3 Free Apps to Improve Your Instagram Photos

Instagram and Twitter are my two favorite social media platforms. The more I’ve used Instagram, the more I’ve realized there’s an art to the best photos showing up in my feed.

Many popular bloggers and Instagrammers tend to put a lot of effort into taking great pictures for their followers. They work hard on creating an interesting composition; they make sure their photos of tons of natural light; and sometimes, they even use photo editing apps to highlight and improve their pictures.

Here are my three favorite free, super-easy-to-use, photo editing apps.

#1 – PS Express

For minor edits, I go ahead and use Instagram itself. But for larger photo edits, such as cropping and straightening, photo rotation, color correcting, and other things my photos may be in need of, I tend to prefer using PS Express. It’s like a light version of Photoshop right on your phone.

#2 – Pic Jointer

Sometimes, just posting one photo isn’t enough, but you may not want to inundate your followers with a stream of several photos. I ran into this a lot when I was on vacation. Pic Jointer can help you by offering various layout options for you to stick several photos into one simple collage. The interface is easy to use, too.

#3 – A Beautiful Mess

A Beautiful Mess is a free app from the creators behind one of my favorite blogs. They have a beautiful set of photo filters—in the photo above, their filters were able to make the sunset from orange and blue to pink and purple—as well as a unique collection of handwritten doodles and text that can go on the picture as well. I’m typically not a huge fan of text overlays, but the ones offered by A Beautiful Mess are so cute, I don’t mind them.

What are your fave photo editing apps?



Friday Favorites #4

In television


Over the weekend, I binge-watched the new Netflix show “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” starring former “The Office” star Ellie Kemper, and I loved every second. Created by Tina Fey, the show has the absurdity and wit of “30 Rock” (right down to Jane Krakowski’s Jenna Maroney-esque character, Jacqueline Voorhees) and the heart and humor of “Parks and Recreation.” You’ll recognize lots of famous faces who make an appearance on the show, including Jon Hamm and Martin Short, but it’s Tituss Burgess, who plays Titus Andromedon (pictured), who steals the show. 

In articles


Each week, I look forward to reading the latest edition of Shade Court by Jezebel writer Kara Brown. In the series, she takes companies, brands, and others to task for their use of the word “shade.”



My fiancé and I recently nixed our end tables on either side of the couch because they kept accumulating clutter. I don’t regret it, but I do miss having a sturdy surface for my drinks. I’m thinking we could use something like this adorable DIY striped drink perch from blogger François et Moi.

In photography


I’m using this blog as a place to try to get better at photography. It’s a slow process, especially since this is just a small, side project, but I’m doing what I can. I have saved and pinned tons of tutorials for getting better at taking pics, but I hardly ever get around to reading them because they all seem complicated. Which is why I really enjoy this tutorial from Glitter Guide! Just 5 steps for taking better Instagram photos. Here’s to improving my low-lit pics!

What are your Friday favorites?


6 Pretty Instagram Accounts to Follow


I really love Instagram, and while I use it to stalk some of my favorite celebrities and to see what my friends are up to, I also love following accounts that are just plain pretty to look at. These are the accounts that I can always count on to post something lovely.

#1 – @shopbando


I discovered ban.do a few months ago, and I think they have their accessories are the perfect mix of quirky and fun and cute. Their Instagram account really embodies their brand and, more importantly, is great at posting colorful, eye-catching photos.

#2 – @thepinkdiary


When it comes to beautifully composed photos, this account is where it’s at. The Pink Diary is the lifestyle blog of a twenty-something named Sharon, who shares her style through her photos. They are always immaculately staged in the most perfect ways, so if you like order and organization, this account is for you. Plus, the photos are soft, feminine, and stylish.

#3 – @littlebigbell


Little Big Bell is a London-based design and lifestyle blog written by a woman named Geraldine. All of her pictures look like they were ripped right off of a pristine Pinterest account; they’re well-lit, the compositions are beautiful, and the subjects are femme.

#4 – @birchbox


Not only are Birchbox’s Instagram photos nice to look at, but often times they’re also informative! They post short video tutorials, makeup reviews, and real-life beauty tips.

#5 – @thebannerie


The Bannerie is a wildly popular Etsy shops that sells personalized glitter banners! Their Instagram account showcases some of the sample sayings they can do on the banners — and some are just for fun. I smile whenever their photos show up in my feed, because they’re the right mix of sassy and adorable.

#6 – @laurenconrad_com


No pretty Instagram list would be complete without Lauren Conrad. Her lifestyle site, LaurenConrad.com, is a must-read, and it’s full of the most serene, soft, feminine photographs you can imagine. They share everything from outfit tips to recipes to photos of Lauren. It’s great!

What are your favorite “pretty” Instagram accounts?