Pop music flows through the waiting room as guests enjoy hors d'oeuvres, desserts and soft drinks. One guest exclaims as she looks in the mirror at her afresh gemstone green eyes. Another is having difficulty choosing whether light blue, honey or gray would work best with his complexion and hair color. From an outsider’s point of view, the evening may look like a high-end product showcase, but in reality, it was an extracurricular activity for the University’s Optometry students to refine their contact lens fitting skills.
“Color Me Chic,” the first cocktail party-workshop hosted by the Contact Lens Club on Thursday evening at The Eye Institute’s Chestnut Hill office was fun, yet educational, for all involved. A group of about 30 Salus staff, faculty and students learned about the different types of colored contact lenses available and have a fitting performed by students in the club to determine if they were interested in a certain product. Alcon and Johnson & Johnson graciously donated trial lenses to be used at the event.
Dr. Kriti Bhagat, assistant professor in the University’s Pennsylvania College of Optometry
and faculty advisor for the Contact Lens Club, said the unique experience provided a great way for students to enhance their fitting skills they learn in clinic. It was also a unique opportunity for the Salus community to learn more about the various types of colored lenses available.
“The Contact Lens Club wanted to do a small workshop with faculty and staff members as a way to show our appreciation to them,” she said. “Attendees were able to try on new lenses and order them right on the spot.”
Vice-president of the Contact Lens Club Lariesa Schwab '19OD, said the experience was incredibly informative and helped her better understand the differences between various types of colored contact lenses.
“Any hands-on experience we’re able to get is useful,” she said. “Every brand of contact has different textures, different feels – some are softer, some are slicker – and learning how to use them properly is very helpful.”
The Contact Lens Club is one of the University’s newest student organizations, only about a year old. Dr. Bhagat said the club was devised to provide second and third year Optometry students with more opportunities to apply their classroom and clinical knowledge through additional workshops.
Dr. Bhagat said she sees potential in hosting a similar event for professionals in the beauty industry to showcase how contact lenses can provide esthetic enhancements to individuals. The importance of using contact lenses correctly and safely would also be stressed as they are first and foremost a medical device
“We may be able to have the event for members of the community, hair salon owners, and makeup artists as a way to show them that they can use these lenses to further enhance beauty in a way that isn’t with a brush or foundation,” she said