So, in the last article titled with the tongue-in-cheek “how to have a super kawaii…” we talked about how to have a satirical kawaii Tumblr. (Some commenters messaged me saying being “kawaii” meant being fake… Joke totally over the head. Whizz, bye, there is goes…:P) So just to get the red tape out of the way, this is not satire. Anyone can have a super kawaii Instagram account, or just post really cute mobile photos from your smartphone. How? Apps, my dears, apps!
I am addicted to photo-editing apps. It sure is a far cry from booting up my old Photoshop 7 to play with. Light textures! Filters! Color changes! Heart-stamps and glitter! I’d rather edit photos than play a silly old game any day. In the last two weeks, I have played with dozens of apps to pick my top favorites to blog about. Last time I wrote about apps in my love for phoneography, I had no idea it would get this extensive!
Misu is the model in most of these photos, instead of looking at my face through all these, have some pom love. (Click all the photos for larger if you want to closely examine the screen caps.)
Snapseed is my go-to app for all the nitty gritty basic editing. For a while I tried Photoshop Express because I’m a Photoshop girl, but it was so limiting and only had a few tools. This app does everything! It can crop, increase your saturation, alter your white balance, add light filters, blur for a vignette look… If you only get one app, this is the one to get.
PrincessCam is a great purikura style app. It’s a lot more simplistic and intuitive to use than other puri apps, and even though it doesn’t have a ton of options it’s still my favorite for false eyelashes (which come out the most “natural” looking, blush, rolling stamps like glitter and bows, and background patterns. The only thing I never use is the pen tool, because it comes out really wonky using just a finger.
Rakuga-Cute is my other most-used purikura app. The upside is that this app has the most stamps and frames of an app out there, including a way to add text to your images, skin lightening, and is the most intuitive app I’ve used yet. The only downside is that you need to purchase the other various stamp collections to use them all. They get kind of addicting to buy – I’ve bought them all but for two. My favorites are the Bloggers’ Collection (stamps that say “new item”, “today’s makeup” – all good for coordinates and mobile blogging) and the Makeup collection with lots of blushes, eyelashes, and a skin-smoothing feature.
Photowonder (also available for Droid) has some of the most beautiful filters. It makes Instagram’s filters look second-rate. My favorite is “Sweety” which makes everything sort of neon-pastel – but all of the filters are really pretty and romantic. You can also make collages with various presets, and there are beauty edits like “enlarge eyes” which is like the Liquify tool in Photoshop, “thinify” to make your cheeks or body slimmer, red-eye remove, skin smoothing and skin whitening.
Camera360 (also available for Droid) is great for lighting editing in particular. If I’m sitting in bad lighting but really want to take a photo, I can usually find a light filter to fix it. You can either take the photo with the filter on or you can edit it after the fact. There is a whole range of filters for “magic skin”, and so many filters to add creative colors or tints. There is also “magic color”, where everything will go black and white but for the pinks in your photo, for example. Light Color, which changes the general lighting of the photo, is my favorite.
Finally, here are all these apps utilized together as a step-by-step process. This is the real secret to great mobile editing – don’t limit yourself to just one app for all your editing needs! This is why I have so many (and many more that I didn’t review as they’re not my favorites). In my last post, I did a quick outfit shot, taken and edited and uploaded all from my mobile.
Step 1. Snapseed: alter color, white balance, crop, and add definition with the “portrait” center focus;
Step 2. PrincessCam: Enhancing the blush, adding false eyelashes to define my eye makeup
Step 3. Camera360: “Glossy” skin filter and “Sweet” light filter
Step 4. Photowonder: “Sweety” filter, blemish-zap feature
Step 5. Rakuga-cute: Border, ‘Love’ stamp, and Barbie custom text
All done! It may seem tedious, but every step is necessary for the final product, and I really enjoy doing it. Whether you’re taking photos of your dessert, your dog or your outfit of the day, photo editing apps are just what you need to make your photos pop online or on your Instagram. Let the uploading begin!