Making a Fashion Statement with Face Masks in Japan

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Making a Fashion Statement with Face Masks in Japan

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Surgical masks are a common part of Japanese people’s everyday lives—it’s not unusual to see people on the streets wearing simply for the sake of hygiene. With spring approaching, you’re likely to see even more of them with yearly descent of hay fever on Japan. It’s a damper on the spring parade to cover up all the time, but there might be a way to still have some fun with it.

Pharmacies and stores are usually lined with box after box of white masks, but sometimes variety sneaks onto the shelf. It’s not all just plain white! Check out these different varieties sold in Japan to add some flair to the otherwise mundane (but certainly necessary) accessory.

Patterned masks

Sometimes all it takes is a cute pattern to change things up! It’s a subtle but fun way to add some flair to an otherwise ordinary surgical mask. You could go floral, or sassy leopard, or just have your favorite character dotted all over. Kowa’s popular Three-Dimensional Mask series has a Disney Design collection featuring beloved characters from Winnie the Pooh to Mickey Mouse to Disney princesses.

Fragrance masks

The primary purpose of surgical masks is to keep viruses out, but there’s no reason you can’t enjoy a good aroma with it. Some masks are diffused with special scents to keep the user feeling fresh and invigorated. The Honnori Herb Aroma Mask comes in three different scents: rose, lavender and grapefruit. If that doesn’t already sound lovely enough, the packaging is also beautifully designed to attract customers. Nothing like the sweet smell of flowers to protect you!

3d design masks

If simple patterns and fragrances aren’t enough, there’s always the option to go all out with an entire design. This is where mask-wearing truly turns into a fashion statement, transforming their users into all sorts of eccentric characters. gonoturn is a popular brand with a huge collection of masks ranging from the adorable to the borderline wacky. Among their newest releases is a Sailor Moon collection featuring the beloved characters from the anime series.

Tokyo Disney Resort also lets you turn into Disney characters with adorable character masks. Whether it’s the Little Green Man, Cheshire Cat or Donald Duck, it’s bound to bring a smile to anyone’s face.

Celebrity-produced masks

Surgical mask protection is a good habit to have, especially around this hay fever-ridden time of the year. But perhaps there’s a way to encourage people to buy masks even more—collaborate with idols and celebrities to produce and sell them. Zawachin, a famous makeup artist who went viral for transforming into famous people (most notably former AKB48 member Tomomi Itano) with the clever use of makeup and face masks, produced her own line of masks that promises to give girls a small face.

There’s no bounds to creativity in Japan; even something as ordinary as personal hygiene can become a unique and amusing way to express one’s self. Battle the natural elements in style with these fun designs!

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College student in Tokyo and lover of Ghibli and Hello! Project.

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