Friday, December 5, 2008

circle lenses - warnings & recommendations

finally! time to update this topic! **warning, long post** if you don't wanna read all of it, read the last few paragraphs.



what are circle lenses?
circle lenses are cosmetic contact lenses that make the colored part of your eye (the iris) look bigger. as a result, it makes you look more alert and innocent, and quite anime-looking. (i think they make you have baby eyes... which is a good thing if you're going for the cute look.) you can get circle lenses w/ or w/o prescription.




(korean actress w/ & w/o circle lenses)

more circle lens photos *here*

circle lenses are not FDA approved in the U.S. (but they are in Korea) so you can't legally get them in the states from your optometrist. however, you can get them online thru international websites (asian sites mostly) and thru private sellers on forums.

my experience:
well, i don't know where to start. i LOVE circle lenses and how they make me look. i've been wearing contacts (regular U.S. contacts w/ prescription) for over 10 years. i've NEVER had any problems with my eyes... until i started to wear circle lenses. *sigh...

when i first found out about circle lenses, i was interested but was hesitant to buy them because i heard they were bad for your eyes. but then i thought, all the korean celebrities are wearing them... they can't be that bad, right? another reason why i was hesitant was because the only vendor i found (at the time) was some seller from singapore on some asian forum. korean contacts from singapore..? ummmm. i don't know. either way, my curiosity (and vanity) won and i purchased my first set of contacts from the seller on the forum. long story short, i ended up returning those lenses because the seller was SHADY. she gave me lenses that were not even my prescription (i got them checked by my optometrist). it was a BIG hassle to get my refund. "BIG hassle" is even an understatement. BIG mistake buying from the seller (username starts with P). BOO~

i did some research before throwing my money to another seller for circle lenses. i ended up finally making a purchase at e-circlelens.com, a company based in korea. the website looked legit and when i e-mailed them, they responded with a kind, knowledgeable response (if you ever get an e-mail response from a company or seller that doesn't sound professional = red flag). the prices on this site were a bit more (~$70/pair vs. $35-40/pair), but i thought it was worth it if it means that that the lenses are the REAL DEAL (from Korea) and that the prescription is likely to be correct.

i received the lenses and eventually started wearing them every day (or almost every day). after 4 months of frequent wear, my vision began to worsen. (i have minor astigmatism but since it's so minor, i can wear regular non-toric lenses.) even my regular american lenses became blurry for me. i eventually went to my optometrist and got my vision checked, and it was confirmed that my vision had worsened... including my astigmatism! she told me that i can no longer wear normal lenses, but NEED toric (astigmatism-correction) lenses. i was SO bummed because all the cool lenses do not come in toric. she also advised that i stop wearing contacts for a while. i was sooo sad but i complied (for the most part). after a week of looking dorky in my old glasses, my eyes began to get better. i then continued to wear my contacts again (circles and regular).

a couple of months later, my eyes began to reject even regular contact lenses. every time i had contacts on, my eyes would get red. since i've never had any eye issues before i started to wear circle lenses, i discontinued use of the circle lenses and just wore regular ones... BUT my eyes were rejecting those as well. just a year ago, i was able to sleep in my lenses (occasionally, that is) without any problems. but during this time, my eyes got bloodshot even after a 1-hour nap with my lenses. WTH?! this persisted for months. i was horrified because i thought i could never wear contacts again. i had my eyes checked by 2 optometrists and 1 ophthalmologist, and they all found no infection or abrasions. so what was it? 2/3 of the professionals told me that i had dry eye, which was probably causing the redness. BUT i've known that i had dry eye for a LONG time, so why would it cause my eyes to suddenly get super sensitive to contacts now?! that's why it was difficult to accept the diagnoses from the professionals (or maybe i just didn't want to face that i had another problem).

7 depressing months later (after giving circle lenses a rest), my eyes finally began to get better. during the 7 months, i pretty much laid off of my normal circle lenses and wore U.S. lenses and a 'safer' circle lens (1-day acuvue define). now, my eyes look and feel like they did before, and they do not get red very often. *happy sigh* it could still be due to dry eyes (or my dry eyes could have contributed to the previous conditions), BUT i am almost certain that frequent wear of my original circle lenses was the bigger culprit to my eye problems.

advice & warnings:
1) if you want to wear circle lenses, LOOK at the water content of them before you buy. most of the year-long circle lenses have approx 38% of water content (vs. 55-58% of normal lenses). less water = less oxygen to eyes = BAD!!!

2) BE WARY of sellers on forums. everyone is nice when you're throwing money at them. most of them are young kids who are filling a demand and making some pocket change. WHERE ARE THEY GETTING THEIR CONTACTS FROM? remember, there are such things as fake (copied) circle lenses, which can be even more dangerous!

