What to look for in a bespoke face mask

Can’t seem to find a reliable bespoke face mask? You’re not alone. Many people have invested in countless face masks ever since they became a daily essential. Unfortunately, most of these masks don’t last the long haul due to poor quality and craftsmanship.

To help you find the ideal mask, here’s a science-backed guide to mask shopping.

Why are face coverings mandatory?

Face masks are designed to prevent large and small aerosol particles and droplets from spreading by capturing them when you sneeze, cough, or talk. A good quality face mask can act as an effective barrier, preventing the spread of the coronavirus. Therefore, skipping out on a face mask while in public isn’t an option to ensure your safety.

Which mask should you choose?

Wading through the mountains of mask options in the market today can be difficult and overwhelming. To ease the process, here are some factors to consider when shopping for masks.

1. Disposable vs reusable

When it comes to disposable and reusable masks, both can be equally effective and safe, depending on the material and quality. Generally, disposable masks perform well in blocking respiratory droplets and breathability. But, since you’re supposed to wear them once, they become less effective with each wear.

Due to their single-use, disposable face masks adversely affect the environment, with thousands washing up on shorelines.

Unlike disposable face masks, reusable face masks are more sustainable and eco-friendly because they’re washable. They’re also cost-effective and breathable, ensuring your comfort throughout the day.

2. Face mask fabric

There are numerous factors to consider when selecting the ideal face mask material, from breathability to effectiveness in blocking droplets from passing through. Generally, higher-quality fabrics have a thicker thread and tighter weave, creating a barrier against aerosol droplets.

Some popular face mask fabric options include cotton, silk, polyester, and polypropylene. Despite having some individual shortcomings, all these materials are good at filtering particles. Cotton and polyester, for instance, need multiple layers to increase effectiveness. Ideally, manufacturers combine different fabrics to create a reliable face mask.

3. Face mask features

Face mask features can significantly improve your mask experience, especially if you have to wear one throughout the day. Some of the features to look for when mask shopping include:

Filters and filter pockets

To add an extra layer of protection, buy face masks with a pocket where you can slip in a replaceable filter. You can purchase these filters separately or use a coffee filter or kitchen paper. The downside with filters is they make it harder to breathe, and they aren’t sustainable as you have to dispose of your filters often.

Multiple layers

According to studies, you’re better off with a mask that has at least two layers. WHO recommends masks with three layers; an innermost layer of hydrophilic, a middle hydrophobic, and an outermost layer made out of polyester or polypropylene.

Nose wire

Always buy face masks with a built-in metal wire across the bridge of your nose as they help mould the mask to your face. The nose wire also prevents your glasses from steaming up and closes up gaps where air can leak out.

Ear loops

For many, wearing a face mask for long periods can be uncomfortable and cause irritation. Luckily, you can avoid this by choosing masks with comfortable straps and a snug fit. If you’re worried about tightness, look for adjustable ear loops to maximize your comfort.

Alternatively, buy masks that go around your head instead of sitting behind your ears, but ensure they fit closely to your face.

Although many say any face mask is better than no face mask, it’s your responsibility to find one that’s breathable, reliable, and effective.

Finding marriage through dating websites

A Perfect Way to Your Perfect Day

If you’re anything like me, you will have been planning your dream wedding since you were very young. Enchanted by the magic of the day – the singing, the dancing, the food, the company – you might want nothing more than to hear those wedding bells ringing in your honour.

Who could blame us? It’s known across the world that your wedding day is the happiest day of your life, and it’s one thing that everyone can universally look forward to. From picking out the invitations and the cake, to deciding on the perfect wedding dress (or suit!), the excitement of your wedding day is just waiting to be unravelled. 

Now, some of us have it easy. High school sweethearts, who have overcome all odds to unite in a spectacular ceremony! Two unlikely colleagues, bound and brought together as if by fate itself! Some of us, however, have not been blessed with that kind of luck.

Those of us who have stood at the bylines, supporting our families and friends on their big day, smiling through charismatic speeches and laughing along as someone else catches the bouquet might experience a sense of missing out. 

After all, we’ve been eagerly counting down the days until you can we can say those two magical words ourselves – so when is our big day going to happen?

