WTF Is This Gradient App Everyone’s Using?

The internet can be kind of a dark place these days, with constant depressing news about politics and how the planet is dying and whatnot. But sometimes, we manage to distract ourselves for a few days with viral memes and filters that are completely pointless, but are just fun. I mean, I’ve spent most of this week laughing at Rise and Shine memes, so the bar for entertainment is pretty low. You probably remember back in July, when FaceApp’s old-age filter was everywhere, before we promptly forgot about it. Well, there’s a new viral app filter in town, and it’s Gradient’s celebrity twin filter.

Now, before we dive in, let’s talk about privacy. When FaceApp got popular (remember? The app that made you look old?), it was all fun and games for a minute, until someone figured out that the app is owned by Russians, and that they could potentially be using your photos for literally anything. Personally, I always just assume everyone already has my information, but I get why some people were suspicious. Lucky for you, I took the time to go through the Terms of Use for the Gradient app, and I think it’s okay, even though I am like, extremely bad at trying to understand legal documents/not a lawyer, obviously. Though you have to let it access your camera roll to do the celebrity filter, at least the company isn’t Russian. The address for Gradient is in Las Vegas, whereas the address for FaceApp is in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Oof.

Okay, now that we have the legalese out of the way, let’s get to the fun part: looking like celebrities! Honestly, the app is very bad at its job, but that probably makes it more fun than if it gave you a disappointing result of someone who also has brown hair, but is definitely way prettier than you. When I started out with a selfie of myself, it told me that I look like…Audrey Hepburn. I mean, sure? Actually, I don’t not see it, even if it sounds totally ridiculous.

Turns out, my result was actually maybe one of the more accurate examples of the Gradient celebrity filter. While no one would ever mistake me for Audrey Hepburn, we’re both kinda pale, have thick eyebrows, and are making the same expression in the two photos. I’m not mad about it.

But when my lovely coworker Nicole tried it, the app turned her into Kim Namjoon, one of the members of BTS, a huge K-Pop group. The only thing they have in common is the angle of their photos and the fact that they are both smiling with their teeth closed. I quickly started to realize that this seems like the main criteria for what the app chooses to match you with.

Things got even more ridiculous when I decided to play around with putting photos of celebrities into the app. Everyone always talks about how Jessica Chastain and Bryce Dallas Howard look alike, so I started with them, to see if Gradient would get confused. When I put in a photo of Jessica Chastain, the app transformed her into… Jessica Chastain. Kind of anticlimactic, but at least it was not wrong.

But when I put in the photo of Bryce Dallas Howard, I was less impressed. It turned Bryce, a white woman with red hair and green eyes, into KERRY F*CKING WASHINGTON. I mean, how?? Clearly this app doesn’t really pay attention to race, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but anyone would say that this side-by-side looks completely ridiculous. Kerry and Bryce are two beautiful women, but they look absolutely nothing alike.

When playing around with a few more celebrities, Gradient gave me transformations like Paris Hilton into Demi Moore, Kylie Jenner into Priyanka Chopra (??), and Mila Kunis into Vanessa Hudgens, which is actually shockingly correct. I would never think to put these two next to each other, but it’s by far the most accurate result I’ve gotten from this dumb app.

Obviously, there isn’t really anything scientific going on here, and the app just happens to get it right sometimes. Basically, don’t take it too seriously if it gives you someone ugly, but if it gives you a really good match, you should definitely brag to your friends about how Gradient said you look like Margot Robbie. Gradient said so, and no one can take that away from you.

Lmk the most ridiculous combinations you’ve seen from the Gradient app, because now I’m kind of obsessed.

Images: Gradient (5)

The Best Celebrity FaceApp Old Filter Photos

In 2019, it seems like the viral social media trends are moving faster than ever. Like, I barely even remember that Area 51 exists anymore, and I literally wrote an article about it two days ago. This makes me feel old, but not nearly as old as the FaceApp old filter makes me look. If you’ve been on Instagram or Twitter in the last week, you’ve probably seen lots of your friends making themselves look like senior citizens, and it’s weirdly satisfying.

FaceApp has been around for a couple years, but for whatever reason, the app’s filter that makes you look like an old person has recently gone extremely viral. Lots of our favorite celebrities have posted photos of themselves looking old, which is kind of hilarious because none of these people are going to age naturally. Unsurprisingly, not too many famous women have posted photos of themselves with the FaceApp old filter, because God forbid a woman in Hollywood post a wrinkly photo and someone thinks it’s real. Most of these people don’t age at all, but it’s fun to pretend. Here are some of the best celeb FaceApp photos that I can’t stop thinking about.

