During my make-up tutorials or in some of my cosplay photos, you may have noticed me wearing some awesome coloured contact lenses and wondered where I got them from.
For a very long time, I’ve dreamed of being able to change my eye colour. What’s a long time, exactly? Let’s call it 12 years. Basically, as long as I’ve been cosplaying. Not permanently, of course, but occasionally and on a whim. Just as frequently and easily as changing your make-up or your shirt. Using my eye colour as a subtle reflection of my personality and of my mood at any given moment.
And, for a very long time, the pursuit of alternate iris options has been out of my reach. To put it bluntly, I’m blind as a goddamn bat. I’ve needed corrective lenses for 20 years now and have been wearing contacts for 12 of them. My hereditary astigmatism and nearsightedness have prevented me from purchasing affordable everyday contact lenses, never mind anything coloured or with special effects.
Thankfully, advancements in technology, plus the popularity of cosplay and lolita fashion, has turned fashionable contact lenses into a booming industry. Predominantly sourced from Asia, particularly Japan, Malaysia, and Korea, a form of contact lenses called “Circle lenses” have found their place in the market for cosplayers, lolitas, and even every day fashion. Many brands are FDA approved, providing safe and unique alternatives to the lower-quality lenses you find in most costume shops.
Now that I can change my eye colour on the fly, I regularly take advantage of it not only for cosplay, but even just for going to the mall or hanging out with friends. And most times I wear them, I usually get asked by someone where I got my contacts from. Firstly, because the colours I wear come out bold, but natural. Secondly, because they work well blending with or covering up my naturally blackish-brown eyes. And their excitement is only expanded when I tell them that they’re prescription lenses that are comfortable and very affordable.
So where do my contact lenses come from?
My go-to website for contacts is Pinky Paradise. I cannot recommend them enough for a number of reasons:
- Their selection of prescription and non-prescription lenses is massive. Not to mention the fact that they also offer toric lenses for those with astigmatism. All of the lenses I’ve bought have been comparable in quality, comfort, breathability, and moisture retention to my every day lenses.
- You really cannot beat their prices. The majority of their lenses (sold in pairs) range between $20-26 USD and toric lenses are about $50 USD.
- Processing and shipping time and costs are fair and reasonable. Toric lenses are made-to-order and therefore require about 6-8 weeks to manufacture. Every time I’ve ordered from them, I’ve paid a bit extra to get the FedEx Economy shipping which is quoted at 4-7 business days. And every time, I’ve gotten my order in 3 days. They even have free shipping for $130 USD, which can net you a lot of color options, if you want to build a collection like I did.
- They have an amazing points program. Every dollar you spend gets you one point, and you can build up points to spend as credits on future orders. There is no minimum on redeemable points and they never expire.
- They carry legitimate brands of contact lenses, many of which have been FDA approved. Some stores online have been known to carry knock-offs of brands, nullifying any certified safety guarantees on the product. By using a low-quality product, you may experience irritation, redness, lesions, infections, or even as severe as permanent blindness. You only have one pair of eyes and you don’t want to be putting just any kind of products in them.
- Reviews of the lenses frequently include images of the customers wearing the contacts as well as their original eye color. This is an excellent reference to have, especially for those with dark eyes like mine, as some lenses are less pigmented and more transparent than others
- Most orders include a case for your contacts, so you can store them safely.
If you’re on the hunt to subtly or dramatically change your appearance, forget the mall and forget a new haircut. Try a new eye colour for a change. You’d be surprised how much of a difference and how much of a statement it makes. But, before you get too excited about picking out a plethora of colour options, make sure you talk to an optometrist about contact lenses and how to care for them and wear them safely.
Disclaimer: I am not being sponsored or compensated by Pinky Paradise for this review.
J. Tanooki is a Contributor for aybonline.com. She has been a lover of cosplay for over 10 years and regularly works on new and exciting cosplay projects. She actively posts about her cosplay plans, progress, and random shenanigans on her Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram. Her opinion is her own.