The Best Color Contacts
My quest to find the perfect color contact
These days, people from all walks of life are wearing color contacts. Because of the affordability and versatility of color contacts, professionals, celebrities, housewives and even kids are trying out new eye colors! So I decided to join the crowd. I figured if celebrities like Jennifer Aniston and Paris Hilton wear them, I'd give color contacts a try too. I knew very little about color contacts, so I did a lot of research. I visited my optometrist and tried on about twenty shades of sample contacts. I read reviews about other brands and ordered them through the mail. All this was part of my quest to find the perfect color contact. Here's what I've found out.
You have to know what type of color contacts work for your eyes. There are basically three types of color contacts: opaque, translucent and mixed. Opaque means you cannot see any of your natural eye through the colored part of the contact. This type of color is ideal to cover darker eyes; however, since the pattern of your real eye doesn't show through, these types of contacts can lack depth and realism. Some high-end manufacturers go as far as to hand-paint a detailed iris on the lens in an effort to look real. Because of the work involved, this is pricey. Most affordable brands, such as Freshlooks, choose instead to blend a pattern of opaque lines or dots with either clear or translucent color.
Translucent color allows the you to see the real eyes through the color. Because they do not completely cover you true eye color, translucent contacts such as Acuvue 2 Colors, are ideal for those who want to enhance their natural eye color. For example, an individual with blue eyes may want to wear green tinted contacts. Translucent contacts don't work well for dark brown eyes.
Comfort is also an important issue. All contacts are not made equally. Issues such as oxygen permeability and diameter may affect the wearer's comfort. The bottom line is, don't wear uncomfortable contacts, and see your optometrist if problems persist. This way you can avoid health problems, including infections and loss of vision.
My Natural Eye Color
The Perfect Green Contacts
As you can see, my natural eye color is green-brown hazel. So my eyes are too dark for translucent blue lenses, but they are light enough that the translucent greens work. My favorite translucent green lens is Acuvue 2 Enhance Green. Acuvue has the most comfortable lenses I've tried, and the green gives my eyes a subtle glow. I also like that there is no pupil hole in the color, so I don't have to worry about an off-center ring of brown around my pupil. Even though the green tint is in front of my pupil (and my line of vision,) I don't notice the green hue. However, some people complain that the "altered" vision bothers them. If your job requires you to distinguish slight differences in coloration, this type of contact may not be right for you.
Acuvue 2 Enhance Green
I tried a whole lot of greens, but my other two favorites are Freshlooks Dimensions Sea Green and Cibavision Impressions Green. The Freshlooks are more natural at a glance than the translucent Acuvues because they didn't glow in bright light the way the Acuvues do. The diameter of Freshlooks is slightly larger and they are slightly less comfortable. Acuvue has a line of opaque contacts as well; however, these have a plain circle pupil "hole" which looks really unnatural on my eyes. The Cibavision Impressions are perhaps similar to Freshlooks, but with a black limbal ring around the color, which I think looks sharp. A friend of mine actually said the Impressions make me look younger!
Freshlooks Dimensions Sea Green
Cibavision Impressions Green
So I figured out the best three pairs of green lenses and moved on to blue. Blue contacts are harder to pull off with hazel eyes. The brown sunspot I have around my pupil doesn't blend well with blue. But I read raving reviews about Illusions Soft Blue, which was supposed to be the best blue contact because it had an opaque blue dot design over a translucent blue. The translucent part covers the iris and pupil for a smooth blend around the pupil. I tried Illusions first. Here's the result...
Illusions Soft Blue
Maybe you noticed I'm not wearing much eye makeup in the picture above. These contacts are not as comfortable, and my eyes are sensitive, so I cried my makeup off. Otherwise, the aqua color is fun if a bit exotic.
Next, I tried Freshlooks Colorblends Brilliant Blue.The opaque pattern on these lenses fades into brownish dots around the pupil to blend smoothly with the natural eye. The Freshlooks were the most natural and least noticeable for me.
Finally, I tried Durasoft Baby Blue. My verdict is, Durasoft was the best blue contact for my taste.
Hazel Contacts and Gold Contacts
I tried some Freshlooks Colorblends hazel contacts while at my optometrist's office. They were a very nice honey-chestnut look, but I forgot to take a picture. These would be the only hazels I recommend. Conversely, I ordered some Clearly Colors Amber Ambitions contacts at the same time that I ordered Wild Eyes Vampire Contact lenses. I got the Amber Ambitions in the mail first and tried them on to find they were not very natural looking. Then the Vampire contacts arrived looking suspiciously exactly the same. The vials even had the same lot number on them. I contacted the manufacturer who said someone would get back with me. I'm still waiting.
I also tried to play up the gold in my eyes with Cellini Gold Contacts. These have gold flecks on the surface for a much different look. Several friends like them, and I think they would be perfect for a festivity such as a Christmas party.
I had a lot of fun with this contact experiment, and I welcome your feedback. If you're on your own quest to find the best color contacts, good luck, and share with me what you find out!