Protection or Fashion? Creative Face Masks Around the Globe

Jun 2, 2020 | Asia, BEAUTY, BIZ, Japan, Korea, STYLE, US

Lady in Mask ©Anna Shvets

The COVID-19 has caused a shortage of surgical and n95 masks. Although worldwide health authorities are discouraging the masses to get these masks and reserve them for health workers, it hasn’t stopped fashionistas from making their own.   

As the novel coronavirus sweeps across the globe, hospitals and pharmacies are running out of gowns, eye protection, and masks. The worst part is, new supplies in production cannot keep up with its rising demand. 

However, that’s not enough to wind down the creativity of people. From sanitary pads, plague masks, and Stormtrooper helmets, it looks like the face mask shortage is being used to spread positivity and a whole lot of laughter. 

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The Most Creative Face Masks

Before you use a non-medical grade mask, you first have to test if it works. Don’t worry, this is a very easy step. All you need is your mask, and a lighter or candle. Simply put your mask on, position the lighter around 3 inches from your lips, and blow on it. If the light does not go out, you’re good to go. 

Check out how the rest of the world has exercised their creativity and resourcefulness to deal with the mask shortage.

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Yes, you read that right. Women are now using their undergarments to help limit the spread of the virus. However, don’t get too excited. Your DIY-bra mask will not give you the same amount of protection as a surgical mask. Therefore, it won’t stop you from getting the virus. 

While it’s unclear how this trend started, there has been a dramatic increase in tutorials on how to do it on social media. Unfortunately, those with a large cup size will get nothing but a good laugh on this tip since instead of covering only the nose and mouth, their undergarment will cover their entire face. That’s not exactly the protection you want, right?

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Fashionable Face Masks

Looks like the virus won’t stop Nigerian celebrities from accessorizing. Omashola Kola Oburoh, a Big Brother finalist wore a show-stopping pink shimmering mask to the Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Award. He insisted that he wore the accessory as a protest, adding that fashion can be a tool for education.

Influencer Iheme Faith Uloma AKA Ifu Ennada also used her vision as a fashion designer to put together a glamorous face mask that looks like it would perfectly fit in a museum. She posted it with the hashtag #CoronaVirusFashion. 

If that’s not enough to get you interested, maybe this will – Billie Eilish also sported a unique face mask during the Grammy Awards held last January. The mask was designed by fashion powerhouse Gucci.

Over The Top Face Masks

If you do not have the guts to wear face masks with gems like the celebrities listed above, you’ll be shocked to find out some Japanese solutions to the face mask shortage. Newsflash: it’s anything but low-key.  

Nogizaka46, a Japanese idol band just proved that they are always on top of starting trends when they released a photo of them wearing glass bubbles on their heads. While you may look like an astronaut while wearing it, it’ll definitely keep you safe from sneezes coming from all directions. 


If you love cyberpunk, this may be the one for you. Hiroto Ikeuchi commissions personalized cyberpunk masks that will make you look like a dystopian character. While the designer’s intricate designs are meant for magazines and photoshoots, there’s no denying it can be used as a protective mask.

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What Face Mask Will You Use?

It’s weird to think that only a few months ago, the only face mask you had in your home was a Korean sheet mask for skincare. Now, people wearing masks have become a common sight in every street and city. Even if you don’t get access to a medical-grade mask, remember the tips to fight the virus – wash your hands frequently, cover your mouth with your elbow when you sneeze, and don’t touch your mouth, nose, and eyes.

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