I play with my food and teach you to have fun with it, too. Come check me out?

The Quirky World of Hair Removal (Smooth Away Review)

smooth2.jpg picture by quirkyjessi
(Skip to the summary at the bottom if you don't want the full detailed story of my thoughts along the way of trying it out)

Like I said before, I've waxed, shaved, plucked to my little heart's content. And it's not as if I've had the same razor since I was 13 either. I love trying new things and if a product isn't for me, I feel no reason to keep using it either.

I've tried no less than 2 dozen different razors, including a variety of disposable and electric ones, ones for sensitive skin and dry skin, ones with one blade, two blades, five blades, etc. I've tried heated wax, cold wax, herbal wax (remember Nads?), wax strips. I was lucky and only needed to try (read "lose and then ultimately have to buy a new pair) about six different tweezers before I fell in love with a set. Now I'm sure my opinion is still biased because I've never tried laser hair removal, but I think you get the point that I've had fun/pain with my fair share of hair removal products, right? :P

That also means I was obviously skeptical of Smooth Away. I'd seen it on TV, in magazines, and online all over the place. A little pink pad that just rubs the hair off? Sounded like sandpaper to me, lol. I was expecting to have to write a negative review, to be honest, and was already trying to find positive things to say about it before I even had the little crystal pads stuck on (like how easy the paper was to get a grip on and peel off).

So there I am, in the middle of the living room floor (hey, would you rather me have my laptop in the bathroom? after all, this stuff doesn't require water, so I could do it anywhere, right?), with the box's contents spread out, and pink plastic thing slid onto my hand, and holding my breath. I was expecting sand paper, remember?

I started rubbing, but nothing seemed to be happening. "Great, it's not even going to partially work for me? Or am I going to have to scrub my skin raw to see the effects?" I thought, reaching for the instructions. Well it had obviously been a while since I had seen any of the mini-informercials about Smooth Away, because I had been going up and down on my leg, when it clearly states that you should go in circles. Oops. :(

After correcting my mistake, it actually started to work. So cool! And I wasn't having to scrub either, which would have obviously irritated my skin and made me a very unhappy reviewer. It took some getting used to, but within a few minutes, both legs were hair free (and hey, it's wintertime...it's not like I'm shaving my legs daily as it is either. ;)). All my skepticism went flying out the window and I was grinning about how easy it was going to be to write a review now!

Unfortunately, I cheered to myself too soon. I decided to give my armpits a try, and ouch, ouch, ouch. I don't know what happened....maybe I didn't have my arm twisted in a funky enough position to make the skin tight enough or what....but my underarm was red, itchy, and yelling at me within a few strokes. Yikes. And to top it off, none of the hair was removed (and I 'do' shave there daily, so it can't be blamed on overgrowth...eww :P).

I didn't have any facial hair to try the little pink pad on, but the benefit me being so late with this review is that I got to try out a few more situations using them. The next day, I noticed that I'd missed a little section of hair on my knee, and little finger-held pad was perfect for grabbing it quickly. It'd probably be good on that same note for a quick eyebrow touch-up as well.

Now if you've read this far, bravo! I'm impressed. Most won't, though, so here are the highlights...a quick review...for those whose eyes glazed over, looking at all this text:

smooth3.jpg picture by quirkyjessi

  • Although I probably won't use it to replace my normal shaving routine, I think it's great to have around for touch-ups or missed spots instead of breaking out the water, soap/shaving cream, and razor, for just a little spot of hair.
  • It's also great for those days where you don't have time to take a shower before work or you find yourself headed to the beach, but your legs have the equivalent of a five o'clock shadow, etc. The convenience of it not needing any water or a microwave to heat wax, etc, is great. And for my legs, at least, it didn't make them red or show any sign that I'd just removed hair from there, so great for emergency hair removal. Okay, for the guys reading, you're likely giggling at that, but the women out there know what I mean. :P
  • It irritated my underarms, but it could've just been something I did wrong on my end. Or it could've been that my skin can sometimes be really finicky and sensitive. My advice? Try it out in small sections of your skin if you're unsure. And if you're going to use it on your face, then treat it like you're using wax, and give yourself a few hours' window, just in case it irritates your skin.
  • I haven't been using the hair minimizing lotion long enough to see any noticeable difference, but even so, it makes my legs feel nice and smooth anyway.
  • Because it's actually tiny crystals that are rubbing away the hair, it also gently exfoliates, so yay for multi-tasking!
  • For only $14.99 + shipping, you can get a full set of large and small pads and replacement pads. And you can get another set for free if you just pay the shipping and handling on the second set. It's actually not a bad deal, especially if you know someone else that might want to try them out. I plan to let my mom try out my set, because she said she'd been talking about it with some coworkers, so I'm sure you know some other women who'd like to try it out, too. Certainly much cheaper than a lot of hair removal products.

Erika Jean said...

I heard you can use really fine sandpaper as well. though some people say use water and body wash... depends on where you land when you google!

Anonymous said...

I've seen these commercials, and I'd probably try it if I could buy it at Walgreens or something. I'm just not convinced enough to buy online yet... I'm glad to read a real review, though. It *does* make me feel better about it. :)

Anonymous said...

I use an epilator and it does for about five days, no muss, no fuss, and if you use it regularly it pays for itself with the result. Hurts like the dickens but you kinda get used to it and it leaves the legs excellently smooth.

