A Beautiful Mess: The Photo App

If you’re an avid blog reader like I am, then I’m pretty sure Elsie and Emma’s A Beautiful Mess is on your bookmarked daily must-reads. The blog has everything…DIY tutorials, fashion and style tips, recipes, photography, little inspirational slices of life…it’s kinda perfect.
So when the news broke about a week ago that they were releasing a photo editing app, I knew I would immediately be purchasing it and using it. It took a while, but the moment I saw people talking about it on Instagram, I downloaded it from the store.
It is .99 cents, and there are a variety of in-app purchases to expand the experience, but the app is fine as is.

Here’s what I did while playing around yesterday (and maybe a little bit at work…it was quiet!)…

IMG_1152In this picture, I utilized one of their borders. The rest was edited on Afterlight and Instagram.

This picture, one from the wedding we attended a few weeks ago, was already edited in Instagram.
I added a border and a cute heart doodle…ya know, cuz we’re in love and all.


This one has one of several phrases written in Elsie’s handwriting. It’s so cute.  This is a watermelon margarita I had a couple of weeks ago.
I love that arrowed border as well.


This one utilizes one of the several fonts they have to offer, I chose what to write. And, of course, another border.


A purple dotted border and some hot pink arrows to point at my Julep collection. Not sure why the photo itself is blurry, I did edit it on Afterlight before using the ABM app but it still didn’t come out for me.


A hand-drawn border and one of my favorite sayings, which I typed as well (so it wasn’t a pre-written phrase).

What I Like:
This app is adorable, just like you’d expect from A Beautiful Mess.

Pretty/funky borders, plenty of colors to choose from, and about 8 additional add-on packages to expand the experience.

You can also change the size of the doodles, phrases, and text.

It’s not just filters and light adjustment…you can add words and symbols to really personalize and amp up a photo.

What I Don’t Like:
This app is like, less than 48 hours old so I think it’ll only be going up from here. These are just face-value.
The borders can be placed wherever on the photo, but they can’t be expanded or collapsed, unlike the text/doodles. Maybe I’m doing something wrong? I would just love if I could make one of the pretty borders (like the one in the coffee, which I would’ve liked around the cup as opposed to into it) bigger or smaller, depending on what I’m emphasizing.

There are a total of 6 filters (3 in color, 3 in B&W) with no expansion pack just yet (although I think that should be automatically included in a future update without additional payment if they choose to add more). Considering there are so many ways to add filters to photos, and you can use photos from whichever app you choose, I guess it’s not that big of a deal. But I like a full experience, and the filters (aside from the gorgeous saturated B&W filter, Vampire) just aren’t doing it for me. I’ll most likely be using Afterlight first.

I’m slightly worried about originality. Elsie’s handwriting and doodles are wonderful but I feel bad taking them for some reason?
I don’t want my photos to turn into posts from their blog…I still want them to feel like me. So many of us edit with filters or use apps like Overgram that allow us to add type/font to pictures. But using someone’s handwriting? It’s so specific, and I feel weird. I’ll still use it, truthfully, but I don’t see it becoming a massive part of my personal space (i.e. this blog)…I still want that to reflect me.

.99 cents is a great price for the app, and I would’ve supported them regardless and purchased it. But 8 additional in-app purchases right off the bat? If you want the full experience, you’re spending nearly 10 bucks in one shot. I know apps like Hipstamatic do this, but it’s over the course of time. They also offer free-paks too. The good thing about this, though, is that the additional packs aren’t necessary to the experience.
They are very specific, and pretty much all the stuff you would want is in the basic app.

And those are my opinions! I do enjoy the app, and I can’t wait for more updates and news about it.
I’m a sucker for all photo apps, and while I’m not sure this will always be a go-to, I think it will be fun for the occasional pop!

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