Costume colour contact lenses
Bright eyes – the art of coloured contact lenses
We give you six steps to choosing the perfect colour contact lenses for you – whether you want to be an indian princess with subtly tinted grey eyes or a full-blown alien vixen with costume contacts. It’s said that eyes are the windows to a soul – so why not give your soul a teeny-tiny makeover?
You don’t have to be near-sighted or far-sighted to wear them, but you’re putting things into your eyes like a cyborg, so you do have to take care with choosing your brand of coloured contact lens and also how you look after them (and your eyes when you’re wearing them).
How do I choose the right colour contact lens for me?
I WANT people to notice my new eye colour! I want them to ask me about it!
If you are bold, dramatic and enjoy being the centre of attention, you want a high-contrast colour that people will notice straight away.
* Is your natural eye colour brown? Choose contact lenses in amethyst, green, or turquoise.
* If your skin, hair, and natural eye colours have cool, blue-red undertones, you might choose a warm-toned contact lens such as light brown.
* Is your skin is dark? Choose choose bright-coloured lenses. Black or chinese girls with blue/green eyes will definitely stand out from the crowd.
* Do you wear eye makeup? Choose a contact lens colour that will stand out from the shadow and mascara colours you like to wear.
* Are these options too tame? You’re probably thinking about seriously high-contrast lenses, like SFX ones with no pupil, or all-whites like Storm from the X-Men, or cat pupils, or fluorescent colours.
I want a subtle effect… that’s just me, but more so.
* Is your natural eye colour blue? Choose contact lenses in grey or green.
* Another option is an enhancer lens in blue, which would define the edges of your iris and deepen your natural colour, but not change it dramatically.
* If your skin, hair, makeup and natural eye colours are warm-toned, you might choose a warm colour contact lens like hazel to match and blend in.
2nd decision: Daywear or nightwear?
Deciding how often you’ll wear your coloured contact lenses could affect not only your choice of colour but the kind of contacts you buy. If you want to get a lot of wear out of your coloured lenses then go for a shade you’ll be happy wearing on a regular basis – and take really good care of your lenses because they’ll be in your eyes a lot. If you getting colour contact lenses for special occasions then you’re probably going for a striking look! And you might be tempted by the idea of daily disposables which you can throw away after you’ve worn them once. Disposables tend to be best for your eyes, anyway, as they have a high water content so prove less potentially irritating to the eyes.
3rd decision: What type of lens shall I get?
There are four types of coloured contact lenses: visibility tints, enhancement tints, opaque colour tints and light-filtering tints. Many of these coloured contact lenses are available in plano form (without visual correction), as well as in designs for people who have astigmatism, who need bifocal correction, or who want a disposable or frequent replacement lens.
A visibility tint is usually a light blue or green tint added to a lens, solely to help you see it better during insertion and removal – or if you drop it. Since it’s a very light tint, it does not affect eye colour.
An enhancement tint is a solid (but translucent) tint that is a bit darker than a visibility tint and is designed to visibly enhance the existing colour of your eyes. These types of tints are usually best used by people who have light coloured eyes and want to make their eye colour more intense.
Colour tints are deeper, opaque tints that can dramatically change your eye colour. They are usually made of patterns of solid colours. If you have dark eyes, you’ll need this type of coloured lens to change your eye colour. Colour contacts come in a wide variety of colours, including hazel, green, blue, violet, amethyst and gray. Even pink and red.
Costume or theatrical lenses also fall into the category of opaque colour tints. Initially designed for movie SFX, these lenses are now widely available and will transform you into a pussycat, vampire or alien zombie girl. No problem.
Light-filtering tints are a more recent development. These contact lenses are designed for sports use, because they enhance certain colours (such as optic yellow, the colour of tennis balls and some softballs and golf balls), as a result of muting other colours. The result is that the ball stands out against the background and is easier to target.
4th decision: Can I handle potential side-effects?
