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BY SARAH VAN BOVEN, DEPUTY EDITOR AND FEATURES DIRECTOR

I’ve never been a particularly vain person, but if I were forced to name my best attribute, the answer would be easy: my green eyes. Probably due in large part to the fact that only 2 percent of the world’s population has them, they’ve always seemed rather special. Hey, I may be showing a few signs of aging—some fine lines here, some less-than-perfectly-taut skin there—but at least my green eyes will always be pretty. Right?

Wrong! Apparently even my actual eyeballs aren’t fresh and youthful anymore. OK, that might be a bit of an overreaction, but I did have one of the world’s shallowest existential crises after trying out Acuvue’s new Define line of contact lenses. Launched this month in Russia and widely available here by April 2015, these “enhancing” lenses don’t just add a small, tasteful bit of color; they’re the first name-brand contacts to also darken the limbal ring. That’s the dark outer border of the iris—and it apparently becomes increasingly less distinct and more washed out as we age. This sounds like no big deal, yet a study done at the University of California at Irvine showed that people (of either sex) were definitely perceived to be more attractive when they had darker limbal rings. In the photo above, the model is wearing one of the Define lenses on her left eye and her right eye is bare, if you’d like to get all judge-y for yourself.

Earlier this month, I got the chance to be the first non-Acuvue person in the U.S. to wear Define lenses. (Not exactly on par with being, say, the first woman in space, but possibly the one time I’ll be making history, so I just want to throw that in there.) And guess what? They look great. One-day disposables, they’re available in three inscrutably named options. The “Sparkle” lenses added definition plus the tiny touch of aqua my eyes apparently needed to be a truly striking green; the “Shimmer” version made them more khaki and enhanced my limbal rings to the point where they almost looked too intense. The third version, “Shine,” is even darker—more appropriate for brown eyes, so I skipped that one. (The model above is wearing one of the Shimmer lenses.)

I wore the Sparkle lenses for a few weeks, and I was particularly interested to see if anyone else noticed the change. I can’t say that Define lenses will get you any catcalls on the street (“hey, nice rings”), but I did get a few unsolicited compliments from friends and colleagues. Unlike earlier colored contacts, these were natural and flattering (no violet or neon blue going on here). But did they make me look younger? That was the big question, and I’m not sure I have an answer. But I can say this: While I didn’t suddenly look 25 when I popped in the lenses, I did feel like I looked older when I took them out. (Sigh.)

PHOTO: COURTESY OF ACUVUE

Originally posted at: http://www.allure.com/beauty-trends/blogs/daily-beauty-reporter/2014/10/new-acuvue-contact-lenses.html
OCTOBER 27, 2014