Masquerade Masks Oopsies
No doubt, it’s a culture shock to suddenly have to select a Masquerade Mask.
Masquerade Parties are sometimes sprung on lucky guests at the last minute and with no previous experience in selecting a mask – one could find it challenging?
Since the GFC there are fewer shops retailing masks and therefore less opportunity to try them on. The shops that do carry masks, mostly offer a small range, Chinese Masks and very few authentic Venetian Masks.
If your event is casual and playful, you may get away with a Chinese Mask – but you still want to look good, Right?
When selecting please consider the following traps
Over sized Masks, can make the most beautiful face look ridiculous.
Mask makers may be motivated by wanting a larger canvas to showcase their work. Or perhaps…. they just missed the class about balance, poise, proportion and the bit about “less is more”.
If you are small framed or petite, you need to consider each mask’s proportion carefully.
You should wear the mask, not the mask wear you.
Too Much Going On & Misplaced Features
The mask above is a cacophony of chaos. It has a tassel, feathers, 2 x flappy bits, a fabric flower and some seriously loud material topped off with heavy braid – and it’s too big for a human face. The flower feature should be at the eye level to be flattering and the feathers stick out at a weird angle.
Quality Components Only Please
st elaborately made mask will fall short if the fabric or trim is underwhelming.
Plastic beads, artificial flowers and gold paint have cheapened what started out as a reasonable mask.
Certainly the velvet is lovely & glass crystals instead of plastic would have yielded a better result.
Italian artisans tend to use Gold Leaf which looks fantastic and is always antiqued so that it is more tasteful.
Artificial flowers need to be lifelike if used on a fashion accessory.
Will the mask suit Your Complexion
An easy trap. Men particularly often want a plain black mask however if they have a fair complexion, blond or grey hair, it may not be flattering.
I hope this beautiful young model won’t mind me saying that I believe she may have been better served by a different mask.
This black mask is too large for her face and the finish of the mask leads me to the next trap…. plastic.
Stay away from Plastic Finished Masks
In over 20 years, no one has ever asked me for a mask that looks like its made out of plastic.
The black mask is completely unashamed of its plastic molded finish. Also, too much shine can cheapen the overall look of a mask.
It screams “I got this for 5 Bucks but it’s really only worth $3.00!”
My apologies to the model & photographer for my comments – I am happy to co-operate with you should you require better masks to match your skills.
Consider if the Mask looks cheap…. perhaps look for one that meets all your needs but still looks good.
We sometimes have slightly imperfect masks available that are stylish, elegant & half price!
Does the Mask Fit You Well?
As tempting as it may be to have the mask that you like or can afford, if the mask does not fit well you will not be comfortable.
Discomfort will be distracting on a night that really should be perfect.
Poor fit will amplify the weight born on the bridge of the nose. Ties should be ribbon, not lace and never elastic.
The mask should be tied on as tight as possible to ensure that the mask touches as much of the face as possible. Elastic ties never fit well and quite often break. Its hard to “look cool” when constantly adjusting the mask with eyes half hidden and discomfort showing.
Venetian Masks consistently fit better than the Chinese copies and even among the Venetian Masks you would be wise to select one with large eye sockets because they are more likely to line up with your eyes.
Narrow eyes on a mask could interfere with those wonderfully long eye lashes that are in vogue at the moment. This would be annoying – so select a mask with large eyes.
Gender Benders are Great – with care & good fit
It’s a rainbow of humanity out there and there are guys that like ladies masks and statuesque ladies who prefer to wear masculine masks.
Let’s run with masks that fit our faces well and are classic and dignified (unless it’s meant to be bad taste).
I think this guy looks good, although my blokie tradesman husband would never wear this! Well he is conservative and prefers not to be noticed.
In Italy, this mask would be considered unisex, here in Oz – not so much but it works well.
I am here to help with any queries regarding fitting gender bender masks.
For those who want to Be Noticed – Good on You!
Pushing the boundaries is how we evolve and masquerade masks are, after all, an artform that has been evolving for over 1000 years.
Just as long as the event will accommodate the look you are running with, have some fun with it.
I love this mask and the look that has been achieved here, although the angle of the horns may take an eye out.
A goat or devil would not be appropriate to wear to the local Christian School fundraiser but for a Singles event it would be fine.
Some unusual masks may restrict drinking and eating. They may even be suggestive or offend.
Venetian Masks must be made in Venice
Beware of the unscrupulous vendor who will happily sell you Chinese made masks as Venetian, Made in Venice.
Check the origin of the mask meticulously unless its super cheap and remember that if the vendor needs to pretend its Italian made to sell it – it is probably being sold for more than it’s worth.
Sincerely, I hope I have simplified and not complicated your decision. I am available to assist, just email
I have attempted to demonstrate the issues raised with photographic content that will not offend or hurt anyone’s feelings. The information contained in this article is my opinion and given that I have specialized in Masquerade Masks for more than 2 decades, I believe I am amply qualified.