Okay... sorry for the tmi but since I'm older I have a few strays in the facial area, and did you know your EN-TIRE face is covered in these little fine hairs? You probably did. Well, I found out the epilator removes all those little fine hairs (OUCH) and leaves the problem ones. Go figure.

Sorry to hear you were sick. Glad to hear you're feeling better!

Jessi said...

Oh god, I hate when that happens! I've had the same thing happen with wax before (well not on my face, lol).....and hairs you 'really' want out, just stay put and it pulls out how you didn't even know was there. Gah!

Thanks for stopping by, Lisa. <3

Anonymous said...

Jessi - I got my wish! I went into Rite Aid today for something and they had these on the shelf! I bought one for 9.99 and just tried it out. It's pretty neat! I don't think I could do it all the time, but for touch ups, it's really cool!

Anonymous said...

Oh good! I'm WAY more likely to try it if I can get it at the drug store. Does it last longer than shaving?

Jessi said...

Aww, that's great that you found it. Thanks for stopping back by to say how you liked it. :D

Jenni said...

Does it HURT? I am nervous about anything that rips out hair!

Jessi said...

No, it doesn't rip out the hair! It just rubs it off at the surface. It didn't hurt at all on my legs, but it kinda irritated my underarms (may've been my error, though).

Momisodes said...

I JUST saw the commercial for this and I've been SO CURIOUS ever since. I want to try it.

BUT,...how long does the hair removal last? Is it quick like shaving? Or does it last a bit longer like waxing?

Thanks so much for posting this!

Jessi said...

It claims to last longer than shaving, but I haven't used it regularly enough to notice any difference yet. I think it's the lotion/cream it comes with that's supposed to minimize hair growth and make it grow back in less frequently. I'm going to keep using it for a while to see how it goes and I'll let you know if I see any significant difference.

Anonymous said...

wow, it does seem pretty amazing.
the best part: is the "painlessness" haha
but im curious about pubic hair? waxing is soo painful, and shaving makes the hair grow back thicker,
so I was like: hmm, what about this "smooth away".
what do you think?

Jessi said...

I'm not sure, Anon, because I didn't try it myself. Shaving doesn't actually make hair grow back thicker...it just makes it 'look' thicker in the beginning because it cuts the hair at an angle.

If you've already been waxing, then your hair there has probably thinned out a bit over time and maybe Smooth Away would be good for you. I'm just afraid that because pubic hair tends to be rather coarse, it might not get as close of a hair removal as you like. If you do try it out, make sure you've already trimmed the hair some (Smooth Away instructions say not to try it on long hair, so just trim it down a bit....if you already shave/wax there, that wouldn't be a problem). Come back and let us know what you think of it, too!

Or if anyone else has tried it on their pubic area, feel free to let us know what you thought. Remember that I have anonymous comments open, so you don't have to use your real name or connect to your blog if you're uncomfy with the subject. :)

Anonymous said...

just getting some right now, I'll post up in a few what happens since I'm gonna try it for "bikini line" (read: in near the hoo-haw)

Anonymous said...

Thank you soooooooooooooo much for telling me about smooth away! I was wondering, does it work on arms? Cause i have freakishly hairy forearms and i dont want to shave them. And does it take a long time? Thanks again!!!!!!! ;)

Sara said...

I jsut tried Smooth Away today. No irritation, and now all the hair on my legs and arms are gone. I found that the hair on the bikini line was harder to remove though. I've got really horrible skin that gets irritated no matter what I use, normally. What I ended up doing is using the small smooth away pad on both sides, then using my electric razor to trim the thick stuff down, then smooth-awayed the stubble away. It definitely helps to fix up what's already been done.

I'm a little curious how everyone else is only getting one-leg's-use out of the pads. I didn't change mine and it worked on both legs and both arms. I also don't feel the sandpaperlike feel that others do. I'm a little curious if smooth-away has maybe redesigned the product since it first came out? Who knows. However, it was definitely worth the $9.99 from Bed Bath & Beyond for my hair type.

Jessi said...

Well this review was fairly recent, and it still had a bit of the "sandpapery" feel to it. It wasn't so much when I was actually rubbing it on my legs (unless I rubbed too hard), but just touching it gave me chills.

The price is coming down and I've been seeing it a lot more in stores now, so that's good news for those wanting to try it out. No shipping charges!

Thanks for stopping by to let us know what you thought of it, Sara. As for only getting through one leg vs. more, maybe you have finer hair? Or maybe others are waiting until the hair is too long and it's not having as much of an effect?

Anonymous said...

i have a few questions?
How come on the website it doesnt say it comes with the lotion thingy or whatever that green book thing is? it says it just comes with a small and large applicator and four replacement pads for each one. if i buy smoothaway at a drugstore will it come with the lotion and the green book thing?

Jessi said...

It just depends on what you buy. Some packages might have different amounts of items or "bonus items." You'll just have to check your drug store and see what kinds they carry. :)

Heather said...

I have used this item for some time now. The more it is used, the longer the hair stay away.

I have also used it on my pubic area. It took a little more effort the first few times because the hair is a little courser on that part part of my body, but I now have it smoother as its ever been.

Ingrown Hair Remedy said...

I just have to say that I have actually bought smooth away online and it worked great. You have to have a small stubble or it won't work. How this system works is the pad needs to grab a hold of a little stuff and pull it out. The process wasn't as painless as they said online, but my hair is gone and my back is smooth.

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