The Jonas Brothers

When you take a trip to the Year 3000.

— Jonas Brothers (@jonasbrothers) July 16, 2019

I mean, this is a masterpiece. This is definitely one of the most realistic FaceApp images I’ve seen, and the sweaters just make it more believable that all of these men are grandpas. Nick could definitely still get it, but I’m undecided about Joe. He looks like he’s been through some sh*t, but then again, I usually love a man with baggage. Kevin definitely can’t get it even without the old filter, sorry not sorry.

Sam Smith

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Grandpa or Grandma? ?? I’ll take both #batch

A post shared by Sam Smith (@samsmith) on

Sam Smith fully just looks like gay Santa, and I can’t handle it. The white beard is really sending me over the edge, and the giant sparkly heart earring is such a jarring contrast. I love Sam Smith, but this picture is definitely cursed.

Tyrese & Ludacris

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Fast & Furious 50 ??? and we still haven’t stopped at a gas station. Or for Diapers. ??

A post shared by @ ludacris on

This is a contender for the best use of FaceApp for sure. I’m positive that neither of these men would look this old even if they were 100, but it’s fun to pretend. Also, the caption is f*cking hilarious, so I really feel like we don’t talk about Ludacris enough. I’m not a huge Fast & Furious fan, but I would watch a version with these old dudes.

Iggy Azalea

Who are we kidding, I’m white.
We age like milk, this is me at 50.


Iggy Azalea wins the award for best response to a FaceApp, hands down. We love a celeb who isn’t afraid to drag herself, and Iggy quickly clarified that she’s not going to look this good when she’s 80. Even if you don’t love her, at least she’s being realistic.

Lil Nas X

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feeling cute might delete later ?

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Lil Nas X looks like a grandpa who just woke up and is angry about some noise happening outside his window. With all his “Old Town Road” money, Lil Nas will definitely not have to age like this if he doesn’t want to. Botox works wonders!

Kevin Hart

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Strong ass old man face and upper body ????

A post shared by Kevin Hart (@kevinhart4real) on

Old faced Kevin Hart just jumped through my computer screen and yelled at me to get off his lawn. Honestly, Kevin Hart kind of scares me at his actual age, so this photo isn’t doing good things for my anxiety. Thank u, next.

Joanna Gaines

Joanna Gaines is one of the few female celebs to embrace the old app trend, and she actually posted a few photos with the filter on her story. She actually looks great and natural with the filter, and I feel like I have a few friends whose moms look exactly like this. There’s nothing wrong with aging!


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Best caption wins ovo tickets

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Honestly, I’m not even convinced that Drake used the FaceApp filter, because the only real difference is that he has some grey highlights in his beard. To be fair, this is probably pretty much how he’ll age in real life, which is just unfair. He could still get it tho.

Carrie Underwood

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Everybody’s doing it…?‍♀️ @mfisher1212

A post shared by Carrie Underwood (@carrieunderwood) on

Carrie Underwood and her husband Mike Fisher are v hot in real life, so it makes sense that they will also be hot grandparents. Again, Carrie Underwood will never in a million years have this many wrinkles, but even if she did, I would still be obsessed with her.

James Marsden

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Sorry it’s been a while since I last posted.#faceapp

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In today’s surprising news, James Marsden with the FaceApp old filter just looks like current Robert Redford, and I’m into it. James Marsden is one of my biggest celebrity crushes, and he could definitely still get it at whatever age this is supposed to be. I’ve already planned out my entire future with this man, so I should really quit while I’m behind.

Gordon Ramsay

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Me doing a demo on #MasterChef Season 50….

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I love this, because Gordon Ramsay will definitely still be yelling at people about their undercooked Beef Wellington when he’s 100 years old. Hopefully he’ll still be making new seasons of MasterChef Junior too, because what else am I supposed to watch when I’m hungover?

Who posted your favorite FaceApp old filter photo? Are you too scared to try it on yourself? LMK.

Images: jonasbrothers, iggyazalea / Twitter; samsmith, Ludacris, lilnasx, kevinhart4real, joannagaines, champagnepapi, carrieunderwood, james_marsden, gordongram / Instagram