AARP Eye Center
The primary purpose of a face mask during pandemic times is to help reduce the spread of airborne disease, of course. But now that face masks have become a part of our daily wardrobe — summer's (and soon to be fall's) hottest accessory, if you will — there's no reason you can't look your best in them. The trick is to pick a complementary mask color and play up the features that are still out there for all the world to see.
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Make hair care front and center
With our faces covered up behind a mask these days, hair is in the spotlight like never before.
"Hair is the original accessory,” says Jennifer Hittle, a beauty industry veteran who worked with elite status customers for L'Oréal Professionnel and is now director of global education for hair colorist company Celeb Luxury. “We can't let the mask have all the fun and overshadow the hair.”
She recommends a color wash shampoo and conditioner with a semipermanent dye to help brighten tones that have dulled.
"It works like a toner in times where you're staying away from a salon to keep the color beautiful and maintained,” Hittle says.
This might also be the time to liven it up a little with your color choices, she says, adding that pink and lavender are among the options for color washes, as well as the more standard blond, brown and silver tones.
In addition to keeping your hair's color bright, your cut and style can also work to draw attention up from your mask and even help to highlight your eyes, says VJ Moscaritola, co-owner of My Darling Ivy, a popular salon in New York City's Chelsea neighborhood.
"Masks add a shadow to people's faces, so if you have some lighter bits of hair near your eyes it will brighten up that area above the mask and below the hairline,” he says. Moscaritola suggests requesting a tone-on-tone contrast instead of a heavier contrast at your next trip to the salon as it will create a more luminous look.
"If your hair has a brown base, ask for a lighter brown highlight, and the same with blond” and other colors, he says.