How to Make Silly Snapchat Faces With Selfie Lenses

Here's how to have some serious fun with Snapchat

Photo © Artur Debat / Getty Images

Believe it or not, you don't need to be under 18 years of age to be able to use Snapchat and have loads of fun with it. Sure, it's one of the most popular social apps among the younger crowd, but the new Snapchat faces/lenses feature for selfies is enough to bring the inner kid out of almost any adult too—no matter what your age may be.

Snapchat Lenses: An Intro

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

The new feature basically applies 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.

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

Snapchat Lenses
Screenshots of Snapchat for iOS

If you're brand new to Snapchat and have no idea how to use it, here's a quick tutorial you should check outto help you get familiar with how it works and how to navigate through all the main tabs.

If you are familiar with Snapchat, then you can go right ahead and navigate to the camera tab. Tap the camera 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. A grid should appear around your face and disappear within a second or two.
  4. You should also see a new selection of icons appearing at the bottom of the screen to the 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

Snapchat Lenses
Screenshot of Snapchat for iOS

The final step is to simply 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

Screenshots of Snapchat for iOS

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.

Every once in a while, Snapchat will also introduce new lenses that have additional animated effects. Some will distort your voice in addition to your face, some will let you play a game and some will put a dancing character (like a hotdog, for example) somewhere in the scene.

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