One reason celebrities look so polished in photos is that there are Photoshop artists to smooth every wrinkle, minimize every pore and erase every blemish. The rest of us? We have to live with poorly lighted mobile phone selfies.
An app called Facetune helps you look your Hollywood best, even in photos taken on mobile phones.
The app, available on the iPad and iPhone ($3.99 each, sold separately), has taken the tools most commonly used by Photoshop experts and made them simple to use. Touch the button for "Whiten," rub your finger over your subject's teeth, and voilà! A Julia Roberts-quality smile.
Other tools let you to remove blemishes, diminish dark circles, smooth skin and create many effects that normally take considerable Photoshop training to master.
Familiarity with Photoshop will probably help you understand Facetune -- you'll already know what buttons like "Patch Tool" do, for example. (The tool is an easy way to remove blemishes.) But even if you don't have that knowledge, you will be fine. When you select a tool, you get simple instructions on how to use it. If that is not enough, there are links to videos with step-by-step instructions on how to how to use the tools and achieve different effects.
In addition to basic primps, there are filters that imitate different combinations of film and photographic paper as well as filters that add lighting effects, so you can make a picture into a 1950s-style black and white glamour shot, for instance.
With just a few minutes and some basic touch-ups I was able to vastly improve a sample photo that Facetune provides for practice.
Now there is no excuse not to look your best, even on Facebook.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times. First Published October 10, 2013 2:00 PM