With 47 million followers on Instagram, Kim Kardashian is the queen of the selfie. With 47 million followers on Instagram, Kim Kardashian is the queen of the selfie. With 47 million followers on Instagram, Kim Kardashian is the queen of the selfie. (Photo: Kim Kardashian / Instagram)

How to take a perfect selfie

Celebrities have a secret to looking flawless in photos all the time – and it's hiding on their smartphones.

Flawless skin, perfect hair, sparkling teeth – these are all attributes we're used to seeing from beautiful celebrities who grace the covers of magazines. While it's no secret these photos are digitally enhanced to achieve the desired effect, you may have noticed something similar happening on social media. From the rich and famous to your college roommate, suddenly everyone appears to have access to the same photo editing team.

As you might expect, the reality is something a bit more high-tech. An app called Facetune, created by Israeli startup Lightricks, is leveling the playing field for digital makeovers. With just a couple swipes on your mobile device, you can manipulate any selfie to smooth wrinkles, remove blemishes and whiten teeth. Want to eliminate the dark circles under your eyes or bring out the color of your hair a bit more? Facetune can do that too, along with many more artistic filters, retouching tools and effects.

FacetuneFacetune's image filters allow you to quickly apply touch-ups to various parts of a digital photo. (Photo: Facetune)

It's so popular that famous faces such as Beyoncé, Lindsay Lohan, Kris Jenner and Kim Kardashian all use it to touch up self-portraits. Even former supermodel Tyra Banks carved out a few minutes recently during her talk show "FABLife" to show viewers at home how she uses Facetune to tweak her photos.

But it's not just celebrities who love the app. According to Lightricks, Facetune has been downloaded more than 4.5 million times since its release, making it one of the best-selling image editing apps online. This spring, the Jerusalem-based company released its latest app called Enlight, a photo editing tool that can be used for all mobile photography. In only a few months, it's already been purchased by more than a million customers.

That kind of popularity has caught the attention of media giants like Facebook and Apple, who are rumored to be eyeing the rising startup for an acquisition. In the meantime, the company will focus on creating new software, doubling its workforce and, naturally, touching up the original apps that made it famous.

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