January 24, 2015

Cosplay with circle lenses – Necessary or not?

Hi everyone!

I've thought about making this kind of post for a long time now and that's because, well, I have quite something to tell about this whole topic! :'D You see, I realized that almost exactly 2 years ago from this day I ordered my very first circle lenses. Wow, can you believe it?? o_o
Khrmm, yes, the post for today will basically be about my life as a cosplayer before and after I started using circle lenses, along with how drastically my opinions changed along the way! This whole post will be based on my experiences and opinions only, your mileage may vary.

So let's get to the chase, shall we? ;)
*drops the bomb*

First off, I've been a cosplayer since late 2009 and the first time I wore a cosplay out for the world to see was on summer 2010. I remember being aware of cosplayers using colored contact lenses pretty early on in the hobby, but for several years I was strictly of the opinion that "it was not for me". Maybe it was out of fear of trying, maybe not. I don't know. We'll never knoooooooow...
I saw lenses as some do-it-only-if-you-have-the-extra-cash-to-burn thing that wouldn't even pay off and be worth it unless the character had obviously unnatural eyes like screaming red or something, then I thought that maybe it could be needed. Maybe. But even so it was low-priority and easy to forgive if you didn't have contacts.

This so illustrates me and my opinion towards circle lenses pre-2013. xD
I used to think that colored contacts were one of those "optional but kinda pointless" extras that you could add to your cosplay if you had nothing better to spend your money on, basically. I kept this point of view from 2010 to the end of 2012 something; in the early 2013 I started slowly loosening up and changing where on the line I was standing. Black had started moving towards white; now it was gray and in the middle.

"Maybe contacts weren't so unnecessary and pointless as I had thought. Maybe wearing lenses was actually a more noticeable thing and could even give your cosplay a whole new level of feeling complete."

I believe that one of the reasons I started slowly to realize that "hey, having circle lenses for cosplay actually looks good!" was because some of my cosplay friends were using lenses and *gasp* it was actually one of the things I noticed first as I talked with them! No way! I mean, how could I have missed to see the bigger-than-usual eyes with pretty patterns and vibrant colors?
Before I had seen circle lens users in real life I had always thought that "nah, it's just the eyes; it's such a small detail that no one will notice it unless they're basically standing so close that they can see your nose hairs moving". Oh boy, how wrong I was.

So yeah, on mid or late January 2013 I had a cosplay coming that had obviously violet eyes. I thought that now was the time to step into new waters it was "now or never" and "you couldn't know unless you tried" and all of those. It was unfair to judge without at least trying so now I threw myself in there too...

"Even though I had done a lot of research on how to wear and care for circle lenses I had to admit I was scared. Really scared of wearing them for the first time."

Seeing how much I love circle lenses today it's unreal to think that I used to be so bleh about them earlier. But even I, when I started, was more scared of putting something into my eye than I'd like to remember lol. I remember that the first time I ever put contacts in it felt SO WEIRD. It surely took me around 10 minutes to get both of them in and I remember my eyes turning very red and watery and oh gosh, it took forever before my eyes returned to normal and it was horrible. xD I also remember my eyelid blinking and twitching like hell when I approached my eyeball with the "foreign piece of plastic", pff. But yeah, never underestimate the importance of hygiene when handling your lenses and remember, some people just can't wear contact lenses for whatever reason. Personally I don't have any problems with poking my eyes and so for me it was no biggie to get the lenses in the first times and yeah, when they were in it felt like a big fat slap in the face of my former ignorant self circle lenses made my eyes pop and look really anime!! OO Definitely improved the overall impression of my cosplay!

Suddenly I had moe moe desu kawaii bling eyes... or something like that.
Okay so, first I only bought lenses for cosplay characters that had eye colors that were notably different from my own red, gold and violet for example. I tried to limit myself to unnatural colors only because I thought that these would be the most noticeable, but at some point I started feeling like something was missing if I wasn't wearing circle lenses even for characters with natural eye colors! *double gasp*
I ended up widening my self-put restrictions to also allow purchasing brown and green lenses before long, but I thought that I wouldn't really need blue or gray lenses because my eyes were blue-grayish to begin with "why would I spend money on an eye color I already had?". Well, that didn't last long because when I had lenses of all colors except those closest to my natural eye color then it felt like all cosplays had that extra "oomph", except those that I didn't wear contacts to... yet. Something was lacking. I wonder what?

By now I'm wearing circle lenses of all colors and yes to all my cosplays. I can't even imagine cosplaying without lenses because, after all, the eyes on anime/manga characters are usually a very important and noticable part of their visuals. Human eyes with normal-sized pupils just aren't always flashy and eye-catching enough lol. I actually feel kinda naked without lenses on my cosplays and circle lenses look especially amazing on close-up photos etc.

"Before I noticed it my opinion had drastically changed. I had gone from 'contacts are an almost pointless addition' to 'I can't even cosplay anymore without circle lenses'!
What you mean I went from black to white just by giving it a try?"

I think that about sums it up quite a difference, neh?
I hope you found the read not to be a complete waste of your time and psst, any comments are very welcome! ^_^ Ciao ~


Hasaki Tsuki said...

"not necessary to have lenses of your own eye color"? So this means you used to think blue lenses are unnecessary? Tell me why blue lenses are the ones you have the most of then. ;p
Anyways, I'm happy you changed your opinion about circle lenses because they really look flattering on you. You have beautiful eyes and circle lenses make them gorgeous! <3
It was very interesting to read about how your view on lenses changed, and it's written in a funny way too! Thank you for a pleasant read! <3 (and glorious gifs XD)
Will you do more posts like this about cosplay accessories and how you view them? It's uncommon and refreshing to have a male cosplayer tell about his experience. <3

Angie Cross said...

I agree with you since I thought its was only extra thing you put on for cosplay! I believe we once spoke about this with using lens thou I am glad you came around and started to use them! Most lens really suit you :)
When i started to cospaly it was more likey charaters with brown eyes but then started to cosplay as the character Yoruichi from bleach I wanted to try on yellow crazy lens just so I could look more like the character and the I pretty much went from there and order circle lens online for characters with unnatural eyes, I still sort of think if you have same eyes color as the character you do cosplay as its not necessary.