The Coolest Face Masks For The New York Summer (Part I)

Civilian face masks

If you are looking to mask up in style, we have compiled the coolest civilian face masks for the summer. With sequins, retro prints, a transparent panel to see your mouth, made in silk, or designed to safely drink, there is a mask for every need (and every outfit!) Because, even if a girl’s gotta wear a mask to help curb the pandemic, we can still look fab!

Collage with pictures of woman wearing different face masks for the summer

Blissy, Pure Silk Face Masks

Blissy silk face mask in blue

The Design: Blissy is a very-well known brand in the world of beauty for their scrumptious 100% mulberry silk pillowcases. The brand recently launched its first collection of handmade civilian face masks made with pure silk.

The Experience: This is the softest mask I have ever worn. I have very dry and sensitive skin, and this mask literally felt like a hug, and it was very easy to breathe through it. I think this is an excellent alternative to DIY cloth masks, especially because silk is a natural material that is extremely gentle on the face (ideal if you are prone to breakouts or are struggling with extreme sensitivity.) Also, these face masks are just beautiful and elegant, and I can see them as the perfect fashion accent for a date night outfit, or paired with jeans and an embroidered top. The truth is they look good with everything! I personally like to wear these masks beneath my surgical mask for an added protection and to lessen the friction of the paper on my face.

The Specs: Made with 100% mulberry silk, these face masks have a generous amount of fabric that covers easily nose and chin. As they come in a single size, they have included adjustable ear loops so you can fasten them to your liking. Available in neutral pink and silver.

The Maintenance: Can you believe these beauties are machine washable in cold water?

The Deets: These silk face masks retail for $14.95 and are available at Blissy’s retail website.

The Sidekick: If these masks were a Manhattan neighborhood, they would be the Upper East Side. Elegant, timeless, and used to the best of the best. I see them paired up with my favorite Swarovski earrings and the new Senegence peel-off gold mask, a regenerating treatment for fatigued skin.

Donna Leah Sequin Face Mask, For The Mermaid At Heart

Donna Leah Face Mask with Sequins

The Design: Donna Leah is an American designer that handcrafts her pieces with care in Miami. With a flair for turning the merely functional into a fashionable experience, she has launched a collection of sequined face masks that are a joy to wear.

The Experience: If there is a mask designed for mermaids at heart, this is it. Created with breathable neoprene and a layer of scale-like sequins in gold and turquoise, this mask allows you to create unique designs just by rearranging the pattern of the sequins. Breathable, comfortable, and very easy to adjust, its pleated design covers the nose and the chin with ample space to breathe. Perfect for a selfie, it adds a much-needed glam touch to a summer in the very hot New York City.

The Specs: The mask is made with breathable neoprene and a layer of cotton with handsewn bicolor sequins. The ear loops are extremely soft, and while they are not adjustable, the general design of the mask allows it to sit very nicely against the face without pulling into the ears.

The Maintenance: Sequins are delicate creatures, so I didn’t want to ruin their beauty with a harsh laundry cycle. I personally like to wash this mask thoroughly with castile soap and let it air dry.

The Deets: The Glamorous Sequined Turquoise Face Mask is available at Donna Leah Designs’ website and retails for $20.00.

The Sidekicks: This glam mask pairs well with my favorite Scentered organic perfume, which in itself is an invitation to travel with the mind, and the Moderne Monocle hoop earrings with green stones.

Foxcroft: Sweet, Simple, and Antibacterial Face Masks

Foxcroft antibacterial face mask

The Design: Foxcroft has used its timeless shirt designs as an inspiration for their sweet and simple collection of non-medical face masks with antibacterial properties. Available in an array of solid colors, they are the perfect accessory for an effortless and polished summer look.

The Experience: I personally like the Foxcroft face mask very much. When the weather gets extremely hot, I don’t like to wear face masks that are extremely tight and rub against my face. Their pattern is pretty unique, because it leaves ample room for the nose and the lips to move, and also features a fabric strip in the chin area that removes any potential gaps. These masks are also extremely stylish, and the soft blue design pairs very well with my summer outfits. Sweet, simple, and very breathable!

The Specs: Made with lightweight 100% cotton treated to inhibit the growth of bacteria, which is the leading cause for maskne or funny smells in your face mask. Water-repellent, it has a built-in filter layer for added comfort, a flexible nose bridge, and adjustable straps for a perfect fit.

The Maintenance: Machine washable in cold water, it is recommended to line dry for extra durability.

The Deets: This thoughtful face mask retails for $15.00, and is available for purchase at Foxcroft’s website.

The Sidekicks: The Foxcroft face masks pair very well with the Aromatherapy Associate’s Revive Body Wash (perfect to cool down after a stroll in the park), and ColoreScience SPF 50 powder sunscreen.