3) if you want a safer alternative, buy 1-day acuvue define (circle lenses) -- they now come in 2-week disposables but you can't find the 2-week ones online. these lenses have a higher water content, and are thinner (allows your eyes to breathe more). it's also produced by ACUVUE, so you know they're safe. the down side is that they are more subtle (they do not enhance your iris as much as others, so less doll-like) and they don't come in the cool colors like the others do.


(acuvue define in black & brown.. i like the black better)

BOTTOM LINE: if you HAVE to have the cool-looking circle lenses, PLEASE wear them only occasionally. i seriously didn't see the 7 months of looking like a stoner coming until it was too late.

** note: my thoughts on circle lenses and what they did to my eyes are only my opinions. no doctor confirmed my theory. they all told me i had 'dry eye.' either way, my experience has taught me to be more careful. **

32 comments :

paperdollrevenge said...

Ohhh I've been wondering when you were going to blog on that, hehe...and you look so freakin' cute in that pic!

Kimberly Tia said...

OH! Curious to see your review - I recently found a blogger that sells these too...

http://www.kawaii-lens.blogspot.com

paperdollrevenge said...

Yay you updated! What an in-depth post, very helpful!

It seems those circle lenses are more common now, I've been seeing other girls blog about them. I think they look great but figured I'd never be able to try them since my prescription is so high (and I have astigmatism too).

But I'm so glad I read your blog, because now if I ever get a chance to try them, I will get them from Acuvue!

I'm glad your eyes are back to normal after that long ordeal.

By the way, is there a good place in South Bay where you get your Darkness falsies from? I want to pick up some more but I'd gotten mine way out in San Gabriel (I am not going to San Gabriel for some $3.50 lashes!)

BumbleBee said...

The Korean actress look so much better without the lenses. Don't know much about Asia but here in the US if you want to portray a monster or some kind of freak, murderer, pedophiles, alien, etc etc they give them a larger irises, . Think Hannibal lector, demon-ish, or vampire-ish, or sicko. dilated-ish eyes aren't associate with cute-ness in the US but rather a big round eyes.

If little kid saw people wearing those lenses I bet they would be scare.

stella said...

OMG i love circle lens!! i bought a pair when i went to korea and i fell in love! i don't wear it everyday though cuz i did hear it's bad to wear it for a long period of time, so i only wear it when i go out, but i lovveee them. I'll try out the acuvue ones too, thanks for the tip though!

Elaine said...

If you're looking for colored or a larger variety of circle lenses maybe you should try ClearVue Bigeyes2; personally I love the grey ones!

http://www.lensalot.com/home.asp?ContactLensID=30

ClearVue is also another respectable brand so I can't imagine them doing harm to you eyes... WITH proper care. Though I must admit I never wore any contact lenses for a long period of time so-o I'm not sure how it will effect you if you did.

If you try them let us know how it works out for you!!

PS
Thanks for the blog! Now I'm thinking about getting my black ones from Acuvue Define so I can compare the two brands :-D

miss cakeface said...

Hey Elaine~ Thanks for stopping by. I actually bought Colorvues too! I haven't worn them for a full day so I can't compare them to the ones that damaged my eyes. Now, I'm going to be extra cautious when wearing cosmetic lenses. The Acuvue Define lenses are very comfortable (they feel like normal lenses -- because they pretty much are as far as content goes); however, they are VERY subtle. if you want that doll look, you might be disappointed. not too many people notice my circle lenses but i'm fine w/ that. i will probably wear my Colorvues once in a while but definitely not as an everyday-wear lens like my Defines. Visit again soon! =D

Veni said...

Hey ^^ Just wondering where you can buy Acuvue Circles online :)

miss cakeface said...

hey veni~ i bought mine from aalens.com and i probably will be repurchasing from them. it's kind of hard to find it on their site so here is the direct link: http://www.aalens.com/home.asp?ContactLensID=41&SearchKey=acuvue%20define

remember, they're pretty subtle so if you naturally have big irises, it won't make a huge difference. i still like them anyway. =)

Maggie Chan said...

Hi there (=

I was just wondering what brand and color of circle lens were you using in the beginning?

Thanks!
Maggie

Circle Lenses said...

I got my circle lenses from here http://www.qqcontacts.com .. I think they have a pretty good selection of Geo brand circle lenses (I heard their the best) and the prices are pretty reasonable too;)

get out my said...

Do those acuvue lens come in toric? If they do can someone show me where I can get it!

Lens Circle said...

