Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Buying Contacts Online


Many of you have asked me about how to buy lenses online and if it is safe. There are many websites that sell clear and colored lenses on the new, but it may be a different experience than buying lenses from your opthamologist.

The first thing to keep in mind is to know your prescription. This means going to the eye doctor and finding out, whether you have 20/20 or have always worn glasses and want to try contacts. Your contact prescription is different than your glasses prescription because glasses sit away from the face whereas lenses sit right on your eye. If you used the same prescription, it could be too strong for you in lens form! Even if you do wear contacts, it's always good to get checked up to see if your prescription has changed. Some websites will ask for prescription verification from your doctor, and some won't.

Next, is to search for a website that has the lens you are looking for. We always want to get the best deal, but that can be difficult with there being so many sites out there. Most of the time you have to do your research and manually compare prices and shipping costs. I did come across a helpful website called Lensshopper.com which lets you search for lenses from various sites. I found the search most useful when I looked for "colored contacts" and sorted the listing by "total price" but you can also search by delivery time or by typing in words for what you are looking for. I'm not sure, but I think the shipping times are geared toward US domestic shipping which might be an issue for those looking for lenses internationally. Also, the listing for "incl freight" is inconsistent... Sometimes it is a small shipping price and sometimes it is the total price of the regular lens. In any case, the site is very useful to compare what site to get the cheapest lenses including Expressions or Freshlooks.

The site even has a colored lens viewer where you can chose a person who best fits you and test out colors on them to find a good match. There aren't any Asians, and the colors are different than what the lenses look like in real life, but it is fun to play around with nonetheless.

Circle lenses and Soloticas can be a different story, as you often need to buy them from overseas. The cheapest way to buy circles is to hop onto a seller's "pre-order" (usually on a forum or a website) which means they are buying many lenses in bulk so you need to reserve a spot for what lens you want before they order it. There are also other websites such as http://www.mycolorlens.com/, http://www.secreteyes.org/, and http://www.circlelens2u.com/ that have some ready stock that you can buy. The biggest factors here are cost and delivery time. Ready stock will get to you much quicker than waiting for a pre-order to be completed, but they might not have what you want and it might cost more than a pre-order. Soloticas you must order from a Brazilian website such as http://www.oticabellucci.com.br/ but you might need a translator for Portugese and a currency converter to know the price. Also, international shipping costs are a bit outrageous for Soloticas, which is just a fair warning.

In any case, for any website, you should do a bit of research and make sure the seller is reliable and that you are getting the lens you want. See if you can find real photos of people wearing the lenses, not just some ulzzang, net idol, or model that has photoshopped eyes and a makeup artist. Good luck on getting the lenses that are right for you!



7 comments:

  1. nice informative post jen :) i used to wear colored contacts, the freshlook green ones..it made my eyes look hazel or somewhat light brown more than green..i loved how it looked,but...it kind of made my eyes dry easily..i use clear contacts, and dryness was never an issue..so i stopped with colored ones :)

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  2. I love those Solotica contacts! I've seen other people on youtube with them and they look so natural! I used to wear colored contacts a long time ago, I used Durasoft 3 Opaques Amber and Ciba Illusions Opaque Light Green. The more natural ones and better fitting were the Ciba Illusions. I would most likely get colored contacts again if they sold the Soloticas here in the USA.

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  3. I found your website via google search for Solotica contacts. I wish I would've found it before I actually ordered them because I ordered natural colors and they didn't make a change in my eye color. It only took me 14 days to get them, but after how much I spent I'm really disappointed. I have medium brown eyes, which type do you recommend I use??

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  4. Thanks for the informative post. ^-^ I've been looking to buy circle lenses.

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  5. I love the color selection in this series. It reminds me of Korean and Japanese brand contact lenses.

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  6. Good advice on trying to look for pictures of normal people wearing them. Those airbrushed pictures are sometimes deceiving.

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  7. Hey again, Jen! Sorry that I'm commenting on a rather old post, but for the Brazilian website, if you take out the ".br", you should still get a site for ordering lenses, but the layout is much different. It is in English and has US dollars on it. I hope this helps :)

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