They say eyes are the window to the soul – that’s the extent to which a person’s eyes can affect their impression on others. It’s become increasingly common for younger people in Korea to wear colored contact lenses to change up their appearance according to their mood, and in my opinion, it does really make a difference. While colored lenses have become an everyday item for many here, it’s harder for people who’ve never tried it to take the plunge for the first time. Here’s what you need to know about purchasing colored contact lenses in Korea.
The first thing you’ll need to decide is whether you prefer daily or monthly lenses. Monthly lenses can be worn for up to a month long, but require cleaning with saline water after every use. On the other hand, daily lenses are single-use, saving you the trouble of cleaning your lenses. I personally prefer dailies, as I find them easier and more sanitary to use, but if you’re a heavy lens-wearer, monthly is definitely more economical.
The next thing you might consider when choosing a pair of lenses is its diameter. There are two different diameter readings for every pair of lenses: overall diameter, typically marked by the letters ‘Dia’; and graphic diameter, marked with the letters ‘Graphic. Dia’. Overall diameter refers to the overall size of the lens right up to the transparent edge, and affects the comfort of the wearer; most lenses are similar in terms of overall diameter, but some people may find smaller lenses easier to use. Graphic diameter is the more relevant one here; this refers to how large the colored part of the lens is, and there are plenty of choices available here. Those who worry about looking unnatural with colored lenses should try lenses with a smaller graphic diameter; the smaller it is, the more natural you will look. On the other hand, if your goal is to make your eyes look bigger and more lively, a larger graphic diameter will definitely help you achieve that look.
Circle lenses also help magnify the eyes through a dark circular rim right on the outer edge of the graphic. These commonly have a larger graphic diameter and is one to avoid if you’re going for a natural look. On the other hand, most graphic lenses, especially ones with a smaller graphic diameter, don’t have harsh lines – relying instead on graphics focused in the middle, closer to the iris.
Lastly, it’s time to choose a color! Here is the part where you might feel spoilt for choice, as beyond just the standard browns, blues and greens are striking colors like gray, pink and lavender. Brown is the obvious choice for a natural look suitable for daily wear, but olive and gray are surprisingly easy to pull off too. If you’re daring, ‘different’ colors will lend you a definite pop of color.
Olens is by far the most well-known brand, with physical stores dotted around Seoul and the rest of Korea. They’ve been propelled even further thanks to their brand models Blackpink, who pull the colorful lenses off wonderfully. Current popular products from Olens include the Viviring lenses in Brown, known to be Jisoo’s favorite; Spanish Grey, which lend Jennie a sharper, mysterious look on many of their promotional materials; and the new Scandi line, especially in the colors Olive, Brown and Gray.
Another well known brand is Lenstown, well known for unique colors that soften the eyes while being easy to carry off. Many of their products lean to a girly, romantic vibe that gives the wearer a subtly innocent gaze. Lenstown’s model Chungha is well known for experimenting with many different kinds of colored lenses during her performances, and so is the perfect fit for them.
Some of their bestsellers include the Lighly Rose collection, including colors such as Berry, Rose and Cacao, as well as the whimsical Romantea Tokyo line, available in colors such as Warm Grey, Cool Grey and Peach Brown.
Monthly lenses commonly come in a pair, while dailies can come in boxes of 20 or 30 pieces. As such, dailies are often more expensive, though some might argue that you’re getting more value for money, especially if you don’t reach for your contact lenses every single day. Monthlies can cost anywhere from 10,000won to 30,000won depending on the design, while dailies typically cost between 30,000won and 50,000won.
Contact lens stores often have good deals and sales, so take advantage of that when buying. Olens often has a 1+2 sale on monthly lenses and a 2+1 sale on dailies, so watch out for that deal when purchasing! Lenstown, on the other hand, often employs a 1+1 deal on lenses, which is also worth taking advantage of. These shops also typically give away lens cases and saline water for free when purchasing, which is an extra plus point.
Would you try color lenses? What color would you like to try first?