Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Beats Pulling Them On With Pliers (I Guess)

We've all seen them, the girls with the clothes so tight you wondered how on Earth they ever got them on, and if it'd take scissors to get them off again--the girls with the "painted on" blue jeans. Well, folks, before too long, those jeans might, literally, be painted on.

A Spanish fashion designer, Manel Torres, and the Imperial College of London have teamed up to create spray-on fabric. It consists of tiny polymer-bound fibers, made liquid by a quick-evaporating solvent. After the solution is sprayed on, either by aerosol can or high-pressure spray gun, the solvent evaporates, leaving behind dry fabric that can be worn, washed, and worn again. In addition to clothing, this invention could also be used to make, among other things, medical patches and car upholstery.

Torres said, “When I first began this project I really wanted to make a futuristic, seamless, quick and comfortable material...I want to show how science and technology can help designers come up with new materials."

The invention will be on display this weekend at Imperial College of London's Science in Style fashion show.

As cool as this sounds, I think I'll stick to my skinny jeans, leggings, and tights if I feel like being body-conscious. I've tried spraying paint evenly, and my skill level is not so high that I would be comfortable relying on it to cover my butt--or, ahem, anything else. As I understand it, this would be usable on the entire body (I'm suddenly remembering the commercial with the glue socks), so I guess I need to really get cracking on the crunches. Afterall, you need abs of steel to wear a spray-on shirt. No, I think I'll stick with plain old cotton, thanks, but I admire the technology, and think it'll be a wonderful advancement in other fields.

Now, I like fitted jeans. A lot. Not sprayed-on, but body-conscious, so I recently tried the new Jeggings trend. For those of you who are going, "what the heck are jeggings?" they're leggings that are made from super-stretchy denim, so they look like jeans. The point, I guess, is to get the fit of ultra-skinny jeans, with the comfort of leggings.

I like 'em. I ran across a pair by City Streets in J.C. Penney's, and since they were on sale, thought I'd try them on. Now, I have skinny jeans, and they look fantastic, but feel like crud. If I sit down, they ride dangerously low, and they're no fun to put on. These jeggings have a very similar look, but are a million times more comfortable. Honestly, they feel like yoga pants, or even pajama pants, but they look just like regular blue jeans. They pull on, and are fitted in the waist, hips, and thighs, but aren't so tight around the lower legs and ankles, so the fit is extremely flattering--only the good curves get shown off. Plus, there's no gap in the waistband. My only gripe--and it's a small one--is that the waistband is obviously elastic. They went to all the trouble to add in a decorative "fly", but no belt loops to hide the waistband. In fact, before I bought them, I showed them (on the hanger) to my husband, who thought they looked "a step above mom jeans". Ouch. Obviously, once they're on, they bear no resemblance to those awful things, but you need to either wear your tops on the outside, or DIY some belt loops. Final Verdict: I bought them and have worn them a couple of times already. They look sleek and sexy, like skinny jeans, but feel like jammies. Thomas even retracted his "mom jeans" comment. I may never buy real jeans again.

And now, the magic bag o' samples! Today's pick was Boscia Luminizing Black Mask. $34,

According to Sephora:
This innovative treatment dramatically improves skin clarity, radiance, and texture. The unique peel-off action offers gratifying physical exfoliation—as you peel, you actively remove dirt, toxins, and dead skin layers. Exceptional deep-cleansing and exfoliation draw out impurities, bacteria, and excess oil, refining and minimizing pores. Recover smooth, even skintone as pre-existing melanin levels diminish, fading the appearance of dark spots. Inflammation, roughness, lines, and wrinkles fade, revealing younger-looking skin.

It's a pain in the rear. Sorry, folks, I calls 'em as I sees 'em. Now, I'm not saying it didn't work. Quite the contrary--my skin looks and feels tons better than it did before. It had been dry and rough, and in definite need of severe exfoliation. My pores were clogged, and I was starting to break out slightly (lovely, I'm a swamp monster). This cleared up all except for the under-the-skin blemishes. My pores are visibly clearer. This stuff works amazingly well. It's just a pain in the rear.

First off, it's black. I mean, pitch black, and really sticky, so it feels like you're smearing tar on your face. You have to put it on thickly and evenly, but you can't do it in layers because the first layer rubs off as you apply the second layer. I finally had to squeeze the entire sample tube into my hand and smear it all over, then use a wet rag to wipe the mask away from my eyebrows and hairline. Then, it gets really tight. I had a cup of coffee, and I couldn't take a sip because I couldn't pucker my lips enough. That's okay, though, because that just meant it was working. I just wanted to give you a heads up.

After just a few minutes drying time (it really doesn't take very long), I went upstairs to peel off the mask and see if it really was the "Biore strip for your whole face" that one user review proclaimed.

Apparently, I didn't get it thick enough around the edges, because the mask did not want to peel off. It must have taken me ten minutes to peel off what I could (about 80%) before finally washing off the rest. Word of warning: do not peel this off into the sink. You'll have a devil of a time trying to clean it up later. Peel directly into the trash can. I will say, though, that when I finally removed all traces of the mask, my skin looked lovely. I followed up with the moisturizer from yesterday's post, for added protection.

It's a really good mask, but there is a lot of room for user error, and a lot of product can be wasted. I suggest trying to snag a sample to try yourself before shelling out that kind of money. In the meantime, if you know of a really great peel mask, let me know about it in the comments.


  1. ok, i think i have to quote the aforementioned commercial with the glue socks. from the mom: "that's really stupid."


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