How to Make Silly Snapchat Faces With Selfie Lenses

Here's how to have some serious fun with Snapchat


Artur Debat / Getty Images

Snapchat's casual, ephemeral nature means you can let loose and show your true colors without worrying about likes, comments or how your profile looks. So why not get in the habit of sending some funny Snapchat faces using the lenses feature?

In mid-September of 2015, Snapchat brought its "lenses" feature to both its iOS and Android apps in mid-September of 2015. Unsurprisingly, it was a major hit with selfie enthusiasts.

What Are Snapchat Lenses?

"Lenses" is a feature that basically applies animated filter effects to your face when you hold up your front-facing camera to take a selfie. Using face-detecting technology, the app automatically finds your facial features like your eyes and your mouth in order to apply the effects properly.

Filters can distort your face so that you have small eyes and a big mouth, they can give you a wig and makeup like eyeshadow and lipstick or they can make you look like a dog with a tongue that appears whenever you open your mouth.

Sounds neat, right? If you've received any Snapchat messages from friends who've already been playing around with lenses, then you've probably been wondering how you can do the same.

To find out how to activate Snapchat lenses, browse through the following slide for a quick screenshot tutorial. I'm even going to use my own face to demonstrate this for you!

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Open the Front-Facing Camera in Snapchat and Long Tap on Your Face

A screenshot of the Snapchat app for iOS.

If you're brand new to Snapchat and have no idea how to use it, check out our quick tutorial on sharing videos and photos to help you get familiar with how it works and how to navigate through all the main tabs.

If you're already familiar with Snapchat, then you can go right ahead and navigate to the camera tab. Tap the square arrows icon in the top right corner to switch to your device's front-facing camera so that you can see yourself on your screen.

Now, to activate lenses, here's what you need to do:

  1. Hold your device outward so that your full face is in view on the screen, keeping it as stable as you can.
  2. Use one finger to long tap on your face, maintaining steadiness and making sure not to move your head too much.
  3. You should see a new selection of icons appearing at the bottom of the screen to the left and right of your snap button, which you can swipe to browse through.

Now the fun begins!

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Tap a Lens While Holding Your Head and Face Steady

A screenshot of the Snapchat app for iOS.

Options to the right of your snap button are where you can find the lenses to make silly Snapchat faces. The ones to the left of your snap button are Snappables, which are games you can play with your friends that also incorporate lenses.

Tap any lens you want to try out on your face, remembering to keep your device and your head as steady as possible. The more you move around, the more you'll end up confusing the app's face-detecting feature, causing your lenses to come out looking warped and inaccurate.

The result? Your face stretched out, magnified, colored and covered in all sorts of other fun effects that will either make you laugh or shock you.

Some of the lenses will give you instructions to exaggerate the look. For example, when you tap a lens, some text may appear on the screen telling you to "raise your eyebrows" or to "open your mouth."

You can take both photos and videos with Snapchat lenses to send to your friends. To take a photo, simply tap the lens you want, follow the instructions if the lens has any, and then tap the lens icon (which should be the one that appears bigger).

If you want to take a video, you need to tap the big middle lens icon and hold it down. When you're done, the video will show you a preview of your video on loop. Send it off to your friends or post it to your stories if you're happy with it!

New Lenses Are Added Daily

You can expect to see at least one new lens a day at the expense of an existing one. This will ensure that you can look forward to experimenting with lots of new lenses to keep your selfies fresh and exciting.

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Try It With a Friend (Or Your Pet!)


When you browse through the available lenses, you should come across some that let you bring a friend in so you can both share the lens. These lenses are designed to detect two faces at once.

Snapchat now even has lenses that work with your dog or cat. Just look for the lenses that have a little blue paw print icon on them.

It's up to you to explore the lenses and try them out. If anything, they're the perfect excuse for taking more selfies.