Colored contact lenses are quite possibly the best kept secret in the beauty industry. Whilst many are fully-fledged members of the colored contacts club; many beauty enthusiasts are yet to delve into the world of switching up their eye color. That’s where we come in, we are here to help guide you through the process, from knowing how colored contacts actually work down to the correct application.
How do colored contacts work?
Understandably, many first timers are skeptical of putting something (or anything) in their eyes so it’s important to start with educating yourself on how colored contact lenses work and why they are 100% safe to use when purchased from a reputable supplier. If you look closely at any colored lens, you will notice the middle section is left clear – this accurately lines up with your pupils allowing light to travel through the lens for perfect vision. The colored section of the lens simply covers the iris which is the naturally colored part of our eyes making for a seamless color switch.
There are two types of colored contacts, non-corrective and medical to correct long or short sightedness and astigmatism. Trusted and approved brands tend to offer both options, with cheaper knock-off companies only targeting those looking for cosmetic style lenses for novelty use at a low price. These sorts of lenses tend to be less natural due to the nature of the purchase and quality of the product; however medically approved lenses are known for their attention to detail mimicking the natural lines and dots of the real eye for the most realistic color transition.
Are there different types of colored contact lenses?
Yes! There are three different types of colored contact lenses commonly referred to as tints of which your natural eye color will play a part in the tint type you choose.
- Visibility Tints are simply for functional purposes and are a great choice for people not looking to drastically change their eye color but perhaps enhance a blue or green shade. A small amount of dye is added to the lens to help insertion, removal and if you were to drop the lens – these are only available on medical prescription lenses.
- Enhancement Tints are as they sound – used to enhance the natural color of the eye. These look solid in color however they are still translucent when worn and are ideal for those with pale eyes to create a more bold but natural look.
- Opaque Tints enable a total eye color transformation and are most suitable for those with naturally darker eyes looking for total color coverage. The difference between opaque and enhancement tints are the transparency factor; whilst enhancement tints still provide a level of opacity, opaque tints are non-transparent coming in a range of colors and are ideal for occasion wear.
What should you look for when choosing?
It’s vital to know what to look for when selecting where to buy your colored contact lenses, side effects of poor-quality products can lead to irritation, infection and in some cases blindness – not something anyone wants to be risking! Our number 1 tip is checking a supplier’s legitimacy – do their lenses follow Food & Drug Administration guidelines? Those that do, tend to be backed by recognizable optical brands so have a Google! It is worth noting that in the US all colored contacts require a prescription, whether your vision needs correcting or not, so be careful of this when shopping around.
How long can you wear them?
There are different types of contacts depending on preferred wear time but as a general rule most opticians recommend 8-12 hours a day. Daily contact lenses are a common choice for those with dry eyes or for a one-off novelty wear; these such lenses should not be worn for more than 10-12 hours. For longer wear we would recommend opting for the monthly or yearly contact lenses of which should be worn for a maximum of 9 hours a day, stored in solution overnight and can then be reworn for another 9 hours until the month/year is complete.
How to put them in?
There are a few different methods for the insertion and removal of colored contacts but all of which start with clean hands. Without a thorough washing bacteria may be transferred to your eye which is hyper-sensitive to any foreign body so it’s a vital step that should not be missed. Once the lens is checked for general cleanliness, pick up the lens by placing your finger on the convex side (outside), pull down your eye either with your other hand, or the middle or ring finger on the same hand and slowly insert the lens into your eye. As stated previously there are many methods here, whilst some people insert the contact into the corner of the eye and let the lens move to the correct position, others place it directly onto the iris. Once the contact lens is in the eye, blink and look around a few times to make sure it is in the correct place and feels comfortable – and there you have it, lenses are in and the look has been acquired!
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