A Cosplayer’s Guide to Colored Contacts

Cosplayer's Guide to Colored Contacts

A dedicated cosplay means a fabric choice or dye job can make all the difference. Even super specific things, such as the color of the character’s eyes. Sometimes the character possesses an eye color that isn’t natural, as often seen with anime, or you and the character simply don’t share the same eye color. Colored contact lenses provide an authentic solution.

Colored contacts are a great accessory for a cosplay and way to pay attention to detail. They make your eyes pop by changing the color and appear bigger, which promotes a dedicated representation of the character.

Some people may be cautious about purchasing or wearing colored contacts, especially if they’ve never put anything near their eyes before. However, this guide will answer from frequently asked questions about colored contacts, and as someone who has been wearing prescription contacts since middle school, and wears colored contacts for my own cosplay, I hope to be of service!

What are colored contacts?

Colored contacts are contact lenses that change the color of your eyes, namely your irises. Some contacts also cover the pupil or even the entire eye (sclera). They come in every color of the rainbow, from natural to neon. Specialty lenses may include designs in the iris or pupil.

How do I know if colored contacts are right for me?

Consult with your optometrist to discuss wearing colored contacts, especially if you’ve never worn contacts before. If you have sensitive eyes, allergies, or a condition that complicates your vision, colored contacts may not be right for you.

Here is a selfie from Katsucon 2020, wearing pink lenses from PinkyParadise to cosplay Spinel.

What if I wear glasses/prescription contacts?

Fear not, because there are contacts with RX prescriptions! Filter the options on the website to include only prescription contacts and enter your powers. For people with astigmatism, some listings will allow you to buy contacts of two different powers.

Will I be able to see clearly?

This depends on the type of contact. For example, contacts that only change the color of your iris should have little to no effect on your vision. Although some users mention a “fuzzy border” in their line of sight. Usually brighter colors, such as yellows and reds, cause a colored tint in your peripheral.

Mesh contacts have little visibility due to the super small holes and coverage of both the iris and pupil. If you plan to wear these type of “white out” contacts for Halloween or cosplay, recruit a friend to be your guide at the convention or event.

I wore white mesh contacts from Uniqso for Rui, and I admittedly had a difficult time seeing! Photo: Kevin Gray

Are they supposed to hurt?

Absolutely not. If you are experiencing pain while wearing the contacts, remove them IMMEDIATELY.

There are two reasons your contacts are hurting: One, you put them in improperly, Consult with your optometrist or watch a Youtube video to review how to properly clean and insert contacts. Two, they are expired. Yes, contacts do expire! Check the product listing to see when your contacts expire; it’s usually anywhere from a month to a year.

How much do they cost?

Prices vary by manufacturer and design. The average price range is $10-20 for a pair. More intricate designs, or designs that cover the sclera, tend to be higher priced. Prescription lenses may cost more than plano (0.00 power) lenses.

For my Belle cosplay, I wear more natural looking contacts to change my eye color from green to brown. These were from Uniqso. Photo: DelBeni Photos

Where do I even buy colored contacts?

Some stores may carry colored contacts in their optical department, but those are more for a natural look. Contacts for Halloween and cosplay are mostly online.

Notable online brands includes PinkyParadise and Honeycolor. You can find colored contacts on Amazon, but proceed with caution. Read the reviews and research the brands selling.

You will also need to buy contact solution and a case for storage. You can buy contact solution at any local drug store. Opti-Free and Bausch and Lomb Re-Nu are great brands, especially for sensitive eyes. Drug stores sell miniature bottles of solution that are perfect for taking to conventions. Cases are usually included with contact solution or the contact purchase.

captain america meme contacts article

Colored Contacts Dos and Don’ts

So, you got colored contacts. Here are some general dos and don’ts:


  • Wash your hands before putting the contacts in and taking them out. You don’t want to touch your eyeballs with dirty fingers!
  • Take your contacts out after a few hours. Contacts are not meant to be worn all day, and it’s important to give your eyes a rest, especially if you’re not used to wearing them.
  • Change the solution upon putting the contacts back in the case. Contacts should always soak in fresh solution.


  • Apply a lot of makeup around your eyes. This can result in watering or makeup getting into the eye or the lens.
  • Expose your contacts to water. This means you should remove your contacts before showering, bathing, or swimming.
  • Sleep in your contacts. It can result in discomfort, and in severe cases, blindness. Removing, cleaning, and storing your contacts should be a part of your nighttime routine just as brushing your teeth or washing your face.

Have you used colored contacts for your cosplay? Share your experiences in the comments below!

About the Author


Cosplayer, creative writer, cookie connoisseur. Pronouns: she/they.

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