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Halloween Guide and Ideas

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Featured Halloween Articles Featured Articles
The latest Halloween articles from the staff of Halloween Online.
Halloween Costumes Halloween Costumes
Halloween Costumes, Halloween Masks and Makeup ideas.
Halloween Decorations Halloween Decorations
Halloween decorations you can make or buy for the spookiest night.
Halloween Recipes Halloween Recipes
Our cookbook filled with Halloween recipes, tasty tricks and treats.
Halloween Games Halloween Games
Spooky Halloween games adaptable for both kid's and adults.
Halloween Party Planning Halloween Party
Halloween Party planning and ideas for your festivities.
Halloween Safety Guide Halloween Safety
S
afety information, tips and suggestions for a safe Halloween.
Halloween Tips 101 Halloween Tips
That's right, 101 great Halloween tips, ideas and suggestions!
Halloween Props & Special FX Halloween Props
Spooky Special Effects and Props for your Halloween haunt.
Pumpkin Carving Pumpkin Carving
Pumpkin carving tips for carving your Halloween Jack O' Lanterns.
Halloween Music & Movie Reviews Movies & Music
Suggestions for the best Halloween music and Halloween movies.
Halloween Crafts Halloween Crafts
Halloween craft ideas and instructions for lots of Halloween fun.
High Tech Halloween High-Tech Halloween
Ghostly gadgets for your computer, cell-phone, Palm Pilot and more!
Halloween Guide and Ideas
 
Halloween Guide and Ideas

HALLOWEEN MASKS


Their Care And Feeding

Kronos MaskMasks have been used for celebrating Halloween for literally thousands of years. In fact, Halloween is actually based on an ancient Celtic holiday known as Samhain (pronounced "sow wan"), which means "summer's end", and was celebrated for centuries by the Celts of old and many other nature based religions. Today, Halloween is a "magical" night for everyone, and donning a mask can instantly transform your into just about anyone or anything.
Beetlejuice MaskMasks make up part of the two and a half billion dollars spend annually on Halloween costumes and makeup, with literally millions of Halloween masks being sold every year. The price of masks vary greatly from under ten dollars to one hundred dollars and more.

The more detailed, higher quality masks usually cost more because more has gone into their design and manufacture. Below are some of our best tips for the wearing, safety and storage of your Halloween masks.


Buying a Halloween Mask
 

Every year hundreds of thousands of Halloween masks are sold, most of which are through brick-and-mortar stores. As people try on a mask over and over again in a store, they can leave a variety of germs including bacteria, mold and fungus of various types that can be deposited on both the inside and outside of a mask. Depending on the particular germs that are present, diseases such as pink eye, skin rashes, virus's that cause the flu, colds and other illnesses could be transmitted to the wearer.

In 2013, Dr. Stan Kikkert, head of the biotechnology program at Mesa Community College near Phoenix, Arizona, tested a dozen masks for germs and discovered that all twelve masks contained a variety of germs. Dr. Stan Kikkert suggests that if you're a going wear a mask as part of your Halloween costume, that you soak it in rubbing alcohol as a way to kill germs.

We never try on a mask in the store. Once we get it home we clean it and then try it on. If it doesn't fit we can always exchange or return it with our store receipt.

To clean our masks we place one in a plastic tub and slowly pour common isopropyl alcohol over the entire surface inside and out of the mask and let it sit in the tub for about five minutes. Remember, alcohol is flammable! Do not do this near any open flame or possible ignition source. Next, we hold it up and let the alcohol drip off the mask back into the tub. Then we run warm, not hot, tap water over the mask to remove the alcohol. Lastly, we pat all surfaces of the mask down with paper towel to dry it. If we have more than one mask to clean, we just repeat the procedure.

Wearing Your Halloween Mask

Skull MaskWell designed masks like the skull mask shown to the right, will fit your head snugly, but not too tight. It restricts your vision very little by having large eye holes and offers well placed ventilation holes to breath through. Some masks that fit over your entire head usually have a long slit down the back to make them easier to put on and take off. The problem is that it also causes the mask to not fit as well as it could. What we do is use Velcro dots on the back of the mask to secure the slit together while the mask is being worn.
You'll need two things, a strip of Velcro dots available from your local fabric, hardware or department store and a helper. Try to choose a color of Velcro that is the closest to that of the area on the mask where you will be attaching them. The person who will be wearing the mask should put the mask on and with someone's help, have them pull the two edges together and then stick on the two Velcro pieces so that they will hold the two sides together.
To assure that a mask fits as many head sizes as possible, mask manufacturers will often make the mask "oversized." If your latex mask is too large for your head, you can cut pieces of soft foam rubber and glue them inside using spirit gum or use a low temp hot glue gun. If you use a hot glue gun be careful not to let the tip of the glue gun touch the mask or it might melt it.
Latex Hnads and Claw GlovesOnce you've decided on the mask you will be wearing for Halloween you will want a complimentary costume. Some come as sets that include both the mask and costume, but most don't, so you will need to choose a costume. To help your mask blend in with you face and neck, apply the appropriate colored grease paint around the eyes to achieve a more authentic look with the mask. An often overlooked addition to a Halloween ensemble are a pair of matching hands.

Halloween Mask Safety

Avoid masks that greatly reduce your ability to see. While all masks have either eye holes or slits to see through, they all reduce your vision to some extent, some more than others. We have some really great looking masks, unfortunately some of them are so vision restrictive that we never wear them, and use them for display only. Remember, you will be walking around at night, possibly on the street, and there's no reason to risk life and limb because of limited vision. Always remove or lift up your mask before crossing a street, driveway or alley.
Horned Demon MaskBefore you buy a mask, or if you've already bought one, you should try it on and determine if you can see well enough to walk and navigate safely. If not, you might be able to improve your visibility by cutting the eye holes larger or trimming the slits. Use a small pair of sharp, pointed scissors to carefully cut or trim a little bit of the latex at a time, but take care as its very easy to remove too much, and you can't put it back on, which could ruin the look of the mask. Try on the mask each time you remove a little of the eye hole or slit until you can see safely. Again, always use caution while wearing your mask.
In addition to reduced visibility, masks can also restrict your breathing and become hot and humid inside. So, its important that you remove the mask periodically for a breath of fresh air. Keep some paper towel in a pocket so that if the mask becomes wet inside you can wipe it down.

Storing Your Halloween Masks

Styrofoam Wig StandWhether you own just one mask or a dozen, you will want to store them properly so that they can be used or displayed year after year. The worst thing you can do is just toss it in a box as the mask will not hold its natural shape. The best way we've found to store latex masks is on a Styrofoam wig stand. These are shaped like a human head and only cost a couple of dollars at beauty supply stores. Masks should be store in a cool, dark, dry place. Exposure to sunlight or excessive temperatures for a prolonged period can cause the colors to fade and damage the latex, causing it the mask crack.

By using some of our tips, you can extend the life of your Latex mask and enjoy it for years to come!
 

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