Most manufacturers have different-sized lenses to fit most wearers, the same as with normal, untinted contact lens manufacturers. However there will be some occasions (eg. when blinking) where the coloured area of your lens might slide over your pupil and temporarily change the colour of your world.
Also, the size of your pupil changes constantly to accommodate varying light conditions – so sometimes, like at night, your pupil may be larger than the clear center of the lens. In these instances, your vision may be slightly affected.
As you should with any contact lens, if you have a recurring problem with your lenses then go and see an optician about it.
5th decision: Where do I get my coloured contact lenses?
If you get them from a flea market or punky shop there’s a good chance the lenses will not be great quality and will leave you feeling like you’ve got broken glass in your eyes. The lenses may cost about $40 or £20, so consider if you’ll mind wasting that money if it turns out you have to take the lenses out after 30 mins and never put them back in… Then again, you’ll never know until you try.
Shopping online for coloured lenses is a good idea because you don’t have to make a rush decision. You can compare prices, see which sites seem more optician-friendly (ie. more likely to be carrying brands that won’t mess with your eyes), and see which brands come up again and again.
If you’re brave enough, ask someone in the street if you like their dramatic lenses. Ask what brand they are and if they’ve had any problems with them. Most people love talking about their fashion style, especially if it’s to swap tips or pass on ‘don’t go there girlfriend’ horror stories.
6th decision: I’ve got my lenses. How will I wear my eye makeup?
colour of colour Contacts Skin Tone
Light Skin Tone
Medium Skin Tone
Dark Brown, Hazel or Honey colour Contacts If your skin colour is light: Apply mauve shadow in the crease, and off-white creamy shadow near the brow line. If the skin colour is medium dark: Create a smoky look using matte colours, and graduate the colours with the darkest nearest the lashes and lightest near the brow. If the skin colour is dark: To make your whites brighter and your dark eyes “pop” line your lower lashes. Green colour Contacts If you skin colour is light: Use neutral or pale eye shadows in the green or blue families. If the skin colour is medium dark: Use neutral shadows such as taupes, plums and browns. If the skin colour is dark: Apply bronze shadow in the crease. Blue or Violet colour Contacts If your skin is light: Emphasize your eye colour by using light eye shadows in the green and blue families. If your skin is medium dark: Emphasize your eye colour by using neutral or medium tone colours. If your skin is dark: Use a mauve, deep brown shadow. Gray or Amethyst colour Contacts If your skin is light: Use lavender shadow along the upper lash line. If your skin is medium dark: A hint of silver shadow across the eyelid can create a glamorous look. If your skin is dark: Use shimmery gunmetal gray or rich, deep purples across the eyelid. Aqua, Turquoise or Sapphire colour Contacts If your skin is light: coloured eye shadows such as lavenders, pinks or blues look beautiful when dusted across the eyelid. If your skin is medium dark: Use warm mocha eye makeup to make your eye colour “pop”. If your skin is dark: Apply amber eye shadow across the eyelid.
General questions about coloured contact lenses
As with needles, sharing contact lenses is a bad idea. Contact lenses are fitted to the specifications of your own eyes, not anyone else’s, and wearing the wrong shaped lens can put pressure on the eye. Exchanging lenses can also transmit harmful bacteria, which can lead to an eye infection or other potentially icky eye conditions.
You currently need a prescription for coloured contact lenses – even if you have 20/20 eyesight and your lenses don’t have any vision correction in them so they’re purely for cosmetic purposes.
How long do coloured contact lenses last? It’s a boring answer but it depends. A reusable lens treated right can last many months before it wears out and starts to bother you, but never wear the contact lens longer than recommended by the optician. A disposable contact lens on the other hand is for single use only and not to be worn for more than a week and then discarded. It’s a medical device and it makes sense – you wouldn’t use a condom twice, would you? Same with a contact lens – it comes into contact with bodily fluids and tender bits…!