instagram face filters

Face Filters In 2020: Let’s Get (Even) Weirder

Quick q: who here has been around since the classic Mac Photo Booth and Snapchat’s infamous dog filter? Actually, don’t answer that.

Instagram is the current king of the face filter game–like how basically everyone in 2019 had a go at one of those “which character are you?” filters (note: I’m Shrek. I’m always Shrek. Even in the non-Shrek ones, I’m Shrek) and it was more normal to see a selfie of your mate with a fake Co-star notification stuck on their head than without.

As we progress further into 2020, and therefore further into our daily activity shame spiral, let’s break down the different types of face filters we’ll be seeing in 2020 and whether they slap or not.

Particle effects

A tale as old as time, a song as old as making stars fly around your head. Particle filters—you know the ones—giving you a halo, changing the lighting of a shot, adding sparkles or falling leaves or circling emojis–are literally the definition of “oldie but a goodie”. These will never go out of style, whether you use them ironically or unironically. Orange is the new black? Nah, black is the new black (and by “black” I mean Fall Flurry. Stan.).

Mask effects

They put a 2D graphic over your face. Pretty dated but have some potential for ironic and therefore slightly-cool usage. Sunglasses or Kitten look trashy, but that’s what makes them good. Another valid additions: reflective titanium mask and that one that puts a cloud painting over your eyes.

Distortion effects

Super overplayed. This Mouth Face shit is not a substitute for humour or a personality. Sorry, not sorry.

“Elf” filters

You’ve definitely seen these types of filters: they make your cheekbones super high, make your skin a bit iridescent, your lips get bigger, freckles are usually involved… I’m going to lose friends by saying these are overplayed. The best Insta filters are the ones that take you by surprise, that are fun and a little bit weird. Elf filters can stay in 2019, ty.

Surreal filters

These are my favourite and the filters that’ll continue to be used well into 2020. These filters are less about applying visual filters to your face or your photos and more about playing around with the limits of graphic design and internet culture, and definitely take the most skill to make.

Think that one that turns you into a dystopian Thomas the Tank Engine, or that one that makes everything in the world a picture of your face. But I reckon we haven’t hit peak surreal yet. Put my face in a toilet while I look at a picture of my face in a toilet? Not weird enough. I want to feel actively uncomfortable in 2020. Nothing is sacred any more.

Lead image by Colleen McNamara/The Week In Trump/Facebook via indy100.

Jamie is a journalist, radio presenter, music nerd and shameless sneakerhead. When he's not writing, he's obsessing over the latest hip-hop and Nike releases. Is also baby.

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