How to find a cool Mardi Gras mask
Mardi Gras represents a Western Christian feast, also known as the Fat Tuesday. Tradition links this feast as the last day when people were allowed to eat fatty foods before the annual cleanse during the pre-Easter fasting. Since it is mainly linked to Easter, Mardi Gras is celebrated each year on a different date, 47 days before Easter. Nevertheless, it is usually a time for carnivals and sumptuous festivals, filled with fancy costumes, crazy makeups, and colorful accessories.
If you were always a fan of carnival masks but never really found the occasion to wear one, hitting the New Orleans yearly carnival is as best as it gets. Each year, the city is visited by millions of people worldwide, willing to catch a glimpse of the truly vivid and colorful streets around here, the mysterious tales about witches, as well as the beloved jazz scenery. New Orleans is also the host of one of the biggest carnivals held to celebrate Mardi Gras. Thus, appropriate clothing and costumes are a must.
If you are looking for a cool mask to complete your outfit for the grand Mardi Gras parade, there are countless options to choose from in specialized stores, both online, and offline. Nevertheless, making the right choice is not an easy task, especially if you do not have the time to wander through all stores.
How we chose the coolest Mardi Gras masks
Our comprehensive guide will help you make the best choice from all available options. We will guide you through various shapes, sizes, and styles, to make sure you purchase the perfect masquerade mask. Here is what you should take into account.
Whenever choosing for a face mask, it is important to take into account the size of your face, as well as the overall size of the mask. The mask should perfectly mold on your eyes and nose to create the impression of a drawing rather than an independent accessory.
Small, black masks like the consecrated Zorro character are the best ones if you already have a crowded, detailed outfit or you prefer simplicity. It is also the most common type chosen by men who don’t want to get into a costume but have no other choice.
Thus, these masks are suitable for all face shapes and sizes and are a great suggestion for both genders. We recommend opting for classic yet precious fabrics such as satin, silk, leather or velvet. Obviously, men can opt for the leather look while velvet and satin will be the top choices for women.
Fabrics and embellishments
As previously mentioned, masks can be made from a variety of fabrics. Plastic is the most common material for affordable masks but, unfortunately, most of them won’t last long. The more flexible ones are made from natural fabrics like leather or lace and usually add a touch of elegance to all outfits.
However, if you are truly looking to impress on the Mardi Gras day, you should definitely look for artisanal masks made from ceramics or precious materials. Artisanal masks can be quite expensive because they are usually made by hand and embellished with precious accessories such as beads, feathers, crystals, lace, etc. A handmade one-of-a-kind mask can easily cost you around one hundred dollars, but prices may go even higher, depending on the mask’s complexity and embellishments used.
Again, we think you should avoid plastic if you’re looking forward to a more elaborate and sophisticated look. However, if you are keen on these elements, we suggest buying one in a vibrant color – purple, yellow or green, the Mardi Gras “official” colors.
If you’re not sure which type of mask to choose, we are going to review some of the most popular styles and make some suggestions.
The most common ones are eye masks, usually attached to the face by an elasticated strap. These are also the cheapest versions and come in countless designs, perfect for a night at the Mardi Gras carnival.
If you’re looking for something a little bit more special, we suggest opting for a full face mask. These usually cover the upper part of your face, up to your hair and contain plenty embellishments such as feathers, sparkle materials, lace, feathers, etc.
Another popular type of mask the Casanova one with the big, pointy nose. Back in the glory days, pointy nose masks were used by medics who had to deal with plague patients as a protection form, along with a special costume. Although inconclusive, it was believed that these costumes and masks were able to protect the doctors against contacting and spreading the plague.
Nowadays, long nose masks are mainly used by those who want to add a touch of mystery to their looks and create a special outfit. For the Mardi Gras celebration opt for a black and gold one or stick to the rather traditional colors of the fest, purple, yellow/gold, and green. It is also important to mention that this type of masks usually suits men better as they have larger faces that can be nicely covered by the item.
Women who truly want to transform their outfits and create a unique look should always opt for full or topped feather masks. These are elegant and will perfectly compliment a long evening gown.
Another type of masks that can be used by both genders is the eye mask on a stick. They tend to be a rather unhandy as you will have one of your hands occupied throughout the night, but the good thing is that they will not ruin your makeup and you can easily switch between styles to make yourself unrecognizable.
Last but not least, for those who prefer the burlesque style which is kind of creepy as well, we suggest choosing a Jester mask. The name comes from the former Buffon or minstrels, meaning storytellers and entertainers. Jesters were usually hired by kings or the king’s court to entertain guests at fairs and celebrations. The masks resemble the ones of a Harlequin, in vivid colors and covering the entire face.