Emjoi AP-9T Tweeze Tweezer
Removes most fine hair after several passes.
- Cons Flimsy.
One row of tweezers.
Loudest facial epilator.
Hair has to be long.
Poor performance on short and course hair.
- SummaryWith only one rotating tweezer head, the Emjoi Tweeze fails to live up to its promises. Compared to other facial epilators, it is terribly inefficient. While it works fairly well to remove fine hair or an odd hair here and there, it leaves most shorter hair and course hair intact.
“Are you tired with struggling with embarrassing facial hair? Well put that tweezer and mirror away because now it’s easy with Tweeze.”
You have probably seen the infomercial for the Emjoi Tweeze automatic tweezer system constantly airing on TV at all hours of the day and night. The Tweeze is an automatic tweezer that supposed to remove hair from the root, leaving soft skin in its place. Emjoi claims this facial epilator automatically finds and removes unwanted facial hair on the upper lip, chin, and cheeks 30X faster than an ordinary tweezers, keeping hair from growing back for weeks. The company even says it is great for the underarms and bikini line. Apparently, it is portable, safe, and “gentle”.
It seems like a great alternative to waxing or plucking for those women with a lot of facial hair. It could also be helpful for women with vision problems or women who can’t use a regular tweezer due to arthritis. Is it as revolutionary as the commercial makes it out to be? Does it live up to the hype or is it a waste of money? We put the Emjoi Tweeze to the test in our full hands on review.
What’s In The Box
While the Emjoi Tweeze was originally sold on TV, I remember a few years later seeing it at Bed Bath & Beyond and other retailers. I don’t think it is sold in local stores anymore. We had to purchase it online. Ours came directly shipped from China and took about 3 weeks to arrive. The terrible packaging is indestructible and impossible to open without completely destroying it. Inside the packaging, we received the Emjoi Tweeze epilator and a little cleaning brush. There are instructions on how to use Emjoi Tweeze, but we didn’t think the Emjoi Tweeze instructions were tremendously helpful. The AAA batteries were not included.
The Emjoi Tweeze is not a razor. It pulls hair out at the root much like an epilator. It is an electric tweezer. Given its extremely cheap price, you can’t really expect miracles with the design. The one good thing I can say is that I do like its smaller size which makes it easy to take it on the go in your make up bag. It fits comfortably in the palm of your hand. The smaller size makes it great for the smaller areas on the face. Still, it feels like an incredibly cheap vibrating plastic toy. It doesn’t seem like it will last long. I felt if I dropped it, it would shatter into pieces. It is good that it is cheap, because if it breaks you can just buy a replacement.
At the top of the epilator is a protection cap which covers the tweezer assembly. It feels flimsy and feels like it is going to break off with the slightest touch, though you could probably duct tape it back together. While in use, the plastic guard has a habit of coming off. Though not recommended for the beginner, it is possible to use it without it. Although it has 3 tweezers, it has only one row of tweezers. This makes it perfect for removing single hairs on the face, but very inefficient for covering larger areas of the body like the legs and even the face.
This is a fully cordless model but it runs on 2 AAA batteries. You do need to keep a lot of batteries on hand. The batteries last a little over 1 hour for continuous use. The Tweeze slows down when the batteries are low, so it doesn’t have enough strength to pull out the hair. The newer the batteries, the quicker the hair is removed. I like to use rechargeable batteries.
On the back of the epilator is the battery compartment. I am not sure if our unit was defective or not, but I had a hard time removing the cover. After a few minutes, I managed to pry it off. I stuck the batteries in and closed the cover. Big mistake! I forgot that the battery lid was so hard to remove. Even before I started, my batteries were stuck in the epilator. I had to take a screwdriver to try and wedge the cover off. Once I got the cover off, I didn’t ever put it back on ever. Whew!
On the front of the device is the on/off switch. You simply slide the switch up to turn on the epilator. The on/off switch doesn’t seem very durable. When you turn on the epilator, there is a slight funky smell of burning plastic.
After you are done epilating, you can pop the plastic guard off to clean it. If you don’t have compressed air, I like to give it a good hard blow before brushing it with the little cleaning brush it came with. It can sometimes be difficult to get all the hairs out. You have to clean it frequently or sometimes the hair will get clogged inside, making it difficult to epilate.
