These days, there's a temporary beauty fix for just about everything. You want plumper lips? No problem — there's a gloss for that. Thicker eyelashes? Falsies, duh. And to change the color of your eyes? Colored contacts, of course. All are amazing technological advances (if I do say so myself) but there are some things you should know before you try out the colored contact trend.
Colored contacts have been around seemingly forever, but have recently made a splash again with celebrities using them on the red carpet. Kendall Jenner and Selena Gomez tried them out earlier this year, and who could forget Kanye West on the Met Gala red carpet? No celeb has been a bigger proponent of the optical trend than Kylie Jenner — which is no surprise considering how often she likes to change up her look. The beauty chameleon's cosmetics company posted a picture of her in blue colored contacts to her Instagram account on Thursday. The naturally brown-eyed Jenner has tried out this look before at various events, and looks gorgeous with the icy blue specs.
As colored contacts start to re-emerge as a fixture on the beauty scene, there are a few things you need to know if you're considering trying it out. If they aren't used properly, these lenses could permanently damage your eyes. Take the time to talk to an optometrist to help you pick out the best colored contacts for you — please, please don't buy contact lenses on eBay. You should think of them as a medical prescription, not just as a beauty product.
Here is everything you need to know about the colored contact trend before you try it out for yourself.
1. They Come in Different Sizes
If you've ever warn regular, non-colored lenses, you know that fit is really important. If a lens is too loose, it will roll around and fall out, and if it's too tight, you risk it squeezing your eyeball and causing scratches. This is why it is absolutely necessary to talk to an eye doctor before purchasing, otherwise you're putting your poor peepers at serious risk.
2. You Can Get Them With Vision Correction Or Without
Lenses without a prescription are called "plano," and are worn only for cosmetic reasons. You need a prescription from an eye doctor to get those, too, but they aren't considered "prescription." "Prescription" colored lenses help correct your vision (I know, it's super confusing) so if you already wear contacts, you can likely get the same thing with color.
3. They Cost More Than Regular Contacts
Colored contacts tend to go for about 75% more than their clear counterparts, which makes sense considering they have higher research and manufacturing costs. A box of six regular contacts goes for around $25, while the colored version goes for around $45.
4. They Have Different "Tints"
When it comes to colored lenses, there are three different levels of actual color. Lenses with a "visibility" tint aren't meant to change your eye color in any significant way — the slight coloration just makes it easier to handle the lenses when you're putting them in or taking them out. Lenses with an "enhancement" tint enhance the natural color of your eye — so they make blues bluer, greens greener, etc. And "opaque" lenses, which are what Kylie Jenner wears, totally cover up your natural eye-color and replace it with whatever lens color you've chosen.
5. You Need To Keep Them Clean
This should be a no-brainer, considering colored contacts are going in your eyeball, but it's always worth reiterating. Make sure you take them out before bed (always!) and store them in clean containers with the proper kind of saline solution.
6. They're More Prone To Scary Infections Than Regular Lenses
Because of the dyes in colored contacts, your eyes are more prone to infection than they would be with regular lenses because it's more difficult for oxygen to reach your cornea. One study found that wearing colored lenses increased the risk for keratitis, which is a potentially blinding infection, by more than 16 times compared to people who wore regular corrective lenses. Of these patients, 60% suffered permanent vision loss. Pretty terrifying, huh?
7. Non-Prescription Colored Lenses Are Illegal
In case you aren't convinced yet about how dangerous it is to buy colored lenses without talking to your doctor, you should know that it is actually illegal to do so. These lenses bypass certain safeguards, making them incredibly dangerous for you to put in your eye. Don't do it!