Through the Looking Glass

In today’s selfie-obsessed narcissistic society, when you see a photo, it is hard to tell if it has been “touched up” by a photo editor, or if it is a real-life-untouched photo. When you are scrolling through Instagram, and there a million pictures of amazingly beautiful people, one can lose sight that most people nowadays use a Photoshop-type app, which can erase flaws and literally change a person’s appearance. A fake beauty, but beautiful nonetheless.

On the other hand, everyone has the one friend who wants in on the trend, and posts unfiltered selfies regularly. These friend’s and their cringe-worthy selfies, just don’t understand what the craze is all about. They don’t understand that people are drawn to beauty. No one wants to know what a regular person looks at 3pm on a Wednesday while they are at work. No. We want Friday night make-up, cute outfits, manicured coif’s and ultra- filtered prettiness.

Why do we prefer an illusion versus reality? I guess that’s a whole other story. There are a few different instances where freshening up a photo can come in handy. Online daters might want to use photo-enhancing apps on occasion in order to put their best face forward. Most people will only make slight changes, to cut back on shock when finally meeting their online beau. The same goes for pictures that you post on social media pages, where is the harm in brightening things up and making the photo nicer to look at? If you want to play around with your photo-editing options, here are our favorite top three photo apps, check them out!


Hailed as the “picture perfect” app, most people use Facetune to remove their smaller flaws; with the app you can erase dark circles, cover blemishes and even whiten your teeth. Use the “smoother” feature to blur out harsh lines and make your skin look clear and bright. After using the smoother tool, you will no longer be able to see tiny pores or any roughness at all. Just be careful not to overdo it, when your face begins to look blurry it is painfully obvious that you are touching up your photo. These types of touch ups can be used by anybody, and won’t cause you to be unrecognizable. If you want to take it a step further however, Facetune a few more drastic option, such as a tool that will reshape both your facial structure and expressions. Have a pesky bald spot, or thinning hair? The “hair salon” feature has you covered, and will both cover up bald patches and make your hair appear fuller too. Facetune also allows you to play up features; it doesn’t matter if your lips or your eyes are your best trait, use the app’s details tool to emphasize either one or both. With the “defocus” tool you can blur out your background, which makes your face the subject of the photo.

Another cool feature of Facetune is that they offer free tutorials on how to use the app to your best advantage. After watching a few of their how-to videos, you will surely be a pro. Pick this up from your app store for about $3.99.

Adobe Photoshop Express

You can never go wrong with the tried and true grand daddy of all photo editors, Adobe Photoshop. This is the express version for your mobile device, which will work for both iOS and Android. Photoshop offers an array of features, starting with a ton of filters and frames to pick from. The filters range from vibrant, soft glow or my personal favorite, 60’s TV Grab, which is a retro style grainy filter. You will also be able to adjust colors, touch up flaws, remove red eye, add highlights and can add vignette lighting to spice up your photo and give it a customized look. This app is user friendly, and no change that you make is permanent. You can crop and resize your photos too, and then upload them directly to your social page or your camera roll, with no extra steps. This app costs about $5, with plenty of in-app purchases available, all the way up to $59.99


If you don’t want to shell out any bucks for a photo editor app, then Aviary is a great choice for you. This free app will give you some great filter options that some of the pricier apps don’t offer, and twenty other tools to enhance your photo. One of the best tools that we found is “focus” which will allow you to focus in on one aspect of your picture while blurring the background out. This will put your subject into sharp focus and gives a cool look to the picture. If you are feeling adventurous try the “color splash” tool, where you can black and white out your photo and then add in color where you want it. Makes for a neat shot! This app is available for iOS and Android.

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