Philips’ new follow up to the Satinelle range sees the epilator get a complete make over. The Satinelle Prestige is so good looking that Philips was awarded an IF Design Award.
But as you are no doubt aware, looks are only skin deep. Can the Satinelle Prestige’s performance match it’s gorgeous exterior? Find out in our detailed review!
Philips Satinelle Models
While Philips does not immediately make it clear, there are two different models of the Satinelle Prestige.
Both models are identical to each other, the only difference between the two is the number of accessories included in the box. In terms of epilating hairs, both models perform equal.
There is a big price difference between the two models so if the extra accessories do not appeal to you, we recommend going with the cheaper Philips Satinelle Advanced.
Philips Satinelle Prestige – Model BRE650
The top of the line model and the subject of our review. If you want the most feature packed Philips Satinelle Epilator on the market then the Prestige is your best choice.
Philips Satinelle Advanced – Model BRE630
Same as the Prestige but missing the following:
- Massage Cap
- Facial Cleansing Brush
- Efficiency Cap
We cover these caps further down in the review.
Unboxing the Philips Satinelle Prestige
While the Satinelle Prestige comes in a small box, Philips has decided to wrap every individual accessory in it’s own plastic bag. Not only is it time consuming to unwrap each piece; but doing so just to throw the plastic in the trash feels quite wasteful.
When you finally get around to unwrapping every accessory you will be able to examine the entire contents of your brand new Satinelle Prestige:
Let’s break it down:
- Satinele Prestige Epilator and Epilation head
- Facial epilator cap
- Delicate area epilator cap
- Efficiency epilator cap
- Massage roller epilator cap
- Shaving head with trimmer comb
- Accessory head
- Body massage roller
- Body exfoliation brush
- cleaning brush
- Storage pouch
Phew… That’s a lot of gear. Also included in the box is an instruction manual. At the rear of the instruction manual is a 45-day money back guarantee. The guarantee covers both the Satinelle Prestige and Satinelle Advanced.
To put it simply, the guarantee allows you to return the epilator back to Philips within 45 days if you are unhappy with it for any reason. Philips will then refund you the full purchase price. The guarantee is a lovely safety net that essentially gives you a trial period to test the Satinelle Prestige. For further information refer to the last page of instruction manual.
Examining the Philips Satinelle Prestige
Every single epilator we have reviewed had one thing in common. They are all on the ugly side. Even Braun’s top of the line Silk Epil 9 left us wanting.
Philips aims to buck this trend and create an epilator that is not only functional but easy on the eyes as well. While we will cover functionality further down the review; it terms of looks, Philips has knocked it out of the ball park.
See for yourself:
A sleek and inconspicuous white handle draws your eyes to the curved copper colored head. Everything about this epilator feels classy.
Front and centre on the handle you will a single button:
This button performs two different functions. Not only does it turn the Satilelle Prestige on or off but also cycles through the two speed settings. It takes three presses to cycle through the Satinelle Prestige Settings:
Button pressed once – Turns epilator/ high speed setting. In this setting the epilator head performs 1066 pulling actions per second.
Button pressed twice – Toggles the epilator head into the low speed setting. In this setting the epilator head performs 960 pulling actions per minute.
Button pressed a third time – Turns the Satinelle Prestige epilator off.
By using a single button to perform all the functions Philips Satinelle is able to keep the handle slim and presentable. Of course the downside to this is that it takes three presses of the button each time you wish to use the epilator, but this wasn’t irritating at all.
With the Satinelle Prestige turned on, the indicator lights the switch shine bright to let you know which speed setting you have selected.
- II – High Speed
- I – Low speed
If you have been looking closely at the above pictures you may have noticed the words “Wet & Dry” Printed just above the power button. What this essentially means is that the epilator is water proof.
Like many other high-end epilators, the Philips Satinelle Prestige is just as happy to be used in the bath or shower as it is on your sofa.
Moving further down the handle you will come across the Philips logo in silver lettering:
And just below that is a small icon shaped like a battery.
This is the battery indicator. And will blink to let you know when the epilator battery is running low or charging.
And to charge the Satinelle Prestige you will use the socket hidden away from view at the very base of the epilator handle:
We will cover charging further down the review.
Flipping the Satinelle prestige over reveal plain looking rear:
Since the rear will spend most of it’s time being covered by your hand, the looks are less important here.
At the base of the rear are some basic specs on the Satinelle Presitige including the model number and country of origin. Philips has chosen to manufacturers the Satinelle Prestige in China.
