The pandemic may have made dating that much more difficult – but according to Outer Banks star Madison Bailey, there is one element of lockdown life that can actually make flirting a whole lot easier: face masks.
Madison, 21, who shot to fame playing the role of Kiara Carrera in the hit Netflix show, has teamed up with a body language expert to share some top tips for wooing a potential partner while wearing a covering over half your face.
The key, they say, is the eyebrows. In lieu of flashing a sexy smile, it’s all about using the eye area to communicate your feelings and catch the attention of that special someone.
Tips and tricks: Outer Banks star Madison Bailey has revealed tips for flirting with your face mask on, explaining how to express interest using just your eyebrows
New normal: The 21-year-old teamed up with Hydro Silk and body language expert Blanca Cobb to demonstrate ways in which you can flirt with half of your face covered
Get ready to go! Madison, who stars in a new Hydro Silk campaign, said that a face mask can actually help you to feel more confident and relaxed, because only half your face is showing
And far from being a hindrance, Madison, who recently came out as pansexual and started dating UNC women’s basketball player Mariah Linney, says that face masks can actually help to boost your confidence when it comes to flirting.
‘If you’re a shy flirter, this is the perfect time for you, half your face is covered, you can relax, feel a little bit more comfortable,’ she told DailyMail.com.
The Netflix star, who teamed up with body language pro Blanca Cobb and Hydro Silk to share tips for face mask-suitable flirting techniques, added that learning to communicate while wearing a protective covering is actually a valuable life lesson.
‘The most important part of communicating with a mask is friendliness and being genuine, which I think is a difficult thing,’ she said.
‘It’s very important to learn how to embrace people, like strangers, and let them know you have good energy and to put that out by only using your eyes up. I think there is so much communication that happens non verbally.
‘So much is important. When you even look at somebody across the room, just the way they look at you makes an impression with you. Figuring out how to communicate with people with a mask on is so important.
‘Brows are the new lips!’
One of the best ways you can communicate with people above your mask is with your brows, Madison believes – a theory that body language expert Blanca helped her to demonstrate in a new video created for Hydro Silk.
In the clip, the duo share their thoughts on the the ways in which you can use the facial feature to seduce a potential partner, while expressing your interest through subtle body language.
The ultimate first move: Because your mouth is covered, flashing a sly smile at someone won’t work – so Madison and Blanca suggest tilting your head towards someone and raising a brow
Extra emphasis: ‘Lean in to show your interest while still being mindful of social distancing,’ Blanca said, adding that you can do this after the brow raise to keep your flirting going
MAKE THE FIRST MOVE
Establishing that first connection with someone you like might seem tricky when you aren’t able to flash them a small smile, but Blanca insists that having your mouth covered shouldn’t hinder your ability to express interest in a person.
Instead of smiling, just raise a single brow to show that you’re keen on someone.
If you don’t have that ability, you can subtly raise your brows and turn your head to the side slightly to create the same illusion.
You can then keep the flirtation going with your body language; just because you can’t get too close to anyone amid the pandemic, doesn’t mean you can’t use your movements to indicate interest.
‘Lean in to show your interest while still being mindful of social distancing,’ Blanca explained.
‘The way you look at someone can radiate your interest. Look into their eyes, smile, and tilt your head a bit as you’re listening.l
HOW TO SAY ‘HI’ WITH YOUR BROWS
Madison and Blanca agree that you have to use your brows to communicate in ways that you once would have done with your mouth.
Because the face mask prevents you from being able to flash a quick smile at someone, or even mouth a speedy ‘hi’ at them, you have to learn to let your brows do the talking – and the smiling – for you.
‘When you see somebody and you want to get their attention or even just to let them know that you are happy to see them, you can give them a quick “hi” by bringing the eyebrows up really fast,’ Blanca explains.
Stardom: Madison is currently filming the second season of the Netflix show, having shot to fame playing Outer Banks’ Kiara Carrera
Use those brows! During lockdown, Madison came out as pansexual and revealed she is dating UNC women’s basketball player Mariah Linney
SHOW YOU ARE HAPPY TO SEE SOMEONE
Expressing joy with your brows is similar to saying ‘hi’ with the facial feature.
‘If you want someone to know that you’re happy to see them then quickly pop up your eyebrows. It’s like an eyebrow greeting,’ the body language expert suggests.
‘Make sure you still smile as your mask pushes attention up to your eyebrows.’
LET SOMEONE KNOW YOU LIKE WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
With your mouth covered and your voice muffled, a simple ‘mmhmm’ isn’t necessarily enough to let someone know that you are engaged and listening to them.
Thankfully, Blanca has a trick to help you communicate your interest using just your brows.
‘When you want to let someone know you are really listening, there’s something you can do with your eyebrows,’ she said. ‘If you have your mask on, you can lift your eyebrows up as they’re talking, and then nod.’
SAY YOU’RE NOT INTERESTED WITH A QUICK BROW SQUEEZE
Communicating displeasure or disapproval is just as important as showing someone that you are interested, and Blanca says this can be done with a simple squeeze of the brows.
‘When someone is doing something you don’t like, squeeze those eyebrows together,’ she advised.
‘The harder you pinch, the louder your message.’