You’ve got your outfit, planned your hair and make-up and can’t wait for your big night out. But how do you choose a mask that suits you and isn’t going to get in the way of you having a great time?
Whether you’re male or female, young or old, flamboyant or understated, there are some basic rules to follow linked to your features and face shape that can help you to find your perfect masquerade mask.
Here are our picks to make shopping for masks simple.
If you’re petite and have a smaller face and features, solid masks might seem like they drown you. Full face masks might look out of proportion with your body and while elaborate vertical feather decorations might add drama and height, they might not be too large in relation to your frame.
For a glamorous but proportionate look, try a delicate filigree mask like the Onda Petite Filigree metal mask, or for a bit of bling, the Ricciolina Flock Strass velvet-covered metal mask with crystals – both of which add drama and detail without swamping your face. For something more dramatic, stick to an eye mask but add feathers and detail to the side, rather than straight up. You might want to try something designed to suit smaller faces, like the Baby Armoury Gloss small feathered mask, available in red, white or black, for an ultra-glam look
If you wear glasses and can’t swap them for contact lenses on a night out, you might have found it hard to find a mask that works for you in the past. But there are plenty of options designed especially to fit over glasses, in elegant styles for both men and women. Plus, masks designed for glasses wearers clip directly onto your frames, so you don’t have to worry about ribbons coming undone halfway through dinner or putting your mask down and losing it halfway through the night.
For an elegant, gothic-inspired look, try the Pipistrello glass bat mask in delicate metal filigree to turn even the simplest pair of specs into a dramatic fashion statement. For a style that extends to cover more of your face, the asymmetric Phantom glass strass mask creates structure and drama, echoing the shape of a traditional Phantom of the Opera mask but constructed in intricate metal filigree for a lighter touch.
Masks on sticks are also a great option for glasses wearers as they can be held in front of your glasses and removed whenever you like. For men, the Colombina Grezzo stick in cream for a classic carnival-inspired look, or the Joker Melody stick when you want to up the glamour. For the ultimate ladies’ stick mask, the Ciuffo gold stick mask with black and cream feathers, to add sparkle and sophistication to even the simplest of outfits.
If you’ve got a moustache or beard, a full-face mask might not be the right option for you, as they’re designed to fit the shape of your face without facial hair. And even if it does fit over your facial hair, you might find a full-face mask pulls on it, making it more of an annoyance.
For a mask, you’ll be able to wear all evening, try something structured but half face, like the Giglio colour mask (in black, silver or gold), which mirrors the shape of your beard for a simple but sophisticated look. Or for a classic pared-back look, try something in plain block colour, like the Colombina Grezzo – a sleek half-face style available in a range of colours. This is also a great style if you’re wearing colour or pattern, so your mask doesn’t detract from your outfit.
For the sophisticated look try the Semplice sweetheart shaped masks which come with gold or silver trim
If you don’t mind a mask that sits over your moustache but wants a strong masculine mask that makes a statement, try a striking style like the traditional Venetian Bautu either in plain white or gold or with more elaborate decoration, like the Bauta Scaatchi character mask, with harlequin-style diamond pattern detailing in a variety of colours. For added drama, try the Bauta Notte Oscura, embellished with ghoulish grin detailing, to create a trick of the eye that’s sure to get other party guests talking.
Strong jawlines are the stuff of superheroes, so if that’s you, you can’t go wrong with structural masks that emphasise the line of your jaw. For a 1960s-inspired Batman vibe, try the minimal Hero black leather mask – perfect with a sharp suit – or, if the movie version of the Caped Crusader is more your thing, there’s the Devil black leather mask with sharp angles and traditional-meets-modern styling to create a real sense of drama. If you want a movie star look that’s more modern, try a simple style like the Colombina Cuoio luxury leather mask, similar to the style worn by Jamie Dornan in the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise.
If you need something a little more elaborate to dress up a plain dinner suit, Venetian-inspired embellished eye masks also work well for those with strong jaws. Structured styles like the Joker gold mask with coloured detailing and embellished with musical notes add a real sense of drama, while the Largo Argento black eye mask with silver detailing creates a strong, modern look in a neutral but striking colourway.
If you’ve got a heart-shaped face, finding a mask that’s in proportion can be difficult and anything too big will swamp you but anything too small might look lost. People with heart-shaped faces – like those with petite features – might find that playing around with height and texture looks best, with high feather detailing perfectly mirroring a slim, tapered jawline. For a classic Venetian carnival-inspired look, try something like the Ciuffo gold mask with central black feather plumage, or the Struzzo lux silver mask when you want to perfectly coordinate your mask with your outfit. Tall feathers in the centre balance the length and height of your face, for a flattering look that’s perfect for heart shapes.
Filigree styles are also a great choice for people with heart-shaped faces, particularly if you choose a mask with sweeping cat’s eye-inspired sides. The Rugiada black metal filigree mask adds detail and height without swamping your features, or for a softer look and feel, try the Burlesque lace mask, decorated with your choice of coloured glitter, which compliments a heart-shaped face perfectly.
Oval faces generally have the broadest choice when it comes to masks, with full face and half, filigree and feathers all working well.
However, people with longer faces may find vertical decoration makes the face seem even longer, so if you are looking for embellishment, you may find smaller feathers, or feathers to the side, are more flattering for you.
Styles like the Semplice Lato Side Feather mask create a focal point two-thirds of the way up your face, to balance out your proportions. To play with proportions, even more, try a Phantom of the Opera-inspired half-face mask, which covers one side of your face rather than both eyes and nose. For a classic look, perfect with a smart dinner suit, try the traditional Fantasme Delle Opera, or for a more subtle version in black, white, silver or gold, go for the smaller, glossy Fantasme Plain.
People with rounder faces can go for something really dramatic, as finding a flattering style is all about height. Plainer masks can make your face look rounder, while vertical detailing can help slim the face. For a sense of drama and fun, try a Joker-style mask like the Joker Jester Double with bells and pearls – perfect for a traditional masquerade ball. Or you could add height with the Struzzo Lux Gold Trim mask with centre feathers – a striking style available in a variety of jewel-like colours that’s sure to help you stand out.
For a more delicate look, filigree, lace and macramé masks are a great option too, as they provide minimal coverage but maximum glamour and mould to the shape of your face for a comfortable fit. Styles like the Inpiu Flock Strass velvet mask create drama and sparkle without obscuring your features too much, while the Macrame Luxury mask with gems and crystals adds soft, layered texture and more coverage, for when you want to maintain an air of mystery.
Masks on sticks are a good option too, as you don’t have to worry about the mask fitting the contours of your face. For a simple but striking metallic mask to compliment a colourful outfit, try the Gold Macrame stick mask, decorated with sparkling brown and clear crystals. For a more traditional Venetian carnival-style mask, go with the Cigno Mosaic Stick in blue and gold, decorated with a harlequin-style diamond pattern and finished with gold braiding to add detail, texture and that all-important height.
Whatever your style and your face shape, a masquerade mask can be the centrepiece of your look. Dress up, experiment and have fun!