Why settle for mundane or slightly boring pics when you can spruce them up and make them shine with photo editing?

The trend of #nofilter is cool and all, but sometimes you just want to make your pictures look the way they did in your mind when you took them. Photo editing apps can add life to a flat image, or turn a boring picture into abstract art. You should always have at least a few photo editing apps in your arsenal for different purposes. We've got a list of the best of them for all of your various artistic choices.

1. Pixelmator


Pixelmator is just a darn good photo fixer. It is a layer-based editor that lets you clone, distort, fix white balance, add blur effect, crop, and more. Its like an easier-to-use version of Photoshop. You can select objects using free or shaped selections. Use the magic wand to mask something specific. Adjust the colors with subtle pre-made tweaks to saturation, sharpness, and contrast, or use the slider bar to quick fix the levels. It also has a mind-blowing artist section that lets you paint, sketch, and draw on photos or a blank canvas.

If you are looking for a photo editor that is dedicated to improving on what you've already done, try Pixelmator.

2. Mextures


Mextures is a digital filter app for iPhone photographers. The platform was built with the idea of bringing professional grade photography effects to the mobile realm. Choose from hundreds of textures, filters, and layers to create the perfect feeling for your image. Formulas made by professional photographers give your project a special look. The blending tools bring even more options to your formulas. If you need motivation, check out the Inspirations section to view curated photos from the pros.

If you want a more artistic look to your pics, but don't want to settle for the Instagram style filters, Mextures will give you what you need.

3. Repix


Repix has an amazingly detailed filter that lets you add effects to you images as if you were drawing them on. Instead of laying a filter on top of your entire photo, you can pick and choose where the effect will go with the large variety of effects pencils. There are also about a dozen-and-a-half filters to help give your overall picture a new look. But, the real fun is in drawing on your effects.

If you are looking for a way to make your pictures stand out and be artistic, Repix will turn your photos into amazing artworks.



VSCO is big on social. It has finely tuned filters with adjustable presets, like brightness and saturation. Increase or decrease the effects of different tools until you get your photo just right. Each layer you add can be adjusted further, or removed altogether. Then, when you're done, upload it to your VSCO journal to share with others. You can follow other users to see everything they post, or browse through the curated daily feed to find inspiration.

VSCO is for photography enthusiasts looking to share their projects with other likeminded people.

5. Matter


Matter is this crazy photo effects app that puts reflective 3-D objects right onto your photo. Actually, it's more like it adds it right into your photo. Objects have simulated reflective or refractive qualities and even have shadow effects that you can move around. The masking tool makes it look like these spacecraft-like shapes are popping out from behind things in your photograph. You can even create animated loops that move the objects around in time with your own music.

If you like experimenting with alternate realities, show your friends what kind of power you have over 3-D objects with Matter.

6. Slow Shutter Cam

Slow Shutter CamSlow Shutter CamSlow Shutter Cam

Slow Shutter Cam simulates that open shutter look that SLR cameras can produce. It brings to life movement and creates light trails that can't be produced with the iPhone's admittedly basic camera app. It also has the ability to absorb ambient light to make dimly lit rooms seem as bright as daylight. The Motion Blur takes a series of bursts that have a ghost trail to show movement. The Light Trail captures light similar to the way it captures motion, so that moving lights at night look like long trails of color. The Low Light sucks in all of the light in the room to brighten an image. I took a picture of my cat in a very dark garage and it looked like he was sitting in sunlight.

If you want to play around with nighttime effects, or like the look of motion photos, you'll be amazed at what Slow Shutter Cam can do.

7. Qtiie.JP


Purikura are Japanese photo booths that let you decorate your pictures with lots of stickers and markups. They are very popular in malls in Japan and have become somewhat of a novelty around the world, as well. If you want to turn your selfie into the cutest photo around, Qtiie.JP will make you look like a star. With a huge variety of stickers, filters that brighten, clear, and smooth your skin, and brushes that paint stars, hearts, and butterflies all over your pic, you just can't get enough of the cute stuff. Notice how big my eyes are? That's because one of the tools is to make your eyes look larger, like an anime character. It's the most fun you can have taking pictures of yourself all day.

8. Your Favorites

What are some of your go-to photo editing apps? Why do you use them the most? Tell us in the comments.