9 iPhone apps for better-looking selfies

Put your best face forward with one of these apps.

When it comes to selfies, you want to put your best face forward. Making subtle fixes to a splotchy complexion or taming wrinkles and under eye shadows doesn’t necessarily present a false face to the public—just a better one. Some selfie apps let you go all-out glam, complete with face shapers, eye makeup, nose thinners, and stylish lighting and airbrushing. How far you go is your choice, but keep in mind that too much fixing can result in a fake or even creepy look. Moderation is key.

Many selfie apps are free or ad-based, but nearly all offer in-app purchases for specialized enhancements and pro-level portrait features as well as to disable watermarks and ads. An increasing number of apps are adding subscription options, which may be ideal for habitual users. Here are nine of our favorites out of many available on the app store.

facetune 2
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Facetune 2 (free, in-app purchases available)

Facetune 2 is all selfies all the time, and as a specialist in beautifying faces, this app gives you the look you seek, whether it’s a natural expression for a business portrait or a more airbrushed and glamorous shot for friends and family.

The app lets you smooth skin and remove blemishes, slim or augment a face or narrow a jawline, whiten teeth, and enlarge eyes or change their color. The app can adjust light sources for a more flattering look, removing harsh shadows. You can play around with backgrounds, and add filters and effects while a new Wipe tool lets you choose discrete areas of the image to enhance. The Magic Camera feature can apply facial enhancements as you shoot. The Magic Camera feature uses artificial intelligence to let you apply various facial enhancements as you shoot. While the basic app is free, in app purchases and subscriptions are available for some advanced features. Subscriptions to access all features cost $5.99 per month or $35.99 per year.

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YouCam Perfect (free, in-app purchases available)

When it comes to your comely visage, YouCam Perfect is not fooling around. You can shoot still or video selfies, aided by an auto-beautify function that improves your features as you shoot. The app hides skin problems while an eye enhancer enlarges and removes under-eye puffiness. With group selfies, multi-face detection can enhance the look of each face in your shot.

YouCam Perfect further improves selfies with fun elements like stickers, backgrounds, and frames, and can remove distracting background elements. With full body portraits, the app works to lengthen legs and slim bodies and make you taller or shorter.

While the basic app is free with in-app puchases ranging from $0.99 to $3.99, a premium version costs $2.99 per month, $6.99 per quarter or $17.99 per year, for which you can save HD photos, remove watermarks, access new effects, and remove ads. For makeup, you have to install the free YouCam Makeup companion app.

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AirBrush (free, in-app purchases available)

From head to toe, AirBrush brings out your best self(ie). If you can’t abide individual feature edits, AirBrush’s Magic tool tackles most facial flaws in one go. But if you’re obsessed with creating the absolute perfect face, AirBrush gives you plenty of options. You can smooth and firm skin, sculpt and reshape your face, extinguish acne, enlarge and brighten eyes, and more.

The Makeup palette is truly amazing. You don’t need a line of eye pencil to go full-on glam with styles like Subtle, Modern, Smokey, Drama and more, which can be great for more formal shots. Adjustable photo effects like bokeh, vignette, and filters will make you happy to share your visage with friends on social networks.

In-app purchases range from $.99 to $2.99.

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PIP Camera (free)

Sick of the same old gorgeous selfies? Of course not. But PIP Camera gives you a selfie of a different sort. With PIP, you can choose from an assortment of unique artistic 3D frames and filters to showcase your face.

These filter your photo through various objects like bubbles, wine glasses, double hearts, bottles, and other unusual elements that would not seem at first glance to be compatible with portraits. But the results are intriguing and work surprisingly well. You can choose filters for both foreground and background to further customize your image or set it in a poster style collage.

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Visage Lab (free, in-app purchases available)

You shot a selfie and you hate it, but it’s too much of a hassle to correct each individual problem because the whole thing is hopeless. Visage Lab can rescue your selfie with automatic face retouching that immediately fixes all the facial problems it finds.

The app instantly pulls up all the faces in your camera roll and after auto correction, lets you add additional effects such as Stylized, Background, Lighting, and Color. The app enhances features and hides imperfections by applying makeup, whitening teeth, outlining eyes, and enhancing eyelashes. It fixes all faces that appear in a single photo. To top it off, you can apply additional artistic backgrounds or effects to your retouched photos before sharing.

The basic app is free but in-app purchases range from $0.99 to $1.99. Subscriptions to the pro version are $4.99 per month, or $9.99 per year.

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Retrica (free)

If you aim to pair facial enhancement with social networking, look no further than Retrica. First, get started with tons of photo filters and stylized looks, which you can preview before shooting.

Then follow up by creating selfie collages with a variety of shots from different angles, or capture live video. Doodle or place text on your image, decorate it with a vast variety of stickers, or use GIF mode to transform a collage or a video into a GIF.

And that’s only half the fun. The app features a chronological feed so you and your followers can see all shared shots, or simply add your photos to Facebook and other networks or send a private message.

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Cymera (free, in-app purchases available)

If your look needs an overhaul, Cymera can handle it. This selfie retoucher makes your face over by enlarging eyes, flashing a smile and slimming your face. Skin corrections include brightening, blemish concealers, and wrinkle wranglers.

The app’s body shaper can improve proportions in full body shots by slimming or expanding a waistline or slimming or augmenting hips. That’s in addition to the classic editing tools also included in the app, such as crop, rotate, brightness, contrast, and more. The app provides hundreds of hair and makeup items to enhance your looks, as well as stickers, memes, effects—the works.

Not enough? More special effects are available via $0.99 in-app purchases.

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SelfieCity (free)

There are two ways to shoot and edit a selfie: before shooting and after the shot. SelfieCity covers both in different ways.

When shooting a selfie, you can switch on the Beautify control and then use a slider adjustment for retouching and beautifying, which evens out and smoothes skin tones. Also when shooting, a Stickers augmented reality feature lets you choose among a selection of cartoon-like figures that will show your face wearing animated stylized hats, scarves, glasses, earrings, accompanied by music.

For images already in your Camera Roll, you can apply a huge variety of some seriously gorgeous filters named after major cities like New York, Hong Kong, Hollywood and more. Each city features several different filters, and additional ones are available for free download. You can also do some basic edits like crop, sharpen, rotate, adjust saturation and brightness, and more, as well as add a variety of frames and other effects.

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Camera360 (free, in-app purchases available)

Camera360 delivers any kind of selfie improvement you seek and also includes classic image editing tools like crop, sharpness, and temperature. Classic beautification delivers anything from real-time and post shot makeup: It enlarges eyes, whitens teeth, plumps and colors lips, slims noses and cheeks, hides blemishes, and more. Slider-based filters give your photo a distinctive look, or you can use your finger to paint on artistic effects or choose effects like light leaks and color casts.

But what if you’re just in it for laughs? Camera360 is right there with you with augmented reality Funny Stickers complete with animal faces, animated frames, themes, and costumes, and augmented with sound effects for your photo and video selfies. Filter packs are available for $1.99.