I have worn contact lenses all throughout my teenage years, but I had never tried color contact lenses until recently. The previous technologies that existed for color lenses did not look realistic and I felt that, as a darker-skinned woman, that I would not be able to have them look as if the color was naturally mine. However, new offerings fuse with my natural eye color, giving a more realistic appearance. They allow you to enhance your eye color in a way that mimics the natural subtle color of the iris. They’re the first silicone hydrogel color contact lenses available in U.S. and they are extremely comfortable.

I think color contact lenses are a great way to change up your look. As a hairstylist some of the subtle changes I give to my clients’ hair can be just as effective as complete makeovers.   Similar to making a hair, makeup, or wardrobe change, the contact lenses help you enhance the way you look and feel. The  color that will suit you best depends on numerous factors, such as your hair color and skin tone. But, ultimately, it depends on the kind of look you want to achieve — subtle and natural-looking or dramatic and vibrant.

Here are a few tips for folks looking to give colored contacts a try:

1) Get a Prescription: Beauty supply lenses are cheap, but they are also dangerous. A number of users have caused permanent damage to their eyes–including blindness–by opting to go this route. Top quality lenses will only be available though an eye doctor. I only wear Air Optix Colors, which are available only with a prescription and can be prescribed with or without vision correction

2) Choose a Shade Wisely: Whether you want a dramatic look, or a more natural one, wearing the right color makes all the difference in the world–so does wearing the WRONG one. Air Optix Colors contact lenses come in nine natural-looking colors, ranging from subtle (Pure Hazel, Blue, Green, Gray and Brown) to vibrant (Brilliant Blue, Gemstone Green, Honey and Sterling Gray.) For a natural-looking change, try AIR OPTIX® COLORS contact lenses in Pure Hazel or Brown  If you really want to stand out from the crowd, consider Sterling Gray or Honey. If your skin is dark, bright-colored lenses can create a show-stopping new look, but be sure to try on a few shades with your doctor first.

3) Be Responsible and Safe: DON’T share your contact lenses with anyone under any circumstances. As fun as it may sound, contact lenses are medical devices and are fitted to the specifications of each individual’s eyes.

Celebrity hairstylist, Lacy Redway was born in Jamaica and developed an interest in hair at a young age. At age 14, Lacy took an apprenticeship in a salon and closely studied the craftsmanship of the hair braiders.  Lacy’s proficiency working with all hair textures and her magnetic personality have earned her a loyal following amongst celebrities. Follow her on Instagram: @lacyredway