Can Tinted Sunglasses Change Your Mood?

I’m not a sunglasses person. Even in the dead of summer, with sun rays incinerating my retinas, I go bare-eyed. Going sans sunglasses has allowed me to see the world for what it is: Either blindingly bright or cloudy. I’m able to absorb everything, including the overwhelming grayness that sometimes takes over New York City. And the only eyewear that I do wear are monthly contacts that I stretch out until far past their expiration date, and horrifying glasses on my bed stand that no one will ever see besides me. Sunglasses are something that people lose in the back of cabs or get buried in the sand on the beach. Why bother? If I can handle the nasty glare of the sun, they just aren’t necessary.

Having said that, if there was to be one quality of sunglasses that might convert me, it would be tinted lenses. Yes, they may have superpowers—as in, they can lift the mood. Case in point: The sunglasses label Loving Victorious Beings by Lars von Bennigsen, which takes the concept of color therapy—the idea of healing emotions and ailments through colors—and translates this to his lenses. (Full disclosure: I tried out color therapy several years ago, but in clothing form. It worked!) For Von Bennigsen, probably the most zen man I have ever met in person, the concept harkens back to the ancient world. “Color therapy has been recorded as a healing modality since the Egyptian times, but still, until today, very little real research has been conducted,” he says. “We are sort of the next generation of pioneers in this, and I am convinced that these vibrational healing technologies are breaking and will receive ongoing, increasing validation.”

While the idea might seem far-fetched, and fairly “out there,” the concept of seeing through literal rose-tinted spectacles has already arrived. Over the past few years, blue-light-filtering sunglasses and contact lenses have been introduced to the market, trickling all the way down to major retailers like Warby Parker. While they are often clear, these lenses are used to filter out blue light from LED screens, which can disrupt sleep. As for Loving Victorious Beings, Von Bennigsen has introduced several different incarnations of tinted glasses in tones of orange, which removes blue light. A pink version has been described as a “mild psychedelic experience,” that has also been said to uplift the mood.

So what happens when a person puts these tinted lenses on? I tried out two versions of Loving Victorious Beings, and yes, the world went into a delicious, happy haze. It’s like my eyes had taken a hit of funky, illegal-in-some-states grass. Smog was lifted. Computer screens weren’t sucking the soul out of my body. The tint caused a citrus-tinged glaze to swim over the eyes, and suddenly the world was not so gloom-and-doom. Will I still lose sunglasses in the back of a cab? Probably. But at least for the time being, things aren’t so gray.

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