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Air Stockings - A Fashion Illusion
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Fashion writer Liz Embry of the Houston Chronicle reports on a new fashion illusion, "spray-on stockings," partially excerpted below...

Visualize a spray-paint can that mists flesh-colored, quick-drying foundation onto legs...Air stockings debuted in Japan in 2003 and within the first ten months on the market, more than 1 million cans were sold...

Minutes after application...the result [is] a matte finish that [looks] remarkably like pantyhose.

The product comes in three skin tones: Natural, Terracotta and Bronze.

According to the Japanese manufacturer, the formula contains hydrolyzed silk and leg-firming ingredients like amino acids and green tea extracts.

The article goes on to say that a similar product on the market is called "Airbrush Legs," priced at $9.99 a can. InStyle magazine's beauty news director, Amy Synnot, says that these products are "for people who actually wear pantyhose." Spray-on hosiery, as it is also called, is a distinct concept from self-tanning products. Air hose has advantages over the majority of tanning lotions -- there is no offensive odor, and it's easier to wash off.

As reported by ABC's Seven on your Side in New York, three of the long-legged Knick City Dancers tested the "Airbrush Legs" product, choosing one of four different colors closest to their skin tone. After shaving their legs and shaking the can, they sprayed it on. At the end of the trial, two of the dancers recommended it.

Lauren Trusty, Knicks City Dancers reported: "It is covering up my scars and really evening out the tone of the skin on my legs."

Denise Garvey, Knicks City Dancers added: "It just looks all over more even."

One frequent drawback, however, is the mess from the spray:

According to dancer Marcella Guarino, "Even after washing my hands it's not quite off all the way."

Another disadvantage stems from the sometimes off-color tint applied to the skin. Denise Garvey remarked, "I think the stockings made my legs look like they had a little bit more of a sheen. Where the airbrushing looked a little bit more dull."

Other tests reveal the spray-on hosiery lasts longer than real pantyhose, even after a tough workout. Considering the costs of wear and tear, the spray-on stuff is cheaper than regular pantyhose, which can run.

On the other hand, no one likes to see airbrush stains frequently left behind on a washing towel. Perhaps, for this reason, the dancers ultimately preferred old-fashioned hose.

Denise Garvey concluded: "Overall I think it was just a little bit too much work and that if you're pressed for time in any way this is not the thing to do."

Whether spray-on hosiery is just a new wrinkle or here to stay, the cult of fantasy continues to inspire today's fashion trends. The art of allure remains an eye-popping cauldron of mind-fooling and odd illusions.

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