How To Do the Pillow Face Botox Filter on TikTok and Instagram

An Instagram filter that imitates the results of cosmetic surgery has sparked a new trend sweeping across social media apps.

Videos of users trying the filter on themselves—and their pets—have been uploaded to Twitter and TikTok in the past few days, although the face-changing effect originated on Instagram via a filter content creator named J. Augusto (@jhonyaugust).

Known as "Pillow Face," the filter mimics the results of plastic surgery or botox, showing ultra-smooth skin, enlarged cheeks and extremely puffed up lips.

It gained widespread attention over the past weekend after being used on Instagram by singers Charli XCX and Hayley Williams, alongside Game of Thrones actor Sophie Turner. A challenge saw users sharing the results with family members.

On Instagram, users are sharing before and after pictures of the filter, and the hashtag #pillowface has been used in more than 16,846 posts at the time of writing. On TikTok, where users are re-uploading the results, #pillowface has had over 966,000 views.

It is....horrible!

— Caroline Lowery (@CocoLow17) March 29, 2021

The trend has also spread to Twitter, with at least one user showing the filter on a pet cat and others joking or commenting about the images obtained using the effect.

The pillow face filter worked on my cat and I’m dying

— Julia Wilde (@Julia_SCI) March 26, 2021

How to try the Pillow Face filter on Instagram

You can try the filter by following these steps:

  • Open the Instagram app and click the "Your Story' in the top left corner.
  • Slide through the filters until you see a search option at the end, tap it
  • Tap the magnifying glass on the top right to search effects
  • Type "Pillow Face" into the search bar
  • The filter should appear first (uploaded by the user @jhonyaugust)
  • Click on the filter and tap "try it" in the bottom left corner

How to try the Pillow Face filter on TikTok

The original app isn't accessible directly via the TikTok app, but that doesn't mean you can't share the results on your account. Users can record a video of themselves using the "Pillow Face" filter on Instagram, then simply upload the clip over to TikTok.

  • Open Instagram and locate filter > Turn camera into selfie mode
  • Hold down circle button to record a video
  • Download video to your device using the down arrow button on top menu
  • Open TikTok app > Tap Upload > Select the video > Tap next
  • Clip to chosen length and add a caption and any relevant hashtags

The same process will typically work for sharing the video to other social media apps or platforms, including Facebook and Twitter. Or, simply try it for your own amusement.

TikTok on smartphone
A teenager presents a smartphone with the logo of Chinese social network TikTok, on January 21, 2021 in Nantes, western France. An Instagram filter that imitates the results of cosmetic surgery has sparked a new trend that is now sweeping across social media apps. LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images