Using contacts and circle lenses for cosplay (and everyday life) is the norm now a days. But if you have never used contact lenses before, knowing how to buy and wear them safely can be a little confusing. Let me start off buy saying that in the United States, it is illegal to sell “decorative” contact lenses without proof of prescription. This typically means, if you wanted to buy colored contact lenses in the US, you would have to get them from some place like Acuvue and they just aren’t as vibrant as circle lenses. The FDA’s website on decorative lenses even provides a scary story about a woman who bought contact lenses from a booth and nearly lost her eye! While this story may be true, I feel that if you follow all the precautions, and buy from a trusted source, you can wear circle lenses safely.
Step 1: Go to the eye doctor
I know, I know. I hate going to any kind of doctor. Plus, I’m lazy, so making an appointment and going can be a pain in the butt, but this step is very important! You need to find out what your prescription is. What if your left eye can’t see quite as well as your right? You need to know this so when you order your lenses, you can select the right prescription for each eye. You also need to find out what your base curve is. (Base curve is the amount of curvature the contact lens has) Most websites have their contacts with a base curve of 8.6mm. Let’s say you get your eyes checked out, and the doctor says your base curve is 8.7mm, you should ask him or her if it is okay to go up or down a base curve. (Something along the lines of, “Hey, if I wear a contact lens with a base cure of 8.6, would that be okay? Would it be bad for my eyes?”) From what I’ve heard from people with “regular” contacts, you can typically go up or down .1mm and be okay. But it’s always best to talk to a professional!
Step 2: Ordering from a trusted source
Once you get your prescription and you know what your base curve is, it’s time to order! Finding a trusted site can be hard since some websites might not have any reviews. You need to look for a place that has the option of entering your prescription and has a good following. I always suggest Pinky Paradise circle lenses. They have been around for a long time, they have a prescription option, they have reviews on their contact lenses so you know what other people think about certain colors, they have “real life” picture examples from fans so you can see what the color looks like on dark eyes and light eyes, they have a couple base curve options and they just released a small line of lenses for people with astigmatism! With all these options and their huge fan base, it’s definitely a site to check out.
Step 3: Taking care of your lenses
Your colored contacts will come in a small glass jar. When you’re almost ready to wear your lenses, put them in a lens case and cover them in a solution for a little bit. This solution will help hydrate the lenses so they aren’t drying on your eyes. When you are done wearing the lenses, replace the contact solution and store your lenses in the case again. I would replace the contact solution every couple weeks, just to keep it fresh and so the lenses are kept soft. If you lenses have any tears on them, DO NOT WEAR THEM. Also avoid stacking lenses or falling asleep in them. This can lead to an infection and we’re trying to avoid that! 🙂
If you use the code ELITECOSPLAY on Pinky Paradise, they will throw in a free cute animal contact lens caseAND a mystery gift! Makes caring for your lenses a little more fun 😉