Great blog and very informative article. I came across a very professional looking site and actually bought a pair of circle lenses from them. They are perfect. I recommend this site for anyone who wants to get circle lenses.

http://www.lenscircle.com

mel said...

I was thinking to buy circle lenses like Neo Dali, Hana Platinum, but after reading your article I changed my mind.

Do you find aalens.com or lensalot.com trustable?? Do you still buy from them without having problems? Because their paying option is WorldPay and I didn't use it before.

Thanks.. By the way, excellent blog =)

Rella said...

Hello Miss Cakeface.

I was wondering if I can buy the Acuve define for astigmatism (since I have astigmatism in one eye).

And since you said that you also wear toric lenses, can you tell me how to get the acuvue define with astigmatism?

It would be great. Thank you so much.

miss cakeface said...

Hi Rella~ Acuvue actually does not make its Define line in toric. I can wear non-toric lenses because my astigmatism isn't too bad. Ask your optometrist if you can manage w/ non-toric/spherical lenses.

Alice said...

miss cakeface, thanks for the informative blog. I also used the link you provided to AAlens. Maybe this is a stupid question but how is it only $33 for 30 lenses, or 15 pairs. I guess it is $66 a month and over $700 a year so I guess it is not that cheap?

miss cakeface said...

hi alice~ yea it's not that cheap if you decide to wear them as your dailies. But, if you wear them occasionally (as some ppl do w/ the other bigger circle lenses), it's definitely worth it and you will be know that each pair you wear are clean and risk free.

Anonymous said...

Hello there,
I'm looking to where circle lenses daily. I was wondering if you could tell me which ones from Acuview were best suited for that? Also, can you be a bit more specific by wearing them occasionally? Like do you wear them one day, skip the next, and wear them the day after that? and for how many hours? I'm just making sure I don't do anything stupid with these lenses. Thank you so much!

M. Uson said...

OMG this is exactly WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME!!! I HAVE SENSITIVE EYES!!! AND I ABSOLUTELYYYY ADORE CIRCLE LENSES... I WORE THEM WITH EASE FOR A FEW MONTHS AND THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN MY EYES HAVE BEEN REJECTING THEM! I HEAR OTHER GIRLS CLAIM THEY DON'T HAVE PROBLEMS, BECAUSE THEY HAVE BIGGER EYES AND I HAVE SMALL EYES.. BUT TRUTH IS I THINK WE HAVE THE SAME SIZE... UGHHH I AM SOO DISAPPOINTED BECAUSE WHEN I WEAR THEM EVEN FOR ONLY 4 HOURS, THE NEXT DAY WHEN I WAKE UP MY EYES LOOK LIKE A MONSTERS!!! I EVEN CLEAN MY CIRCLE LENSES WELL TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE CLEAN!!!! BUT SERIOUSLY I TREASURE THE HEALTH OF MY EYES OVER THE VANITY PART. IS IT BETTER TO HAVE NORMAL AVERAGE EYES OR WORSENED TO BLIND BEAUTIFUL EYES LOL....

Circle Lens Cuty said...

Great write up. Happy your eyes are better now and good job on warning people about cheap / fake lenses.

Anonymous said...

I wondered if we had to buy these contacts from Korea. I can't find them on either the Canadian (I'm from Canada) website or the American one... And thanks for your commentary, it's great to actually have tangible experience on these contacts. Good you're feeling better.

Shermaine Chew said...

All lenses deprive our eyes of oxygen. That's why you should wear your contacts for a max of 6 hours.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this informative post. I totally agree with you on the water content of GEO is too low to be comfortable. I wear them for one day and I want to rip my eyes off! When I wear them only 3 hours every other day, I am OK....

Just got my Acuvue Define!

Anonymous said...

did you wear spectacles for the whole 7 months?

Melletjhu said...

My left eye has the same problem.... it keeps getting red when I wear my circle lenses... and sometimes when I wear my normal contacts for a long time... now I don't wear my circle lenses for a long time QQ

contact lens said...

I like your contact lens. So beautiful..

✩ Kawaiibakachan ✩ said...

yea i wanted to buy circle lenses as well but my dad read some stupid article about fake chinese circle lenses and that people have gotten blind cuz of them ~~~ and so i am STRICTLY forbidden to buy circle lenses *sigh*

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cayumi nagamura said...

Great review, thanks for sharing it here !

Just for your info. you can also check out www.contactlensxchange.com for more exciting brand colored circle lenses.

Enjoy and stay pretty : )

Mimiko

Abby said...

Hey what lenses are you wearing? It looks really nice! :) Thanks for all the info I really wanted to research before I started buying this and you helped me tons

makiyo said...

thanks for this great review