Preparing The Face
I know that a lot of women want to get straight into epilating their face, but it is so important to prepare your facial skin for epilation. If you have longer hair, you should trim it to about 5mm. If you don’t have a trimmer, you could also shave and wait a few days for the hair to grow out to the appropriate length. I like to exfoliate my skin one day prior to epilating to get rid of any nasty dead skin cells. Your skin should be free of makeup, oil, or creams. It doesn’t work well if your skin is sweaty or you have moisturizer or foundation on.
Before trying the epilator, I took a warm shower to relax my skin and hair, which makes it easier for the hair to slip out. Anytime you remove hair at the root there is a risk of getting a breakout. I find cleansing the skin with witch hazel with a cotton ball before and after epilating helps to prevent any bacteria from causing an infection. About an hour after epilating, I like to apply a cooling moisturizer to keep my skin from drying out.
I also like to brush the tweezer discs with a little rubbing alcohol using the included brush. Once everything including my face was dry, I was ready to try out the epilator. Since it is not waterproof, it should not be used on wet skin. Always tie any lose hair back when epilating the face.
Epilating With The Emjoi Tweeze Epilator
While the Tweeze does work to remove unwanted facial hair, compared to other facial epilators, it is terribly inefficient to epilate a lot of hair on the face. We do wish it pulled more hair at once. Its narrow epilating area, seems to only remove one hair at a time. Like the Wizzit hair remover, it is more for taking out longer individual stray hairs on the upper lip or chin. It seems to work better on longer fine hair,about 5mm long. For fine hair, it is less time consuming than using a tweezer since you are removing hair at a rapid rate instead of using pair of tweezers with a brightest light in front of the mirror trying to get every hair. On my face, with thicker coarser hair or short hairs, it seemed to leave them in place despite repeated attempts to pluck them. It only removed about 40% of my facial hair before I had to tweeze the rest.
Compared to the Emjoi Epi Slim or Braun Face, the Emjoi Tweeze not only didn’t remove as much hair but also did so at a much slow rate. Much of this inefficiency comes from the actual design itself. The Emjoi Tweeze only has one row of tweezers whereas the Emjoi Epi Slim has 3 rows of tweezers, making the epilating area wider. The epilating area for the Emjoi Tweeze is too small for any serious hair removal on the face. It’s got only one tweezer slot that the hair passes through. Even when it removes hair, there comes a point where there are many little stays all over the place. It is very difficult the line up the stray hair with the narrow epilating area.
When I turned the Tweeze on, it let out a screaming obnoxious grinding sound. I thought it was going to take off my hand. It scared the heck out of me. The shear sound of it made me cringe. It sounds like a friggin’ saw blade. Okay maybe I am exaggerating a bit, but it is super duper loud. At 80 dB, it was the loudest facial epilator that we tested. It is impossible to use this epilator discretely. It is about as loud as a men’s electric razor. If you live with someone else, the whole house is going to think you are shaving. If you are in an airport and it goes off accidentally, people might get the wrong idea. LOL! Ahem! Just saying.
This is where all these crazy thoughts go through your head like “Oh hells no. I am not putting this anywhere near my face.” I suggest first trying it on an area where there is no hair. The instructions recommend first trying to remove the hair on the back of your hand to get used to it.
While the clear plastic guard keeps the tweezers from getting your skin caught, I found that it is pretty ineffective with the plastic guard in place. I had to take it off to get better results. It doesn’t get close enough otherwise unless you grow your hair out like a Sasquatch. You have to always make sure that you are gently gliding the epilator on the skin’s surface not pressing it, while at the same time pulling the skin tightly. Lightly go over the hairs. If you press down too hard not only will it make it harder for the tweezers to grab the hair, this particular epilator can pinch the skin especially if the protection cap is not in place.
I first tried the the Emjoi Tweeze on the fine hair on my cheeks. I placed the epilator on my skin at a 90 degree angle. Most of the time on the face, you should always make sure the logo on the epilator is facing upward away from you as this is the correction direction for epilation. Since hair on the face grows in multiple directions, I found that gliding the epilator in forward and backward quarter size circles over the area with the hair seemed to work the best. The trick is to pull the skin tightly. With my free hand, I used my finger to gently pull the area I was epilating taut. By pulling the skin tight, it helps lift the hairs off the skin. This helps the epilator grab the hair better and I find also minimizes the pain.
