Do you want to buy cosmetic contacts in Korea?

Circle lenses (AKA those contacts that make your eyes appear cuter and larger with a thick outer ring) are a huge trend here in Asia, maybe even a beauty must with some ages at this point. Wearing these contacts has become as everyday and normal as dying your hair, you cant walk a few feet in some areas without seeing a pretty set enhanced eyes nowadays.

Korea is all about the eyes~ we have over a dozen eye clinics in my small neighborhood alone that will give you an exam, sell you fashionable frames, traditional contacts, or sell you circle lenses!  It’s one of the fashion basics here, something many people purchase just like any other contact lens.

♥ ♥ ♥

The selection of cosmetic lenses is so large and in demand here that aside from the normal eyeglass stores, many shops have popped up that are dedicated to selling JUST contact lenses! They have LOTS of choices and lots of price ranges… from around 10,000원 to 50,000원  ($10-$50) a pair or about 45,000원 and up for a boxed line of several pairs.

I used to have to pay around $120 a year to renew my contact lens prescription with this exam in the USA! 

You do not need a prescription to buy lenses in Korea, and if you need ones with a prescription (this applies to glasses as well) you can just tell them the strength you need and they will fill the order for you, no questions asked.

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If you need your prescription to be checked they will do this for FREE at the shop 99% of the time~ even the tiny little shops that sell JUST contact lenses here seem to have a small machine to give your eyes a checkup. I have had mine checked several times and the result is always consistent too, so I have faith in the machines here~ in fact, they said my USA (paid) prescription was too high and lowered it~ I see just as good now and get less headaches!

HOW ABOUT THAT!?  d(^o^)b

♥ ♥ ♥

Prescription Circle Lenses for all the styles displayed are almost always in stock and ready to be purchased on the spot. I used to have to wait a week or so for my order to come in back at home, but Korea with normal and circle lenses I have never had to wait for them to come in or special order my prescription~ ah its so great!

They also sell a smaller, but still very nice range of Toric circle lenses at the shops here~ but I am not sure how stocked those styles are since I have not had to buy them…. I would assume they have them ready to go in the shop as well though since most stores have walls filled with inventory! ^^

Generally circle lenses are sold by the piece in Korea + price a pair ♥ these will come in glass bottles~ one for each lens! Higher end or daily wear circle lenses like Acuvue Define and Naturelle are sold by the box though~ you can not buy just a single pair of these… I have tried.  Sometimes they will have samples available of the boxed styles, but you have to make nice-nice and buy things first usually.

What kind of choices do you have if you buy circle lenses at a store in Korea??

Korea has lots of lenses to pick from, especially in the specialty shops~ If you want something a bit more fun they have a large selection here of colored and pattern circle lenses!  These styles are normally sold by the lens and are very affordable…. around $10-$30 a pair depending on the brand.

♥ ♥ ♥

The size and style range at the shops in Korea is not always as dramatic as what you will find online though, so if you are looking for some giant jumbo green contacts you may have to hunt around! Lots of lenses you see online are too large for the overall subtle tastes here in retail locations~ so its best to just go into an actual store and shop around.  If you are able to shop online with Korean sites you will find a massive selection though~  Stores sell a ton, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg!

Some of the common color lens styles here offered in stores.

In terms of styles available and stocked in most shops ~ Koreans tend to be mainly about NATURAL/ ENHANCING  circle lenses, so you will see LOTS of fun choices for brown,black, and grey style outer rings mainly. Most shops also sell a range of the usual “fancy” colors in green, blue, grey, and purple~ but the amount of styles available can vary depending on the demand in that area~ for example, in one store I had 20 choices of lenses with a brown ring, but only 3 choices for green! ♥

♥ ♥ ♥

Above are Acuvue Define lenses, some of the most popular lenses in Korea ATM

Since beauty is all about looking natural in Korea atm lens sizes for enlarging the iris are modest.  While some girls do wear the larger contact styles, most opt for the subtle ones currently so they are what is stocked the most in stores.  You will easily find circle lenses in Korea around the 14-14.2 mm range….Its rare for me to run into styles larger than 14.5 and I have never seen the crazy jumbo 16mm or 17mm sizes in shops where I live, those sorts of styles and sizes are mainly dealt with online.  If you are looking for a huge amount of enlargement you may have a hard time finding what you want in the stores here, but I think the majority of shoppers will still be satisfied with the sizes.

