Colour contact lenses have been around for decades and have recently become a mainstream fashion trend. Previously thought of and used more for special effects or in goth alternative circles, they are now being used in the everyday to enhance beauty and afford the wearer some diversity in their look. Increased supply has encouraged the regular use of natural colours and a diminishing sense of uniqueness – enter the mismatched contact lens trend.
A great invention, contact lenses started out as a life changing option for those of us who would otherwise wear glasses. There are plenty of reasons people who are eyesight challenged might opt for contact lenses over the usual hardware. Designs have obviously improved over time leading to variations of the original product such as full sclera contact lenses. These lenses rest on the white of your eye opposed to just the cornea. These days it’s not uncommon for wearers to report that wearing contacts is lighter and can even be more comfortable than regular glasses. However, for most that opt for everyday contact lenses the appeal is largely aesthetic. Like most things in life, glasses are just another beauty standard that go in and out of fashion. Not so long ago a trip to the optometrist could end in some endearing jeers of ‘four eyes’ or ‘specky McGee’. These days it’s considered cool and even quirky to wear glasses and demand is fairly high for clear lenses with zero prescription even for those with 20/20 vision. It’s truly crazy how quickly trends can change.
With so many inventive individuals in the world with an eye for fashion and an eagerness to start the next trend, it was only a matter of time before the potential was explored. With so many other ways to enhance your look be it false lashes, fake nails or even injectables and surgeries, we’re always looking for the next best thing. Originally cosmetic contact lenses would primarily be seen in special effects for the big screen but have now moved to the general public. We started out simply with the ability to change your regularly brown eyes to a bright blue or a brilliant green – perfect to tie an outfit together or if you’re not all that happy with your natural eye colour. From there, things got a little more creative – you could pick yourself up some purple, orange or pink ones. Subtle, understated and a little bit unusual but still quite low key. Great for that fairy or alien cosplay.
Why stop there though? Next came coloured contacts Halloween style – for those with a little extra daring and a thrill for the macabre. These are also ideal for special effects make up looks or any other dress ups such as cosplay. There are plenty that are ideal for any animal dress up needs such as reptile or cat eye contacts. For those who want to replicate the vampire look or who are maybe big fans of Twilight, you have your blood red or golden yellow options. Arguably the creepiest variety on the market are the ones that don’t only colour your iris’, but your entire eye. Natural colours and most novelty designs will leave the majority of your eye as normal (the whites and pupils won’t be changed) however with this dramatic style the whole eye is coloured. The results see the wearers eye being completely obscured. Popular colours for this include black, white and red – each one a little more creepy than the last.
When sourcing your contact lenses there are plenty of things to consider. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed by the number of suppliers or the variety of styles, but it’s important to make sure you get the appropriate product for your needs. These products can be a form of art, and much like all other art services there will be superior options and those that are of poor quality and that are overpriced. When making your purchase it is imperative that you do your research on your supplier and avoid buying cheap, poor quality products that may irritate or damage your eye. You should also be careful to ensure the product you settle on is appropriate for your need with regards to how long/how often you intend to wear them – some products will only be designed for single use and may have a maximum amount of time they can be worn for. The last thing you need is your experimentation with eye colour to result in lasting damage. If you decide to invest in a pair that can be reused, follow the art storage instructions to ensure you prolong the viability of the product.
So, with all these options available for us to try out, why then are we moving towards using mismatched eye colours when designing new looks. The most obvious answer is simply for something new, but there may be more thought behind it than meets the eye. As beauty standards and regular trends continue to evolve and push regular norms, each of the traditional ways we incorporate body modification evolves too. Each of the practices that have been used over the years, you will see them getting more dramatic and enhanced as the original becomes the norm. We as individuals struggle both with a desire to fit in and feel as though we belong whilst also experiencing an insatiable desire to be special, to stand out and to be noticed by our peers. For many this might look different and is largely dependent on their interests and that of the groups they endeavour to conform to.
Will we continue to see the trend of mismatched eye colours? Chances are the answer is yes. It’s still a fairly new trend, it’s still turning heads. It provides a very subtle opportunity too as time goes on this look will likely become as mainstream as tattoos, piercings, false nails, injectables and all other popular body modifications. The diversity of eye colours on the market at the moment all but guarantees originality opportunities and as beauty standards continue to evolve so too will this trend.