I noticed recently that there are a lot of threads about purchasing costume contacts. As someone who has been wearing perscription contacts for the better part of 8 years and wearing costume contacts for 5 years, I'm certainly not an authority on the subject but I thought I might be able to offer some help to those who see this post.
Purchasing Costume Contacts
Firstly and most importantly, before you buy contacts of any kind you should get an eye exam, even if you have perfect vision!
I AM NOT JOKING. You can get an eye exam for relatively cheap at any store that sells contacts or eyeglasses (I paid 40 dollars for such an exam without any insurance). There are two reasons to get this exam:
1) you need to make sure your eyes are healthy enough to wear contacts.
2) you need to know your base curve
What is a base curve?
A base curve is basically the diameter of your lens(here's a picture
). This is the part of the eye that is generally covered by a contact, so it's extremely important that a contact be properly fitted to that part of your eye.
Most people have a base curve between 8 and 10 millimeters. Within about half a millimeter you can get away with a pair of costume contacts. Much more than that, and the contacts will burn and hurt and turn your eye red. They can even scratch the lens of your eye and, in the most severe cases, you can be blinded
. Yeah. I'm not joking about this.
Most costume contacts have a base curve between 8.5 mm and 9mm.
When you get an eye exam the doctor can tell you the base curve of your eye in your perscription information.
Now that you've got your perscription, you need to find a place to get contacts!
What follows is a list of places that I have found reliable in providing high-quality, comfortable costume contacts for a range of prices and perscriptions. Your milage may vary.
Try Color Contacts
- This website provides TEMPORARY contacts (2-week use; if preserved well and used intermittently they will last for up to a year) in multiple colors and types and in different perscriptions. They offer color enhancers and color changers both, and also more dramatic looks. Prices range from 20$/pair to 80$/pair.
Color Lens 4 Less - This website provides temporary contacts (month-long use; if preserved well and used intermittently they will last for over a year) in multiple colors and types, but ONLY IN PLANO. They offer color enhancers and color changers both and lots of dramatic look contacts. Prices range from 20$/pair to 60$/pair.
9mm Special Effect Lenses
- What list would be complete without this famous website? For dramatic look lenses in perscription, 9mm is the best. They offer PERMANENT lenses (meant to last for a year; I've had my first pair from them for 4 1/2 years and still going strong) in dramatic looks and even offer sclera contacts. Prices range from 150$/pair to 400$/pair.
a note about sclera contacts
Sclera contacts are the kind you need for things like Allen Walker's cursed eye, Kisame from Naruto, and Medusa from Soul Eater in the middle of an Evil Moment. To buy sclera contacts you need one more piece of information from your doctor - how 'wide' the contacts should be (in terms of millimeters). In other words, they can tell you how much of your eye is exposed when your eyes are open. If you buy them too big you can hurt the muscles of your eyes; if you buy them too small the whites of your eyes will show a lot.
Most doctors will tell you never to wear sclera contacts. Ask anyway, and explain that you won't wear them for more than a few hours at a time, and then only occasionally. =D
- this refers to lenses meant to last less than a year before replacement. After their 'expiration date' these contacts tend to rip, tear, or split, making them unwearable.
- lenses meant to last a year or more. Technically all contacts expire after a year because perscriptions expire after a year.
- these contacts won't change the color of your eye dramatically; instead of being painted with a flat color they're painted with a thin color that merely alters the color of your own iris.
- these contacts are painted opaque with color so that the natural color of your iris is completely invisible.
- contacts with no perscription strength. If you have perfect vision you wear plano costume contacts.
- contacts that cover more than just your iris.
Wearing Costume Contacts
So you've never worn contacts before but you REALLY need to have sharingan contacts for Sasuke. Totally understandable. Here's what you need to get started:
1)A bottle of contact solution. (ReNu, Opti-Free, etc.) You can get this at your local convenience store or grocery store in a variety of brands. As you wear your contacts you will find out which brand of contact solution works best for you.
2)A contact case. It will keep the contacts together and well-preserved. Solution and cases often come together in bundles, so take advantage of that!
3)Eyedrops. Contacts, you will quickly discover, dry out your eyes! Keep a small bottle of eyedrops with you to help keep your eyes naturally wet.
Everyone has different methods of putting in contacts. When you get your eye exam, you can ask the doctor if you can practice with a pair. You need to figure out the best way to get your contacts in. Watch yourself in a mirror and do it over a clean sink/counter.
Wash your hands first, or this will hurt.
When you first get your contacts, they will be wet and very clean. However, unless you're VERY lucky, you're probably not going to get them in the first time. They're going to land on your hand, in the sink, on the floor - yeaaah. Wash your contacts in your chosen solution every time they drop.
To wash your contacts, place the lens edge-up in your palm. Douse your palm in solution, then gently press your pointer finger down on the contact and swirl it around in the solution. To get the inside of the contact clean, gently fold the contact between your thumb and pointer finger and rub it back and forth. GENTLY.
wear your contacts for the first time on the day you put on your costume!
practice putting in and taking out your contact lenses before the big day! This will save you a lot of heartache.
If your contacts burn and hurt the first time you get them in, you could have any number of problems, but the most likely ones are:
1)your contacts are inside-out. It's hard to tell but if you look at a contact in profile, you can see the edge of it. If it looks like the edges are flattened, they're inside-out. Ask your doctor about this when you get your perscription and they'll probably show you.
2)your solution is incompatible with your eye. Try a new brand.
3)your contacts aren't clean enough.
Bear in mind that discomfort will be normal. BURNING AND HURTING IS NOT.
To take out contacts, you can probably literally pinch them off your eye. it's not nearly as gross as it sounds. Just pinch your pointer finger and thumb together gently on the surface of the contact and it should pop right off. (It takes some practice.)
Wear a pair of contacts for more than 6 hours. Even daily wear contacts are meant for no more than 8-10 hours a day, and that's for people used to wearing them! Try to avoid wearing contacts for too long.
Preserving/Taking Care of Costume Contacts
Well, the con is over, you're done with your contacts for another six months. What do you do with them now?
Caring for costume contacts is much like caring for normal contacts, but you have to remember to attend to them because they're being worn so much less often. Here's what you need:
1)Contact solution (again). The same solution you used to clean your contacts is the solution you're going to leave your contacts floating in for the next six months.
2)Contact case (again). This is an easy, safe place to store your contacts.
The contact solution will keep your contacts clean. You should replace the contact solution at least once a month. If you take a contact out of old solution and try to put it in your eye it will hurt so
badly. Take it from someone who's tried.
Make sure you have a separate contacts case for every pair of contacts you own. Contacts should sit alone in their solution. If they don't sometimes they'll stick together, and if they don't come apart easily you can rip them, rendering them unusable.
Keep your contacts in a place that's usually room temperature and out of the sunlight to keep evaporation of the solution down.
WHAT IF (A kind of FAQ):
My contacts rip?
Stop wearing them. Immediately. The damage you can do to your eye is massive. I recently scratched my eye lens with a pair of contacts that had the edge sliced off of them; my vision was blurry and cloudy for days, and I was lucky
I forgot to change the solution and my contacts dried out in their case!
No problem. Just add solution to the case again and in a couple of hours the contacts will restore themselves. Still, not a good idea to let that happen a lot.
Aaand I guess that's about all I have to say about that!
if anyone has any questions or anything to add please reply
. I'd love to help out anyone with any questions they may have about wearing contacts!