Why Is a Thread Lift, ‘Cat-Eye’ Thread Lift, and Should You Do It


  • The cat-eye look involves upturned eyes and brows like Bella Hadid’s.
  • A thread lift can temporarily raise the outer corner of your brow but won’t change your eye shape.
  • Some creative eyebrow plucking and drawing can achieve a similar effect.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The cat-eye look is probably all over your Instagram feed.

Celebrities like the Hadid and Kardashian sisters are known for their apparently natural feline features, with upturned eyes and arched brows. Though it’s unclear whether they have had any procedures done, some fans are turning to cosmetic surgeons to achieve the same look.

Requests for cat-eye procedures — such as thread lifts and a more involved eyelid surgery called canthoplasty — have become more frequent in the past couple years, Dr. Mehryar “Ray” Taban, an oculoplastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, told Insider.

There are a few different surgical and non-surgical procedures for achieving the cat-eye look. If winged eyeliner isn’t giving you the desired effect, a thread lift is the next, least invasive option for shaping your gaze.

A thread lift can temporarily raise your brow

Taban told Insider that a thread lift is a temporary procedure that can be done in your doctor’s office with local anesthesia. 

The brow lift involves inserting a long thread at the outer tail of your eyebrow, and then your surgeon will pull the brow upwards and anchor it at the desired height.

The downside of the quick and easy procedure is that it only lasts a few months, Taban said. The lifted effect will fade as your body dissolves the thread, leaving some patients disappointed when their brows drop.

Thread lifts are different from Botox, which freezes your muscles

Botox is a similarly non-invasive procedure that can temporarily change your face. But while a thread lift simply suspends your skin, Botox keeps your muscles from moving in the affected area.

The injection blocks the chemical signals that tell your muscles to move, preventing or erasing wrinkles caused by facial movements.

Botox is also longer lasting than a thread lift, with noticeable effects staying for up to eight months.

Plucking or drawing your eyebrows can achieve a similar effect

Celebrities, influencers, and Instagram ads have gotten young people hooked on the cat-eye look.

“They always mention people like Bella Hadid who, in my opinion, naturally have upturned eyes,” Taban, who has not treated Bella Hadid but fielding many fans’ requests, said.

A thread lift alone can’t change your eye shape to look like Hadid’s. It’s also less likely to work for the young people who may be following her example, since their skin tends to be tight around the eyes rather than droopy.

“It tends not to last and also tends to not be necessary,” Taban said. “Young people usually can just reshape their brow with creative plucking and drawing, and that can create that upturned, lifted brow look in a much better way.”



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