A woman in her mid-thirties, hair cascading to her waist, is the very picture of L.A. high maintenance: pale pink lipstick and matching eye shadow, a black catsuit, and fur mules. She’s perfectly Zoom-ready, except for one thing: 12 five-inch-long black threads protruding from tiny holes in each of her cheeks.

She’s undergoing the current trend in age abatement, a quick-fix procedure known as PDO (polydioxanone) threading, a less invasive and more natural-looking alternative to a full-blown face-lift. First developed by Russian and American surgeons working independently in the 1990s, thread lifts have surged in popularity in recent years, thanks to the development of more reliable sutures, increasing affordability, and of course, Instagram, where some 305,000 images are tagged #threadlift.

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