Rebecca Armstrong: A higher-tech hair removal device – it must be good!

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  • @RebeccaJ

One of the most enduring relationships of my life has been a roller coaster love affair. Extreme highs when my expectations were exceeded, crushing lows when my hopes were dashed. But still I go back for more. More heated rollers, more curling tongs, more electronic exfoliators, more hair-removing contraptions. I love grooming gadgets with an unhealthy fervour. I want to leave them, to be free of spending money on things that don't work, and to stop trying to recreate the buzz of the early days with the things that do what they're meant to but that I've subsequently fallen out of love with. But Babyliss, Braun, Remington – I just can't quit you.

It started with a childhood sweetheart. A Barbie hair braider that was supposed to twirl her locks into perfect plaits. The best bit was, according to the ad, that you could use it on your own hair. Oh bright future where I could have Barbie's braids! I was going to have the best hair at Jenny Sweetenham's seventh birthday party. But it was not to be – Babs's waist-length mane turned into a matted dreadlock, and my mother banned me from trying it on myself.

At 14, I showed off a new battery-powered heated hairbrush while my stepmother spluttered: "I thought that was a vibrator!" Which probably would have done a better job on my hair.

Since then, things have hotted up between me and tongs, hair straighteners (several varieties), electric trimmers and epilators. What keeps me going back is that for every failure – the device that's meant to suck all the dirt out of your pores but is just too tedious to use – there's a whirlwind romance. Oh Babyliss Big Hair, run your bristles through my tresses and say you'll never leave me.

Now, though, I think I may have met The One. The Gadget to End All Gadgets.

The new Gilette Venus Naked Skin is (I tremble as I type) an "intense pulsed light hair removal system". Who wouldn't want to run off into the sunset with that? It's got it all – high price tag (nearly 500 quid) that I can convince myself is worth it because if I'm faithful, and use it every fortnight, my legs will forget they ever knew what hair was and I'll never buy another razor. It's terrifyingly hi-tech. But best of all? Even if – and like any fiancee refusing a pre-nup, I can't believe this will ever happen – it ends up not being Mr Right, it looks like so ridiculously, gorgeously slick, I think I'd keep it around just for its good looks. I've definitely never felt like this before...