Wearing a mask is essential. Wearing a mask is the right thing to do. But wearing a mask is driving me meshuga. That’s Yiddish for crazy. But now help is at hand. Here are my Five Tips for Fun, Comfortable, and Stylish Mask Wearing.
Masks come in all sorts of shapes, styles, and fabrics, but they still pose a host of fashion and style questions for wearers especially ladies keen to look chic and au courant. (That means fashionable, right?) So, in my self-appointed role as a middle-age mask maven, I offer these pointers. Enjoy. They’re good for a laugh if nothing else.
1. The In’s and Out’s
First, did you know there’s a right way to breathe while wearing a mask? Well, I didn’t, but apparently there is. All I know is that when I don a mask, I start puffing like a three-pack-a-day smoker. So, if you need help, here’s a guide through the proverbial in’s and out’s of breathing.
2. Earring Errors to Avoid
To wear or not to wear earrings with a mask is strictly a question of personal taste. If you’re sensitive about the possibility of your ears protruding from the elastic ear straps, perhaps earrings are a “no go” this COVID season. However, if you don’t have Dumbo-proportioned ears, then ladies and gents, go for the gold, silver, stainless steel, and diamonds.
This, of course, raises a subset query: if your earrings dangle, do you wear them inside or outside the mask straps? For me, this is as much a comfort as a style question. I’ve tried my earrings both ways and I believe they feel and look better a-dangling free in the breeze!
But for us oldsters, this raises another subset — and humiliating — dilemma: what about dangling earlobes? You know the problem caused by aging and gravity when your lobes wobble, jiggle, and are a tab loosey-goosey? Personally, I think the ability to tuck those embarrassments inside mask straps is a no-brainer, but then I never go outside without a bra either!
3. Let’s Get Lippy!
Next up: to lipstick or not to lipstick? Really? This is a question? Of course, lipstick! You’ve got to shed that mask at some point. Do you want whoever’s in your social bubble to see your kisser sans color and definition? Certainly not. But warning: make sure your lipstick can stand the test of time, sweat, heat, and mask. You don’t want to remove your mask and reveal a face that resembles a smeary crime scene with lipstick stains smudged across mouth, teeth, chin, and cheeks. Buy — and apply — a product that stays put. One that lasts 8 hours, or better still, forever, like plaster or cement.
4. The Eyes Have It!
And about eye make-up, I say pile it on. If our lips are masked, line those peepers like you never have. If people can’t see if you’re smiling, make sure your eyes are bright and shiny. Practice up on that elusive cat’s eyeliner technique. And use cheery eye shadow too. What the heck! But beware, eyeglass wearers. If your mask makes you sweat and your glasses fog up, be sure your make-up products are water-proof. And yes, you’re welcome for the fashion/safety tip.
5. Maskne (Yes, It’s a Thing)
And while most of us middle-aged muddlers worry about wrinkles and sagging skin, the wearing of masks can create a condition that hearkens back to our youth — acne. Yes, for some, the constant wearing of masks can lead to “perioral dermatitis,” as they say in the dermatological biz or “maskne,” as they say in social media circles. To combat this, experts advise using gentle cleaners on both skin and mask. Also, be sure to dry your mask completely after washing it. You can find more maskne intel here.
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That’s it — my Five Tips for Stylish Mask Wearing. That’s all I’ve got by way of silly and sane ideas about masks, but the New York Times does provide a host of practical tips for getting the most out of wearing a mask. I especially liked the recommendation about how to keep your eyeglasses from fogging up! Here’s the link to that article. Stay healthy, my friends. Be careful. Practice scrupulous social distance and, of course, wear a mask!