Alternative fashion tips – Decorate your face mask, make your eyes count

Over the past couple of decades, outbreaks of the SARS and MERS coronaviruses have led to face masks being an everyday thing across parts of Asia and the Middle East. But up until March last year, when the first lockdown hit Britain, nobody in the UK wore a face mask.

One of our customers was shopping in Bristol on February 27th 2020 and was surprised to see a woman in a shop wearing a mask. It looked weird. Now it's more of a shock to see someone not wearing a mask. How quickly the norms of society change when there's a global emergency to deal with!

These days we're all wearing masks. Some are plain blue and white, very medical-looking and totally practical. Many people wear smart black masks. And we're starting to see an explosion in beautiful face masks, designer face masks, colourful face masks. We sell a good choice ourselves, all made from gorgeous fabrics.

Imagine you are the not-so-proud owner of a stash of boring fabric face masks. There you are, decked out in beautiful alternative clothing, but your face mask just spoils the effect. What can you do? In the best British tradition of doing it yourself, you can decorate fabric face masks so they look just as tasty as your clothes.

Once you've made yourself a bunch of beautiful masks, it's time for some fun with eye make-up. After all, when you're masked up, blusher and lipstick are a lot less important. Here are some ideas for you.

10 ideas for decorating a face mask

  1. Use Dylon fabric dyes to give yourself a colourful background to work on. They come in a multitude of lovely colours and all you do is bung your masks, along with the dye, into the washing machine. Just make sure the fabric is natural, otherwise the dye might not 'take'
  2. Tie dye is great fun. Use one dye, or two different Dylon fabric dyes for contrast. Wrap parts of the masks up with elastic bands then dye them. The dye doesn't penetrate the tightly-wrapped parts, leaving you with beautiful circular patterns
  3. Silk flowers are great. Most of the time you can easily dismantle them by taking out the plastic stamen that holds the pieces together and keeps the petals attached. Then you can either use the petals as they are, or cut them to size then sew them onto your mask to make something pretty and flowery
  4. You'll find a huge variety of rubber stamps at online craft stores, and also lots of lovely iron-on fabric paint. Imagine a rubber stamp in a butterfly design – print butterflies over your masks then iron over them to fix the paint
  5. 3D craft paints from Tulip or Pebeo are such fun. They come in squashy plastic bottles with a fine tip, which you squeeze like toothpaste to draw patterns and make outlines of designs. You could outline and embellish the butterfly printed masks you've already made to create something even more dramatic and eye catching
  6. Do you have any old Wicked Dragon clothing that you've grown out of, or worn so often and loved so much that it's at the end of its life? Maybe you've got an old silk scarf, an old patterned top, an old popper skirt. Perfect! Cut it up, cut out the patterned bits you like best, then appliqué them onto your masks in flower shapes, heart shapes, playing card symbols, whatever you like
  7. Do you have box of old beads? If not, perhaps you have a broken bead necklace or two hanging around? Beads are also a great way to decorate a face mask, everything from stunning, complex patterns made with tiny glass bugle beads to bigger, bolder beads used as decorative centres for appliqué flowers
  8. Brooches are fab. Pin something sparkly to your face mask for a fun, rebellious look
  9. Haberdashery stores are packed with thrilling bits and bobs, all available online. Choose from ribbons, binding, diamanté, sequins, tiny bells, iron-on decorative patches, embroidery thread, felt, miniature flowers, feathers, fringing, sparkly motifs, pom-poms, studs, tassels, chains and trimmings
  10. Crochet is cool. Can you crochet? If so, make tiny jewel-like crochet circles to decorate your mask. You can even use embroidery threads to make teeny-weeny, delicate crochet embellishments

The eyes have it - Making your eyes count

Here's one for the ladies. A face mask doesn't just cover up the lower half of your face. It makes your eyes stand out even more than usual. Because your mouth is hidden, your eyes also need to work a lot harder to get your feelings across. If you've found yourself screwing your eyes up, pulling all sorts of strange faces in an effort to look like you're smiling, you're not alone.

Here's a link to some great ideas for dramatic eye make-up, and here's another, this time to a brilliant Pinterest page  stuffed with gorgeous, amazing eye make up ideas, many featuring lush eye jewels. The same goes for your eyebrows. They matter more than ever when we're communicating with our fellow mask-wearers. Pinterest says 2021 is the year of 'defiant brows', in other words bold, statement-making arches that subvert the expected. Crikey. Apparently trends like brow bleaching are also set to be hot this year, ranging from platinum blonde to 'completely transparent'.

Decorate Wicked Dragon face masks

Why not pick up a collection of face masks from us and embellish them? This could be the start of something rather magical...

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