Japanese circle lens – A visual trick for anime cosplayers

cosplay japanese circle lens

Anime cosplayers have a secret to make their eyes cute, big and bug-eyed: Circle contact lenses. One intrepid Mookychick roadtests several circle lenses to see how they wear on the eye. Can circle lenses really turn you manga?

Japanese style has been influencing the western world for some time, and circle lenses are one of the most noted essentials to complete the look. Circle lenses are designed to make the eye look larger and more wide awake. They can vary from the size of a normal contact lens to a whopping 16.0mm diameter, to achieve the anime eye effect – which is why they are frequently worn by dedicated anime cosplayers to better match the visual aesthetics of the characters whose costumes they are attired in. In comparison to other lenses, some have a higher water content and with responsible use, can last from 6 to 9 months.

A while back, The New York Times released an article about these lenses, claiming Lady Gaga started the trend with her “Bad Romance” music video and that they cause blindness. I strongly refute this. Lady Gaga has no relation to the trend (her eyes were altered through CGI and such), and these lenses are cosmetic and can be worn just as safely if you take care of them properly. They are authorized by the KFDA and the way I see it, contact lens manufacturers are just complaining because this could cost them money.

I’ve worn coloured contact lenses before, and after seeing these lenses while in Harajuku in 2006, I’ve finally been able to try them out for myself. I received a few trial pairs, so I can let all you lovely people get an idea of how they look and feel. Also, be aware that you must soak these lenses for at least 8 hours before wearing them. Even if they are prescription lenses, it’s best to not wear them for longer than 10 hours.

Circle lens #1: Polytouch Magic Eye 2 Tone Brown

These lenses are only 14.0mm, and the resulting colour change is barely noticeable but they do enlarge your eyes a bit. I love wearing these for an everyday look, and on my nearly black eyes, these circle lenses look like a light greyish brown.

Circle lens #2: Geo Angel Brown

I can see why these adorable circle lenses are so popular. They are 14.5mm, slightly bigger but still pretty natural. I could probably estimate that 70% of YouTube videos on circle lenses talk about this brand, and it’s because of how great they look. Obviously, if you are well aware of circle lenses you’d know when someone is wearing them, the uninitiated will realize there’s something different; but I doubt they’ll know what. They will only know that your eyes look attractively large and dep. If you want an introductory pair of circle lenses, go to this site and get these.

Circle lens #3: EOS Max Pure Green

This pair has an amazing design; I couldn’t see the pixilation at all. They are 14.5mm as well, but they look slightly bigger to me. I think this is where the pupil enlargement is most apparent, because I normally don’t go for colour lenses outside of brown. These would be amazing for cosplay.

Circle lens #4: Geo Angel Gray and Green

Alas, my love for GEO lenses is obvious. Honestly, when I wear the Angel series, I start to think of the CGI versions of Alvin and the Chipmunks. Some may disagree and be put off by the aesthetic, but I love it and I think it’s super cute.

Circle lens #5: Dueba Big DM23 Brown

Oh. My. Word. These circle lenses are impossibly cute on all levels. These are the biggest pair I’ve ever worn. They are 14.5 but the colour gives them the appearance of 16.0mm. HUGE. My sister was extremely honest when explaining how ginormous my eyes looked; apparently she thought I looked like an alien. My mother went in another direction and said I looked like a living baby doll. I am definitely going to make use of these for Halloween. Maybe an Alien Doll?