We love Halloween, so much so that we have a Halloween night out every year (last year saw Kelvin dressed up as an empty contact lens box). But every year is also the year we almost always hear of someone landing themselves in the hospital because of Halloween contact lenses, so this year before our big party, we thought we would share with you some of the do's and don'ts of Halloween contact lenses.
1. Do get your eyes checked first.
Yes yes, we know we're naggy, but getting a doctor's prescription is the best way to ensure you get lenses that fit well. We know many of you will still not heed our warning because "Who wants to get a prescription for just one night?" and "It's just going to be for a few hours anyways." We have a little infographic that shows what happens when lenses don't fit well, but if you are going to ignore that as well, then at least...
2. Remove your contact lenses at the first sign of bad symptoms
So you have decided to go without a prescription, we do not condone it but we do understand. Nevertheless, watch out for these symptoms.
- Red eyes
- Dry/itchy eyes
- Painful eyes, especially when you blink or look around
- Temporary blockage of vision when the contact lens shifts while blinking
- Tiredness/lethargy in eyes
- Blurry vision
All of these can be signs that something is wrong, whether your eyes are being deprived of moisture, oxygen, or worse still, getting damaged. The risk is real, and the damage often lasts a lifetime. Here are just 2 examples of many that have resulted in a lifetime of regret:
We hope we have not scared you off wearing them, but like all things in life, you just have to be smart about it, and we hope this article will help you be a little smarter when it comes to your eyes!
3. Buy only from a reputable seller
We wish we could say Contacts Asia, but we do not sell Halloween contact lenses. We have seen too many cases regarding Halloween contact lenses to want to sell them.
Look out for reviews when choosing a brand. If possible, find shops that specialise in theater or stage makeup or a professional contact lens store, these shops are usually much more knowledgeable about costume lenses as they serve people who might wear them all year round.
Street vendors and small-time sellers are usually bad choices because many of them are only out to make some quick money during the Halloween season, and many of them know next to nothing about contact lenses, and just sell whatever they can get cheaply.
Remember that reputable companies usually require a shop to have proper certifications to carry their products. Do you really think the street vendor will be bothered getting those certifications? No they wouldn't, so what they sell are usually those that have not even passed FDA approval in the first place.
4. Learn and practice first
If you're already a contact lens user, you can skip this part. But for the rest of us who have never worn one before, do your homework! Find a friend, eye doctor or wikiHow article and practice putting them in and taking them out a few times.
Wearing your lenses is not the hard part. Trying to take them out for the first time when you are drunk and tired from a night of partying is like doing surgery. Sometimes, people get so tired they give up, which brings us to our next point...
5. Never, ever, wear Halloween contact lenses overnight
For most contact lenses, wearing them overnight is already a big no-no. For Halloween contact lenses, it's much worse. Firstly, Halloween contact lenses usually have a much thicker layer of paint of them. This makes sense because these lenses are meant to bring about drastic color or shape changes to your eyes. This means that they allow much less oxygen to reach your eyes than normal lenses. Secondly, most of these lenses are just designed for fun, so unlike medical contact lenses that we sell, they do not have years of R&D put into them, so they tend to dry out/degrade quickly.
Trying to take your contacts out once they have been stuck on your cornea can mean ripping out your cornea, something we really do not recommend trying. So please, never wear them overnight. If you think you are going to be drunk or completely wasted, take them out before. Trust us, it's not worth keeping them in. Get your cool photos taken, take them out, then party the night away!
6. Do not share contact lenses
No, really. While it might be a cool idea to let your BFF try if these lenses go with her costume, don't do it. It's like sharing a toothbrush, it's gross and the risk of bacterial transfer is high.
7. Throw them out after use
Unless you think you are going to wear them again soon, throw them out. They are definitely not going to be in wearing condition after storing for an entire year till the next Halloween.
8. Wear your lenses before your makeup
This is simple, but easily overlooked. Not only will trying to wear contact lenses after putting on makeup probably damage your makeup, it is almost inevitable that your will get some mascara or eyeliner on the contact lenses, which will make for a very uncomfortable night.
That's about it! We know it may be a lot to take in, but please know that contact lenses are a medical device first, and fun cosmetic prop second. As long as you respect it as such, they are a really good way to finish off your costume!