Iā€™m Kristel. I vlog. I blog. Professional makeup artist based in Manila. 300 hours training in Make Up For Ever Academy, Seoul, South Korea. I live makeup, you have no idea.

Ultimate Guide: Contact Lens for Beginners

Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something. - Robert A. Heinlein. Yes, I Googled that, bitches.

Have you ever noticed that your contact lens case has those spoke-patterned ridges at the bottom? I always thought they were just there for grip but in a moment of laziness ingeniousness, I realized they were destined for greater things: those spokes can be a washing board for your contact lenses.

Like laundering clothes, only way gentler.

I was returning my contact lenses to their case and I noticed a bit of proteins and makeup / dirt resting on them. Too lazy to rub at them with my fingertips for 20 seconds each side like my lens-wearing friend taught me, I realized I could use those spokes as a makeshift washboard.

This inspired me to compile a beginner's contact lens guide.


contact lens tips
  1. Contact lens cases are cheap, but it's a rookie mistake to sprig for the tweezers and applicators upgrade. I never made use of those. I bought mine in Landmark for Php 39.75 including tweezers, applicator and an outer case. The plain case costs Php 19.75, I think.
  2. Have a bottle of disinfecting solution ready before you take the lenses out of the vials / blister pack. Alcon Optifree is one of the most reliable brands, and costs Php 310 / 300ml at Mercury. This volume comes with a free case. The interior is finely made. It is smooth but quite large, which wastes solution- brilliant marketing by Alcon, to be honest.
  3. Microfiber towels or tissues are not needed. Fibers are our sworn enemy. Even the finest cloths have poked my eye with their fibers. No, no, no.

Opening Vials:

  1. Make sure you have a ready case with fresh solution first.
  2. Find the arrow on the cap and pull from that side.
  3. The other side of the arrow will be attached to the vial's metal seal. You can rip the metal seal off completely through the outer cap with the perfect flick of the wrist.
  4. If not, it is recommended to use pliers to pry them off. The metal is thin but hard and can easily wound. As I have no time for pliers, I savagely bite off the metal when it doesn't fully come off. I don't think I can recommend this.
  5. Gently dump the whole thing over your cupped palm to make sure the lens doesn't pour off. You may also use a cotton bud to pick it off the vial- the fibers don't stick when wet.
TIP: Don't throw away the vial (or blister pack) 'til you dispose of the lenses itself because these contain manufacturing information you'd need in the event of any problem. You could also take a photo of all sides of the packaging if you don't like clutter.

Applying the Lenses (Gentle Reminders):
  • Wash your hands up to your forearms with soap and water and AIR DRY. Fibers from towels or tissues are absolute shits. You think they're not there but they are and if you think lenses feel like dirt in your eye, lenses with fibers feel like fucking gravel.
  • Before applying them, make sure the lens aren't inside out. An inside out lens will have this sliiiight lip at the tip, looking like a soup bowl. The correct form looks like a half moon.. Check both ways if you're unsure.
Inside out contact lens
  • Wipe excess solution on the lens at the back of your hand. A dry lens sticks easier. I drenched mine in solution during my first trial thinking that it'd help- it only made the lens stick to my finger.
  • There is no one correct way to apply lenses but as a beginner, this video helped me a lot in systematically deciding which fingers pried my eyes open and which one jammed my eyeball:
  • Stare at your finger as it approaches your eye.
  • There's a certain tilt of your head and direction of gaze that will open up your eyes the most. Try the iris, try the sclera (white part of eyeball.) It's different for my left and right eye. Try to find it before poking around all willy nilly.
  • There really is nothing to it but to do it. Have patience. Those 6 hour horror stories aren't exaggeration. It took me 3, and I was shouting in frustration by the first hour. Just remember: you are overcoming more than a hundred thousand years of evolution... 6 hours or even a day isn't that bad.

Taking out the Lenses:

  • Taking out lenses is easier. If your eyes are prone to irritation, get rewetting drops and use them before taking out lenses. I took out dry lenses one and my sclera (white part of the eyeball) got EXTREMELY RED.
  • Stare down, move the lens side to side first and gently pinch upward with the forefinger and thumb.
  • Rub each side with a bit of solution on your palm for 20 seconds to get rid of proteins and dirt before dumping it back in your case.

General Lens Tips:
  • Applicators didn't work for me, but it might for you, especially if you find your hands too big to move around the face.
  • Lens before Makeup. It's alphabetized for you.
  • A bigger lens is a bigger source of irritation. 15mm is the recommended maximum for daily wear, 8 hours at a time.
  • Most contact lenses can last up to a month with proper care (please confirm with your manufacturer). If you don't use it daily like me, try to change solutions at least once a week.
  • I use washi tape to date my lens cases. You could also schedule a change every first of the month but like I said, I don't use lenses regularly.
  • Bring an empty lens case with fresh solution inside if you're going out for a long time. This way, when your eyes get tired, you have somewhere to put your lenses without worrying about a container or fresh solution.
  • Don't be stingy with solution. A dry lens is your worst nightmare. I think I got my first ever case of sore eyes from a dried up lens I tried to revive.
  • In a pinch and with not-so-dirty hands, disinfecting solution is enough to sanitize your fingertips. Gel sanitizers may leave residue so be careful in using them.

I forewent the obvious doctors tips here. Get the correct prescription, consult first, yadda yadda. That should be obvious! Hope it helps first-time lens wearers.

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