When Marianna Hewitt of Life With Me shared the little tweaks she makes to her Instagram photos using apps including Facetune, her deft hand with the app made me see it in a whole new light. I had tried Facetune previously but always made myself look like an alien, so I wrote it off altogether.
But I reconsidered after seeing Hewitt work her (subtle) magic.
Our founder Jennine has written about Facetune and what it means for selfies and authenticity and she makes a good point: what's the difference between wearing makeup, having great lighting, getting your teeth bleached, getting a facial, etc. and editing your photos? The main difference I can see is that Facetune is a lot easier and cheaper ($4).
So I've made my peace with Facetune, and I'm trying to hone my skills so as to not manipulate my photos so much that I look like a different species, and also to give myself permission to make adjustments that create a better image.
Here are some of my favorite Facetune features and how I use them:
Even in your 20s, shadows and bad lighting can make you look older, grumpier or sadder than you are. Enter Facetune's “Smooth” function. Simply swipe your finger over the area in question to erase lines, even out shadows, or brush away stray hairs.
In the photo above, an unflattering stray hair swept across my neck, so I smoothed that sucker out.
And if your first attempt doesn't to the trick, you can up the intensity by clicking “smoother,” which does the same thing but with a heavier hand. Smoothed to much? Hit “erase” to undo. Note that “smoother” should be used sparingly, and make sure to zoom so you get precise results.
This is kind of a scary function that can make you look thinner, fuller of hair, or like you're looking at a funhouse mirror. But used wisely, it can create a better proportion if the angle of the photo is weird.
In the photo above, I'm wearing a super loose kaftan-like dress. Granted I gained a few pounds over the holidays, but I felt the billowing of the dress looked excessively bulge-y in the photo. So I reshaped I the right side of my waist a bit to create a more flattering silhouette, resisting the urge to make myself a size 2.
This can also be used to fluff hair, give volume to a dress, give a virtual nose job, etc. You decide how far you want to go, but less is definitely more with this one. Also be careful because as you resize, other parts of your photo will also change.
And that's where “Refine” comes in. Use this when you want a more subtle result that won't change other parts of your image.
This function can do the same as “Refine,” but symmetrically. I used it to widen my chest slightly in the photo above to correct the off proportion created by the billowing of the lower part of the dress.
“Patch” provides a circular sample area that will be referenced in the area you'd like to correct. Change the size of the circle by pinching or widening with two fingers at once. Watch in this video to see how to even out teeth—pretty amazing.
With a long press, “Tones” will let you sample an area with the color you want, then transfer that color to a desired area buy simply touching or swiping over it. Watch in that same video how he subtly lightens eye color. Again, be sure to zoom.
I use this one rarely, but if you have a blingy detail in your outfit, or a conveniently parked fancy sports car like in my photo above, you can use it to make things even blinger (I emphasized the headlights).
P.S. I lightened the photo using Afterlight.