Fashion & Beauty

Masks—for Halloween and More

October 25, 2022

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Clockwise, from left: Masks for all occasion—Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe mask for sleep, a Venetian-made  showstopper, a femme fatale option and an elaborate plague protector. 

By Janet Kelly

AMID HALLOWEEN hoopla that seems to grow every year, I mostly have been a bystander, eschewing costumes and masks and all spooky decor. Oh, I like handing out candy to little kids as they toddle up the stairs in front of my house and gobbling up the leftover sweets the following days. Admittedly, by the time All Hallows’ Eve ever arrives, I’ve scarfed down my fill of my favorite Reese’s peanut butter cups and Butterfingers.

This year I feel more like getting into the act—maybe because the specter of Covid has lifted, if not disappeared, and I’m putting on my stash of protective face coverings on fewer occasions. Speaking of masks, I’ve discovered a couple of sparkly and feathery festive ones in my office closet. My husband and I plan to wear them Oct. 31.

If you don’t already own some Halloween masks, we’ve identified some splendid ones to celebrate trick-or-treat this coming Monday. We’ve also found some, let’s say, alternative choices.


Masquerade as a creature of the night. Crafted from fabric feathers, Grandin Road’s Owl Mask molds to fit the face with a black elastic band that secures it. Should you want more of a costume, wear it with a feather boa or cape. It’s $19.60. Order by tomorrow—October 26 at 4pm EST— to get it by Halloween (with two-day shipping).


LEFT: Made after an original design developed in Venice for Commedia dell’Arte during the late 17th century, this gorgeous gold mask with flowered pleated jabot will stun trick-or-treaters or partygoers at a masquerade fête. The purchase price is $300 at 1st Dibs.

RIGHT: Physicians who tended to plague victims in 17th-century Europe prescribed “protective” concoctions while wearing beaked masks—probably not as elaborate as this 1.1-pound Halloween plague mask ($375) made of resin and PVC with faux feathers.

Channel your inner va-va-voom with this Femme Fatale mask from the Original Venice Shop. Handcrafted in papier-mâché and manufactured in La Serenissima (it comes with a certificate of authenticity), it sells for $37.01.


LEFT: A veil topped with a black pumpkin and feathers makes an easy-to-wear Halloween headband. No big investment needed. It’s $19.60 from Grandin Road, and if pumpkins aren’t your thing, choose headbands topped with spiders or bewitching accents.

RIGHT: This Columbina Venetian mask in papier-mâché ($32.89, Etsy) is hand decorated and colored with acrylic paint and gold or silver leaf. Available in nine other colors, it may arrive too late for Halloween, but it’s a beauty you can save for next year. It’s $32.89 at Etsy.

Feathery finds in my office supply closet. We may have to flip a coin over who wears which one.


LEFT: We recommend this satin, silk-filled Warhol Marilyn eye mask for artful shuteye, if not for Halloween. It’s $19.99 from the Carnegie Museum Stores.

RIGHT: Most appropriate as a face cover for All Hallows Eve, you can also wear the Scream neck gaiter as a headband, hood, scarf, etc. Thanks to its stretchy fabric, it’s comfortable as well as multifunctional. And who can’t relate to Edvard Munch’s famous painting of human anxiety?

Trick-or-treating can last for several hours, depending on factors like weather and where you live. In between greeting goblins and ghouls, take time to pamper yourself. Winter is coming, so hydrate your skin and improve its texture with Lancôme’s Advanced Genifique Hydrogel Melting Sheet Mask (4 count), which sells for $55 at Neiman Marcus. Should you happen to go back to door duty while you still have it on, you’ll look like you’re wearing a ghost mask.

Do your best interpretation of The Phantom of the Opera by donning Dr. Dennis Gross’s FaceWare Pro for Halloween night. It’s an FDA-cleared light therapy device for the face that combines 100 LED lights in red and 62 in blue that supposedly works  to smooth wrinkles, firm skin and diminish discoloration. Pricey, yes (it’s $435) but guaranteed to scare the unsuspecting and it might even improve the look of your skin.

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3 thoughts on “Masks—for Halloween and More

  1. Nancy G says:

    These are all really beautiful, except the facial ones, of course. We’re still wearing our KN95 masks in crowded situations, too. Wonder if I can break out the original cloth ones again, with all the pretty fabrics, but not the surgical protection. Though that probably assumes a higher level of vaccination than actually exists.

    1. Janet Kelly says:

      Just when you think it’s safe to come out of the water…. Jim and I went to Pilates on Monday and the next morning our instructor texted she had tested positive for Covid. We’re crossing fingers that we have some immunity from having had Covid end of August.

  2. Nancy McKeon says:

    If more people had known about that feathered plague mask, our early-pandemic streets would have been more colorful, for sure. And I bet more people would have adopted the mask habit more readily. I still wear my (more utilitarian, surgical) mask to the theater, on buses, in the grocery store, etc. I’m well boosted but it can’t hurt.

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