The face mask you already own


A recent study published by the Royal Society concludes that widespread use of home-made face masks, combined with physical distancing, may be an effective way to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  That’s good news.  Even better, you may already have something at home that is better than most home-made face masks: eyeshades.

The New York Times reported that materials that block light are good candidates for face masks.  Luckily, many of us already have face masks that are designed to block light… eyeshades!

If you are (or were) a frequent flyer, it’s time to dust off those old airline amenity kits that you tucked away in your closet.  Or, grab the eyeshade that you used to use to… you know… block light.  Who says eyeshades are only for our eyes?  Eyeshades already have what we need: straps to keep them on our face, comfortable cloth on the inside, and even a nose bump-out when worn upside down.  Shown above is the British Airways business class eye shade from The White Company.

Above is an eye mask from an old Lufthansa First Class flight.  I like that it’s fairly svelte and adjustable, but ‘m not sure that it does much to protect others.  Notice the gap at the bottom?

Above, senior Frequent Miler author Nick is sporting a Cathay Pacific eyeshade and a sinister look.

Above, Frequent Miler author Stephen is wearing his wife’s pug face eyeshade.  I think it’s a great look, but I’m not sure it will properly cover his mouth.

Our new creative director, Carrie, is shown here with her Dragon Air eyeshade.

Above is Delta’s Tumi-branded eye mask.  Unlike the others, I found this one more comfortable to wear right-side-up.  It also has the advantage of having straps that go both above and below your ear for a secure fit.

Above is a very short video showing me wearing my British Airways eyeshade as a face mask.

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[…] 1) The face mask you already own […]

[…] Wondering what to buy from Saks? For anyone who wants shiny (really shiny) new face masks, Saks sells a 3-piece set for $36.  Of course, you may already have more face masks than you need if you’ve kept your amenity kit eyeshades given out on many international flights (see this post for more). […]


If you thread a wire (like those that are used to package cables) it makes a nice nose bridge. I love my Virgin Upper Class eye shades, but it means that the words are upside down


“…UK study…”
Too bad those UK studies are useless in the UK since anti-science leaders decided that the coronavirus wasn’t a big deal. So they decided to do nothing about it until it was too late. UK is now second in global deaths, just behind the country that is also led by the other anti-science guy. The country that is third in deaths is also led by another one that is anti-science.

[…] might already have a mask, however. A post from our friends over at Frequent Miler taught us that the eye masks from airline amenity kits can be used as face masks in a pinch! And, […]

[…] The face mask you already own […]


You’ll get a good laugh at this one: A few weeks ago before everyone started wearing masks, I saw a 20-something wearing a Speedo on his face

JB SanDiego

People also use a Bra.


F that BS my buddy @ GM is in charge of building these … ..
There’s more to life then wearing a Bra on ur head from a very large female..


Just discovered an honest to goodness face mask in my Japan Air Lines amenity kit with an insert to use saline solution to humidify your airway during flight. A HEPA square cut from a vacuum cleaner bag fits perfectly.
BTW to all the infection control experts, as best we can tell, the real problem with this particular pathogen is the atomized particles which lodge in the respiratory passages.The mask we all wear is a public service to protect others mostly.

John Keynes

I’ve made some cloth masks and bought some N95 for going to supermarket. Epidemiology.amotx may still got some N95, I bought some last week.


The British Airways “mask” looks like it works best.

[…] The face mask you own already by FM. […]


this blog has helped me earn the miles to book the trips that gave me the chance to snag the amenity kits. thanks for this idea. it is a great help to a ny’er who is netting nothing but frequent bicycle miles these days. thank you FM!

Jay Fisher

Yes, so convenient bc who doesn’t fly first class international on a regular basis?

Nick Reyes

Well, this blog is all about earning miles and points so that you can do just that – and that’s why many of our readers already have these eye masks. Of course, lots of people have eye masks that didn’t come from amenity kits and I bet they are probably in stock for purchase in many places (unlike traditional masks).

But if you are interested in flying international first and business class whenever life returns to normal someday, you may consider subscribing to our emails and reading our blog. While, like most people, I’d never dreamed of doing that before collecting miles and points, I (and many others here) usually fly several trips a year in international first and business class thanks to this hobby and the ability to earn points and miles.

Gary Carver

I had the same thought as Huell Babineaux if you know a lady that has some old bras around you might be able to use one of the bra cups as a face mask if it is large enough.

eleanor cruz

I’ve been posting about this on FB and twitter even on Glad someone else has picked it up. I found 8 from several amenity kits. Even found 2 actual masks from JAL.


Had exactly the same idea. Called Delta to ask them to distribute.


Fantastic, going to give An eye shade I’ve never used to my granddaughter that’s working at Costco. Thank you for the fantastic idea. I have about 1/2 dozen still in the airline packaging I’m going to hand out.