The Emjoi Tweeze is not a terribly accurate plucking device. It doesn’t have the precision to trim or shape the eyebrows and should not be used anywhere near the eyebrows as you could take your whole eyebrow off. It can be carefully used between your eyebrows on the uni-brow, though I was a bit afraid to try this.
You often have to circle over areas multiple times to get any decent hair removal. While it sometimes is able to get the hairs you can’t see, it is very difficult to remove all the hair. While it won’t get “every hair that you can feel,” I found the best method of removing hair with it is just going by feel. You just move it in small circles over the area you want the hair to be removed and use your finger to see if you have got everything. This is great if you have vision problems or want to use it while watching TV or at the computer.
On my face, it seemed to pick up only the longer fine hair about an eight of inch long, leaving the short blondish peach fuzz and course hair largely untouched. It will remove peach fuzz provided it is long enough. For it to work, you do have to grow your facial hair out longer than you would have to if you were plucking. If hair is longer, it needs to be trimmed down. From my tests, I think about 5mm is ideal.
It is difficult to remove the fine hair on the sides of the face on the upper cheek.
It works pretty well on the upper lip if you downy soft fine hairs, but the hairs have to be long enough for the epilator to grab them. For light hair growth, you can swipe this in circles back and forth and it will usually grab a majority of the hair after a couple passes.
Although the commercial says it is for both men and women, it will not work for facial hair on a man’s face. Even if it did, it would be far too painful. While the Tweeze is not designed to remove hair on a man’s face, it can remove unruly fine hair on the ears but you have to be careful. It is very noisy so wearing earplugs would be helpful. It should not be used inside the ears. If you are using it on the ears, you have to be extra careful not to put any pressure. Simply skim the surface of the ear. It will not pick up little hairs on the ears, the hair has to be around 1/8 of an inch and not too long. A few swipes is all it takes. Don’t spend too much time on one spot as it can irritate the skin.
For courser hair, the Emjoi Tweeze was not one of the best performing facial epilators. Its performance was similar to the Wizzit hair remover. It is not really designed for the thick whiskery hairs that often sprout on the chin due to menopause. It works for fine chin hairs but not for the stubborn white hairs. Even the Bellabe Facial Hair Remover performed better on coarse hair. It takes forever to remove them and the hair has to be long enough. With stubborn course hair, it has a tendency to break them instead of plucking them. If you have one or two odd hairs in weird places, it sort of works. I made several circles over the courser hair on my chin and only occasionally would the Tweeze pluck it. Every so often, you do feel a slight sting when a hair is plucked.
For course hair on the chin or side of the face, it wasn’t terribly more efficient than an ordinary tweezer. I’d say it only grabbed about 20% of my hair, before I had to pluck out the rest. Coarse hair does have to be fairly long, it is not going to get stubbly coarse hair. Even when it was long enough, most of the time, it would grab the hair and not have enough force to pluck it out. After a few pulls, it eventually plucks out the hair. I did find with coarser hair that the Tweeze works best when going hair by hair much like a tweezer. You have to aim the tweezer right over the hair and lightly dab at the hair instead of running it up and down on the skin. The problem is that it is very difficult to precisely align the tiny spinning wheel with the tweezers over the hair.
This is especially true on the curvier areas of the face which is nearly impossible. It works better on flatter areas. Doing it this way is only slightly faster than tweezing, but seemed to produce the best results. It will work but you almost have to work as hard. With course hair, it is like playing the lottery, sometimes it would grab hair and sometimes it wouldn’t. Most of the time you lose.
I wouldn’t use it on the legs, underarms, or bikini line as the performance would be terrible. Since the head is so small, it would take a very long time. The batteries would probably be long dead before you finished one leg.
While the commercial says that the hair stays away for more 6 weeks, this is not entirely true and depends on your own personal growth hair cycle. While it lasts longer than shaving, this is not a permanent form of hair removal. It won’t stay away any longer than individually tweezing your hair. My hair usually stays away for at least a week. After about a week, I still had no stubble in the places I removed hair. Hair grows at different rates so in the beginning you might have to pluck a lot until all of your hair grows in at about the same time. This will allow you to experience longer periods without hair. It doesn’t make the hair grow back thicker. After awhile the hair will begin to grow back slower and finer. When the hair grows back, it is not stubbly like shaving.
