I have been blessed in so many ways I cannot even dare ask God for more. And this includes my 20/20 vision. Well, maybe not exactly 20/20 as I was already advised to start wearing a 50/25 pair of reading glasses for days when I have a pile of documents to scan through or when I plan to face my laptop monitor for hours. But still, I'm still very thankful I don't need to wear glasses or endure putting on contact lenses everyday.

I've had my share of contact lenses in the past for the sheer sake of vanity. Eye makeup just looks better with a pair of gray or hazel eyes! Unfortunately though, I always end up getting red eyes hours after wearing them so I decided to just stop. 2011 was the year I last wore a pair. First mistake was I've purchased them either online or abroad with no recommendation or information from an optalmologist; second was I was too lazy to clean them thoroughly every after use.

Just last week, Alcon, the global leader in eye care, launched their latest technology DAILIES® FreshLook® ILLUMINATE™ in the Philippines and unveiled the very first local endorser of Freshlook Contact Lenses to the press and media, TV actress Julia Montes. She admitted wearing a 400/350 grade since she was 12 years old and has been wearing FreshLook contact lens ever since.

During an interview, Julia said: “I’m so excited to be the new face of DAILIES® FreshLook® ILLUMINATE™ Contact Lenses ‘coz my stylist always says, “the best accessory a girl can wear, is her beautiful eyes”. And with FreshLook’s impressive range of colourful and comfortable contact lenses, I’ll always have a different look that will keep me at the center of everyone’s attention.” 

Alcon also tied-up with popular Japanese makeup brand Majolica Majorca, to show the guests from the media the power of makeup and FreshLook Illuminate contact lenses combined. To do this, two guests were picked from the audience and taken to the back stage to have a “one eye makeover” done by Majolica Majorca's very own makeup artist Aimee Unson.

Even from a distance, you can see how Valerie and Ira's left eyes are bigger than their right eyes.

Dr. Elaine Maceda then proceeded into showing us how to properly apply contact lenses. Raise your hand if you too had a difficult time the first time you tried this! I remember mine and it took me weeks to master it. I feel deeply for my chinita friends whose eyes are too small but still puts contact lenses daily just to "see". Imagine how bad I'll be on applying contact lenses now that I've stopped for 2 years!

Dr. Elaine Maceda putting on FreshLook Illuminate in Rich Brown on Valerie

Dr. Jeanette Romualdez putting on FreshLook Illuminate in Black on Ira

I stopped wearing contact lenses not only because of the reasons I mentioned above. End-of-day discomfort and dry eyes are common complaints among contact lens wearers. But as Dr. Maceda explained to us, one-day disposable lens don't require much maintenance as you can dispose of them at the end of the day and FreshLook provides excellent comfort and superior lens fit, you barely feel you're wearing anything. Activated by the eye’s natural blinking action, the new AquaRelease Technology gradually releases moisturizing agent throughout the day to keep eyes moisturized and comfortable all day long.

To summarize Dr. Maceda's presentation, look for contact lenses that have the 4Cs: centration, convenience, comfort and color. Contact lens look most natural on your eyes when they sit well in the center of the eye and can follow eye movements closely, and when the color and pattern blends with your innate eye color. As for convenience, it depends from person to person. I don't have the diligence to religiously clean and rinse my lenses so I'm better off with dailies rather than buying a pair good for three or six months. With dailies, protein build-up on your lenses is minimized, giving you clearer vision. Lastly, Dr. Maceda pointed out that it's a must that you choose a pair that provides optimal oxygen transmissibility, a key factor in ensuring comfort and safety. To make sure of this, pick a reputable brand that's highly recommended by your optalmologist. The brandless ones irritated my eyes the most and were basically thrown out the trashbin after just one day of use even if the seller told me it's good for six months. Beware.

As for the design, it's a personal preference. There are ones that have obvious patterns, ones that are colored and ones that are just rimmed. FreshLook Illuminate color contact lenses are specifically designed to help make Asian eyes appear naturally bigger and more vibrant. 

I went home with a box of FreshLook Illuminate in Rich Brown and was able to try them on my eyes. I was very cautious as it's been two years since I last used a pair. I hesitated for a minute but then remembered all of Dr. Maceda's pointers. There was no reason to be afraid anymore, I now know how to do this right.

FreshLook Illuminate is made of non-ionised material that attracts 300 times less protein than ionic materials, thus minimiing deposit levels.  

It has a multi-dimensional lens colour created with a dual-layered colour printing technology to enhance all shades of Asian eyes, from light brown to black.

Circle lenses, or also known as limbal ring lenses, are contact lenses that make the iris appear bigger. 

FreshLook Illuminate has a smooth colour border that's meant to enlarges and outlines the eye and a a unique starburst pattern that blends the coloured ring into the iris, mimicking the natural gradation of colour in a person’s iris from the edge of the lens to the center of the eye. 

FreshLook Illuminate was designed based on consumer insight that Asian women who want to enhance their eyes desire to do so discreetly. These women want people to notice that their eyes are different, but do not want them to know that they have enhanced their eyes, or the secret to how they have enhanced their eyes. And clearly in the photo below, the difference is small but the effect is huge. My camera right as you've probably noticed, looks brighter and bigger.

Camera left eye without contact lens; Camera right eyes with FreshLook Illuminate in Rich Brown

I mimicked the Japanese doll-eyes Aimee did on the two girls at the event just to show how black eyeliner on the upper lashine, white eyeliner on the lower waterline and loads of mascara can instantly make the eyes rounder. 

Makeup products used: RMK Powder Foundation in 102, Tom Ford Cheek Color in Love Lust, K-Palette Real Lasting Eyebrow Liner in 01, Stila Smudge Pot in Black, MAC Eye Kohl in Fascinating, Benefit BadGal Lash Mascara and YSL Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Lip Stain in 24 Fuchsia Intemporel (blotted with tissue to achieve a semi-matte finish).

I see why a lot of Asian beauty and fashion bloggers do this on themselves. It really makes one look doll-like. I, however, isn't a fan of this look. This was fun, but I'm pretty sure it'll be the last time I do this look on me. It's just not my style.

But it won't be the last time that I wear contact lenses, now that I've been thoroughly educated and informed about it. But in the future, I'll probably go for
 FreshLook® ColorBlends™ in my color of choice. My personality tends toward subtle color variety rather increasing iris diameter.

P.S. I wore FreshLook Illuminate for ten hours and lasted the day without any red eye or irritation.

DAILIES® FreshLook® ILLUMINATE™ is now available in all leading optical clinics nationwide at Php 650.00 for a box of 10pcs.

For more information on DAILIES® FreshLook® ILLUMINATE™, visit

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