Have you ever scrolled past someone’s selfie and wondered how their photos appear so flawless? It’s simple. They’re using the right editing tools. Sure, natural lighting and fortunate genetics play a role here, as does holding the camera at the right angle. But let’s face it, most selfies are touched up quite a bit. The trick, outside of having the right apps downloaded and at the ready, is to keep your picture looking as natural as possible. Be sure to bypass obvious filters, and highlight your best features.
Below, I’ve taken the same (albeit not very good) desk selfie and edited it using three different skin-perfecting apps. Clearly I’m no Taylor Swift, but a few clicks of an app upgraded my selfie significantly. Keep scrolling to see the original, how it looks post-edit, and find out what each app has to offer.
Notice the lighting is quite dark. I have light-blond hair and blue eyes, neither of which is coming through accurately pre-edit. Below, I brightened the photo and enhanced certain features, some more obvious than others.
If you’ve never paid for an app before, this might be THE app to make you decide to pay up. It’s the best we’ve found to salvage an image that was otherwise too dark to post. Facetune ($4) has a “detail” function that allows you to zoom in at a micro level and enhance the texture and color of anything from brows to freckles. It's great at adding a professional crispness to images. It also has a “smooth” function for any blemishes that may be interfering with your otherwise flawless complexion.
Photo Wonder is a little more aggressive with the edits it can make than most apps. If you can move past the many (we mean many) annoying pop-up ads, head straight to the “beautify” function where you can adjust skin tone in a way we haven’t seen before. It's mind-blowing. We are also fans of the “blemish fix” option, which makes zits vanish with one click, instead of the patchwork required with so many other apps. As a bonus, Photo Wonder also has some pretty great eye-editing functions that zero in on shape, color, rim, etc.
A disclaimer: Be careful when it comes editing images with this app, as it can look too airbrushed. Less is more.
As the name suggests, Whitagram blows out images. Bye-bye, blemishes and redness! This free app also combines a lot of the functions we love from other photo apps like Aviary, VSCO, and InstaSize. Special functions include high-def under the “enhance” category and the lighting slide capability under “brightness.” Warning: This app crops your picture automatically, so if that’s not for you, maybe skip this one.
How long does it take you to touch up a selfie before posting? Which app do you use? Tell us below!
Opening Image: Getty/Christopher Polk/ACMA2014