There’s no denying that social media is almost integral part of the daily routine for most people. We are constantly inundated with pictures of gorgeous women posting selfies – be it celebrities (we’re looking at you, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley) or your #flawless bestie. Love, loathe or fear them, self-portraits are quintessential to the Instagram era, and are a cultural phenomenon that refuses to die. (Case in point: A search for #selfie on Instagram yields over 335 million photos at time of writing.) Celebrity or not, social media gives you full control on how you present yourself, and are perceived on the internet – to your potential dates and bosses, friends and frenemies. So why not put your best face forward? Here, we disclose the tricks to your best self-taken photo yet – no selfie-stick, Photoshop or ring-light needed. Promise.

              IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @realbarbarapalvin              IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @realbarbarapalvin

When it comes to a perfectly-executed selfie, it’s never been easier to mimic a glossy photo out of the pages of a magazine. These days, we are all photographers. Gone are the days of super pixelated, dark and grainy shots taken by the front camera (shout out to those tragic MySpace profile pics). When it comes to elevating your self-portrait game, the latest generation of the iPhone does most of the hard work for you.

Iphone x


For a start, iPhone X blesses us with the much-loved Portrait mode, previously restricted to the back camera, now featuring on the front also. And it’s a game changer, dear reader. Portrait mode makes your visage the focus by blurring away the background (ie. bedroom clutter). Using TrueDepth technology, the 7 megapixel front camera allows for professional SLR-quality selfies, sans professionals. Glam squad not included. Getting ready for your close up has never been easier with the Portrait Lighting effects – 5 different lighting styles curated especially for selfies. The Studio Light effect, for example, gives a subtle warmth and glow to the skin, sans Valencia filter. There’s also a feature dubbed Contour Lighting – need we say more?

Now, the apps you need to filter, tweak and perfect the art of the selfie.

 IMAGE:  Tech Crunch IMAGE:  Tech Crunch


Ever looked at a celeb self-shot vanity photo and wondered how on earth their skin is so damn flawless? Enter Facetune. Approved by none other than a certain selfie-obsessed family who’s last name starts with K, this nifty app is a must-download for any selfie aficionado. Perfect for beginners, it allows you to subtly retouch your face with control and precision; tap to remove a blemish, swipe to whiten your teeth or smooth away those pesky wrinkles. Hot tip: when whitening your smile, make sure to also take the tool to the whites of your eyes for a more natural, cohesive end result. Another trick is to use the detail tool to lightly accentuate the most flattering parts of the photo (read: to brighten the iris of the eyes, define those lashes and even highlight a set of statement earrings.) Double-tap worthy indeed.

    IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @baopotterr    IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @baopotterr      IMAGE: Mind Made Up    IMAGE: Mind Made Up


A step up from Facetune, is a virtual makeup application that lets you try on a ton of pre-set makeup looks, as well as retouching and perfecting the tiniest details of the beauty variety. Simply upload a photo of yourself from your camera roll and go to town by adding as little – or as much – makeup as your heart desires. Rock a smoky eye or a subtle wing liner, change up foundation shades (and coverage!), slim your nose and even transform your hair colour. Perfect for adding a cheeky pair of (virtual) lashes, or making your crimson pout more vibrant post-flash. One word of caution: remember that subtlety is the name of the game here – it’s very obvious when you go OTT and stop resembling yourself, let alone a human.

    IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @perfect365_official    IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @perfect365_official


Kirakira translates into ‘sparkly’ in Japanese, and that’s exactly what you get from the app that’s making the rounds at virtually every Fashion Week for the past two years. Showcasing their latest Fall collections this past month, Dolce and Gabbana used the KiraKira+ filters to highlight their crystal-embellished couture offerings floating down the runway, as did many a fashion powerhouse (Dries Van Noten, we’re looking at you). It is THE app for adding a dose of sparkle to both your videos and photos by turning any light reflections into mesmerising shimmer that flickers and comes to life before your very eyes. Ideal for those full-body mirror shots when your outfit du jour features embellished or metallic anything, as well as for positively hypnotising, literally glowing self-portraits when donning illuminator aplenty on the cheekbones. Need more convincing? Veteran fashion week MUA and glitter queen Pat McGrath is a huge fan of the app – it’s the secret to the gleaming goodness that is her Instagram account. With seven different filters and adjustable sparkle intensity, there’s no reason to not get your shine on.

Story by Marina Gainulina

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