Thanks to celebrities like Paris Hilton, fashion designers, and the movies, colored contact lenses are one of the hottest trends for accessorizing your eyes. But are they safe to wear and more importantly, are they safe to buy online?
Although colored contacts have been around for awhile, today there’s a huge selection of colors and styles, a literal maze of products and brands to choose from, and hundreds of online retailers.
But before you order colored contacts online, here are six things you need to know:
- Get a prescription for colored contacts from an optometrist or ophthalmologist. Not only will these eye care professionals fit you properly for contacts and recommend the brands or styles best for you, they will assess the overall health of your eyes and test you for potentially serious eye conditions. In the U.S. you must have a prescription from an eye care professional to order colored contacts, even if you don’t need vision correction and just want to try them for cosmetic reasons.
- If you want to enhance, or brighten your natural eye color, choose an enhancement tint. The color in these contacts is translucent, and allows your natural eye color to show through. They work best with light colored eyes like blue, grey, and green.
- If you want to completely change your eye color, choose an opaque tint. Opaque tints work with any eye color, and especially dark eyes. In these contacts, the colored portion is solid and covers up your natural eye color. A clear region for the pupil allows you to see.
- Only try on samples of colored contacts provided by your eye care professional or by purchasing inexpensive daily disposable colors, such as FreshLook ONE-DAY colors. DO NOT under any circumstances try on your friends’ colored contacts. Sharing contact lenses spreads bacteria and can lead to infection or other eye conditions.
- Only order name brand colored contacts from reputable online retails or optical stores. Some online retailers sell colored contacts without providing you with the details of the manufacturer and lens parameters up-front. Trusted brands include Acuvue 2 Color, FreshLook Colorblends, and Focus Softcolors.
- Choose an online retailer by looking at their customer service policy, return policy, customer support hours, and phone numbers. For example, in addition to online ordering, you should also be able to order by phone (toll free), and by fax. Also investigate what your payment options are, shipping methods and cost. Trusted retailers include AC Lens, Coastal.com, and Vision Direct.