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Hey Buddy, Fix Your Face - Oh Wait, I Can Do It for You With Facetune

By Chris Maxcer MacNewsWorld ECT News Network
Aug 19, 2013 5:00 AM PT

Hey Buddy, Fix Your Face - Oh Wait, I Can Do It for You With Facetune

Facetune by Lightricks is available in the iOS App Store for US$2.99. Facetune App

Longtime readers know I'm a fan of straightforward apps that do one core thing really well. Facetune lets you fancy up portrait photos of your friends -- or your selfies -- and it's fantastic. In fact, it's got the perfect blend of powerful tools with utter simplicity.

Want to whiten your best man's yellowish teeth? No problem. Boom, white like Ryan Seacrest. How about smooth the blemishes and uneven tones of your girlfriend in that quick morning snapshot that you love (and she hates)? A couple swipes and suddenly the cute-but-admittedly-still-a-morning face takes on a brightness that's ready for the world -- and Facebook or Twitter. (Take note, Russell Brand, Facetune might give you an extra day or two of joy.)

So what am I getting at here? Pretty much every time you see some sort of celebrity in a magazine or on TV, they've either just been sitting in a makeup chair with a professional or their photos have been doctored to fix their flaws. I'm not overly concerned with so-called flaws: To me, the best photos are all about the eyes and the smiles -- there is either a love of life there or there's something else, like bitterness or laziness. It's hard to doctor. Same goes for pain and hardship -- hard to fake it in the eyes and the mouth.

Edit the Photo to Capture the Moment

For many people, there are plenty of real-life situations where an almost-great snapshot could use a little help. Take the photo of your mother smiling huge at her granddaughter's birthday party, and in person at the party, she's just radiant and alive like you haven't seen her in months. But the snapshot photo doesn't capture that. It's flat. The light is off, and something just wasn't translated from life to digital. Enter Facetune. With a few simple tools, you can smooth wrinkles, skin tone, and even increase the detail and emphasis around eyes. It's amazing.

Suddenly grandma looks a little closer to the reality of that special day.

Or, if you're feuding with your mother-in-law, you can give the impression of plastic surgery, adjusting the shape of her face. If she has one pimple, you can turn it into three by using the same feature that lets you erase funky spots. Tools can often be used for good or evil. Just saying.

More Facetune Tools

The genius of Facetune is that it has all the tools you need, and they are all easy to use. Along the way, there's a quick help feature that shows you what the tool is, both in a graphic as well as in a quick video. At the same time, there are multiple ways to fix your mistakes. If you don't like an effect, an undo button is ready.

Alternatively, if you don't like a series of effects within a tool, you can "X" out of the tool usage area instead of tapping the checkmark to accept the changes. And, while you're evaluating a change, you can tap and hold a button to flash back to the previous version of the image again and again, as you discern whether what you did is spot on.

Plus, when you've gone overboard with an effect, you don't have to start all over -- you can use an eraser to soften the effect to get it right. So smart.

What are the tools?

  • Crop, which is like every other crop on an iPhone.
  • Whiten, for teeth, and you can go blindingly white or just a little less hick -- and everywhere in between.
  • Smooth, for softening skin tone.
  • Details, for amping up detail to make areas pop, like around eyes to bring out intensity or unleash the hidden sexy. Awesome feature, actually.
  • Reshape, for toning down Jay Leno's chin ... or increasing it. Works to reduce chipmunk cheeks, fix really weird angles that don't represent your subject well. Or create the foundation for a monster.
  • Patch, for blemishes like pimples. Genius implementation lets you tap the pimple, which locks in one circle that's connected to another. Move the other circle around until you find the right blend of face to match the area over the pimple.
  • Tones, for choosing a color in the photo to spread around. For example, your drunken uncle with the bright red cheeks ... you can select the normal forehead tone and sober him up. And while you're at it, reduce the amount of gray hair by spreading his natural color over it. (Works for bottle blondes, too.)
  • Red Eye, for making black pupils.
  • Defocus, to help make your subject pop out of the photo better by blurring other items.
  • Filters, for changing the overall color, brightness, tone and framing.

Within each of these tools, there's usually a refinement tool that goes with it that lets you increase or decrease the effect. The bottom line is, many of these tools are in other photo-editing apps, too, and the effects can be replicated as well. The question is, are they as easy to use? More importantly, will you remember to use them? Because Facetune is focused on doing one thing really well, odds are you'll remember it and put it to use. That's the win here -- actually using it.

MacNewsWorld columnist Chris Maxcer has been writing about the tech industry since the birth of the email newsletter, and he still remembers the clacking Mac keyboards from high school -- Apple's seed-planting strategy at work. While he enjoys elegant gear and sublime tech, there's something to be said for turning it all off -- or most of it -- to go outside. To catch him, take a "firstnamelastname" guess at

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