Update: November 29, 2017: Kirakira+, the runaway success that adds sparkle everywhere you go, has gotten some useful updates in the past few months. There are five new sparkle filters (Turn, Hexa, Brillar, Octa, and Sparkle), all of which can be accessed by swiping left on the main camera screen.
There are also far more applications for the filters: Previously, you could only use Kirakira+ on videos. Now, you can take still photos and pull in already shot photos from your camera roll. A new tool in the upper lefthand corner lets you change the ratio of your photo.
This article was originally published on September 26.
Shimmery makeup, glitter-coated heels, and a set of sparkling striped pajamas meant to evoke a star-studded sky are just a few of the looks that have made heads turn at the SS18 collections shown so far this season. If you've been following along with the shows on Instagram — whether it's through the lens of the models walking them, the designers backstage, or the influencers sitting aside the runway — you've probably noticed that some of the clothes and accessories look extra sparkly.
This extra dose of twinkle-factor can be credited to Kirakira+, an app that has seven sparkle modes to accentuate anything that emits light or is reflective on or around you: Twinkle, Airly, Color, Shine, Bling-bling, Glare, and the classic, Kirakira. The filters change the color of your image and the hue of the sparkles, which are silvery in some and multicolored in others.
Kirakira+ is as easy to use as apps come: You open it to the camera, similar to Snapchat, and can swipe from right to left to switch filters. There's a flash along the top of the screen, and a side toolbar that lets you adjust the intensity of the sparkle. You can only take videos — not still shots — which are immediately saved to your camera roll after you provide the app permission. From there, you can upload the videos to Instagram and Instagram Stories. This is the route many have taken during fashion week, using the app to add an extra glimmer to everything from rhinestone-covered manicures to glasses of champagne at after-parties.
As of Tuesday morning, Kirakira+ was ranked the third most popular paid app in the Apple App Store. (Kirakira+ is only offered on Apple's App Store, not Google Play.) It's somewhat surprising, as the app isn't new — it's been around since 2015. So what accounts for its sudden rise in popularity? The creator, Japanese developer Kentaro Yama, could not be reached for comment. But there is a theory.
Shoe designer Brian Atwood told Refinery29 he believes fashion's sparkly season has given the app its moment in the spotlight. "Why not add a little bit more [sparkle]," Atwood told Refinery29. "I think it adds a bit of excitement to regular videos."
This theory make sense given the last few years in fashion: When Kirakira+ came out in 2015, fashion was having a matte, monochrome moment. Now, in 2017, glitz is all the rage and trends have finally caught up with the app. Atwood himself is a recent Kirakira+ convert, who found out about the app in the same way almost everyone else has: Word of mouth.
"I literally started using the app five days ago during Milan Fashion Week once I had seen someone's glistening video," Atwood told Refinery29. "I had to check it out."
While designer clothes on runways might fall out of your price range, you can get the sparkle of Kirakira+ for just 99 cents. Shine bright light like a Kirakira+ filter doesn't have quite the same ring as "a diamond," but it is the cheap thrill that will brighten your day and your feed.