With travel companies and countries around the world finally coming down on the side of mandatory facial coverings in public, many feel anxious that surgical masks eroding their individuality. Fortunately one artist turned-accidental-entrepreneur has come up with a solution to social hygiene that is as idiosyncratic as you are.
Unsurprisingly these custom 'Face ID Masks' began as a practical joke. With surgical masks printed to order from selfie photos, the company began taking orders on the website "Resting Risk Face.com" in June.
Using user submitted photos the company makes facial coverings that match your features and skin tone – with the pledge to make the wearer "more easily recognisable during viral pandemics."
The result is uncanny. Apparently the coverings are convincing enough to "unlock devices" using facial recognition.
For artist Danielle Baskin the project had started "just for fun".
The maker from San Francisco describes herself as a maker of "viral art, companies and delightfully weird events".
However her latest enterprise has turned out to be as multi-faceted as she is. The website has also been used to create masks using celebrity mugshots and even the face of a fragmented 2000 year old sculpture from the Met Galley collections.
Since launching the website in June she's received over 25000 orders.
"The lesson I keep learning: if you work on companies just for fun outside your companies, those also turn into companies," she said.
Since her masks found viral fame Baskin says she's recognised everywhere. (Well, she can hardly hide.) The Face ID masks have earned appearances on US television, including NBC and the Ellen DeGeneres show.
Part of the proceeds have been donated to the TGI Justice Project which is a California-based project for transgender, gender variant and intersex justice.
Masks: What behind the change in attitude
It seems to have been the perfect time to launch the project. Since March 120 countries have introduced laws encouraging people to wear face coverings in public.
As of this week it is now a legal requirement for people in the UK to wear masks on public transport and in shops. Four days ago the US president Donald Trump wore a mask during a public appearance, after initial vocal opposition to wearing face masks.
It seems that the Covid 19 pandemic has changed not only laws but peoples' attitudes have changed towards face masks.