Costume lenses are a great way to complete a costume. Wearing lenses with a Halloween costume can make your costume look a lot more pulled together, and wearing lenses with a costume built for Cosplay is practically essential to get the right look for a character. Costume lenses are available in a huge range of colors, styles and prices. Theatrical effect lenses can give you alien eyes, anime eyes, or even zombie eyes that look good enough to be an extra on The Walking Dead. But if you have never worn costume lenses before there are some things that you should be aware of.
The first thing you need to know is that you do need a prescription for lenses even if you have perfect vision. The eye doctor will note on your prescription the width of your eyes which will help in assessing what size costume lenses you need. Always visit an eye doctor for a checkup before buying special effects lenses. It is important to be sure that your eyes are healthy and to get measurements from the doctor before buying lenses. After you have seen an eye doctor and have a prescription for the lenses you want these tips will help you successfully add costume lenses to your Halloween or Cosplay costume:
Never wear your lenses for extended periods of time: costume lenses are not meant to be worn like regular contact lenses. Most people who wear regular contact lenses wear them for eight to ten hour intervals during the days. Costume lenses should never be worn for more than six hours at a stretch. If you are going to be wearing them at an all day or all night event try to take a break about halfway through. Take the contacts out, wash them, and let your eyes rest for at least 15 minutes before you put them back in.
Keep an emergency kit with you at all times: Whenever you are wearing costume lenses you should keep a small baggie or kit with you that contains eye drops, contact lens cleaning solution, a contact case, makeup remover wipes, hand sanitizer, and glasses if you wear them. That way if you need to take your contacts out in a hurry you will have everything you need to do it safely no matter where you are. Eye drops are a must have because your eyes will get dry when you are wearing contacts, especially if you are in a hot, crowded place like a party or a convention hall. Use the hand sanitizer before touching your contacts or your eyes.
Put contacts in before you put on makeup: Always put in the special effect lenses that you want to wear then put on the eye makeup you need to complete your look. Keep makeup remover wipes on hand at all times so that you can quickly remove makeup if it starts to irritate your eyes. When you are putting on your makeup just be careful not to poke yourself in the eye or get too close to the actual eye. If you get any makeup on the lenses take them out and wash them thoroughly in lens cleaning solution to prevent any bacteria growth or irritation.
Inspect the lenses before putting them in: Always check the lenses before you put them in your eye. If they are torn, dirty, or ripped they could cause permanent damage to your eyes. If you put a contact in your eye that is dirty or torn you will feel it immediately but by then it might already be too late. Check the edge of the contacts for any deposit build up or tears and then when you are cleaning the lenses check them for other problems. If you notice a problem throw the lenses out. Never put a damaged lens in your eye.
Store them properly: Some costume lenses can be quite expensive and you might want to keep them for other costumes. After you take out your lenses clean them. Then put them in a lens case that is half filled with contact cleaning solution. You can store your lenses like this for quite some time. Every couple months or so take them out, clean them, and refill the solution in the case.