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Special Effects Contact Lenses: What They Are and Why to Use Them

Aug 28, 2008
If you've ever seen a movie about vampires or monsters where people have oddly colored eyes, cat eyes or other types of eyes, you've seen special effects contact lenses in action. These contact lenses, rather than correct sight (though some are actually prescription as well) create a special effect in the eye.

These lenses come in a wide variety of types and are available to the general public. While certain special effect contact lenses are designed especially for a movie, you can also expect to find similar ones on the public market within a few months after the movie is released.

Styles of Special Effects Contact Lenses

There are so many different types of these contact lenses that you can really get any look you want. For some people, this means simply changing their eye color. Light eyes can easily become any color you like, from green to blue to brown or even purple. Dark eyes are more limited in the options, but can usually go with black, dark green and sometimes a dark blue or purple.

For more zany effects, there are plenty of other options. Everything from the very scary cat eyes or red hellish eyes to more benign smiley face contacts can be had. There are circuit board contacts, zebra or tiger stripes, and just about anything else you can imagine. There are even images available to place in your eyes, so you can have a tiny flower or mountain scene actually placed on your eye.

Not every special effects contact company will provide all of these options, but you'll find that the catalogs of effects are quite surprising.

Why Use Special Effects Contact Lenses

For some people, it's a matter of feeling better about themselves. If you don't like your eye color, for example, being able to change it to something you feel is more acceptable can be a good boost for your self esteem.

For others, it's about conveying who they are inside. Science fiction fans, for example, might want to use eye color and styles that represent their favorite sci-fi characters. Those who are fascinated by vampires may prefer vampire style eyes while those interested in technology might want to surprise their friends with circuit board eyes.

Special effect contact lenses are usually only used a handful of times. Some are actually one use only and they are completely disposable. This type of contact lens is ideal for Halloween parties or other disguises. If you are in need of a costume for a play, special effect contacts can also come in handy, as with role playing activities.

Should You Use Contact Lenses for Effect?

Not everyone is interested in using contact lenses. If you have eye problems, you might want to talk to your eye doctor before trying special effects contact lenses. They usually aren't meant for long term use and if you aren't accustomed to wearing contacts, it is better not to leave them in for very long. Two or three hours is the recommended period for beginning contact lens wear.

If you already use glasses or contact lenses, you can get special effect lenses as prescriptions, too. So, they would just replace your regular contact lenses. Otherwise, glasses can be worn in combination with the contact lenses, though some people find this ruins the effect they are going for. For simple color changes, however, it works fine.

Special effects contact lenses can be a lot of fun to play around with, but they are also very practical if you need a new look. Check out the different options available and choose the ones that suit you.
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