6 Best Instagram Photo Editing Apps

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6 best instagram photo editing apps

Last week’s Instagram Tips article received such positive feedback that we thought we’d share more of my Insta-secrets. One of the most frequently asked questions is “What filter or what app do you use to edit your photos?” The answer is not straightforward because I use a lot of apps and a lot of filters. For instance, for @So_Nailicious Instagram we use 3 filters (read below to find out which ones exactly) and for my personal Insta – @CrashingRed I use a great range of filters from the VSCO Cam app. But… before the filter business, there is a lot of editing happening. Cropping, skin tone adjustments, brightness, contrast, watermarking, etc.

So here’s 6 best pre-Instagram photo editing apps that help my Instagram photos look great:

1. VSCO Cam: My number one app, incredibly powerful, simple ad stylish. VSCO Cam has filters like Instagram, but they’re far more beautiful. Also, you can pre-edit your image before applying your favourite filter, to brighten it up, add extra colour or contrast if desired.
Download to: Make it look like you take all your photos on a sunny day.
Price: FREE, extra filters from $1.29 (that’s exactly what I use – The Contemporary bundle, $3.79)

2. Photoshop Express:  This app is simple and intuitive, Photoshop Express lets you make the necessary adjustments to crop, expose, colour, tint, adjust hue, saturation, contrast and remove red-eyes with ease. Plus, now Photoshop has it’s own cool filters.
Download to: Create custom filters and artistic looking shots quickly with minimum effort.
Price: FREE, extra features from $1.29

3. MoreBeaute: Edit your selfies and any other portraits to make your skin look flawless. Smooths unwanted wrinkles and brighten dark circles under eyes. #FOTD enthusiasts this app is a must for you!
Download to: Create perfect portraits.
Price: FREE, ad-free version $2.49

4. Afterlight: Afterlight is like Photoshop, but much easier to use. In addition to filters it also offers textures. Place beautiful light leaks into your images and make it look like they were taken on film.
Download to: Bring cinemamatic feel to your Instagram feed. This one is also the easiest to use!
Price: $1.29, extra features from $1.29

5. Aviary: Offers a complete range of effects and colour corrections. Its smart one-tap auto enhance will help you transform your photo instantly and you can also do things like whiten teeth and eliminate blemishes. Tap, tap, tap – perfection!
Download to: Quick and easy photo edit.
Price: FREE, extra features from $1.29

6. Average Camera Pro: Perfect for shooting in low light, this app takes several pictures at once and analyses them to normalise and to boost luminosity. Night photos have never looked so good!
Download to: Take beautiful photos in dimly lit environments.
Price: $1.29

Do you use any of these photo editing apps? Which one would suit your needs best?

– Maria, xx

PS. Don’t forget to follow @So_Nailicious on Instagram, so you can see all the insta-magic and share all your beautifully edited images with us!

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  • Thanks for the suggestions, Maria. I downloaded the VSCO Cam app but it’s still sitting in my phone unused. Time to try it out properly!

    • You should, Tine! It took ma a while to actually start using it too. But now it’s my Number 1 app. It’s truly make even average photos look fantastic! Also, as a beauty blogger – take a look at More Beaute (number 3). Great for self-portraits. xx

  • I really like using PicsArt for my Instagram photos! It has lots of editing features and lets me add watermarks to my photos, too :)

    • Yes, it’s a great one too! It’s fantastic for nail photos, and easier than Photoshop too. But for all not-nail related photos I prefer VSCO Cam. So if you have a separate Instagram account, I’d recommend to download a free version and play with some filters. Seriously, it’s really good! Also, the Average Camera Pro is really good if you need to take photos in dark environments. Basically for every situation – there is an app! :)

  • Thanks for the tips, looking forward to trying a couple of these out. I’ve had the VSCO Cam app downloaded but haven’t played wt it yet. Your photos always look amazing though, so I’ll give it a whirl!

  • Whoah so many new apps I haven’t tried. I only have the camera pro you’ve stated on your list. My fave is actually Ta daa! Not bad with filters, blurring out backgrounds and more.

  • Tanya

    Hi Maria! I just love your website! I spend hours here at a time! I have a question for one of the pictures in the post above. Where can I buy that British flag clutch that is photographed here? It is so cute! Also, what nail polish is that gold color shown with it? Which nail polish in on your toes? It looks like a mermaid color, so pretty! Thanks Maria!

    • Hi Tanya and thanks for your kind words about SoNailicious! re: photos. The clutch is from Australian label Mollie & Olivia (I think), not sure if they still have it in stock as it’s a 2 year old piece. The nails on that photo – OPI Push and Shove. And the greenish-blue polish on my toe nails – Essie Trophy Wife. Hope this helps! xx

  • I have been browsing your site for 3 hours straight now (coffee break in between) and I m falling in love With it. Maria, all the apps you mentioned are fr iPhone. .by any chance you will have an idea of android.

  • Asma Al Khair

    Thank you for such a great and useful article most of the people who do a nail art they put their username in the picture above the cuticle in a round way please would you tell me how to edit that one or which editing software to use to get like one. thank you :)

  • Mandy

    What is the closest app to picnik?

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