American Horror Story make-up effects designer Christien Tinsley and make-up department head Eryn Krueger Mekash have joined a new public-service campaign designed to warn consumers about the dangers of decorative contact lenses.
The Food and Drug Administration, the American Optometric Association and the Entertainment Industries Council have teamed up for the first time to produce and distribute new public-service videos explaining how decorative lenses can endanger eye health when professionals don’t oversee their use.
In the video, Tinsley and Krueger Mekash describe the safety protocols required for actors who wear decorative lenses. “I think there’s a misconception about make-up artists having, like, a supply of lenses, a library of lenses. You have to go through a special process: design, fitting and sterile processes in order to use any kind of lens,” said Krueger Mekash in the video.
Cristina Patterson, a contact-lens painter and designer for American Horror Story, said she orders the doctor-prescribed lenses and then paints her design after they come in.
According to Dr. Glenda Secor with AOA, improper use of these lenses can lead to bacterial infections, allergic reactions or even blindness.
“Our intent is that when young people see the lengths professional make-up artists go to to make sure actors get and use the lenses safely, they’ll take the message to heart,” said Dr. Helene Clayton-Jeter, an optometrist and health programs coordinator at the FDA, in a press release.
Krueger Mekash adds in the video, “Safety is your number-one priority as far as your eyes. They’re with you your whole life so it’s very important to have someone fit you.”