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The progressive march of technology is always something that will amaze me. I mean, a mere three years ago, I had one of those sliding keyboard phones. You know, the brick-like ones that didn’t crack when you dropped them, only had rear facing cameras, and that you actually had to turn around, hope to god that your aim was good, and fumble around for the button to take the picture?

Yes, that’s right. Selfies were a real struggle in those days. That is the reason that Steve Jobs invented the iPhone with a front facing camera. To make the #selfie struggle not as life threatening.

Anyway, now we as a society are facing a new problem- the unflattering selfie. When I take selfies, I am always expecting one glamorous picture- and then cringing when I look at the screen and discover another. Well, that zit wasn’t that big this morning. It must be the lighting. Am I right?

That is the precisely why Facetune was invented, a miracle app that is basically everything a novice photo editor like myself could dream of. I figured the starving college student excuse was wearing a little thin, so for the not too hefty price of $2.99, I splurged on this app.

Now, for some reason, my coworkers scattered when I went downstairs with my camera ready, so instead, I decided to dig into the archives and use this picture of my lovely family.

Obviously, there’s a lot to fix with this photo. I mean, my sisters are in it after all. In other words, this will be the ultimate test of Facetune.

Screen Shot 2014-07-13 at 9.09.47 AM

Similar to many picture editing apps, the features are all arranged across the bottom. As tempting as it was, no one was cropped out of this selfie, and so I moved on. Next up is the whitening tool, which does come in handy, especially with close up photos such as this one. Since it is my first time using this app, helpful little directions kept popping up along with the options to change anything.

Most of my frustration with other photo editing apps, other than their clear limitations, I mean, is that it is an all or nothing deal. Mess up with the blemish remover? Get over excited with that red eye tool? Start from the beginning. Facetune not only lets you go back one step at any time, but also gives you the option to compare your work in progress to the original. Wonderful. (That wasn’t even sarcastic.)

So now that we’re all done with whitening and wishing that it was that easy at the dentist’s, we can move on to smoothing. Is that a zit I see on my sister’s face? It’s more than one that doesn’t need to be there. Here’s a helpful before and after.

Screen Shot 2014-07-13 at 9.13.15 AM

Now that you’re all blinded by that horrifying image, we can move on. The detail tool is another cool one, making you look like you put way more time into your makeup than you actually did. As great as this tool is, it’s one that you need to keep a light touch on, otherwise you end up with freaky light splotches across the shadows you were trying to lighten. This worked wonders on the shadows under our eyes and otherwise highlighting those particular features, but I did end up using the eraser button a few times.

The reshape tool is another one that you need to have a light touch on, otherwise you’re going to end up looking like someone stood you in front of some funhouse mirrors before taking your picture. In other words, not flattering. If you want your grandma to recognize your picture when you’re done, do not go crazy with this tool.

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Now, I won’t go in detail on the other tools, except to say that they are pretty great as well. Facetune’s helpful tutorials guided me through their tones (another way to get rid of the bags under your eyes), and their artful defocus and filtering tools.

Here’s the before and after:

Screen Shot 2014-07-13 at 9.17.54 AMphoto

Now I wouldn’t go as far as to call us supermodels, but even I’m not cringing at my sisters’ faces anymore. Hard to believe, I know. Good thing we’re related and I have blackmail material, or they might even sue me for this post. For now, though, I’ll appease them with this beautiful photo that is definitely worthy of being printed on wood:


I’m in love. With this app. As I stated before, I’m a complete novice at this whole retouching thing, but I’d like to think I have at least a decent eye for photography. For an incredibly reasonable price, this app provided all the retouching features I could dream of, and packaged them in an easy-to-use, intuitive interface with tutorials and help available every step of the way. Despite all of my #selfie jokes earlier, this app is actually incredibly useful, and applicable to any portrait photo you could want to improve. For you, Facetune, four stars and a letter of recommendation to anyone who asks.



For more information on Facetune, please visit http://www.facetuneapp.com/


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