Colored cosmetic lenses can be a great way to get a dramatic and new appearance, but there’s a lot to know and consider before using this type of contact lense. If used incorrectly, there can be some fairly severe consequences.
Hopefully, this article can help to equip you with the knowledge you need to safely use colored and cosmetic contacts.
What Are Cosmetic Contact Lenses and How Do They Work?
A cosmetic contact lense is one that is tinted or colored to change the appearance of the wearer’s eyes. These can be average eye colors such as brown, blue, green, hazel, grey, etc.
They can also come in some more exotic colors like purples, yellows, oranges, and more. Cosmetic colored contact lenses can even come in costume designs. These can have animal appearance or even make your entire eyeball appear to be a solid color like black or white.
Colored contact lenses come in two main options, prescription or non prescription. Let’s quickly cover the differences between the two:
Prescription Cosmetic Contact Lenses: These are contacts that correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and/or astigmatism while also changing or enhancing the color of the wearer’s eyes.
Non Prescription Cosmetic Contact Lenses: These contacts have no lenses for correcting or improving vision. They are sold and worn for purely cosmetic purposes.
The cost of colored contacts is most often much higher than that of traditional contact lenses. For most cosmetic contact lenses users, the results are well worth the additional cost.
As briefly mentioned above, most colored cosmetic contacts change the color of the wearer’s iris. The iris is the colored part of the eye ball just surrounding the pupil. The pupil is the black center of the eye. The contact lenses often have the appearance of a real iris. Since this part of the eye is often on one solid color, the contacts will have various hues of the chosen color, with beautiful streaks and flecks of highlighted colors. The center of these cosmetic lenses are clear (sometimes with a prescription lense), showing the pupil and allowing clear vision.
However, there are tons of cosmetic contact lenses available that change much more than just the Iris. Some are solid colors, as mentioned above. Some have a cat eye appearance or a serpent/snake eye. You can find ones that look like flames or clouds or patterns. In this day and age, you can find just about any kind of color cosmetic contact lenses that you can think up.
How To Select the Lenses?
Contact lenses come in a wide variety of types with different features. Some contacts are made to last a month or longer. And there are disposable ones that aren’t intended for more than one use. This is where you, as the consumer, will need to do your research and consider your budget versus needs to determine which type will be the best for you.
Different Cosmetic Effects You Can Achieve With the Use of Colored Contact Lenses
There are several varieties of “tint” level that you can choose with cosmetic contact lenses. Let’s cover these contact lenses options:
Visibility Tint: This kind of tint typically does not affect the color of the iris at all. The tint is simply to better see and handle the traditionally clear contact lenses for ease of use.
Enhancement Tint: This kind of tinted contact lenses has a bit of color to enhance the color of your eyes. They are not intended to totally change eye color. These are a better option for individuals with light colored eyes. Darker eyes may not be affected much by enhancement tint.
Opaque Tint: These cosmetic contact lenses have an opaque tint that can completely change the color of your eyes. These are the best option for those with dark eyes. You can go from dark brown to bright blue with an opaque lenses. The costume and theatrical contact lenses mentioned above also fall into this category of colored contacts.
Custom Tinted Contact Lenses: There are some companies out there that specialize in making custom colored lenses for both prescription and non prescription contact wearers. This type of contact lense is even used by patients suffering with medical conditions like eye defects or injuries. Some athletes use this kind for vision enhancement, as well. These “sport” tint colored contacts can help to reduce glares from light, enhance contrast sensitivity, and even heighten depth perception. Some will even adjust automatically to different lighting conditions in your environment.
Selecting the Right Colored Cosmetic Contact Lenses According to Your Natural Eye Color
There is a bit of artistry to finding the right cosmetic contact lenses. You will want to find the right ones for your true eye color and natural complexion. Your skin tone and hair color are big determining factors in what colors will look best on you.
However, the above statements only apply if you are going for a natural look – one in which others may not know you are wearing cosmetic contact lenses. If you are looking for a bold statement, you can go for any color you like. There are no set rules here unless you are wanting to look au natural.
Selecting a Large or Small Color Diameter for Your Eyes
This can be a factor when lighting conditions change in the environment around you. Your pupils naturally change in size with lighting changes. Sometimes, a colored cosmetic contact lenses can partially hinder your vision if the pupil extends into the tint of the contact. Discuss this with your doctor, and they can help you to choose an appropriate size for your eyes. Those who have trouble with contacts shifting when they blink should speak about color diameter with their doctor, as well. It can sometimes affect the shape and moldability of the contact when inserted.
How to Wear Cosmetic Contact Lenses: Tips, Tricks, and Hacks
If you are already a contact lenses user, then using a cosmetic contact lenses should be pretty easy. For those who have never used contacts, prepare yourself for what will likely be a strange experience at first. However, you should get used to the feeling pretty quickly. And with a bit of practice, putting them in and taking them out should be quite simple.
Another great tip that has more to do with shopping than wearing is to look around for various contact lense providers online. Just make sure that you are finding a reputable and trusted source. Sometimes the cheaper options are not the best. Make sure to play it safe with something that is going into your eyes.
This will be explained in more detail below, but one of the best tips you can get about cosmetic contact lenses use is to keep them clean and sanitary. You can get severe infections that can affect your vision if you do not keep them cleaned and maintained according to use guide and care instructions.
Some Important Things to Consider Before Using Colored Contacts
The most important factor to consider with the use of any kind of contacts is cleanliness. Make sure you wash your hands before any use of your cosmetic contact lenses. This includes handling them even when you don’t intend to insert them into your eye. And, of course, always wash your hands thoroughly before putting your contacts in or taking them out.
Speaking of taking your contacts out, if they are not intended to be worn over long periods of time, then you should take them out every single night. Sleeping with the wrong kinds of contacts in can have some serious consequences. Your eyes are very important sensory organs. You want to put their health as a top priority.
Always make sure your contact lenses solution is in date and not expired. Do not buy contact lenses solution from and untrusted source.
Also, never ever share your cosmetic contact lenses with anyone. And vise versa, don’t use anyone else’s contacts either.
Make sure you properly clean and soak your contact lenses according to their instructions. Different types of cosmetic contact lenses will have different care requirements. Make sure you carefully read all info and cleaning and care instructions that come with your contact lenses – and follow them diligently.
Skip the cosmetic contact lenses if your eyes are feeling irritated or if you think you may have any kind of infection. In fact, don’t just skip the lenses. Contact your doctor or optometrist in these cases. If you’re only experiencing discomfort when the contacts are inserted, remove them and consult a physician.
Talk With Your Doctor or Optometrist and Buy From Trusted Sources
While you don’t need a prescription for cosmetic contact lenses, it’s always a good idea to talk with your doctor about it first. They can give you a quick exam and make sure to take note of anything that may be important. They can then also monitor your eyes after you have started use. Your eyes are so important to everyday life. Make sure that you take good care of them and put their health before aesthetics.
Hopefully this article has helped you to get the information needed to select a cosmetic contact lenses for you. There are quite a few options out there, so you have some freedom to shop around. Make sure you purchase from a trusted source and talk with your doctor. Once you’ve covered the safety basics, then have fun! Get creative with your look and venture out of the norm with bold and beautiful colored contacts.