Unfortunately I have the uncanny ability to always pick characters to cosplay who have different coloured eyes from myself.
This is both expensive and a bit of a pain. Let me elaborate.
Cheap Contacts Lenses vs Expensive Contact Lenses
When I first started cosplaying I bought reasonably cheap contacts from a costume shop, popped them in and off I went. Over the course of the day my eyes became more and more irritated. They were constantly weeping and bloodshot.
I endured this all for the sake of a cosplay. In hindsight it was not worth. Fast forward a few months later when I needed to get different coloured contact lenses. I spent nearly three times the amount to make sure that my eyes would be as comfortable as possible. My eyes did not feel dry or irritated at any point. In fact they were so comfortable I forgot about them until I scared myself on the bathroom while touching up my makeup.
The difference between these two experiences was doing my research and asking other cosplaying friends what they used, spending hours looking at sites and their policies to see how trust worthy their products were, comparing the cost and what was offered as a result.
Buying cheap lenses is so easy to do. Most costume shops sell them. Knowing what brands work for you is a lot of trial and error. Buying cheap lenses online can be a bit more risky but again there is a lot of trial and error.
Buying more expensive lenses however can make a huge difference. In my case it did. For some this may not be a factor at all. I might just have sensitive eyes but taking care of what you are putting on your eyeball should be important to everyone.
In my experience I have found that better quality lenses are worth the price because they are usually softer, the colours can look more natural and they are a pleasure to wear. Cheaper lenses are a bit harder, tend to dry out eyes more because they are thicker and can be difficult to put in /remove.
If you are working to a tight budget, try not to cut corners with your contacts; the last thing you want to do is damage or scratch your eyes. Only go with contacts if you’re comfortable wearing them; a cosplay isn’t worth sacrificing your vision for.
Make sure to always read the guidelines and care pamphlets that come with your lenses to ensure you get the most out of wearing them.