How to Choose Colored Contacts When Playing Different Characters?

Colored contacts play a significant role in taking cosplay to the next level, transforming ordinary appearances into extraordinary character portrayals. Whether you're channeling a heroic protagonist, a sinister villain, or a fantastical creature, the right colored lenses can make all the difference.

In this article, we'll guide you to select the perfect colored contacts for your cosplay endeavors, helping you bring your favorite characters to life with authenticity and visual impact.

What's the Role of Eye Color in Character Design?

How Eye Color Enhances Character Personality and Story

Eye color can be a powerful tool in character design, often used to underscore personality traits or pivotal story elements. For instance, vibrant blue eyes might be employed to portray innocence or youth, whereas a penetrating gray might suggest wisdom or mystery. In visual storytelling, such as in movies, TV shows, and graphic novels, a character's eye color is chosen deliberately to help convey these subtle cues without words.

Why is Important to be Accurate in Eye Color

When cosplaying, getting the eye color right can significantly impact how faithfully a character is portrayed and recognized. This accuracy helps maintain the integrity of the character's portrayal and enhances the overall authenticity of your cosplay. For example, if you are dressing up as Daenerys Targaryen from "Game of Thrones," her distinct pale purple eyes are iconic and central to her Valyrian descent, making the right colored contacts crucial for an accurate representation.

Eye color can underscore personality and story elements in character design while accuracy in cosplay helps portray characters faithfully.

What Should You Consider When Choosing Colored Contact Lenses for Cosplay?

  • Safety and Quality: Your eyes are precious, and their safety should always be a top priority. Always choose contact lenses from reputable manufacturers. Even if you don't require vision correction, it's essential to use prescription contacts - this ensures that the dimensions of the lens match your eye, reducing the risk of discomfort or even damage. In addition, all lenses should meet regulatory standards, such as FDA approval in the United States, confirming they have undergone rigorous safety testing.
  • Comfort: Cosplay conventions and events can be long, often stretching over an entire day or weekend. Consequently, the contacts you choose need to be comfortable for extended wear. Seek out lenses made from breathable materials, like silicone hydrogel, which allows oxygen to pass through the lens to your cornea, helping maintain eye health and comfort throughout the day.
  • Authenticity: To give life to your chosen character accurately, your lenses should closely match the character's original eye color. This authenticity will not only enhance the believability of your cosplay but also impress fellow fans and judges (if you're entering competitions). If the character has a particularly unusual eye color or pattern, consider custom-made lenses.

Color Coordination Strategies for Popular Character Archetypes

Heroes/Heroines – The Look of Bravery

To capture the essence of a hero or heroine, you'll often find yourself looking for bold and defining colors. Classic heroes might have bright blue or green eyes that pop with intensity against their costumes. These strong colors can highlight their daring nature and stand out in a crowd, just as the characters often do in their stories.

Villains/Antagonists – Eyes That Chill the Bone

For the darker, more menacing characters, eye colors like deep reds, unsettling greens, or even pitch black can add to the intimidating aura of a villain. Contacts that provide a stark contrast to human eye colors can immediately signal to others the nefarious role you're embodying.

Fantasy Creatures – Magic in Their Gaze

When cosplaying creatures from realms of fantasy, whimsical and unnatural eye colors are your go-to. Think purples, golds, or multi-colored lenses that suggest magic or otherworldliness. These types of contacts can set apart fantastical beings from mere mortals within your storyline.

Anime/Manga Characters – Vivid and Expressive

Anime and manga characters are known for their expressive and often oversized eyes with vibrant colors. Bright blues, greens, pinks, and violets are common. Achieving this animated look requires lenses that are not just the right color but also potentially larger in diameter to mimic the character's exaggerated features.

Sci-fi eyes tech-like; fantasy eyes magical; horror eyes unsettling.

How to Match Colored Contacts with Specific Cosplay Genres

Science Fiction – Futuristic Vision

Characters from sci-fi universes might call for contacts that appear advanced and beyond our time. Reflective or metallic lenses can suggest technology-infused eyes, while vibrant whites or neon colors can give off an alien or cybernetic feel, fitting for science fiction personas.

Fantasy & Magic – Enchanting Hues

In the realm of swords and sorcery, eye colors can range widely. For elves, fairies, and other mystical beings, choose contacts that have an ethereal quality, like misty grays or sparkling silvers, to convey a connection to the magical elements of their world.

Horror – Terrifying Stares

To truly capture the horror vibe, unsettled eye colors are key. Blood-red, unnatural yellows or lenses that mimic cat eyes can transform your appearance into something truly haunting, perfect for vampires, werewolves, or other nightmarish characters.

Historical/Period Characters – Subtly Authentic

When your cosplay takes a step back in time, subtlety is crucial. Choose contacts that enhance your eyes naturally without drawing too much modern attention. Go for muted browns, hazels, or greys contacts that align with the historical setting and character backgrounds.

Always properly handle and care for your cosplay contact lenses to prevent infections while enjoying the full cosplay experience.

Cosplay-Specific Advice for Wearing Colored Contacts

  • Hygiene Practice: Always wash your hands thoroughly before handling your contacts. Dirty contacts can lead to infections like conjunctivitis, which could sideline your cosplay plans.
  • Avoid Sharing: Never share your contacts with friends. While it might be tempting to let a fellow cosplayer try them on for a quick photo, sharing contacts is a surefire way to spread bacteria and potentially cause eye infections.
  • Moisturize: Bring eye drops approved for use with contacts to the event. Cosplay events can be dry and dusty, particularly in convention centers, leading to discomfort when wearing contacts.
  • Give Your Eyes a Break: If you're at a multi-day event, consider giving your eyes some time off from contacts in the evening by wearing glasses instead.
  • Emergency Kit: Have a small contact lens emergency kit on hand which includes a mirror, spare lens case, contact solution, and eye drops.
  • Consider Lighting: Remember that different lighting conditions can make contacts appear differently. Brightly lit expo halls may make your lenses look lighter than they do at home. It's worth checking this during your trial run.
  • Trial Run: Test out your lenses during a trial makeup and costume session. This not only gives you an idea of how they will feel and look on the day but also allows you to adjust your makeup to the way your eyes might look with the new iris colors.

A Better Cosplay Experience Waiting for You

Choosing the right colored contacts is not only a detail in the larger context of cosplay but also a transformative element that can embody the soul of the character you're portraying. By selecting the appropriate color, ensuring they integrate well with your overall costume and makeup, and considering comfort and safety, you can gain a better cosplay experience. Try different styles and colors bravely to find what works best for your characters, and then you can bring your favorite characters to life with stunning realism.

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