I personally loooove the large amount of 14 mm options here, any circle lens larger than that looks odd on my Caucasian eyes ^^;

Try before you buy~ kinda!

So you are in a shop, but can’t decide between two choices of circle lenses in those little bottles~ Don’t worry! Most of the shops actually have this amazing little plastic eyeball tray that they can place the lens on to see how it looks on an iris!! So clever!!  It’s not the same as trying it on, but a lot faster and it does help a lot when picking out ones for color or lenses with unique ring designs! Sadly these sample eyes are only in 2 shades of brown since its Asia~ but it still helps you get an idea!

♥ ♥ ♥


Where to buy circle lenses in Korea??

This is a little tricky since they are scattered around for the most part! I cant walk 15 min without seeing an eyeglass/contact lens shop or coffee shop here…. seriously!  If you are in Seoul it should be very easy to just come across one as long as you keep your eyes open for the shop and banners… they are kinda hard to miss though! Here are the 4 main places….

“Lens Story” one of the more popular contact shop chains in Korea + “Flowers Over Lenses” @ Sillim station

1. Contact lens specialty shops♥   These are small little stores that mainly deal with JUST contacts, you walk in and its a glass counter with all the styles in bottles for you to see!  If you need to restock you can also buy brands of plain contacts, eye drops, or cases here as well, they deal with anything contact lens related!  This is the best choice if you want to buy many pairs + have lots of choices, but they are not as common as eyeglass stores. These are usually found in trendy hot spots for young crows and students, or around popular metro stations. Basically any area people tend to flock ^^

I  recommend the chains Lens StoryO-Lens, or  “Flowers over Lenses” in Sillim which is a single location, but really nice!

Here is a link to Lens Story locations in Seoul

The word for glasses in Korean is 안경 (an-gyong) so just look for buildings that say 안경 in the name!

2. From eyeglass stores♥  These are large stores and hard to miss… just look for all the glasses or banners outside!  They usually sell the boxed brands of nicer daily-wear friendly circle lenses like Acuvue Define or Freshlook Illuminate + some of the cheaper Korean basics. Some stores are stand-alone shops and others are inside larger buildings.


3. Mall Vendor ♥  Lots of the large shopping buildings/malls/centers here will have a contact lens booth set up, often they will deal with glasses as well!  A few of the shopping buildings in Dongdaemun have a contact lens guy set up at a booth to take orders and fill them on the spot or within an hour or so while you shop.  Most of these that I come across have the machine to check your eyes quickly as well

4. Online ♥ if you can order through a Korean site or have someone help you~ they have so many that it is hard to list them all though!  My favorite online shops for fun lenses that are a bit more dramatic are Pinkage and O-Lens which are both pretty popular here as well, especially O-Lens it seems.  Both have retail locations throughout Korea as well, but I have not stopped by any of them IRL just yet.

Pinkage has a English version of the site you can shop with apparently!

What to buy? What are the popular lenses here in Korea?

  • Acuvue Define circle lenses are currently one of the most popular lenses right now in Seoul because they are super natural looking but the change is noticeable, VERY comfortable, and have UV blocking.  These are sold by the box and are available at any of the eye-wear or contact shops here.  Currently they have 3 styles~ Vivid, Accent, & Shine ♥ The most popular Acuvue Define lens in Korea is the Accent Style, followed by the Vivid.

My Korean friend was telling me that for most professional jobs and interviews they discourage wearing circle lenses, but if you must this is the brand they suggest since it is such a natural enhancement. 

  • CHAGALL 샤갈렌즈 is a very natural enhancing black+grey lens here and super popular with Middle and High School students because it is only 14mm in size and the color area is 13.5mm.  Many girls online love these lenses because they make your eyes pretty, but teachers can’t notice you have them in ♥ haha sneaky!

