Facetune’s New collab with Nikkie Tutorials Pulls Back the Curtain

By Jordan French Jordan French has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on December 14, 2020

Nikkie Tutorials recently announced a collaboration with Facetune, which, while noteworthy in and of itself, also reveals a fascinating change in how the culture views apps that allow people to change the way they look in pictures – and the celebrities who use them. 

Nikkie isn’t the only influencer who has embraced the app, either. Influencers and celebrities from Busy Phillips, Tana Mongeau and James Charles are all not just using this photo editing tool, but doing so openly and proudly.

This recent collaboration is noteworthy because it demonstrates how the perception of Facetune has experienced a 180 in recent years. 

Even today, there are still entire Instagram accounts and listicles dedicated to finding and uncovering “Photoshop fails” or “Facetune fails” nowadays. It wasn’t long ago that Facetune was thought of simultaneously as a secret shame and a secret weapon, a way for celebs to pretend they woke up naturally perfect and use their Facetuned skin and bodies to sell Teatox. 

Self-aware, AI-enhanced authenticity

In recent years, influencers and beauty gurus have completely changed their approach. Now, they proudly proclaim that they’re beautiful just the way they are – but they like to have fun and make sure they look their best, too. Not only that, but the entire concept of a “beauty influencer” has also shifted to become more inclusive. 

This trend has moved beyond cishet influencers as well. A lot of LGBTQ+ beauty influencers of note – James Charles, Manny Gutierrez (Manny MUA), Nikita Dragun, and most recently Nikkie de Jager of Nikkie Tutorials – have all fully embraced Facetune, collaborating and partnering with the app to drop some truly spectacular edits and selfies. 

There’s no shame here. Today’s influencers are happy to create full YouTube tutorials that show how they start their day – with face wrinkles, pores on display, belly rolls out – compared with the final and perfected product. 

We’re no longer being told, implied or otherwise, Here’s how you can wake up naturally beautiful, like me. Now, it’s, Here’s how you can wake up looking like a normal human, like me, and how you can still look amazing in your photos, like me.

It’s no longer just a tweak here, a lift there, as the use of photo editing tools like Facetune came more out into the open, the use has grown more blatant. Facetune is being used as a tool in the arsenal of all influencers, no matter their orientation or gender identity, to craft their public personas. 

The use itself is a skill being showcased and taught in tutorials, just like applying the perfect cat-eye.

Community platforms taking the lead

One of the things most interesting about the current beauty industry is that while magazines and fashion shows were very slow to accept anything that wasn’t white, Western and straight as beautiful, social media has moved faster than that. 

There are more and more LGTBQ influencers on the platform, showing us how they create the professional selves they post on Instagram come to life with absolutely no shame. 

While social media still has a slew of problems with self-worth, the more we get into embracing who we are as well as how we present ourselves, the better for us all. Nobody is shaming Nikita Dragun for using Facetune to make her body look even more amazing, even though she’s trans. Nobody is mocking Manny MUA for altering his highlighter because he’s gay. 

And if someone did, these people’s fans are loud and proud enough themselves to drown it all out. As beauty standards and the use of social media to experiment with expressions of the public self become more open, more accepting and more interesting, society’s perception of what is and isn’t considered beautiful and “natural” shifts, too. 

A playground of boundaries and norms 

As Facetune becomes less of a dark secret and more of an open tool, just as beauty influencers like Nikkie Tutorials are allowed to deviate from the standard lines that used to exist, beauty becomes a more interesting and fulfilling conversation in and of itself. 

By Jordan French Jordan French has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Journalist verified by Muck Rack verified

Jordan French is the Founder and Executive Editor of Grit Daily Group, encompassing Financial Tech Times, Smartech Daily, Transit Tomorrow, BlockTelegraph, Meditech Today, High Net Worth magazine, Luxury Miami magazine, CEO Official magazine, Luxury LA magazine, and flagship outlet, Grit Daily. The champion of live journalism, Grit Daily's team hails from ABC, CBS, CNN, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Forbes, Fox, PopSugar, SF Chronicle, VentureBeat, Verge, Vice, and Vox. An award-winning journalist, he was on the editorial staff at TheStreet.com and a Fast 50 and Inc. 500-ranked entrepreneur with one sale. Formerly an engineer and intellectual-property attorney, his third company, BeeHex, rose to fame for its "3D printed pizza for astronauts" and is now a military contractor. A prolific investor, he's invested in 50+ early stage startups with 10+ exits through 2023.

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