Welcome to Year 1.5 of the ’Rona, everybody. Hopefully, by now, you’ve been able to get your vaccine and enjoy your life just a little bit more than you were this time last year.
Even though most of us are either vaccinated or on the road to vaccination, the CDC has already warned us that masks are still going to have to be a part of our daily lives for the foreseeable future. Womp womp.
Since we all have a stash of cute masks by now anyway, I say we should all just flip the situation and lean into making our masks as comfy and fashionable as possible. So, to help you guys level up your mask game, I’ve collected a few of the coolest face mask accessories and gadgets that I know of!
1. Ear Savers (But Make Them Cute!)
Ear savers are old news by now (nurses have been using them forever!), but if you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, it’s not too late!
What I DO like are these mask barrettes. I’ve seen them called “ear barrettes” too, but they function the same way that the button headbands do, just without the big fabric headband part.
2. Mask Chains
I’ve been seeing mask chains since the pretty early days of the pandemic, but it wasn’t until recently that I started seeing ones pretty enough to catch my attention. I expect to be wearing a mask in public at least until the end of this year (if we’re lucky), so I figure it wouldn’t hurt to invest in one of these for days that I don’t have pockets!
There are plenty of options for plain, no-frills lanyards, but I’m talking about accessories that look more like jewelry and add some extra personality to your outfit.
There’s a company called Pavé the Way that makes gorgeous mask chains that double as necklaces. The brand allows you to donate all of the profits from your purchase to any charitable organization that you’d like, so you can do some good while you shop!
I also like pearl mask chains, too. I think they’re so pretty without being overwhelming to the rest of your outfit, and you can always repurpose the chain for glasses or sunglasses when we no longer need masks.
3. Mask Brackets
I don’t need these mask accessories since I work from home and don’t typically have to wear a mask for long periods, but if you do, or if short-term masking is still uncomfortable for you, then mask brackets just might be your new best friend.
Most of the ones I’ve seen are food-grade silicone 3D brackets that will keep the mask fabric from touching your mouth and nose without causing irritation or sliding around. They come in different sizes too, so be sure to order ones that are appropriate for your face size! I also like that they come in packs, so you don’t have to wash the same one every day.
I know nurses and people who work long shifts with the public, and they’ve said that these brackets help reduce skin irritation and maskne, and they make wearing a mask more comfortable. The only caveat to this is that some of the sweatier people I’ve talked to say that if you sweat a lot, the bracket can slide. (Double-sided tape can fix this problem though!)
4. Anti-fog Spray and Cloths (For Glasses-wearers!)
I haven’t had a chance to try these out on my glasses yet, but I’ve ordered a couple of different types of anti-fog products from Amazon, and my fingers are crossed!
From what I’ve seen, there are two basic products: pre-moistened, single-use wipes, and special spray + cloth combo kits.
These anti-fog wipes have pretty good reviews, so I’m hopeful, especially with the serious heat and humidity that are quickly descending upon me. Because I’m a curious person, I also ordered this “Fog Defender” kit by Zeiss, which is a brand that I’ve bought regular glasses cleaning supplies from before.
5. Mask Keepers
Yes, you can store your masks in a sandwich baggie, a pocket, a wallet, or a dozen other places. But if you’re like some of my less-than-organized friends, you’re likely to forget where you stashed your mask or forget that you didn’t put one in its “usual place,” and now you’re maskless.
Enter mask keepers. These are basically just cute, compact storage cases that allow you to always have a cloth or disposable mask handy. I think these mask accessories would be especially helpful for people who have to use public transit or don’t always have the ability to carry a bag with them. There are tons of different colors and styles available if you search Google for “mask keeper,” but I think that these cute antibacterial cases and these clear plastic cases are both great options.
Mask Up in Style
I’m sure there are other mask accessories that I either didn’t include or haven’t heard of yet. If you have any recommendations, drop them in the comments so that I can make yet another pandemic online order!