♥ this style is also available in Toric for those of you that need it!♥

  •  Angel Define 엔젤 is another popular lens for Middle and High Schoolers in particular because you can sneak it by the teachers without them noticing. This lens has a larger grey ring in the center vs the Chagall lenses, but the size is pretty much the same~ 14mm lens and slightly larger 13.6mm color area


  • DALI Brown 달리 브라운  lenses are some of the more popular brown lenses in Korea atm for a decent amount of enlarging and thin soft brown gradient.  Dali overall seems to be well-liked with fans of brown circle lenses here because the Dali Heart and Dali Shiny are also blogged about a ton.  It actually took me a while to figure out just what Dali Browns everyone was talking about since they are all brown.  If you like brown circle lenses or are not a fan of the traditional black ones you should give these a try~ they create a very sweet innocent look to the eye.

 

  • Tutti Color Lens 뚜띠렌즈 these are some of the more popular “noticeable” lenses here for people that want a unique change and some color. Online the most popular colors are the brown and grey, but the blue and green also show up nice on darker eyes.  These have a much more dramatic ring vs some of the other color designs and give a nice large eye effect even though they are still only 14mm in size!

 

 

  • BT Lens 비티렌즈 is popular in both the grey and the brown colors because it enhances the whole iris color and has a very delicate outer ring design. This one, like a few others listed is still about 14mm in diameter total but a modest 13.2mm of colored area so it does not enlarge too much, but most people seem to really enjoy how vivid and noticeable the color becomes in the light.

♥  Handy Korean 

Circle Lens  -  써클랜즈

Toric Lens  -  난시용 렌즈

Where can I buy circle lens?    -  써클랜즈 어디서 살 수 있어요?

My prescription is XXX    –  제 눈 돗수는 XXX 이에요

I do not know my prescription    –  제 눈 도수 몰라요

Plano/No prescription -  도수 없는 랜즈

I need an exam – 눈 검사 해주세요

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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41 Responses to “Buying Circle Lenses in Korea”

  • Custom avatar Viess:

    Hi Elle, thanks for sharing the info!
    May I know where is this shop that u featured here, or can you recommend which street to shop for the Geo lenses?
    Cos I’m going to Korea for holiday and am totally clueless on where to get it.
    I was told that it’s actually more expensive to get it in Korea than to buy it online. Is that true?
    I think you can advise me best since you are living there =P
    Thanks!

    • Elle:

      Hi Viess! Actually the shops pictured (I need to add more to this article soon!) are EVERYPLACE here~ If you are coming to Seoul you will be able to spot them very easy. They have larger eyeglass + lens shops (they carry the basics, plain ones, and acuvue circle lenses BUT those are sold by the box) and small little one room type shops everyplace that just deal with contacts and have way more individual circle lens choices. You will just have to keep your eyes peeled for the shops, they are pretty obvious and have oodles of pictures and promos plastered on the window for the lenses usually. I have found them to be the same cost as getting them online, or cheaper… it really depends on the lens though! I’ll try and beef up this article soon so maybe it will be of some help.

  • Custom avatar Wan yu:

    Hi Elle,

    Thanks for the great info, as I will be travelling to seoul next week and I’m looking for info on how can I get contact lens in seoul. Your info comes in great! :)

    However,I’m wondering if I can get Coloured contact lens (with Astigmatism) in the lens shop too?

  • i have wanted to try those so badly! i just didn’t know if they made them as corrective lens too. i have pretty bad eye sight and i use regular contacts. i really want to see how i’d look with the circle ones on, but i’d also like to be able to see out of them. lol. i hope this becomes available in the US but i have a strong feeling it won’t be. apparently i just need to learn Korean!

    • Elle:

      They are SO much fun, I switch between my Korean circles and my plain contacts a lot~ I’m really blind lol! Try looking online, lots of shops sell them now~ I’m hoping to eventually check out and affiliate up with a lens shop that I trust and offers prescription lenses online (since yesstyle just sells plain) but I have not found the right place yet :/ so for now I am not sure where would be best since I have been dealing with shops here for the last 2 years~ lots are around it seems though!

      For comfort the ones here are soooo nice and look really natural though. Ones online are a bit on the larger size, I am in love with the smaller circle lenses here now ♥ I will post some reviews soon.

