There's nothing wrong with having an eye color that doesn't match the character you're cosplaying as, but it's a nice finishing touch to any costume. However, the contact lenses that are marketed to cosplayers are often sold from websites outside of the United States and may not be from reputable brands. But that doesn't mean you should give up completely on contacts! Here's how you can make sure that that lens you're about to put on your eye is safe, and what to avoid.
Be Cautious With Novelty Lenses That Lack FDA Approval
Circle lenses have become popular in Japan and Korea and are popular for cosplaying because they make your iris appear larger than usual. However, circle lenses are rarely sold by U.S. manufacturers, so they don't have all the FDA protections that contacts made here do. While some circle lenses may be safe, the illusion of an extra millimeter or two of an iris that they create probably isn't worth the risk of an eye infection.
Unfortunately, the same principle with circle lenses applies to any of the wild-looking contact lenses that are for sale on the internet. If they weren't manufactured and distributed within the United States, the chances are good that they're not up to the FDA's regulations unless specifically marked as such.
Get Lenses Directly From An Ophthalmologist Or Optometrist
If you want to be certain that your contact lenses are safe for your eyes and vision, you should always get them from a doctor's office. If you get contacts from an optometrist or ophthalmologist's office, you can rest assured knowing that your lenses are safe, FDA-cleared, and completely sterile. Doctors have a wide variety of special lenses available for sale in interesting colors and designs and a much larger range of materials available that can help your eyes to feel more comfortable with the lenses.
As an added bonus, getting your lenses made specifically for your vision prescription is easy. If your character doesn't wear glasses, but you do, this can add extra authenticity to your overall costume. You also won't have to worry about taking your glasses on and off when someone asks for your picture.
At the end of the day, contact lenses can give your costume a special little boost, making you look as much like the character you're cosplaying as possible. But keep in mind that getting your contacts made by a reputable company located in the United States with FDA clearance is the only safe way to be sure that your lens won't be faulty, unsterile, or otherwise harm your eyes. For more information, contact a professional like Jeffrey C. Fogt, OD.