Well, if you’ve not had the most success looking for the love of your life, maybe it’s time to look in to online dating. There is an incredible range of online dating platforms, perfect for any group or niche that will really allow you to find ‘the one,’ so what’s stopping you?

Online Dating

It may be seen as an unconventional method to find love, but it certainly works – and it comes with a lot of perks, too!

What scares people away from online dating is a sense of unfamiliarity pressed by media companies and TV shows. We’ve all heard the tropes: “what if they’re a catfish?” or “what if he’s a murderer?” but it’s time to let these old-fashioned and outdated stereotypes disappear.

When you sign up for any online dating site, you’re joining a group of interesting and likeminded people who are all looking for the same thing: love.

Online dating sites are intuitive, creative, and cleverComplex algorithms narrow down the possibility that you and your potential partner might not be a good fit, by taking into consideration things like mutual interests and shared tastes.

If you’re paired by a dating app, the hard part has been done for you. Whilst going out and meeting people at bars and clubs can be rewarding in itself, most people struggle to get past the initial introductions – some people find it hard to even approach people.

When you match with a potential date online, you can already see a brief overview of their interests and hobbies. In most cases, you can even see a picture to really make sure that there is an attraction!

Let’s be honest – starting a conversation online is much easier than doing so in person, too. You don’t need to worry about saying the wrong thing, or concern yourself first impressions. After all, your match will have already seen your profile before they swiped on you, and you actually have time to think about a clever or witty conversation starter. If you decide not to proceed or pursue a relationship, well there won’t be a ‘break-up,’ either!

Marriage has been found countless times on dating apps and websites, and if you’re looking for love, you shouldn’t feel ashamed about signing up.

What are you waiting for? Swipe your way to your big day!

Why the winter may be the best time of year to get married

The colder months are widely considered to be the ‘low season’ as far as weddings are concerned. It’s a time of year that many loved-up couples therefore overlook when picking a date for their nuptials, perhaps seduced instead by the hope of summer sun or a light spring breeze on their special day.  

However, the predictable cold, darkness and adverse weather don’t necessarily make winter an undesirable time of year to tie the knot. Indeed, it may be your top choice – for reasons such as the below.

You could find it easier to secure your dream venue

The most in-demand wedding venues – think charming castles in England, or grand French chateaux – tend to be especially sought-after during the spring and summer. The winter, however, can be a very different story, particularly with regard to midweek dates.

This may mean that a genuine fairytale venue you had previously considered beyond your reach may suddenly become an attainable option if you decide on a winter wedding.

On the subject of French chateaux, for instance, the resplendent stone-built Château Bouffémont offers an utterly enchanting setting of refined halls and suites in which to formalise your union in the heart of the Montmorency Forest. Furthermore, it is even a mere 30 kilometres away from central Paris, so you may be tempted to combine your wedding with the quintessential honeymoon break.

More of your invitees may be able to make the date

Other seasons can be awkward in terms of ensuring all of the important people in your life who you would like to be present can actually attend your wedding ceremony and reception.

Schedule your nuptials for the height of summer, for example, and you may find that many people struggle to fit in a wedding alongside their pre-planned overseas beach holiday.

As long as you don’t time your big day so close to Christmas that it clashes with your friends or relatives’ other festive travelling or event plans, winter could be the perfect season for ensuring everyone can turn up to your wedding.

You may even be lucky enough to see snow

While it may not seem hugely likely – even during the unpredictable winters that we appear to have quite often these days – if a sprinkling of snow does occur, your wedding photographer and videographer will probably feel like all of their Christmases have come at once!

Let’s be honest; there are few more romantic sights to be had at any time of year than snow-coated manicured gardens as you gaze through the windows of your dream wedding venue, all while the fireplace crackles in the background and you have your beloved for company.

Alternatively, you may even get some unexpected winter sun, which could be a delightful surprise for wedding guests who have otherwise prepared with much colder and less hospitable conditions in mind.

Naturally, winter weddings aren’t always perfect. You’ll need to schedule events earlier in the day if you wish to enjoy a daylight backdrop, and there’s also a good chance that your nuptials will be based exclusively indoors – although this may be your preference regardless.

So with all of the above in mind, we would suggest that you don’t ignore BRIDES magazine’s rundown of the big ‘dos and don’ts’ when it comes to organising a winter wedding.