Now let’s take a look at the star of the epilator, the head.
If you are at all familiar with epilators you will notice that the epilating head of the Philips Satinelle Prestige and Advanced look very different to that of a traditional epilator.
While all other brands use what are essentially metal tweezes, the Philips head looks as though it is made from plastic. The rotating discs are actually a finely textured ceramic.
Philips first released showed off the ceramic epilating head on their SatinPerfect epilator. The epilating head of the Satinelle Prestige is near identical.
The hooked shape of the discs helps raise flat laying hairs before being clamped down upon and pulled out.
Unlike traditional epilating heads that are flat, the head of the Satinelle Prestige is slightly curved, allowing it to make better contact with your slightly rounded legs and arms.
The epilator head is one of the widest we have tested at 1.18 inches across (30mm). The only epilator to equal this was the Braun Silk Epil 9.
The wider head means more hairs are pulled out at once and is better suited to large areas like the legs and arms.
If you look closely at the above picture you will be able to make out a small LED light built into the epilating head, just above the rows of ceramic discs.
Unlike the Braun Silk-Epil range where the light shines as much in your eyes as it does on your skin, Philips has designed the light so that it illuminates the area of skin in front of the epilator head and nothing else.
The light makes it easier to find those small fine blonde hairs that are near invisible under the light in your home.
The light will turn on the moment you press the power button and remain on until you turn the epilator off again. While there is no option to use the Satinelle prestige without the light we were able to obstruct it by placing a small piece of duct tape behind the head of the epilator. If the you find the light annoying this is a very simple procedure you will be able to do yourself.
Located on the rear of the handle, just below the epilating head, is a small white button:
This is the epilator head release button, pressing the switch down with your thumb while pulling upwards on the epilator head with your free hand will remove it completely from the body.
The release system was perhaps our least favourite part of the Philips Satinelle Prestige. The release button is really tiny. Small enough that if you have larger thumbs you will be mostly pressing down on the plastic surround the switch, which isn’t exactly comfortable.
We also found that it was far too easy to turn the epilator on while attempting to release the head.
The locking mechanism that keeps the head in place is not particularly strong. A quick upwards pull was all that it takes to remove the epilator head from the lock. We do not recommend you try this at home since you may damage your unit.
We are a little dubious as to just how well the plastic hooks that hold the various heads in place will stand repeated use. While they appeared to hold up fine over the two months in which we tested the unit, they appear to be more flimsy than the sturdy hooks found on the Braun Silk Epil 9.
If you purchase a Satinelle Pestige or Advanced, you will want to be careful not press down too hard onto the copper colored part of the epilating head with your thumb. Doing so can cause the edge of the plastic to pop out like so:
The first time this happened we were messing around to see if you could pull the head out without pressing the unlock button. But then on of the people we brought in to test the Satinelle Prestige managed to do the same thing on another unit, using the epilator as intended. And if it can happen in general use then the head just isn’t secure enough.
We tried using a screwdriver to get the tag back under the shiny copper collar but all this managed to do was scratch up the copper collar. While it does make a once great looking epilator slightly uglier, it in no way affects the performance of the unit.
Satinelle Prestige and Advanced Epilator Caps and Heads
Like other high end epilators, the Satinelle Prestige and Advanced include a number of different caps and heads in the box to enhance your epilation experience.
All epilator caps clip directly to the copper colored epilator head.
Let’s take a closer look at each and how they perform.
In-use Massage Cap
The In-use massage cap is best used for those of you who are new to epilation. The cap features two bars of plastic beads. As you glide the epilator over your skin the beads will roll and “massage” your skin.
Interestingly the massaging sensation helped to reduce the plucking sensation that accompanies your hairs being yanked out of your skin.
While it may have been an unintentional part of the design, the In-use Massage Cap also encourages you to hold the epilator at the correct angle, 90 degrees to the skin, for the most effective performance. Like training wheels on a bike, great for those of you who are just learning how to use an epilator.
The In-use Massage Cap is included with both the Prestige and Advanced Satinelle models
Delicate Area Cap
Like the name suggests, the Delicate Area Cap is best used for areas where a bit more care is required, namely areas like under the arms or your bikini line.
The cap reduces the exposed area of the epilating head to allow more precision while the smooth and glossy plastic helps the epilator head glide with less friction.
The Delicate Area Cap is included with both the Prestige and Advanced Satinelle models
Like the name suggests the Facial cap is designed to remove those unwanted patches of facial hair such as your faint upper lip growth.
