SkyMall Monday: Sling Couture Fashion Face Mask ACTUAL REVIEW

Travel is a grimy, germ-filled activity that tests the limits of our tolerance for all things bacterial. Recycled plane air, cramped buses and less-than-hygienic hotel rooms all conspire to infect us. Staying healthy on the road is essential if you want to enjoy your holiday or get the job done on a business trip. However, you also want to look good when you’re traveling so that you can woo a sexy local or dress the part of a savvy business traveler. How do you keep germs at bay while also looking like the dapper gadabout that you are? Rather than compromise form for function, you deserve to look your best while continuing to feel your best. No one knows that better than the mad scientists at SkyMail. That’s why they provide you with a way to deter bacteria while inviting attention. It’s time to get sassy while staying healthy with the Sling Couture Fashion Face Mask.

I traveled with the Sling Couture Fashion Face Mask from the subways of New York City to the wide open spaces of Yellowstone National Park to a hot air balloon in Turkey’s Cappidocia region. Did it keep me healthy and appropriately dressed?


If you’re an avid SkyMall Monday reader, you’re already familiar with Sling Couture. We reviewed their signature arm sling earlier this year. It kept us looking sophisticated while convalescing. But preventing infections and diseases is a much tougher task. I was skeptical that a flashy mask could help me avoid picking up a bug while on the road, so I put it through a series of rigorous tests.

Available in 12 styles, there’s a Sling Couture Fashion Face Mask to suit every person and mood. I tested Red Glitter, which brought out my eyes.

I headed underground to the New York City subway armed with my Sling Couture Fashion Face Mask and stood prominently in the middle of a train car. New York City subway trains are far from sanitary. Along with muffled announcements and loud music escaping from headphones, coughing is a ubiquitous sound on the subway. No matter how many people wheezed, coughed or sneezed, I stood clear of the closing doors in my shiny mask and stood out as a fashion icon in a city known for style.

From there, I took the skies and flew west to Jackson, WY. Planes are Petri dishes of bacteria. The air is stale, the space is cramped and you can feel every cough and sneeze on the back of your neck. However, I read the SkyMall catalog with no problem despite several passengers sounding as if they had typhoid. And I did so while not being one of those overly casual fliers wearing a tracksuit.

The toughest test of all soon followed as the Fashion Face Mask came with me to Turkey. The air in Istanbul is thick. Approximately 12 million people live in Turkey’s largest city and, despite its many cosmopolitan neighborhoods, it still struggles to fully modernize. As I crossed the Bospherus from Asia to Europe, I donned my mask. I stayed healthy while also looking as if I belonged in the European Capital of Culture.

If there is one downside to the Sling Couture Fashion Face Mask, it’s that the mask itself is not particularly breathable. But breathability is not a major concern when evaluating face masks. They are less like doctors masks and more similar to masks used by painters or construction workers. That said, they do a fantastic job at keeping asbestos at bay.

Travel is taxing, exhausting and, at times, sickening. Protect yourself and celebrate your style with the Sling Couture Fashion Face Mask. You’ll look good, feel good and only slightly confuse everyone around you.

Be sure to check out the gallery of photos from my travels with the Sling Couture Fashion Face Mask.

Check out all of the previous SkyMall Monday posts HERE.

Small yet significant tips to make your long-haul flights better

All my life I have traveled Economy Class (only once did I get lucky and got an upgrade to Business Class). In my opinion, flights of up to 7 hours in Economy are tolerable, but more than that and the all the fidgeting and frustration starts getting to you.

Having lived in Australia for 3 years, I dreaded the 14 hour flights to and from Dubai (30 hours if you include transfers and waiting); that’s when I realized how seemingly trivial things could drastically change the quality of your flight.

MSN just published an article listing some of these small yet significant tips, of which I think these are the most important:

Be comfortable:
Wear loose, warm, long, comfortable clothes. Stick to flat shoes, preferably ones you can wear socks with. Being warm and comfortable in your clothes will change the nature of your flight. (It’s such a basic point, I don’t understand why so many people choose to make a fashion statement on board at the expense of being comfortable. Perhaps they should stop making movies that make people believe they will find “the one” mid air.)

Bring lip-balm: Even if you have never-cracking lips, on a long-haul flight darling, they will crack! I carry lip-balm everyday, everywhere I go, and always have it on a flight. Once I forgot it and my lips chapped like tree bark. (Yes, ouch). I kept going to the bathroom and putting that disgusting hand-lotion they keep in there on my lips. Didn’t work, and yuck, never again.

