Face mask fashion is something we never thought we’d be writing about, but we figure that if we have to wear them, we may as well wear them well.
While they aren’t considered to be the gold standard of COVID-19 prevention methods – that’s physical distancing and regular hand washing – face masks have proven to be a useful measure to help control sustained community transmission.
And even though, at the time of publication, we aren’t required by law to wear them in public, the added protection face masks provide to ourselves and others means we’re more than happy to rock them where and when we can.
Plus, they’re kind of 2020’s hottest fashion accessory.
Making your face mask
Official advice from the Queensland Government suggests single-use surgical masks are the best option, but for the environmentally-conscious, this presents a big waste problem. Instead, three layer cloth masks are a sustainable alternative, particularly if they offer a sleeve or pocket for a disposable filter.
Looking to make your own face mask? There are plenty of tutorials floating around, but we can’t go past Lincraft’s ‘Make Your Own Masks’ page for advice – they’ve got sewn and non-sewn mask patterns in a variety of sizes and styles, so you’re sure to find something that works for you and your family.
Buying your face mask
From Cotton On to Kathmandu, Seed to Culture Kings, it feels like every retailer has hopped aboard the face mask train. For those keen to support small businesses and local sellers, Etsy is brimming with face masks in a variety of designs, shapes and sizes, and a tonne of local bricks and mortar stores are selling their own versions, too. Here are a few of our favourite finds.
- KangaGoods face mask, $12, www.etsy.com
- Kmart adult face mask in floral, $6, www.kmart.com.au
- Cotton On Foundation gingham face mask, $9.99, www.cottonon.com
- Ellietheia face mask, $12, www.etsy.com
- Clothing the Gap face mask, $35, www.clothingthegap.com.au
- ULO Australia face mask, $25, www.uloaustralia.com
- Cotton On Foundation denim face mask, $9.99, www.cottonon.com
- Uncommon Goods set of two face masks, $34.06, www.uncommongoods.com
- BohCraft set of two face masks, $29, www.etsy.com
Styling your face mask
Your face may be covered, but your personality can still shine through with a few simple styling tips.
Tip one: Match with your mask
Invest in (or make) a handful of masks in a variety of basic materials and colours to make sure you’ve always got one that matches your look. We recommend picking up a black mask, a beige mask, a denim-coloured mask and maybe even a muted gingham or floral mask to see you through.
Tip two: Wear mask-proof makeup
Regular makeup wearers will have encountered a unique problem since rocking face masks – they are almost guaranteed to wipe foundation and lipstick off the bottom half of your face! Like with most makeup dilemmas, we have been turning to YouTube’s beauty gurus for help. We love Manny MUA’s tips for making makeup last under a mask, and Makeup by Amarie’s easy and lightweight mask makeup routine.
Tip three: Let your hair do the talking
It’s hard to style your hair to suit a mask, but award-winning Melbourne hairdresser Yoshi Su has somehow done it. He’s spent his last few weeks in lockdown creating easy but stunning hairstyles that suit different styles of face masks, and has kindly shared them with us.
Soft Viking braid with ponytail
- Prep your hair like you normally do with a ponytail
- Create external braids on the top section of the hair (by the fringe)
- Pinch the braid a few times to texture the hair and to make the appearance of the braid look softer and secure with hairspray
- Join the top braided section with the ponytail
- Hide the hair tie with a few extra strands of the hair and secure with bobby pins
- Spray dry shampoo on the ponytail to create texture and backcomb the roots to create volume like the ponytail
- Pinch small pieces of the hair to create desired shape
- Finish with a shine spray, like the Revlon Professional Style Masters Shine Spray
Lived-in low pony
- Prep the hair like a ponytail
- Create a low ponytail on the bottom section with a hair tie and leave the top section loose
- Let down the top section and spray dry shampoo to create texture and then create two sections of the top section
- Bobby pin the desired side of the section on top of the ponytail
- Twist in another side and secure with bobby pins
- Pinch the hair to create the desired texture and shape
- Finish with Revlon Professional Style Masters Shine Spray
Dishevelled hair up style
- Create the base from a lived in low ponytail
- Take the ponytail and wrap it up and secure it with bobby pins
- Pinch the hair to texture it to create the desired shape
- Secure loose pieces of hair with bobby pins
- Finish Revlon Professional Style Masters Shine Spray