You only have limited opportunities every year to put on a costume and assume a different identity for the day. Maybe you do cosplay and live-action role-play, so you enter the realm of fantasy more often. Or maybe you attend a few different Comic-Con events or costume parties during the year. But even if you only dress up on Halloween, you still need to know how to safely transform your appearance.

Thanks to Hollywood and available technology, costume-wearers across the country have begun to wear colored contacts as part of their getups. And while you can find colored contacts that won’t injure you, if you don’t buy them from the right source, you could accidentally damage your eyes.

Read below to learn about the risks of some colored contacts, and then discover where you can buy these accessories safely.

How Colored Contacts Could Be a Risk to Your Eyes

First, you need to understand a few rules about contact lenses. You shouldn’t buy them over the counter because they are medical devices, even when you just use them to change your eye color. Don’t buy costume contacts from the following locations:

  • Halloween stores
  • Convenience stores
  • Novelty stores
  • Boutiques
  • Beauty supply stores or salons
  • Street vendors
  • Internet sites (or at least those that don’t require a prescription)

If you purchase colored contact lenses from these sources, you risk injuring your eyes because unauthorized manufacturers don’t take the same precautions as optometry specialists. The materials in these off-license contacts could damage your corneas by scratching them, suctioning onto them, or causing ulcers on them from irregular rubbing. You could also contract pink eye in some cases.

These injuries might not permanently affect your vision if you notice and treat them early on, but you could experience decreased vision or blindness in extreme cases. So stay away from those off-license costume contact vendors. Stay safe, comfortable, and happy this Halloween—purchase your contacts from an authorized source instead.

Where and How You Should Buy Your Colored Contact Lenses

Ideally, you should go to your optometrist to get your costume contact lenses. But if your optometrist doesn’t offer these lenses, he or she can still give you a prescription and point you to a qualified expert who can sell them to you. You absolutely must have a prescription and get your contacts from an FDA-approved source.

Even if you don’t need visual correction, you still need a prescription because you have different size corneas than everyone else, and you need to make sure you buy the right size. Otherwise, you might accidentally injure yourself. Once you have your prescription and a list of FDA-approved sellers from your optometrist, you can start shopping.

How to Put in and Remove Your Costume Lenses Safely

Before you handle your contact lenses, you should wash your hands with hot water and soap. You should also wash your contacts gently with the saline solution your optometrist prescribed. Make sure your contacts are concave in the right direction (the edge of the lenses should not poke out like a slim plate edge), and carefully, softly place them in your eyes.

Wash your hands before you remove your contacts as well. Then softly brush your fingers over the edges of your contacts to pull them away from your eye. Your optometrist can give you some in-office training if necessary.

Additionally, if you notice decreased vision, constant eye pain, or persistent redness, remove your contacts as soon as you can and contact your optometrist for more information.


You can have brilliant, colorful irises as part of your costume without risking your optical health. Use the information above to purchase your costume contacts this Halloween. And if you have any further questions, talk to the professionals in our office for help. 

Absolute Vision Care & Absolute Hearing Care

For over 30 years, we have been and will continue to be your pediatric and family eye care specialists. We're looking forward to seeing you!