I never thought of carrying trail-mix on a flight, and I am queen of trail-mix! I always have some on me. Muesli, raisins, walnuts, and M&M’s. Simple, energetic, healthy, and tasty — it’s a great idea to carry some on a flight.

Meal choice on board:
I eat everything and am generally easy with food. But on a flight I always get the not-so-good option (or maybe it’s just that the other food looks better because I don’t have it?). So the MSN article suggests to ask the air host/hostess to pick for you. Why? Because they eat that food too so they have a good idea which meal is better. Doh!

Here are some other tips from my side that are also gold for long-haul flights:

Choose a plane with Video-On-Demand:
If you can watch movies whenever you want, and can start them anytime you choose, you will not realize how quickly time flies. Video-On-Demand is becoming more and more common in-flight these days, but it’s worth double checking whether your flight has it before booking.

Don’t put the hot towel on your face:
Yes, yes, I know it feels awesome, but don’t forget how your skin feels after! It gets super dry and unless you have moisturizer or very greasy skin, the towel on your face can leave your skin quite uncomfortable for a while.

Chew gum to keep your ears from blocking: Well, they will still block, but to a lesser extent if you chew gum as you take-off and when landing, so keep some handy!

Getting into Business/First Class when you have an Economy ticket:
Caution — try this at your own risk. I have never done this and cannot guarantee results, but I have a friend who does it often and he often gets away with it.

Wait till the last, last, last boarding call. Then go running in pretending you are late. When you enter the flight, everyone has taken their seat and if there are empty seats in First Class or Business Class, odds are that those seats are free. That’s when you go and sit in one of them. If you are unlucky, it could be that the passenger who should be in that seat is in the bathroom before take-off, but key is to think positively and act confident. What’s the worse thing that can happen? You will be asked to go to your seat and you will suffer 5 seconds of embarrassment. No big deal.

Hope these tips help! Happy long flight!

Breaking News: 147 People killed in Madrid plane crash

A Spanair plane bound for the Canary Islands from Madrid caught fire after skidding off the runway killing 147 people; 173 were on board — 26 are known to have survived.

The plane was delayed for an hour because of technical reasons and when it finally tried to take-off from Terminal 4 of Barajas International Airport, it hardly got off the ground before it swerved off the runway as its engine caught fire and blew-up into flames. This happened around 2:30pm this afternoon (Spain time).

“The plane was totally broken apart, it was all full of bodies,” one of the witnesses told El Pais newspaper (as reported by Sky News).

You can see a video post accident here on Spain’s National newspaper El Pais, unfortunately the commentary is in Spanish.

Before the crash, Spanair pilots threatened to strike after they heard of plans to cut the airline’s workforce by 1000 people.

Spanair is one of Spain’s national airlines — the second largest after Iberia, and owned by the Scandinavian SAS Group.

MacBook Air or bomb? One guy’s trip through airport security

Apple’s newest doodad is 3/4th of an inch at its thickest point and weighs three pounds. But apparently that makes the Macbook Air the perfect bomb–at least in the eyes of airport security.

One Mac lover ran his Air through the x-ray machine without thinking about what the lack of a hard drive, CD drive, or ports would look like to the security guys. Pretty soon, there are dozens of security guards running around thinking they’ve got a terrorist dumb enough to carry a bomb through the security checkpoint.

It wasn’t until a new recruit with some common sense (and who reads the news) chimed in.

He tells the others that it is a real laptop, not a “device”. That it has a solid-state drive instead of a hard disc. They don’t know what he means. He tries again, “Instead of a spinning disc, it keeps everything in flash memory.” Still no good. “Like the memory card in a digital camera.” He points to the x-ray, “Here. That’s what it uses instead of a hard drive.”

Over at Reddit, there are some hilarious comments to this story. My favorite:

Ironic that the “Air” keeps him grounded.

In January, I raised concerns about the suitability of the MacBook Air for travelers. Add this to the list.

Flights within Europe for $50

At one point, Europe had more than one hundred budget airlines. Not all of them made it through the turbulent few years, but those who remained (some fifty) are pretty solid. You know the spiel – you can book one-way tickets without penalty, there is no free food on board, usually no assigned seats, you are only allowed to carry on 1 bag and check 1 bag, otherwise you pay. That is after all, how they make their money. If your dates are flexible, the tickets are very cheap. is one of those airlines. The biggest budget airline in Central Europe, headquartered in Slovakia, started a major promotion today to celebrate their 5-year anniversary. They fly to all major European destination and have new planes.

This week only, you can buy tickets anywhere they fly for FREE (you only pay taxes). I booked a round trip ticket from Prague to Rome for $50. Go snatch some!