this thing's incredible

These Silicone Grabbers (Used by Cyclists) Keep My Glasses and My Face Mask On

Photo: Christopher Mandle

The first time I tried to wear my face mask and my glasses at the same time, I ran into trouble. Not only did my lenses fog up — making crossing the road or trying avoid people in the shops a nightmare — but the thick fabric of the mask caused my glasses to sit on my face at a slight angle. As soon as I started walking down the street, I’d feel my frames inching closer to the tip of my nose — and twice they fell off my face completely in Sainsburys.

It wasn’t solely the mask’s fault — to be fair, my glasses have gotten pretty beaten up over the years (they were nearly run over by a lorry on a stag do in Valencia last year). Just before lockdown, I was due to go to the opticians to get them tightened and tuned up, but that’s been on hold for quite a while now.

These circumstances meant my already stressful bulk shopping trips were more fraught as I tried to discreetly nudge my frames up my nose. When I glumly shared my disappointing trip to the shops on Twitter, someone messaged me to tell me about something that had worked for them — silicone grips for the legs of your glasses. They slide on the ends and, due to being angled downwards, almost grip around your ear, keeping them from slipping off.

Photo: Christopher Mandle

Out of sheer desperation, I ordered a packet of these “temple tips” on Amazon, which included six pairs and cost a fiver. They came individually sealed, so I figured if they were good, I could always post a pair to my mum or my brother, who also have dire eyesight (and wobbly glasses). Most of the writing on the packaging was in Chinese, but they did say they were for sports and activewear, alongside a photo of a man cycling.

They come in six different colours — the brown one matches my hair really well, so you can’t even see them when I wear them. I tested them out by running up and down three flights of stairs in my block of flats — and sure enough, my glasses stayed in place. Now doing the food shop, or even just walking to the park, is less fraught. I’ve ended up keeping a couple of pairs for myself, as the black ones are going on my sunglasses, but I’m sending some to my brother, whose 9-month-old daughter likes to pull his glasses off his face whenever possible: Wonky glasses need no longer be a family trait.

Some Strategist-recommended masks and accessories

Photo: Retailer

These double-layered masks from ASOS are made from polyester and elastane, making them stretchy with an adjustable fit, though they only come in one size. ASOS recommends washing these ones at a temperature of no higher than 40 degrees.

James Dawson, a dispensing optician councillor at the Association of Optometrists, says an antifog spray will help stop your glasses steaming up.

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These Silicone Grabbers Keep My Glasses and My Face Mask On