The instructions warn that the Tweeze may cause redness for up to 3 days. The first couple times you epilate, it is normal for a little redness or little bumps to appear after you have epilated. This should quickly disappear. Do not put anything on your face for at least an hour after epilating as it could irritate the skin.
As with all types with hair removal, this type of hair removal can cause ingrown hair to develop. Noemi Grupenmager, CEO and founder of Uni K Wax Centers, says tight clothing can increase ingrowns. In addition, it is so important to exfoliate your skin everyday to prevent the hair from becoming ingrown. Ingrown hair results when the new hair growth can’t break the skin and gets trapped underneath it. There are two types of exfoliation that you should use. Lightly scrubbing the area with an exfoliating wash or towel every day after hair removal can help remove any dead skin. In addition, using a cream or chemical exfoliant is also important. I know some women like to use a weekly aspirin mask, but I like to use Bliss pads because they are super easy to apply to the face.
Does It Hurt
This is not as gentle or as painless as the commercial makes it out to be. There is no way you would be smiling like the women in the commercial unless the tweezer is off or you don’t have any facial hair. They never grimace in pain. It is even advertised as being “Painless” on the package. They lied, this is simply not true. Whenever you remove hair from the root, it is going to hurt. Even pulling hair out with a tweezer is going to hurt. If you are used to tweezing or waxing, it is not that bad. I recommend waxing or tweezing first to weaken the roots as sometimes if the roots are too strong, a little bleeding can occur at the spot of removal.
With this you are plucking a few hairs at once. In the beginning you do have to talk yourself into using this and you will shriek, scream, cuss or even cry. The instructions suggest trying it on the back of your hand before you use it on your face. I feel that this helped me brace myself for the pain I would feel on my face. The first time it is going to feel like a small electric shock every time a hair is pulled. I kept saying “Ouch” at first. Icing the area for 15 – 60 seconds can help numb the area. The pulling does take you by surprise.
Certain areas of the face tend to be more sensitive more to pain. It is so deadly on the upper lip and sideburns, deadly. The first time I used an epilator on my upper lip, my eyes started to water. There are a ton of nerves on the upper lip. You have to be willing to tolerate a few painful sessions. When you have to do a large area on the face, it is best to take it slow and easy. I know that when most people try to epilate, they pull the epilator away after each pluck because the pain startles them. However, if you just keep it in the area and don’t pull it away so quickly the nerves get numb and you don’t feel it as much.
The more often you epilate, the less pain you feel. Try to use the Tweeze weekly or daily. Try to remove whatever hair it can pluck even if it is just a few new hairs that are growing in. It is a lot easier to make a quick touch up on the chin or upper lip every morning than to wait till it all grows out. After a few weeks, the pain will be greatly diminished. After about a month, it feels like just a tug. If you stop and wait till it all grows back, it is going to hurt just as much as the first time. The more you epilate your face, the less painful it becomes. Since you are not removing as much hair, the process is much faster.
What Others Are Saying
Emjoi Tweeze reviews from consumers are largely mixed. For most consumers, the Emjoi Tweeze either works for them or doesn’t. With over 600 reviews on Amazon, it receiving 3.7 out of 5 stars. Most reviewers with finer hair say it works great whereas women with courser hair say it doesn’t pluck a thing. Almost everyone talks about its poor build quality.
Like all infomercials, the Emjoi Tweeze doesn’t live up to the widely exaggerated claims. It’s not a miracle product. With only a single row of tweezers, the Emjoi Tweeze is not really made for removing a lot of facial hair. It works fairly well for quick cleanups of odd hairs provided the hair is not too coarse or short. Emjoi Tweeze’s biggest crime? Its poor build quality. There are so many better options.
If you don’t have the money for the Braun Face, we recommend stepping up to the Emjoi Epi Slim. Not only does it have 3 rows of tweezers, it has a superior build quality. Even an inexpensive manual spring like the Bellabe Facial Hair Remover performed better than the Emjoi Tweeze. While it can’t hurt to try the Emjoi Tweeze given its super low price point, all in all, nothing about this facial epilator left me impressed.