I thought of this yesterday. It seemed like the perfect solution for people like me who are not into crafts or sewing and probably do not have materials to make a mask. I will be wearing my stylish Fiji Airways mask, since I love the Fijian patterns.




OMG, I’ve got tons of them. Thanks!

Ed. C

Interestingly, the BA Business Class ones from the White Company work much better and cover more than the BA First Class from Liberty London. Just another reason not to waste money / points on first class over business class!


Now that is funny! Love the different styles you’re wearing. Lol Thanks for the idea. I’ll dig mine out.


I totally hadn’t thought of this! Have a ton of these lying around


Put them on Ebay $$$ .


why so many downvotes. funny!


i wouldn’t buy any masks that have been handled by possible virus carriers. o_o …you probably got the downvotes bc it seems as though you’re promoting the idea of profiting off of potentially life-saving masks.


Nothing to do with money would like a Thousand downs let’s see if they can do it . Just gave a $1k SW GC away 2 weeks ago and a $100 GC last week and I TINK another $100 today .
Love my CCL ($$) their points are useless for a very long time .
Take care !!!

Ryan del Mundo

This would have made a great April Fool’s Day joke in any year but 2020. I still got a chuckle! Thanks for staying lighthearted FM!


Correct !!


The FCQ thought of this yesterday as well! Great minds think alike.

JB SanDiego

LoL….cool idea!!

I also hear you can use a bra.


This is NOT cool. These so called masks are useless for virus. Real masks work because its material is so dense and/or magnetic to lock down floating viruses. This? Has no such effect. Please don’t mislead.


Sadly “real” masks are impossible to come by, and the truly protective ones must be saved for healthcare providers on the front lines. We need to apply good old fashioned ingenuity to do our best in these times. LOVE the eye mask idea; will use it myself – I have dozens of these. If you think it is not protective enough, feel free to line it with any material you see fit.


I line mine either with Zep or ToolBox Shop Towels for filtration. A box of Zep (75/ct) goes for $5.98 at Home Depot.


U want to Keep the shxt off your face simple isn’t it ? So 27 ft away (in the Air) from everyone and wash every covering you use . Real masks don’t work on regular people Because their Messing with the masks the eyeballs the PH’s ect .
Stay Home and watch ur money and ur Health they could be gone Soon if not Careful .
Caves are Nice (Fr.).
Now their taking machines from hospitals the Gov believes doesn’t need them and Money is next too .
Just wait till they ask u to sign a DNR for a loved one or u file BK from this .

Huell Babineaux

CaveDweller ain’t got no good English!…………….Caveman?


Magnetic? Uh, no. And although I also think these eye masks are near useless as face masks, it’s for the opposite reason you say. Face masks are not porous enough. Fasemasks filters have porosity to allow smaller particles through and blocks larger particles. These eyemasks are not very porous, so you end up breathing just around the mask, instead of through it. It might redirect air and capture some droplets, but overall I would guess not very effective.


More importantly, Greg….who is cutting your hair during these Stay At Home times?!? 🙂

Ted adcock

Good for you , lol, pretty


I dont know I guess I am lol


I’ve read Flowbee’s are sold out


Can u Heat that up to Kill Everything ??? The CDC as in Big $$$ changes their mind every single day on whats correct !!!


Virus doesn’t live longer than a day or two on most surfaces. Assuming you have more than one, your best bet is to rotate them.

Leaving them in the sun might be okay too, but you’d probably need to do both sides, etc.


Apparently you should wash it when you get home and be careful when removing it during the day in case you came into contact with somebody without realizing it. Use glove to remove it and do not touch the inside of the mask.


well this new virus can survive 14 days in the wild, that’s why its so bad


4 hours to 3 days, and generally the longer times (2-3 days) were on plastic and steel:

They’ve found traces of RNA on surfaces after more time than that (the 17 days one is popular), but those are not live viruses.


casually read or heard about the virus being on a cruise ship for about that amt of time a few days ago.


The virus survived up to 17 days on cruise ship surfaces ( Princess I thin it was)
It survives refrigeration and freezing. That question was asked and answered yesterday


Honestly. When you have to take care of a hospital filled with people throwing virus into the air on a daily basis, then you can whine about the cost of PPE.


The cost isn’t the trouble the CDC is and how unprepared they are .They were spending money on raises and trips (Vegas) not on saving us . By the way they change like10x a day or more . They also just invented a mask sanitizer lets hope they buy that and not ask for more $$$$ .


This is a #nextlevel kinda travel hack…lol. Love it!


Greg, this is fantastic. It didn’t strike me at all that I could use my amenity kit collection to conjure up a face mask in a pinch.

Huell Babineaux

I made 2 mask out of my wifes bra…..good face coverage!

Huell Babineaux

I have worn a bra on my head in public a couple times before, but i was drunk