Today, I’m answering a question I get all the damn time. And I mean all. the. damn. time. Honestly. At least once a week, I receive a DM on Instagram, asking me what I use to edit my photos or for the best mobile apps for photo editing. And after answering this question literally 50+ times this summer, I thought it about time I just wrote a blog post.
So, today’s one of the rare blogging basics posts that were actually requested by my non-blogger followers! In this post, I’m going to explore all of my favorite mobile apps for photo editing, including apps that make my Instagram Stories look better and apps that I use to make me look better.
What I’m Wearing:
Dress: Gal Meets Glam Collection (on sale now!) | Shoes: Melissa (on sale now!)
Earrings: Sugarfix by Baublebar, c/o | Sunglasses: LOFT | Bag: similar
Before we dive in, how magical are these photos?!? They’re from my day on Santorini in June, while on the cruise with my family.We spent our day primarily in Oía (where all of these photos were taken). Even though it was so hot and soooooo crowded, we had the absolute best time. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been somewhere so gorgeous!
Something to note if you’re planning on visiting Santorini: it really is crowded and hot in the summer. We were there in mid-June and it was about 90F and swarming with humans. After a few conversations with locals, we learned that late September / early October is the opportune time to go. Right before the season ends, the crowds clear out and it cools down to high 60s/low 70s. Aka it gets super ideal and peaceful.
Now I just have to go back!!
And take more photos… obviously.
Which brings us to: my favorite mobile apps for photo editing.
My Favorite Mobile Apps for Photo Editing
These days, I use regularly use two different mobile apps for photo editing. And then another three sporadically. Each app has its own strengths and weaknesses, and just because these work particularly well for me doesn’t mean you wont find them frustrating (or vice versa!).
When editing photos, it’s important to find what works for you. If you like to stick a filter on a photo and call it a day, great. If you like to customize every bit of a photo to look exactly how you want it to look, that’s also great. It’s all about what works for you. I know bloggers who use the same filter or preset for every single photo, and I also know bloggers (i.e. myself) who like to tinker with everything. It just depends on you.
Soooo with that, let’s dive in!
My Favorite Mobile Apps for Photo Editing: Lightroom
Lightroom is far-and-away at the top of my list for my favorite mobile apps for photo editing. I use this app every single day, and my photos have gotten sooooo much better (IMO) since I started using it and tweaking each photo individually.
While the mobile version of Lightroom doesn’t have all of the functionality that the desktop version has, it also doesn’t have the price tag. Or any price tag, for that matter. Currently, the mobile version of Lightroom is free on the App Store and on Google Play.
I love this app because it allows me to tweak every aspect of a photo, without losing the photo’s quality (a lot of apps will downgrade the photo quality). Furthermore, if I create a photo I absolutely love, I’m easily able to copy the settings to another photo, effectively creating a preset on-the-fly. I’ll use this feature if I’m editing photos all from the same shoot, and then I’ll go in and tweak each one individually to ensure they all turn out the way I want them.
Previously, I’ve used VSCO and Snapseed. I have nothing against either of these apps. I only switched to Lightroom because I found it more intuitive. That’s the only reason.
My Favorite Mobile Apps for Photo Editing: TouchRetouch
My second-most frequently used photo editing app is definitely TouchRetouch. This app costs $1.99 (on both the App Store and on Google Play) but trust me: that’s $1.99 well spent.
Have you ever had a photo that was super cute but was essentially ruined by an ugly fire hydrant or a human in the background? Or a weird rail that somehow looks like it’s protruding from the back of your skull? (Definitely not speaking from personal experience there.) This app gets rid of all. of. that. jazz.
It’s not absolutely perfect. But it gets the job done quickly and easily. You can see examples of some of the photos I’ve edited using TouchRetouch here (I removed a bright green table), here (got rid of a storm drain), and here (painstakingly removed about 10 people from the background). Basically, I highly recommend this app.
My Favorite Mobile Apps for Photo Editing: Facetune
I admit, I will occasionally use Facetune to fix a photo. It’s free and available via Google Play and App Store, but you have to be careful not to overuse it. Because that’s definitely a distinct possibility.
If you’re not familiar with Facetune, it’s the app that a bunch of celebrities (and Instagram influencers) use to make their faces and bodies look “flawless” in photos. Or, in Chrissy Teigen’s case, to do this to a photo.
Facetune is a slippery slope. Noting this fact, I try to solely use Facetune for two purposes:
- To edit/smooth out blemishes when my face is breaking out like woah.
- To make my gray/dead tooth less gray/dead-looking. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, zoom in on my smile on a photo. One tooth is noticably – at least to me – a different color than the other ones since I apparently fell on my face and disconnected the nerves as a kid or something idk I’m not a dentist)
Very occasionally, I’ll use Facetune to remove a stain from a piece of clothing (sorry I’m accident-prone) or to smooth out my makeup if it looks janky AF but I otherwise love the photo. I never use and I will never use Facetune to alter my waistline or make myself appear thinner in photos or to edit out cellulite.
So again: it’s a great app. It’s definitely one of my favorite mobile apps for photo editing. But you have to be really careful when using it.
My Favorite Mobile Apps for Photo Editing: A Color Story
If you don’t follow A Beautiful Mess on Instagram, you totally should. These ladies have such a colorful and fun feed and I love that it’s written by two sisters. A few years ago, the founders of A Beautiful Mess launched one of legit the best mobile apps for photo editing: A Color Story (Google Play | App Store).
This app is sooooo underrated and so great. If you like presets and filters, you will love this app. It comes with dozens of filters, and then you can buy soooo many more. And then adjust the photo to suit your fancy. Or layer multiple filters (and then adjust to suit your fancy!). You can see some of the gorgeous edits people have done one the app’s Instagram page.
Some of my favorite Instagrammers solely use A Color Story to edit their photography – I highly recommend it!
My Favorite Mobile Apps for Photo Editing: KiraKira+
Last but not least, KiraKira+. You might recognize this app as the responsible party for why there were twinkles and sparkles in legit every Instagram Story last winter. And you just know it’s gonna be back with a vengeance this winter.
Unfortunately, KiraKira+ is only available via the App Store (sorry, Android users!) for $0.99. In case it wasn’t clear from the name of my blog, I friggin love glitter. So I am allllll about this app and find the price tag well worth it. While I don’t use this app for editing photos or videos to appear on my Instagram feed, I will occasionally use this app to edit (or film) my Instagram Stories.
Because I’m about that glitter life, y’all.