The cap reduces the exposed area of the epilating head further again than the delicate area cap. If you are trying to slay those stray monster hairs that are sitting perilously close to your eyebrows then this cap can do just that without removing half your eyebrow in the process.
The Facial Cap is included with both the Prestige and Advanced Satinelle models
The efficiency cap is designed to remove more hair in a single pass. As you glide the epilator head over your skin the ridges of the efficiency cap help lift hairs laying flat against the skin.
Truth be told while the head does it’s job, it feels overly large to the point of being impractical. The head also must be used against the grain that your hair grows on. Going with the grain saw the efficiency head actually push the hairs down and made the epilating head miss more hairs than usual.
The Facial Cap is ONLY included with the Satinelle Prestige
To use the shaving head you must remove the epilating head from the handle before it can be installed.
The shaving head gives you the option of shaving areas of your body without having to use a separate device. The shaver works in tandem with the trimmers located either side. The trimmers cut your longer hairs while the shaver finishes the remaining stubble off to skin level.
Truth be told the shaving head won’t replace your every day razor. While the shaving head works well, the trimmers on either side can be scratchy to the point of causing skin irritation.
Then there is cleaning it. We found that small hairs would fall behind the foil guard and become near impossible to remove. While the entire shaving piece can lift out, cleaning was still fiddly.
The only benefit we saw the shaving head have over your stand-alone variety is that you only need to pack a single unit if you are travelling.
The Shaving Head is included with both the Prestige and Advanced Satinelle models
Trimmer Head Comb
To make full use of the trimmers located on either side of the shaving head, Philips has included a plastic comb in the box. The comb is designed to trim your hairs to the correct length ready for epilation.
The comb clips over the shaving head, only leaving the trimmers exposed. The comb allows you to trim bushy patches of hair while leaving a small amount of length. Perfect for those of you who do not like your bikini area completely bald.
We found that the comb was prone to popping right off with little effort during use. This was common across all three units we tested. If you want an effective trimmer we do not recommend you rely on that of the Satinelle Prestige.
The Trimmer Head Comb is included with both the Prestige and Advanced Satinelle models
The rotating head requires you to remove the epilating head before it can be installed.
On it’s own the rotating head does nothing. It merely acts as a means to connect the massage and exfoliating brush to the Satinelle Prestige.
The Rotating head is ONLY included with the Satinelle Prestige
We were impressed that the exfoliation brush was surprisingly good quality considering the Satinelle Prestige is primarily sold as an epilator.
Philips claim that the body exfoliator has 48,200 ultra fine hypoallergenic bristles. While we certainly didn’t count them, the brush area is much larger than that included in with the Braun Silk Epil 9. And softer too. If you find the bristles too soft, pushing harder will cause the middle stiffer bristles to come into contact with your skin, resulting in a more aggressive exfoliation.
Exfoliation brushes are one of the newest trends in beauty. The concept is that you use the brush to exfoliate your skin to sweep away dead skin cells. The brush spins 360 degrees and testers described it as being comparable to a stand-alone exfoliation brush.
The biggest complaint came with the plastic protective cover that keeps the bristles safe when not in use, it is near impossible to put on. Unless you line the cover up perfectly it just won’t go on. The whole process was much more frustrating than it should have been.
Also note, since the Satinelle Prestige is a new product, replacement exfoliation brushes are not readily available.
The Exfoliating Brush is ONLY included with the Satinelle Prestige
The Body Massager is made up of 5 soft plastic rollers that spin 360 degrees. Running the massage head over the skin resulted in the feeling you get when you receive a massage that is just that bit too rough.
We found the massage head difficult to control with it wanting to slide around the skin and do it’s own thing, despite our best efforts to direct it.
The massage head is best suited to fleshy bits of skin such astyhe thighs and calf muscles. Attempting to move the massage head over boney bits resulted in a very uncomfortable sensation.
We were impressed that despite rotating rapidly, the massage head did not pull at any long hairs that it came into contact with.
The Body Massager is ONLY included with the Satinelle Prestige
Charging the Philips Satinelle Prestige
In order to charge your Satinelle Prestige you are going to need to use the charging adapter that is included in the box:
The charging adapter is multi-voltage (100-240V) allowing you to bring your epilator with you on your international travels and still be able to charge the battery. The only thing you will need is a travel adapter so that you can plug the charger into the odd shaped sockets you come across on your journey.
