4 Must-Have Photo Editing Apps for Instagram + My Process

Instagram edit before and after

Editing photos is one of my favorite things to do. There is something about the editing process that gets my creative juices flowing. Today I am sharing all the apps that I use to edit my photos along with my step by step photo editing process.

1. Facetune ($3.99)

Facetune has developed quite the rep in the photo editing community. Many people will not openly admit to using this app, but I am not ashamed to say that I love using it! Facetune, like Photoshop, has many different tools that can be very useful for photo editing. I mainly use this app for four things:

  1. To make white surfaces, that have become yellow due to lighting, white again (ex. whitening marble)
  2. To add color back into photos (ex. making the water it’s true blue on a cloudy day)
  3. To make minor adjustments/remove unwanted objects (ex. removing flyaway hair or background objects)
  4. To add details to specific areas (ex. highlighting small objects such as jewelry)

My Process-Step 1:

In the photo below, I added some color back into the water using the tones tool. I found the shade of blue of the water with the picker and then moved it slightly to a brighter blue. I then essentially colored the water the brighter shade of blue. Next, I used the whitening tool to brighten the dull sky. As a last step, I added details to the beautiful yellow flowers and to the houses in the distance using the details tool. It might look a little crazy, but it’ll be fixed in Lightroom.

2. Adobe Lightroom CC (Free)

Lightroom Mobile is my most used photo editing app. Developing my own Lightroom presets has really helped me maintain a cohesive feed, and has cut my editing time by more than half! Downloading Lightroom mobile is free, but I do have a monthly Lightroom subscription. I must say that ever since I got the app, I don’t even find it necessary to edit on my laptop anymore. I love editing on the go with Lightroom mobile, and if I could only use one editing app, it would be this one.

My Process- Step 2:

In the photo below, I added my Balanced preset, which is my version of a balance between a warm and cool toned pastel preset that I created in Lightroom. After applying my preset, I made a few minor adjustments mainly to the temperature, tint, and exposure. I also played around with my blues and yellows. My goal is to always get my photo as close to what I saw with my eyes in the moment it was captured.

3. RNI Films (Free)

RNI Films offers it’s own filters, and has mainly standard editing tools such as brightness, contrast, and saturation. I use it for one main reason, the dust tool, and it’s pure gold. Have you ever wondered how your favorite Instagrammers make their photos look vintage? You guessed it, it’s RNI Films dust tool. I don’t always use this tool, but I love it.

My Process- Step 3: 

I love the dust tool because of how creative you can get with it. You have the ability to click on the dice to change the way the dust appears on the image. You can move the slider to increase or decrease the intensity of the dust. In order to make the dust white, I keep the slider on the right. If you would like the dust to be black, then you can move the slider to the left side.

4. Touch Retouch ($1.99)

I have to start this by saying, I love this app! While I didn’t use this app on my photo, I still wanted to include it because it really comes in handy. The Retouch app allows you to remove unwanted objects easily. Have you ever taken a photo and have forgotten to take a hair elastic off your wrist? The line removal tool will remove it easily. Too many people in the background of your photo? Remove them easily with the object removal tool. Now, it’s important to note that this won’t be able to get rid of everything, but with a bit of trial and error, it does the job. Sometimes I can get around the errors by using the patch tool in Facetune and then using the Retouch app to finish the removal.

My Process

Below I’ve demonstrated my use of the Retouch app on a photo from my last blog post, 25 Free Things to do in NYC Before Summer is Over. I began in Facetune, by using the tones tool to essentially color the person out of my photo. I then moved onto the Retouch app and used the object removal tool to remove the person. I then went back into Facetune to fix up the background using the patch tool and voila!

Instagram edit before and after

Thank you for stopping by, I hope this was helpful for you! To see more before & afters catch up with me on Instagram.





  1. August 14, 2018 / 8:22 PM

    This is great, thanks for sharing <3 its always good to see what other's use nowadays

    • Daisi
      August 15, 2018 / 5:24 PM

      Love getting inspiration from others! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  2. July 27, 2020 / 4:45 PM

    This is such a great post Daisi! Totally makes me want to give it a try

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