Social distancing, but make it cute.

July 10, 2020 4:00 am
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This article originally appeared on Shape.com by Marietta Alessi.

Call me an overzealous minimalist, but I fully appreciate a multi-purpose item. Maybe it’s my love of hacks or the fact that its versatility saves me money in the long run. (You mean I get five uses for one thing and one price tag? Sold.) To be clear, I’m not into gimmicky products, but rather thoughtful design. That’s why my thumb stopped mid-scroll when I saw the PrettyConnected Face Mask Chain Necklace Strap on my Instagram feed.

The trendy chain is the brainchild of Lara Eurdolian, entrepreneur and blogger of PrettyConnected. With a background in beauty marketing and working with renowned brands like NARS and Kiehls, Eurdolian has a natural eye for style—which she put to good use by developing her own accessories line. She's been selling rings and other chain accessories for a while—the latter of which I'd seen her use (on Instagram) to hold her camera, carry her water bottle, keep track of her sunglasses, or use in place of a purse strap.

It wasn’t until I saw her use a chain as a holder for her face mask that I was like, wait, I ~really~ need one.

PrettyConnected

I immediately purchased the PrettyConnected Face Mask Chain Necklace Strap, and have zero regrets. I wear the longer gold version daily as a necklace because it's fun to accessorize when I'm working from home (or partaking in a Zoom happy hour), and when I pop out for dinner, I just clip on my mask. Ever since I got it, I haven't forgotten my face covering at home once. As more businesses and restaurants reopen, it’s especially convenient to have the chain, since it keeps my mask close at hand—without having to fumble in my bag or dig into my pocket for it, risking contamination. Plus, once I'm in a space where I'm safely social distancing and no longer need it, I can stow away my mask and rock the chain as a cute necklace—voilá.

I love the face mask chain *so* much that I gifted one to my mom in silver and also surprised my aunt with one in the iridescent finish (it has pretty pink and blue undertones). My mom is a paralegal and loves wearing the mask chain when she goes into the office because it’s easy to put on when she has socially-distanced meetings with clients. My aunt is a head nurse at a trauma unit in Edison, NJ, and while she won’t wear the chain into the hospital for fear of it coming into contact with COVD-19 particles, she’ll wear it just about everywhere else, including shopping and running errands.

As a healthcare professional, my aunt says she really appreciates the chain's functionality. She gets frustrated when people don’t wear face masks appropriately (i.e. over the nose and under the chin) and don’t store them properly. Wearing a used mask on your wrist or around your forehead or sticking it in a germy place (like your purse) is actually not recommended or safe, as my aunt pointed out to me. (Think about it: You stuff your used face covering in your bag or pocket, where it can then spread germs to your phone—which you'll then put against your face. Yuck.) The great thing about this chain is that it transforms the necessity of wearing a mask into a style statement—all while practicing good mask hygiene.

And good news for outdoorsy folk, if you love to bike, rollerblade, or scooter around, Eurdolian highly recommends the shorter version of my chain. “The chain makes putting your mask on and off—even one-handed when you're biking—easy,” she says. And once you're cruising at a safe distance and want to remove your mask, the chain’s weight will keep your face covering securely in place around your neck. “You don't have to worry about it blowing away or having to hold it in your sweaty hands. The chain offers easy on and off access, keeping it more sanitary and with added convenience," she notes.

PrettyConnected

Another reason I'm supporting this boss entrepreneur? Since the start of quarantine, Eurdolian has donated 15 percent of net proceeds to COVID-19 relief, and more recently pivoted to support other organizations including No Kid Hungry, Feeding America, and the Minnesota Freedom Fund. “We’re also passionate about supporting small business and female empowerment," Eurdolian tells Shape. "We're currently supporting Black Girl Ventures, which creates access to capital for Black and brown women founders.”

The face mask chains currently come in two different lengths—a short version that's 18.5 inches and a long option that's 39 inches—and both guarantee you'll be social distancing in style. While her designs are super chic, they're also affordable, with prices between $30-$36. (Pro tip: Pair your chain with a wallet-friendly face mask, such as these babies from Old Navy.)

Whatever you do, just don't sit on these chains. You should know that they previously sold out in just one day, and are now (thankfully) back in stock. Hurry and shop your favorite before it's too late. *Adds all chains to cart.*

PrettyConnected Face Mask Mini Chain Strap Necklace

PrettyConnected

Shop it! $30, Etsy

PrettyConnected Face Mask Chain Necklace Strap

PrettyConnected

Shop it! $36, Etsy