Don’t like your selfie? Copy the stars and use some apps!

Portrait before (left) and after (right) running the image through free selfie 'improvement' apps

Portrait before (left) and after (right) running the image through free selfie ‘improvement’ apps, I could have changed my face more than this but couldn’t make myself do so

Back in August I did a little consulting on selfies for Closer Mag. As is normal, the journalist concerned synthesised what I said and selected quotes to fit the flow of their features. This feature came about as a result of a radically transformed selfie tweeted by Lauren Goodger, and as I contributed far more than was finally used I thought it might be interesting to post the research that went into my response. I used a press photo of Lauren to run through all of this, but can’t use that on my own blog for copyright reasons so played with my own face to illustrate a slightly more conservative transformation above.

Closer Mag on Lauren Goodger’s selfie

The angle of your face in the photo can help or hinder your selfie app

Lauren must have played with the apps quite a bit before doing this. Some of them work better if your face is at one angle rather than another, but in the tweet she has found a lovely angle for her selfie, and it’s one that the apps like too.

Slimming the face in a selfie

Let’s start with the face slimmer. I’d choose the Contour option on Perfect 365 (available on android and IOS) for this as it keeps the basic proportions but gives you a sliding scale to help you decide exactly how slim you’d like your face. It makes most sense to do this first as you might want to correct any little changes that happen as a result. The difference just this makes is huge – look at the difference in proportions of the reflection of the back of her head in the mirror to get an idea of how much has been done. You can raise the cheekbones too using this app which Lauren has obviously done. I couldn’t make myself do it to my own picture though, it feels creepy to me to make such a huge change to my own face.

Smoothing the skin in a selfie

The next thing to do is smoothen out the skin. Perfect 365 also does this well. You can smooth and soften the skin with this app, but doing that would have left a bit of shine had a flash been used the photo. Luckily Lauren took her selfie in a place with lots of lovely natural light which is always kinder than artificial light. The app moreBeaute2 smoothes and softens the skin automatically, but with Perfect 365 eyeshadow can be added at the same time. I used Mystery Luv Potion on the nighttime photo of Lauren to give a similar level of smokiness to that on her own selfie.

Enlarging the eyes in a selfie

Time to enlarge the eyes. Perfect 365 and Selfie (also known as selfie timer, it’s only available on IOS) do this well, but that gorgeous quirky brow shape can only have come from selfie timer. Perfect 365 does a better eyeliner effect though, and while it’s difficult to see whether Lauren just shot the eyeliner on her eyes or whether she added it with the app, had I been her, the temptation to add a bit more impact to the larger eyes would have been too much.

Brow emphasis and shape

Her brows have been emphasised with Selfie Timer’s ‘Brow Overlay’ option. You pay extra to darken eyebrows with that lovely little quirk so I did my best with Perfect 365 instead.

Using apps to change lip shape and colour

Time for the lips. Perfect 365’s ‘Deepen smile’ option and Selfie Timer’s ‘lips’ option both do this well, but your face has to be at the right angle. Lauren’s angle was perfect so she was able to really give her lips that massively plumped-up look. Sadly the photo I used shows the apps limitations as I couldn’t get her upper lip as full as she had. See the way her lips smooth out into her foundation? That’s a good indicator that an app was used too. Most apps also enable teeth whitening at this point too.

Balancing the photo with ‘enhance nose’ and ‘contour’ options

Now the lips and eyebrows are so very strong that the nose needs a bit more treatment. For this I used the ‘enhance nose’ option which is part of the ‘contour’ option in Perfect 365. See the way the bottom of the nostril kind kind of fades into her skin and the way that the right side of her nose is so much lighter? That’s a bit of a giveaway.

Glossing the photo back up

With all this manipulation my photo was loosing its glossy look (Lauren’s was taken in such good light that hers might not have needed this stage) so I put it through the regular photo editor and enhanced the vibrance to bring the colours back up. It’s much better to use ‘vibrance’ than ‘saturation’ as the former takes account of skin tones and the latter does not.

It still didn’t look right, so the option ‘cheeks’ from the option ‘slim lift’ on the Selfie Timer brought those cheeks up, then because of the distortion caused it was back to smooth out the skin again. Selfie Timer is great for this because you can choose a brush size which helps you get all the effects you want.

Sometimes all you need to do to change the mood is find a different filter. I used the ‘sexy’ filter on moreBeaute for that, but there are hundreds so Lauren may have choosen something else.