as others have said, you do not have to buy your lenses from an optometrist but every first time wearer must go to one to have their eyes sized and to be instructed on how to safely take them in and out and how to care for them properly so you do not get an eye infection or damage your vision.
ask your optometrist for a free trial pair of lenses. they always have free samples laying around, especially in the colour change brands. make sure they know you are looking for lenses that will change your eye colour. you won't get red this way but possibly another colour that could be useful to you in future and you'll definitely need a starter pair ot get your eyes used to wearing contacts.
explain to your dr that you need red ones for a costume and how long you will actually be wearing them for. they may surprise you and be able to order circle lenses for you but it's more likely they'll only be able to order theatrical quality contact lenses from US sellers. marietta vision is my favorite brand, you can get info on their website and have your dr call them to order.
theatrical lenses are not higher or lower quality than circle lenses (most circle lens sites sell cheaper knock off brands of them too), they are simply more opaque and cover your eye colour more completely and are made of a thicker material that will let very little oxygen through to your eye so the recommended wear times are shorter, generally six hours as opposed to eight with softer circle lenses. they are also usually far more expensive but it may be a worthwhile compromies to be able to order FDA approved ones through your optometrist.
also, always soak your new contacts in solution for a day or so before you first try them, especially if they're circle lenses to make sure none of the dye is leaking off (those would be duds and dangerous to use) and in case the solution they came in irritates your eyes.
also on the note of circle lenses, i have the dolly plus ones in red, they are bright red, but the center hole is much larger than i'd like, it shows a lot of my natural eye colour. I prefer my vassen ruby reds (ifairy) lenses, even though they have darker patterning they just look a little more natural because of the colour fade. I also use theatrical red lenses for more demon type characters when i don't care about them looking at all natural or human ^^
Last edited by novaraven1 : 01-18-2013 at 12:39 AM.