  • Custom avatar caz:

    ooooohhhhhh I want some of these now :-P

  • Custom avatar aylee:

    gosh!!! i wish i came across this sooner! i visited korea last summer and i needed new contact lenses! i didn’t know how to say toric so i had the hardest time trying to explain in my broken korean. lol if i ever visit my granny again, i’ll be sure to memorize 난시용 렌즈 :P

    • Elle:

      Glad the post could be of some help! Yeah, I had a few people ask about toric so I had to look it up since I was really clueless about it as well *_* Seems like they have a nice selection of toric lenses here considering how limited the choices can be back home sometimes ^^

  • Custom avatar Kimmie:

    Hi! I’m 14yrs old and going to Korea this November! My friend told me that I have to measure the arch of my iris if I want to by these lenses, and that it’s REALLY important. Can you do that in the “circle-lens” store? Or is it even necessary?
    I don’t use make-up aswell, which one do you recommend me then to use?
    Thank you so much for this, and sorry for so many questions!

    • Elle:

      Hello! Well, in all the times I have bought circle lenses in stores and even online I have never had to give a measurement for the arch of my iris lol! The only thing you need is your prescription strength if you require that. If you want to make sure you can have them check your vision right in the store, almost every single place that sells lenses here has a machine that will check your eyes and it is free too! I do know that back in America my iris arch was an issue, it was the reason I could not wear USA color contacts… they had tiny holes for you to see out of and the color always slid down. Here the color does not go in as far, it is mainly an outer ring of color so maybe that is why the arch is not an issue? No clue, but dont worry~ just hop in a store and they will take care of you just fine.

      If you do not wear makeup I highly recommend buying Acuvue Define circle lenses OR Bausch Lomb Naturelle lenses while you are here. They are sold by the box so you have to buy several, but they look so pretty on, are very comfortable, and by trusted brands meant to used as daily lenses! If you look in most of my recent photos and my vlog on youtube I always have Naturelle lenses in, I can wear them all day pain-free and with hardly any makeup ♥ I love them so much! Since you are young I think they will be much safer for your eyes vs the cheaper cosmetic ones here which are fun, but can hurt a lot after just an hour or two sometimes.

  • Custom avatar Nadia:

    I really needed some info on it :) Very comprehensive and perfect.

  • Custom avatar Jessica:

    Do you know what the eye-checking machines might be called in English? I’m trying to find one here. I need to check my prescription and when they flip the lenses at me it stresses me out and I got the wrong prescription last time.
    Let me know :)

    • Elle:

      I’m not sure… most contact lens places have the auto one, I have been to about 5 that had them in a row… in fact the only time I had my prescription checked the old flip way was at an eye doctor when I was getting the top to bottom exam for laser eye correction. I’m pretty sure most “Lens Story” locations have it, so your best bet may be stopping in one of those! :)

      • Custom avatar Jessica:

        Oh, I’m in the US. I found out they’re called Autorefractors. I found one in the town next to mine. I hope they take my insurance.

  • Custom avatar Mod:

    Nice review! I can’t wait to try these..

    Oh yeah I just wanted to point out that… these shops aren’t giving you a “free eye checkup”. I mean they are checking your prescription, but my aunt is an eye doctor ^.^ so you know…”check up” really should looking the BACK of your eyes for rips and tears etc. But as long as your eyes are healthy!

    • Elle:

      oh yes totally ^^ when I said “check up” I meant it following the sentence “If you need your prescription to be checked” NOT a full exam to check overall eye health! To check eye pressure and everything you have to go to an actual clinic of course. These places are just giving you the basic exam for your prescription ^^

  • hi^^ very nice review.
    I wanna ask. I’m going to korea later on 26.. can you give the estimate price for the lenses? because some lenses are expensive, some are super cheap that it is said to be fake. is there fake lenses there? i’m kinda afraid to buy after many reports of fake ones which damage the eyes. currently wearing the ones i bought from optic so i know it’s original.. thanks^^

    • Elle:

      Circle lenses here vary in price depending on quality, brand, and how many you buy (some of the nicer ones for daily wear are sold by the box) In the post I give a price range… its often about 10,000 won to 25,000+ for a single pair so they do start cheap~ the cheaper ones are more uncomfortable to wear in my exp so I stick with box brands now (naturelle by Bash and Lomb or Define by Acuvue, these are the best in terms of comfort, quality, and natural enhancing that you can buy on the market IMO atm.). We have actual stores dedicated to selling lenses here (lens story and they others I list) so if you are afraid of fakes please stick with just the dedicated lens stores. Lenses are all they sell, so if they sold fakes they would go out of business very quickly here through word of mouth, Korea has fakes with clothing and stuff, but lenses is something I cant see them being very happy about!

