Love it or hate it, selfies are now a modern fact of life. The iconic self portraiture has been blowing up every newsfeed from here to Helsinki even before Merriam-Webster officially inducted the term into the English dictionary, quickly capitalizing on the rise of social media and the lightning-quick adoption of camera-equipped smartphones. However, although there’s a vast array of selfie styles and types ranging from the iconic to incriminating, all of them would likely benefit from some additional tweaking.
The right smartphone app can do small wonders for your selfie-steem — like “self-esteem,” get it? — allowing you to remove unwanted blemishes and adjust skin tones directly on your device. We can’t guarantee your newly-minted photos will garner as much acclaim as anything done by Kim Kardashian or Kendall Jenner, but then again, we sincerely doubt either of them is a proper role model for anyone on this Earth.
Elbows and hands can be distracting, especially when they’re protruding out of the corner of your selfie. CamMe is designed to eliminate unwanted appendages from the frame, allowing you to capture your selfie with a simple hand gesture. Once launched, you merely need to place your smartphone anywhere between two and 16 feet away before raising and closing your hand to activate the camera. Editing functions come secondary.
The aptly-titled FaceTune gives you the means to quickly retouch your self portraits, letting you whiten your teeth, remove red-eye, color grey hairs, and refine your jaw line in addition to a plethora of other tasks. The app can also blur the background to place you in focus, and if you happened to just roll out of bed, you can use it to apply eye shadow, lipstick, and other makeup. Want even more editing tools? Check out FaceTune’s new sibling app, Enlight, which offers face-beautifying adjustments along with Photoshop-like editing.
If you thought Instagram had the filter market on lockdown, think again. Retrica features more than 100 different real-time filters – ranging from retro offerings to those designed to saturate your selfie with a warm, neon glow – all of which you can outfit with an array of classic vignettes. The collage feature and the built-in timer grant you even more options for capturing the perfect set of poses, even if you can’t edit them directly within the app.
Although Camera+ wasn’t specifically designed for capturing selfies, it remains one of the premiere camera app for iOS. The software gives you a wider range of exposure controls and a slew of advanced settings, such as those for applying a continuous flash, 6x digital zoom, and a timer function. Moreover, there’s enough variation between the preset filters, borders, and scenes modes to appease even the most fickle of high-school teenagers.
Photo Editor by Aviary basically falls between Camera+ and FaceTune. It offers a host of solid after-effects for tweaking your selfies within a streamlined interface, letting you stylize your photos with an abundance of purchasable filters and content. Best of all, it conveniently houses tools for whitening your teeth and eliminating unwanted blemishes, along with options for adding captions and turning your vain-ish selfies into memes.
Frontback is far more concerned with supplying context than it is touch-up tools. The app uses the front and back cameras to create a single, two-photo diptych that showcases both what you’re seeing in front of you and that soulful expression on your face. It’s essentially a double selfie of sorts, one you can effortlessly share, using the usual social avenues once you’ve managed to land the appropriate face for the occasion at hand.
YouCam Perfect was built with the selfie in mind, whether talking the beautification tools or tips. The app’s basic functionality allows you to eradicate wrinkles, dry skin, and other imperfections within seconds, while the software’s more aggressive options let you re-shape various aspects of your body such as your nose, eyes, and even your relative body proportions. It’s the visual equivalent to plastic surgery, sans the cost.
This, according toUs Weekly, is the app the Kardashian sisters use to beautify their selfies (it’s also been reported that Kim hires a professional to Photoshop her looks, but that’s beside the point here). What separates Perfect365 from similar apps in our roundup isn’t the toolset, but its native ability to adjust the intensity of each effect using a slider. Furthermore, it’s lined with a melange of celebrity-inspired templates and 20 different tools aimed at beautifying your selfie, regardless if you’re set on trying a new pair of lashes or adjusting your skin tone. Again, it’s the intensity slider that keeps you from looking overly airbrushed.
VSCO Cam is a standout for many reasons, but none more so than its collection of post-shot adjustments. Designed with a sleek, attractive interface, the app excels when it comes to applying brightness, contrast, warmth, and sharpness tweaks on the fly. Additionally, it touts a diverse assortment of filters designed to enhance your photos rather than make them appear as though they were shot using a vintage Holga from the ’80s.
If you just can’t get your selfie to look the way you want, consider turning it into an illustration. Fiverr, a service that allows you hire illustrators on demand, recently launched an app designed to turn your selfies into cartoons, impressionist paintings, and other works of art. Simply upload an image, or take a new one within the app, and choose from the various style templates. Starting at $10 an image, a professional artist will then illustrate your photo for you within a few days.
Selfie Cam is the Snapchat-minded selfie app. This app enables you to decorate your selfies with stickers, animated graphics, and much more. Selfie Cam features a rotary-style control, which allows you to quickly scroll through and customize your photos with ease. The app also takes full advantage of face-detection technology — iOS 7 or higher — and lets you activate the shutter with nothing but your smile. The built-in timer just means you can perfect your posture beforehand.
The PIP Camera app includes several templates to help you crop your latest selfie. The various frames utilize the pic-in-pic format, allowing you to emblazon your face inside a variety of objects, including a bubble, a Polaroid, and a glass bottle. The latter is the literal, digital equivalent of a message in a bottle. Take your selfie to the next level by going full Droste Effect and mess with your friends’ minds.