Colored contacts are no stranger to Halloween. Some of us even wear them on a daily basis. A single white-out contact or a pair of circle lenses are a common item to find in the makeup bag of the ultra-goth or the super kawaii. Many more of us wear them on occasion just to change up our eye color, and while shades of green and honey brown may be very well for any other time of the year, October is when even the most conservative eyes look toward the wacky world of theatrical contacts. Take one look at Brittany C.'s CallowLily look above and you'll want to view your costume through a new lens.
Colored contacts may be the ultimate in DIY special effects cosmetics, but in the end they are still a medical device—confusing to purchase and risky to wear. Keep your Halloween and your vision in 20/20 shape with our colored contact breakdown.
THE PRESCRIPTION PAYOFF
Believe it or not, selling cosmetic contacts without a prescription is illegal in the United States, but that doesn’t stop people from getting a hold of them.The main problem with buying over the counter contacts is that they may not fit your eyes correctly. Though lenses are flexible, you still run the risk of scratching your corneas, which can lead to infections and even blindness. A non corrective-contact prescription from your doctor may sound like an expensive hassle, but a quality and safety guarantee is priceless.
WILD EYES TAKE TIME
If you’ve never tried contacts before, set aside extra time to play—you don’t want to make yourself late to the Halloween party because you were stuck in the bathroom trying not to blink! New contact wearers will find it’s easier to insert their lenses before applying eye makeup.
CARE FOR YOUR CONTACTS
Even though your costume lenses are purely decorative, care for them just like any other contact wearer would. Keep them clean and always put them back in their case. Even after the wildest night, take a couple minutes to sterilize your contacts with solution, and never ever sleep in them. If they come loose while you’re out and about, avoid irritation and wash your hands first before attempting to put them back in.
If you’re feeling serious about crazy contacts this season, you can always go the custom route. Custom contacts can be much more expensive but often, what you’ll get is a quality and unique set of lenses that fit great and last years. Plus, a custom company like 9mm SFX can produce any design you can imagine. Beware of cheaper prices on custom painted lenses. Some pigments are not FDA approved and can even be toxic.
SCLERA LENS LIABILITY
Sclera lenses are designed to cover your entire eye—not just the iris, resulting in a Stepford Wives-esque blackout effect, a theatrical bloodshot look, and more. What a lot of people don’t know is that costume sclera lenses are actually illegal to sell in the United States with or without a prescription. They are difficult to insert and remove and are dangerous to wear for a prolonged period of time. If your look truly relies on sclera lenses, get them presciption fitted and follow all the package directions carefully to minimize the risk of damage to your eyes.
FACE YOUR FEARS
If you’ve never worn contacts before, reading all these safety precautions probably isn’t putting you at ease—but don’t let that stop you from giving them a try. Putting foreign objects in our eyes had us nervous too, but thinking about all our friends who wear corrective contacts on a daily basis put our minds at ease. Besides, for the amount of times per week we jab at our eyes with brushes, pencils, and wands, it would be silly to let a little contact lens give us the shakes. Why not face your fears on the spookiest night of the year?