In the advice tome How to Make Anyone Fall in Love with You by Leil Lowndes, famed anthropologist Helen Fisher remarks, "Perhaps it's the eye—not the heart, the genitals, or the brain—that is the initial organ of romance." Or more specifically, big, beaming doe-eyes. In the book, a doctor recognized as the founder of pupillometrics (yes, that's really what it's called), speaks about a study in which he showed men two identical photos of a woman—the only difference between them being that in one photo, the pupils were retouched to appear larger—and asked them to choose which one they found more attractive. Twice as many men chose the photo of the woman with larger pupils (which may explain why every romantic restaurant has lighting so dim, you can barely read the menu).
This wide-eyed theory of attraction, which has been floating around for quite some time, may also explain the popularity of a quirky new beauty trend: circle lenses. These are colored contact lenses that make your eyes appear larger by covering not just the iris as regular lenses do, but also part of the whites, giving you that saucer-eyed effect. They're available in realistic eye colors such as brown and blue, as well as in wild hues including pink and even patterns (a website called lenscircle.com sells over 40 different styles, including spooky vampire-esque designs inspired by the Twilight movies). These lenses are all rage in Japan, Singapore, and South Korea, and are quickly gain popularity here in the U.S. thanks to video makeup artists such as Lancome's Michelle Phan demonstrating how to use them in her "Lady Gaga Bad Romance Look" makeup video (that's her above, wearing the lenses). But what really sealed their place in the mainstream was when Dior recently launched their own logo-fied version of the lenses (as if logo-maniacal bags aren't enough!), followed by The New York Times running a front-page story about the trend this past Sunday.
It's important to note that buying cosmetic contact lenses through a website or retailer carries some risk, so before you go popping any of them into your eyes, consult with your ophthalmologist. But assuming he or she gives you the okay, would you wear circle contact lenses? Why do you think they're so popular right now? Tell me your thoughts.