How Do You Get Snapchat's Face Swap?

by Eliza Castile

Unless you've been stranded on a desert island with no cell signal and only a volleyball for company, chances are you've noticed the newest big trend on social media: face swapping. But how do you get Snapchat face swap? If you're part of the under-18 set, you're no doubt rolling your eyes at such a question; surely everyone already has Snapchat on lockdown by now, right? But if you're not-so-technologically savvy, or if you actually have been living the Castaway life up until recently, it's a totally valid question.

After all, we only get to see the results of face swap — the Kardashian twinning, the celebrity swaps, the horrifying, distorted monsters when someone switches faces with an inanimate object — rather than the actual process that goes into making one. Is it magic? Do you have to sell your soul to the Snapchat gods first? If so, does that require a contract signed in blood? Because the soul part isn't a deal breaker, but blood-binding contracts always seem a little unhygienic.

Fortunately for those of us who don't have a soul to sell anymore, getting Snapchat's face swap function is actually super easy. Face swap is a lens, which most people already know how to access: Just stick your face in front of the camera, press and hold on the screen until it recognizes your face, and voila! The lenses appear.

On the other hand, this also means that the face swapping days are tragically numbered. Snapchat got rid of the Lens Store in January, returning to the model of rotating lenses, and so far, none have stuck around permanently. So if you're dying to try out face swapping, there's no time like the present. If you already know how to use lenses, go forth and face swap — but If you need a little more guidance, here's the step-by-step guide to getting (and using) Snapchat face swap.

1. Update Your App

As always, lenses work best on the latest version of Snapchat. If face swapping isn't showing up in your lens options, it may be because your app is out of date. (We have a guide to updating Snapchat here.)

2. Tap The Screen Until It Recognizes Your Face

Press and hold on your face until the facial recognition software (we live in the future, people) registers your face.

3. Look For The "Face Swap" Option

Scroll through the lenses until you get to the one that looks like the picture above.

4. Line Up Your Faces

Line up you and your partner, whoever it may be: celebrity, BFF, stuffed animal named Oliver, etc.

5. Prepare Yourself For The Results

It took some serious acrobatics, but Oliver and I finally managed to swap faces. If you have actual human beings to swap with, it should be much easier — although it's entirely possible you may swap faces with your own collarbone like I did. The resulting image wouldn't be out of place in a Guillermo del Toro movie, which is simultaneously the coolest and most terrifying thing to ever happen. Warning: The following image will haunt my nightmares, and probably yours, for the rest of our lives.

Del Toro, please consider this my audition for your next horror movie.

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Images: Claire Warner/Bustle (6)