Acuvue 1-Day Moist Define Review

7:00 AM

Ever wished you could make your eyes look bigger or brighter?  That's the goal of most eye makeup products, and millions of Americans use mascara, eyeliner,and eyeshadow every day to achieve that effect.  Now imagine a contact lens that provides your clear vision but gives you that same beauty enhancement.  This is the concept of the new single use contact lens by Acuvue.  Acuvue 1-Day Moist Define is being called a "beauty lens" by the Johnson and Johnson company -- the first contact lens that is designed not to change your eye color, but to enhance your natural eye's appearance by making the iris look larger, the white of your eye brighter, and the difference between the white of the eye and the iris (called the limbus) more defined.  As we age the white of the eye (the conjunctiva) tends to yellow due to sun damage, and the limbal region between the iris and the conjunctiva fades out due to conditions like arcus senilis where cholesterol deposits along the cornea. The key to making eyes look bolder and "younger" is enhancing the darker limbal ring that separates the iris from the conjunctiva, creating a whiter appearing eye by comparison due to the increased contrast.  Acuvue 1-Day Moist Define achieves this effect by creating a limbal ring within the contact lens that increases in thickness and boldness as you progress through the 3 different product types (called Sparkle, Shimmer, and Shine).  Faint pigmentation blends towards the center of the lens to create a more natural effect, but because all of the color printing is on the outskirts, this lens will not effectively change the color of the eye or have the risk of causing a fake pupil appearance.  The result is a very natural looking product that possibly only you will be able to tell you are wearing.  No one is going to stop you on the street about this contact lens -- it just looks like your natural eye.  But people may tell you that you look more awake, or ask what new eye makeup you are using.

An artistic rendition of Acuvue 1-Day Moist Define Shimmer via

When you open the lens out of the packaging, it looks a lot more impactful than you will really see on your eye.  The effect will be very subtle, and that's the point.  The naming system is a bit confusing, but for lighter eyes I would recommend the lighter effect lenses (either Sparkle or Shimmer).  For very dark eyes the Shine product is likely the only one that will cause a noticeable result.

Even the lightest lens called Sparkle looks like it will have a big impact, but on your eye it may be very hard to tell the difference.
BEFORE (I'm wearing no makeup to eliminate any other effect than the contact lens)

You can see the subtle "blue" effect from the lighter lens, turning my brown eyes a very natural looking hazel to light green. The brown pigmentation of my eyes remained, so not even my husband noticed a difference until I pointed it out, but I definitely noticed in the mirror and liked the effect.
I wanted to experiment a bit more, so I tried out the next impact level of lens, called Shimmer.  This lens has only brown pigmentation and a bolder limbal ring, designed to make my eyes look larger.

BEFORE: again, no makeup
Right away you can see that my eye color barely was affected (except being darker along the rim) but there is a huge difference in the size of my iris.  This is more typical of the popular limbal ring contact lenses that were the inspiration for the Define product in Asian countries.
In case you wanted to compare side by side:

Check out the difference between the size of my eye without a contact lens (left) and with the Shimmer contact lens (right).  When I saw this picture it was a little scary honestly so I would not recommend wearing these lenses on one eye only.  The Shimmer lens also made my light brown eyes look darker since the limbal ring covered most of my lighter iris pigmentation, but for darker eyes you will need this thicker limbal ring to make a noticeable difference in appearance.

My Thoughts:

This is definitely a contact lens that you should try on to find the right impact for you. Luckily Acuvue was one step ahead of this, and your eye doctor will have strips of contact lens trials in your prescription that you can try both in the office and at home.  I'd recommend taking only the Sparkle if you have light eyes, and trying both the Shimmer and the Shine if you have dark eyes.  If you are in the middle like me (light brown or hazel), you may lean towards Sparkle or Shimmer depending on the effect you desire.

While there is no pupil to worry about in this contact lens, the lens only comes in 8.5 base curve at this time, so your corneal shape may or may not work with the limbal ring alignment.  When I first tried these lenses, one of my friends in the group couldn't wear these because the limbal ring sat so low on her eye.  Like any contact lens, it will fit some people and not others.  Your doctor will be evaluating the curvature of your eye at your exam, and the proper fit of the contact lens not just to ensure alignment but to make sure the lens doesn't cause corneal health issues from fitting too tight.

Prescription at this time is limited to +1.00 to -9.00, meaning that if you have astigmatism or higher hyperopic/farsighted prescription this lens is not available.  Because of the easy handling with this contact lens and the great limbal ring design that enhances lens visibility, I am hoping that the hyperopic range is expanded to +6.00 soon because this lens could work very well for patients who have difficulty putting in their contact lenses because they can't see well up close due to their Rx or the effects of being over 40 years old.

The daily platform of this contact lens has a few other benefits -- it allows patients to switch things up if they don't want to wear these lenses every day, and it also helps maintain the goal of the contact lenses which is to make your eyes look brighter and wider.  A daily disposable contact lens is one of the least likely types to make your eyes red, irritated, and dry by the end of the day.  Walking around with red eyes really negates what Acuvue was aiming for with the Define product, so launching the limbal ring design on the 1-Day Moist platform did make much more sense than launching it on one of their 2 week lens platforms.

Want to try this contact lens out?  Many doctors in your local area are either carrying contact lens fitting sets right now in their office for this product, or will be receiving them shortly.  The contact lens has been available for purchase nationwide since March 9th.

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