Beauty supply stores, salons and boutiques; novelty, costume and Halloween stores; street vendors and flea markets often sell colored contact lenses without a prescription, but they do so illegally. The Food and Drug Administration forbids stores to sell contact lenses without a prescription.
It is a violation of federal law to sell or dispense any type of contact lenses, even decorative lenses, without obtaining a valid prescription, doctor’s name and phone number. The FDA considers all types of contact lenses medical devices, since they can cause severe irritations and damage to the eyes. Anyone wishing to purchase contact lenses should only purchase lenses that are FDA-cleared or approved. In many cases, the colored contact lenses available without a prescription have failed quality controls or have been manufactured without such controls. They are also dangerous if they are the incorrect size for the wearer.