I have a fascination of sorts with colored contact lenses. I love the idea of changing up my look, but I don’t like the idea of sitting down to lunch with a friend and being asked when I was abducted by aliens because my eyes look like something from the Syfy channel.
In the past, the challenge of colored contacts has always been how to make them look real.
I learned about the next generation of color contact lenses a bit ago—they are called AIR OPTIX® COLORS contact lenses and you can read what I wrote about them here—in a nutshell, they feel almost like wearing nothing at all on the eyes, and are quite sophisticated in terms of color.
There are 9 colors in all. So you can go bold, like Brilliant Blue, or just tweak an aspect of your existing eye color with say, Pure Hazel or Gray. You can see all the colors at the AIR OPTIX® COLORS contact lenses site.
The Goal: Subtly + Believability
I thought I’d take 2 colors out for a test drive in broad, unvarnished daylight. I like the idea of using AIR OPTIX® COLORS contact lenses as a fun way to subtly enhance my eye color, just like I might switch up makeup colors from time to time, or bump up the color of my hair.
Disclosure: I received a free eye exam and contact lens fitting from LensCrafters and a 6-month supply of Alcon AIR OPTIX® COLORS contact lenses in exchange for writing a review. However, all opinions are stubbornly my own.
Side Note: Before you even think about ordering contact lenses, colored or otherwise, schedule an eye exam and fitting with an optometrist first. Your eyes are precious and they’re the only two you’ll be getting in this lifetime!
I have fairly dark brown eyes with a tad of green in them, and some light brown also. So I chose Honey, to lighten them, and Gemstone Green, to bring up the green elements.
The goal was to see if, while wearing them, they would look nice but still be undetectable to the naked eye. In other words, “Oh, neat colored contact lenses,” was not the goal.
To see the difference between the two shades, I slipped the Honey in the right eye, and Gemstone Green in the other and snapped this photo in natural sunlight, and with minimal makeup. The camera is a few inches from my face. Yeow!
See? Small, but nice change. Both colors, Honey and Gemstone Green, made my eyes appear lighter and, in a way, brighter. Also, the lenses made me look more awake due to the fact that the pupils—the darker, centermost part of the eye—are fixed in size, and contrast with the lighter color of the iris.
Over the next couple of weeks, I alternated colors, wearing either at different times, and always in broad daylight. Afterwards, when I asked people whom I knew if they noticed anything different, I got variants of, “I thought your eyes were really sparkly [or glowing] today.”
None of these are bad things.
As you can see, the look of these lenses is natural, subtle and believable, even when someone’s standing very close.
AIR OPTIX® COLORS contact lenses definitely have bolder colors, but I chose these because I was specifically looking for a small change to my everyday look.
Here’s another up-close view…
Tips for Buying + Wearing Colored Contact Lenses
- If you’re thinking of color contact lenses, I recommend that you don’t skimp. In other words, get the best lenses you can. This has to do with looking out for the health of your eyes, and also, getting the most nuanced and flattering color scheme possible. When you look at an AIR OPTIX® COLORS contact lens, you can see there is a lot of detail in the color design. That has much to do with how real they look while they’re on your eyes. To give you an idea of price, AIR OPTIX® COLORS contact lenses are about $85 for a box of 6 (3 pairs).
- Try on a few colors. recommend visiting Visit the AIR OPTIX® COLORS Color Studio at airoptixcolors.com. You can upload a photo of yourself and virtually “try on” any of the 9 shades. Do this before visiting your optometrist, narrowing your Maybes to 2 or 3 colors, so it doesn’t get too confusing at the doctor’s office.
- Venture into new territory, color wise. Try every shade they have, even those that might be off the radar for you. You might be thinking Blue or Green, but Grey might look fantastic, too.
- Consider your goal. I’ve clearly going for a quiet enhancement, something I can wear while say, running errands or going to a backyard party. But there are bolder choices, such as Brilliant Blue and Green or even Sterling Gray. I’ve seen these colors on other people and they look vivid and really great. No alien eyes in sight!
- Whichever shade(s) you choose, you can bring up the color even more with eye makeup. I avoided this in my test because I wanted to show what the contacts look like to the ‘naked eye’—but part of the fun of wearing blue lenses, when your eyes are actually brown, is to experiment with makeup colors that make your eyes pop even more.
*High oxygen transmissible lenses: Dk/t = 138 @ -3.00D.
Important information for AIR OPTIX® COLORS (lotrafilcon B) contact lenses: For daily wear only for near/far-sightedness. Contact lenses, even if worn for cosmetic reasons, are prescription medical devices that must only be worn under the prescription, direction and supervision of an eye care professional. Serious eye health problems may occur as a result of sharing contact lenses. Although rare, serious eye problems can develop while wearing contact lenses. Side effects like discomfort, mild burning or stinging may occur. To help avoid these problems, follow the wear and replacement schedule and the lens care instructions provided by your eye doctor. Ask your eye care professional for complete wear, care, and safety information.
Disclaimer: AIR OPTIX® COLORS contact lenses are available by prescription only.
Alcon AIR OPTIX® COLORS contact lenses Website: www.airoptixcolors.com