It is largely accepted now that, along with other public health measures, masks are effective in helping to control the spread of Covid-19 and in Ireland it is now mandatory to wear face coverings on public transport and in shops, shopping centres, cinemas, restaurants, bars and other indoor settings like banks and post offices. More and more people around the country are taking it upon themselves to wear a mask daily whenever they leave the house and particularly while in crowded areas, even outdoors. Children and teenagers are also being required to wear face coverings in schools if they are in third class or above.
More recently it has been established that while surgical and cloth face masks are still somewhat effective in blocking or reducing the transmission of Covid-19, the most effective face covering appears to be the N-95 or KN-95 face masks, or FFP2 face masks. Harvey Norman Ireland are currently selling a box of ten KN-95 Protective Masks for just €17.90. N-95 face masks are also available from pharmacies nationwide.
After almost two years living with Covid-19, we think it’s time we find one that we actually want to wear.
There have been lots of creative takes on social media showing followers how to make their own masks from home. Jenny Walton, a fashion illustrator based in New York, has been repurposing old designer dust bags (from Gucci to Prada) to make face masks; sustainable clothing brand Reformation shared a simple but effective trick of using a silk scarf and two bobbins (find it in their Instagram Stories highlights); and Vogue shared a step by step guide and pattern for making and tie-dyeing your own mask at home.
Of course from a public health perspective, it doesn’t matter what your face mask looks like as long as it covers your mouth, nose and chin, but for those of us who like to consider our appearance, who take pride in how we look and feel and whose aesthetic sensibilities often tend to win out over practicality, we can’t help but want our mask to be attractive. We could go into a whole spiel on how the mask could become the next form of self-expression (and the next It accessory?) but we’ll save you the essay and instead include below some Irish face masks that you can buy from home to help make your essential trips that little bit more stylish…
THE GLOSS Interiors Mask Collection is an exclusive collaboration between THE GLOSS and the legendary Colefax and Fowler, Jane Churchill and Manuel Canovas. These reusable sustainable face coverings, made in Ireland from divine designer cotton print interior fabrics are stylish, fresh and exclusive to THE GLOSS. The perfect accessory for you and a lovely gift too. You can’t leave the house without one, so always have one you love to hand. €25 for set of two including shipping in Ireland. *Please note these masks are currently sold out.
Linen mask, €19, Irish Linen House
100% Irish linen face mask, €14.95 at Avoca
Orla Kiely face mask, €14.95, at Kilkenny Design
Linen travel mask, €20, Stable of Ireland (check back regularly for restock).
Cloth mask, €25, We Make Good. With every mask purchased We Make Good will donate one mask to someone living in direct provision.
Irish linen and bamboo kids face mask, €3.95, Trousseau. Adult masks €9.95.
Silk Face Masks, €30, Jennifer Rothwell. 10% of all profits from sales of the masks will be donated to the Capuchin Day Centre for Homeless.
Cardinal Red Silk Face covering, €30, Natalie B Coleman.
Handmade face masks, €35, Mariad Whisker via dominowhisker.com.
Adult masks €29.90 per pack of 3, Bare Essentials
Pack of six masks, Helen Cody via Instagram
Handmade silk face mask lined with Irish linen, €55, Reuben Avenue
Three-layer Irish linen mask, €16, Emblem Weavers
‘Howya’ kids mask, €4, Irish Sock Society.
We’ll update this post regularly with more Irish face masks as they become available so do check back in regularly.
Sign up to our MAILING LIST now for a roundup of the latest fashion, beauty, interiors and entertaining news from THE GLOSS MAGAZINE’s daily dispatches.