Are you a fan of A Beautiful Mess? No, I am not referring to that time your toddler decided to transform your living room wall into a Crayola mural when you turned your back for five minutes. I am talking about the oh-so-popular lifestyle blog written by Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman.
Fan or not, A Beautiful Mess has recently launched an app of the same name, designed to beautify your photographs without having to spend hours post-processing. Click “more” to read on.
Upon launching A Beautiful Mess for the first time, a pop-up informed me that I will be receiving 30 free pieces of artwork as a thank you for supporting the app during its release. Great! These free pieces, in addition to the pieces that come as standard, are what is used to decorate your chosen photograph, but more on them just a second.
Once you have selected a picture to edit, it is time to scale and crop it square. Annoyingly, cropping an image is mandatory, and you are not able to progress to the main processing section of the app without doing so. I think that this stage should be optional as cropping a photograph could potentially ruin the composition of said image.
Tools of the Trade
Editing a photograph is easy. Like, really easy. Simply select a tool from the left-hand side of the screen and get to work. Choose from filters and borders to doodles, phrases, and text, most of which are fully customizable. Let us take a closer look.
A Beautiful Mess includes six filters: Dreamland, Poppy, Spotlight, Milkshake, Classic, and Vampire, which can be adjusted according to taste by sliding the Opacity, Brightness, and Contrast slider once a filter has been selected.
There are a number of hand-drawn borders available to adorn your photographs, some covering up a large portion of your image, others perhaps a corner or two. Unfortunately, borders cannot be resized and can therefore be quite difficult to incorporate in to your design as they will sometimes obscure the bulk of the photograph.
Every image can be personalized with text which may be made larger or smaller by pinching the screen. Tap one of the many fonts to change the text style, and select a color from the palette to inject a little oomph.
Doodles are a super fun way of customizing a photograph, and there is a reasonable selection to choose from. I’d like to see slightly more variation here, though, as the doodles mainly consisted of hearts, flowers, speech bubbles, and arrows which get stale fairly quickly.
More doodles can be bought via an in-app purchase at 99 cents per pack although, again, the choice is still rather limited.
Phrases work in a similar way to doodles and are all handwritten. Once chosen, your selected phrase can be resized and rotated. You can also change the phrase color, too, if you prefer.
Like doodles, additional phrases can be purchases in-app for a dollar per pack.
Share with Friends
Users are encouraged to share their photographs with friends via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail, all of which may be done in-app. Tag your image with #ABeautifulMess to see the work of others and garner inspiration.
Minimal, intuitive, and ridiculously cute are the words that I would use to describe A Beautiful Mess’ user interface. In fact, the app is so easily navigable that even my technophobe 80-year-old grandmother would have no problem finding her way around, although I cannot really imagine her decorating the family photographs with ‘OMG!’ and ‘Ooh La La!’ to be perfectly honest.
A Beautiful Mess is designed to look hand-drawn and messy, similar in style to the blog itself. It is both visually pleasing and enticing, and inspires you to get creative with your image to make it stand out from the crowd.
Value for Money
A Beautiful Mess costs 99 cents to purchase which I’d say is pretty reasonable, wouldn’t you? However, for a dollar, I’d expect the standard artwork pack plus the 30 free pieces as default, and not as a thank you gift.
I think that I would be a tad disappointed if I’d have bought the app and then only had a handful of pieces to decorate my images with, especially as there are only four fonts included in the standard pack, as opposed to 20 when you count the free gift.
A Beautiful Mess is a quick and easy way of sprucing up photographs that will appeal to all ages. I like how simple the app is to navigate, and the wide variety of artwork available to decorate your images when including the free pieces ensures a truly one-off design.
As I mentioned earlier, the option to bypass the cropping section of the app would be a welcome addition, and a larger choice of filters, doodles, and phrases would not go amiss either, but other than that, A Beautiful Mess is a fun app to own and definitely worth its dollar price tag.