      Honestly I think the fakes are mainly a concern if you are buying online from sellers who get the inventory from who knows where, here we do not have the same selection but almost all the lenses sold are made in Korea from the original companies. Just don’t buy any from people selling on the street or in the shopping malls at booths (just in case), only go in the stores and you should be a-ok. I actually never see people just randomly selling lenses on the road though or in misc stores though, I think the stores may have to have some sort of license or qualification to sell lenses here, but I have never asked directly so I am not sure ^^ I will ask next time I need to buy a new box though. I always only see them at JUST lens or lens+eyeglass shops.

  • I just got back from Korea and I visited O-Lens in Edae and Hongdae! I bought a total of 7 pairs and they threw in so many freebies lol. Also, the price is sooo affordable, I had a yearly pair for 5000 won. Anyway, thanks for letting us know about these shops! ^^

    • Elle:

      so glad to hear!! I still need to stop by sometime ^^ have a favorite lens you bought or recommend? :D happy to be of some help!!

  • korean lenses are amazing. i also wear it

  • Custom avatar Nadia:

    Apparently the Pinkage website is all about hair and wigs. Thought you might want to update that info :)

    … and also Olens dos not take order online. They have all the lens and price to display in the site but as far as I’m concerned you need to visit their local shop to buy those lens :(

  • Custom avatar Nadia:

    Oh I actually noticed that Pinkage do have a “lens shop” section which only appears if you check the site in Korean?

  • Custom avatar japanesetrends:

    Hello,

    Do you know other online Korean shops for circle lenses ?

    I am trying to order but i’ts difficult.

    Thank you.

  • Custom avatar Mel:

    Hi, I’m going to Korea at the end of this month, I don’t speak Korean, I wanted to get some contacts while I was there. Are these stores usually English-friendly? Also, do you know if most stores accept VISA. thanks!

    • Elle:

      depends on the area and the shop really, people randomly speak ok English at some places since lots of Koreans must study it, but I can not say which location exactly. Maybe try the ones around Hongdae or Edae since they get a lot of foot traffic. You may have to just write down your strength and point to what you want, if you need to ask how much many places can say the total in english numbers or will write it for you. Some places accept visa, but you can take out cash at 80% of the ATMS you will see around Korea so you can have cash won on hand which is a bit more reliable here. The booths will have an English selection option and domestic or foreign card accounts. hope that helps!

  • Custom avatar tze chien:

    Do you know where can i get the wholesale price for contact lens?

  • Custom avatar scoupeo:

    Hello, this shop called Solution-lens.com sells wholesale but can you tell me if it is from Korea ? Thank you.

    • Elle:

      Hello! The lenses are korean it seems, but the shop is based in Belgium. Did you see the contact lens shop link at the top of my sidebar “KPOP2″? They are a lens shop based in Korea that ships internationally and may be worth a try if you want lenses shipped straight from here in Seoul. May be worth a shot!

  • You really have a great blog here , i like the content and the design of your blog.

  • Custom avatar samantha:

    Hello!

    I’m really interested on getting a pair of lenses, but in my country I can’t find them. I would like to buy the CHAGALL 샤갈렌즈 or Angel Define 엔젤
    The question is if you know a website where I can buy them? I found out some pages, but I’m not quite sure about if they are trustful.
    Hopefully you could know some pages…thank you for all the info I really love your blog ^^

    • Elle:

      Hi Samantha :) For lenses, check out my right sidebar on this site for a lens shop I recommend! Just scroll till you see the picture~ I have an image linking to the shop, it is one I like and lots of people I know enjoy as well. pretty sure they have angel define!

  • Custom avatar Trish:

    Hi, between acuvue define and naturelle, which do u prefer in terms of the look and which is more comfortable?

  • Custom avatar Mi:

    Hi, when I was searching for contact lens on the internet I came across with your blog! It’s really helpful but I want to ask something, I just want normal contact lens do they sell them at stores too and after I read I was still confused of where to go buy it, can you suggest please! I’m going to Korea in 2 days so I really hope to get your answer ASAP, thank you so much!

  • Custom avatar Angella:

    Thanks for the review

    can u give me a trusted korean website on English language ,,, i want to order lenses

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