The Sippi, a Socially-Distanced Drinking Mask

The sippi face mask for drinking

The Design: Yes, you heard it right. The genius minds at Sippi have racked their brains to create a face covering that allows you to drink without removing your mask. The mask is composed of two smaller masks that are superposed in a way that they cover completely your nose and mouth. When you’re ready to drink, just pull down the lower part gently to slip a straw, and enjoy a socially-distanced party!

The Experience: I have to confess I’m always very skeptical about masks that have any type of holes on them, because they defeat the purpose of wearing a mask (which is protecting others from your potential infection, in the event that you are a silent carrier of coronavirus.) However, the Sippi Masks are indeed made by New Yorkers for New Yorkers, and they don’t have holes where your breath can escape. Quite on the contrary, the Sippi features a quadruple layer overlapping the drinking area that you can adjust to slip through a straw without removing the mask. Once you’re done, you slip out your straw, readjust the mask if needed, and continue to party! Perfect to rehydrate safely during the hot days of summer, a socially-distanced barbecue, and your daily walks on the flaming-hot streets of Manhattan.

The Specs: Made in New York, the Sippi is made with four layers of preshrunk cotton. Each mask comes with a set of instructions to adjust the elastics (which tie at the back, saving your ears) to fit your face without compromising the integrity of the design.

The Maintenance: The Sippi masks are machine washable, and although I’m sure they’d be fine in the dryer, I prefer to air-dry them for added longevity.

The Deets: The Sippi masks retail for $22.00 and include a straw. Available at The Sippi website.

The Sidekick: The Sippi comes in many unisex prints, so I think they pair very well with my favorite organic niche perfume by Abel.

Rafi Nova, A Mask For Every Occasion

Rafi nova transparent face mask for the deaf

The Design: Every now and then, a brand goes above and beyond a design and puts all its effort into making people’s lives better. In the world of civilian face masks, that is Rafi Nova. Of all the brands that I’ve researched, they have by far the most extensive collection, with thoughtful designs to adapt to a myriad of needs. From smile masks to assist the Deaf and hard of hearing community to performance masks for the summer, organic cotton masks, or adjustable masks, they literally have a mask for everybody.

The Specs: Rafi Nova’s masks are very thoughtfully designed and created using a variety of materials to accommodate different needs. The Smile Masks were designed by a speech language pathologists bearing in mind the needs of members of the hard of hearing and Deaf community. The  transparent plastic-free panel assists in maintaining non-verbal communication, while also helping the wearer comply with the health mandates of face coverings. The flexible straps accommodate hear aids or cochlear implants with ease, and are very easy to adjust. I personally loved being able to smile at my neighbors while wearing it, and it gives me the flexibility to communicate with people from the deaf and hard of hearing community with ease.

The Everyday Masks are made with three layers of lightweight cotton fabric with a middle anti-bacterial layer, an adjustable nose bridge, and adjustable ear loops. These masks also have a pocket for a removable filter (sold separately by the brand, but you can also fit in a small disposable surgical mask for added protection.) These masks are extremely soft and comfortable, and I loved their ear loop system because they are very thin, and don’t strain the ears as other elastics do.

The Summer Performance Masks include three layers of fabric, including an anti-bacterial layer and a non-removable filter. Now, these masks have my favorite adjusting system; the combination of a toggle and the nose bridge make them fit perfectly to my every countour.

Finally, the Summer Performance Masks also come with the tie-back system and the removable filter pocket to be extra gentle on the ears.

Rafi nova adjustable face mask toggle

The Experience: I personally love the variety of masks that Rafi Nova offers. Their fabrics are soft, some of their models allow to add a removable filter for extra protection, and their tie-back models are authentic ear savers.

Rafi nova tie back summer face mask in cool blue

The Maintenance: The Rafi Nova masks seem to be pretty low maintenance. Except for the Smile mask, which I handwashed, I popped them in the laundry and they came out perfectly.

The Deets: The Rafi Nova masks start at $15.00 for a pack of two, making them a very economical choice. To purchase and view the available models, please visit Rafi Nova’s website.

The Sidekicks: I would pair the transparent face mask with my favorite lip tint from 100% Pure, the summer tie-back mask with the organic spf 50 sunscreen by All Good, the summer performance masks with the cutest shark socks by Society Socks, and the everyday masks with my favorite hand sanitizer by Senegence and a Flow Book of Questions.

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{Psst… Still craving more fashionable face masks? Stay tuned for the Part II of our mask roundup!}

Disclaimer: This article features civilian face masks as an alternative to homemade face coverings, which in nature are non-medical grade masks, and does not constitute medical advice. These masks are reusable and must be washed after each wear with care. The civilian masks are not a replacement for medical-grade Personal Protective Equipment, and do not offer a total protection against airborne viruses or bacteria. Please consult your physician to decide the adequate level of protection required  for your specific needs. Please click here for our full disclosure policies.


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