A WTF Beauty Tool That Totally Works

rem2Photo: Courtesy of R.E.M Spring.
Hair removal is a funny thing. Everyone has an opinion about maintaining body and facial hair, and everyone's particular follicle situation is different. I've read about models shaving their faces to look "glowy," and I also know women who've never tweezed their brows. So, I'm not here to advocate for hair removal across the board. But, I am an advocate for making it cheap and easy if it's something you decide to undertake. The R.E.M Spring is exactly that.
This cult tool has been popping up on YouTube beauty channels constantly in recent years: I learned to use it while sitting at my desk, watching a young woman gaze into the camera and roll a tiny spring all over her face. My desk mate asked what the hell I was doing, and I replied, "Um, working."
After that brief tutorial, I began to use the R.E.M Spring myself. Does it work? Yes. Is it worth it? Maybe. It depends on your particular hair-removal stance, needs, and comfort level. Here are a few hints to help you decide if this tool is right for you:
It does what tweezers cannot.
The R.E.M Spring is designed for (typically fine) upper-lip hair, and that's where it really shines. But, like most women, I have a few areas prone to those crazy, coarse dark hairs — the ones I probably would have been burned as a witch for back in the 17th century. A few are inconveniently located under my jaw, forcing me to tilt up my head and stab myself with tweezers, hoping I eventually grab the right spot. Using the R.E.M Spring, I simply roll back and forth a few times, and the hairs are GONE. It sometimes takes a few tries to grab them, but when I do, it always gets them out by the root — while tweezers often just break them off. This is by far the greatest feature of the tool. Got witch hairs? Get this.
It's not exactly painless.
In terms of pain, it feels similar to threading. And, it also works in a manual fashion: When you roll it over your face, the spring grabs onto individual hairs and yanks them out by the root. It works slightly faster than threading, though, because it can grab more hair at once. But, the process isn't pain-free. Like with threading and waxing, regular use decreases the pain, but be prepared to wince a bit your first time around.
It's super easy and convenient.
There's no need to visit the salon — or even the bathroom — to use the R.E.M Spring. You don't need a mirror to see what you're doing; it's easy to feel your way through it. I turned on a rerun of The Office, and R.E.M Spring'd away, brushing the little hairs onto a tissue. Considering that hair removal is not exactly entertaining, being able to do it while watching a sitcom made the experience infinitely more tolerable. The convenience factor also enabled me to do it more frequently, reducing the pain in the long run.
remhorzPhoto: Courtesy of R.E.M Spring.

But, don't put it anywhere near your brows.

Do not use this on your brows: Do not, do not, do not. The R.E.M Spring is not precise, and if you try to use it for eyebrow shaping, you'll absolutely wind up looking cuh-razy. And, as the packaging warns, you'll likely end up yanking out eyelashes by accident. I didn't try it, so I can't say for sure if it's true — but, let's not find out, okay?

Beware of post-removal zits.
The icing on the irritating cake of hair removal is the constant threat of acne. That's why the waxing-and-threading pros typically apply a gentle toner after the procedure. The first time I used the tool, I made sure to wash my face before and after, and had absolutely no post-epilation reaction. The second time, I got lazy. I rinsed my face after, but I didn't thoroughly cleanse. That, combined with end-of-summer sweatiness, led to a breakout of tiny red spots and a few whiteheads. I don't blame the gadget as much as I blame my laziness. But, always remember to wash the tool and your face before and after using it.

That said, it's way better than waxing sensitive skin.

Your skin will redden after using the R.E.M Spring, but if you follow the above instructions, that'll will fade in a few hours. I suggest using it before going to bed (ideally, on a clean pillowcase). While waxing and hair-removal creams can do a number on delicate skin, the recovery time from the R.E.M Spring is minimal and there's no risk of abrasions.

It's the epitome of a cheap beauty buy.
It'll cost you $19.95. (You didn't hear it from us, but there are even cheaper versions on Amazon, and they're exactly the same.) Plus, it's very durable: Unless you actively try to break the thing, it's going to last you a very long time. And, if none of the above factors is a deal-breaker, this is as close to a miracle product as you'll find for hair removal. If you do know of a pain-free, non-zit-causing, under-$20 product that works just as well, then call the Pope. But, call me first, okay?
R.E.M Spring Facial Hair Remover Tool, $19.95, available at R.E.M Spring.

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