The cable stretches over five foot in length and is more than generous enough to reach your power outlet to the bathroom counter. Be sure to hang onto the twist tie that keeps the cable wrapped up neatly, you can use it to shorten the length of the cord so that you don’t have hanging cables laying around your bathroom.
The Philips Satinelle Prestige will begin to charge the moment you plug the cable into the socket at the base of the handle:
The battery icon at the base of the handle will flash white to let you know that the Lithium-ion battery is charging. After a period of 30 minutes the indicator light will stop flashing. However, it will take an hour and a half to fully charge the battery. We would have preferred if the light stopped flashing when the battery was fully charged rather than a set time limit.
With a full charge the Lithium-ion battery lasts for around 40 minutes of continuous use. We found that to be enough for roughly four uses before the battery would completely die on us.
When the battery is running low the battery icon will flash an angry shade of red:
Just because the battery dies on you doesn’t mean you need to commit to spending the day half hairy. A quick 15 minute charge is all it takes for 10 minutes of use.
Testing the Philips Satinelle Prestige and Advanced
With the battery fully charged it’s time to take the Satinelle Prestige for a test drive.
Since the Satinelle Prestige and Satinelle Advanced are the same epilator with different attachments, you can use our experience with the Prestige as a guide on what to expect with the Advanced model.
Since epilators pluck hairs that can take up to 6 weeks to grow back, they are not a product we could easily test multiple times over on a single person.
So to help us test out the Philips Satinelle Prestige we brought in 8 different testers and myself who used the Satinelle Prestige over a two month period. The following contains summaries of our experience.
The first thing you will notice when you pick the Satinelle Prestige up for the first time is just how nicely the shape of the handle fits into your hand:
Philips’ attention to detail has done away with the idea that epilators have to be a compact and chunky device. The Satinelle Prestige is ergonomic and just as comfortable to hold in your right hand as it is your left.
When you turn the power button on the epilator bursts into life. Unlike epilators with metal heads that make a whirring sound, the ceramic discs of the Satinelle Prestige are better described as a loud chattering sound. Almost like a gentle grinding of gears.
In terms of noise the epilator is capable of reaching 82 decibles. That is particularly loud and would explain why testers with sensitive hearing found the unit a little too loud to use on their face. The Satinelle Prestige is more than loud enough to wake someone sleeping in the next room, so wait until everyone is awake before you begin epilating.
When it came to removal there were three things that hugely impacted the performance of the epilator:
- Holding the epilator at 90 degrees to your skin
- Hairs fall between 1/8 and 5/32 inches.
- The coarseness of your hair
You will have to trim your hairs to the right length for the epilator to be able to be able to catch and pluck them and unless you hold the epilator at the perfect 90 degree angle to your skin you can expect to miss hairs with each pass.
And that is fine. With practice having your hair at the right length for epilation won’t be an issue (although the Braun Epi-Silk 9 can pluck hairs that are much shorter). The problem comes with the coarseness of your hair. This is not something that you can adjust.
While the Satinelle Prestige would happily pull out any thick black hairs; albeit with more passes than we would have liked, it really struggled on finer ones. Even at the slow speed setting, with the efficiency cap, fine hairs proved to be quite difficult for the ceramic disks to catch.
Examining testers arms consistently turned up fine blonde hairs that had been missed even with multiple passes.
The problem seems to be with the ceramic discs. While we applaud Philips for trying something new, the traditional metal epilator heads more effective when it comes to hair removal.
At least Philips offers you a 45 day trial period. If you find the epilator just doesn’t work for you then Philips will completely refund you the cost of the purchase.
While epilating in the bath or shower proved to be more comfortable, we found that more passes were required. We achieved the best epilation with the Satinelle Prestige after a bath or shower and completely drying the skin with the towel.
We really wanted to love the Philips Satinelle Prestige. The gorgeous design is proof that epilators do not have to be chunky and ugly.
We applaud Philips for trying something new with the ceramic disc epilating head but unfortunately it just doesn’t work on every type of hair. And for this reason we recommend the Braun Silk Epil 9 over the Satinelle Prestige. It may be uglier but it gets the job done.
A 45 day money back guarantee means that you have a chance to get a full refund if you find the Satinelle Prestige is not suitable for your hair type. Take advantage of it if you have found yourself stuck with this epilator.
While far from perfect, the modern design of the Satinelle Prestige makes us excited to see what epilator designs Philips has in store for the future.