beauty . Feature

Take A Peek Into What It's Like To Design Beauty Lenses

Helping others see beauty

Whether it’s buying a new dress or putting on another layer of highlighter, there are seemingly simple things we can do that can affect both our physical appearance and emotional mindset big time. That’s one of the reasons why Angie Bowers, Staff Product Designer at Johnson & Johnson Vision, pursued her career as a beauty lens designer for ACUVUE® DEFINE®. A beauty lens designer is a job like no other. While we’re used to reading about fashion designers, creating something for the eyes is an entirely different ball game.

But aside from the motivation of making others look better, there is also that feel-good element Angie and ACUVUE® DEFINE® strive to achieve. That’s why ACUVUE® is partnering with Mee Mee Eyecare at [email protected] to introduce the world’s first Beauty Eye Care Store, where patrons can not only discover the full suite of ACUVUE® DEFINE® offerings and experience personalised vanity tips and tricks through the digital beauty advisor and virtual mirror, they can also undergo a comprehensive eye health check for a holistic beauty experience. It’s the best of both worlds.

So, what goes on behind the scenes in the life of a beauty lens designer? We picked Angie’s mind to learn more.

She’s not the only one designing your ACUVUE® DEFINE® lenses

While designing, in general, may seem like a one-sided process where the designer ideates creations on their own, it’s actually a “huge co-creation effort” when it comes to designing beauty lenses. “We do a lot of research. We talk to our consumers. Our lenses are designed as much as by our consumers as us,” she said. “The biggest value as a designer, for me, is trying to understand what’s at the core of the consumer’s needs. It’s not just what they want but also why they want it and how important it is to them.” So essentially, as a consumer, you’re part of ACUVUE® DEFINE®’s design team.

But what does it take to be a beauty lens designer? “The consumer won’t always tell you exactly what to do but they’ll tell you what they want,” she said. “...if you’re curious, creative and a good listener, you should be able to nail it.”

She sees things differently

“The strangest things inspire me,” shared Angie. “It’s the why. Social sciences is a big deal for me… [as well as] understanding things.” Angie shared that in order to design a beauty lens, you need to find a solution for different types of questions.

“How do you create depth? How do you create this image? How do you translate milk tea into a contact lens? How do you make milk tea brown and not make it look like a dead fish eye?” are just some of the questions she asks while designing for ACUVUE® DEFINE®. “The solution has to be very different because it also has to fit into the manufacturing process, FDA and ISO requirements,” she added.

The consumer’s experience is key

Another thing to consider, of course, is the consumer's experience. ACUVUE® DEFINE® lenses are all created with Beauty-Wrapped-In-Comfort Technology to prevent direct contact between the pigments and your eyes, while LACREON technology ensures all-day comfort with a 20-hour cushion of moisture. And although it is not a substitution to sunglasses, they are also certified with an internationally recognised standard of UV protection to shield your eyes from the sun's damaging rays.

It’s always personal

Truly, beauty, like many other things in life, is personal. And that’s exactly what Angie, the creative force behind ACUVUE® DEFINE®, wants to champion through the beauty lenses. ACUVUE® DEFINE® currently offers seven variants that give off different effects on the eyes — Radiant Chic™, Radiant Sweet™, Radiant Bright™, Radiant Charm™, Accent Style, Vivid Style and Natural Shine™.

But you don’t need to choose just one. “Wear them to [your] heart’s desire,” Angie suggested. “There's translucency in our lenses. Think of them as nylon or pantyhose. It can change the colour a little bit but it will depend on the underlying colour. Our lenses behave differently on different sets of eyes. You play it up how you want to… From Jennifer Aniston to Lady Gaga, they can take our lenses as a tool to build their look on.”

She is there to help you define your own chic

We all have different ways of defining what is beautiful or meaningful to us. The same goes for what we consider to be chic. For Angie, it’s all about comfort, and so she defines her chic as “pyjama chic.” “With the right set of earrings or the right scarf, suddenly it’s not just pyjamas anymore,” she said.

Defining your own kind of chic is also what beauty seekers who attended Acuvue's #iDefineCHIC Pop-Up Store in July got to experience. Beauty activities – ranging from makeovers to juice cleanses – just like ACUVUE® DEFINE® lenses, help inspire people to take the reins on their own beauty and define what chic is to them. “[We have] a huge responsibility and the opportunity to affect people not just in their medical or physical life but also their mental-emotional life,” Angie said.

Countless hours have been devoted to designing products that fit those criteria, so it's no surprise that Angie can easily tell which design a person is wearing just by looking closely into their eyes. During our interview, our Editor noted that she's wearing one of the ACUVUE® DEFINE® beauty lenses. When Angie was asked to take a guess, the beauty lens designer was spot-on on her first attempt.

ACUVUE® DEFINE®’s first-of-its-kind Beauty Eye Care Store is located at Mee Mee Eyecare, #04-03, 313 Somerset, 313 Orchard Road, Singapore 238895.