Looking for a bit of a lift or some extra cleavage but aren’t ready to go under the knife? Boob or breast tape may be the next best thing. While it doesn’t offer the same results (both in terms of aesthetics and longevity) as surgery, it is a quick, cheap, and easy fix that comes in as a close second for those that need to perk up the girls.
Same, but, oh so different
The act of lifting the breasts with adhesive tape is about as close to a nonsurgical breast lift as it gets. The special adhesive (make sure to use breast tapes intended for this specific use rather than duct or electrical tapes) can briefly joist low-hanging breasts into a higher position and create makeshift cleavage. Utilizing breast tape is a great way to gauge what the breasts may look if you undergo a breast lift or a reduction with a lift, according to Dr. Alexis Parcells, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon and founder of SUNNIE skincare and anti-aging clinic, and Parcells Plastic Surgery. However, perhaps the most significant difference between breast tape and breast surgery is that surgery is permanent. In contrast, tape only gives a lifting effect for as long as you wear it.
If a temporary lift is what you’re after, then some breast tape may do the trick. But if extra skin and tissue weigh down saggy breasts, then a breast lift will most likely create the long-term lift and shape you desire. “A breast lift is a same-day surgical procedure in which a board-certified plastic surgeon removes excess breast skin to shape the breasts,” says Dr. Parcells. Plus, unlike tape, surgery can ‘re-inflate’ breasts that have fallen flat and lost shape, especially at the top portion of the breasts (known as upper pole fullness).
Whereas a breast lift permanently repositions saggy nipples and removes excess skin, which affects a large portion of women after pregnancy, breastfeeding, or extreme weight loss, breast tape does not offer any of that. “Tape may be able to do the trick for a specific top or dress on a night out, but a lift offers a new way of living,” Dr. Parcells shares. “There is little need for support following a lift, as the tissue has been repositioned and now holds itself up. Plus, most women who undergo the procedure are thrilled that they can wear more comfortable bras, bathing suits, and tops that do not require underwire support,” she adds.
Lift them up
According to Nue breast tape founder Stephanie Montes, approximately eight in ten women are currently wearing the wrong bra size. “Not only is it nearly impossible to determine your correct bra size, but with asymmetric breasts, fluctuating sizes, and menstrual cycles that cause breast swelling, bras just never seem to fit quite right,” she says. Breast tape offers a perfect fit every time with no cups, clasps, wires, or straps. In addition, the tape is ideal for a variety of occasions, tops, and necklines. “It’s perfect for brides because it works with all necklines and holds everything place all day, it goes undetected under thin, sheer, or slinky fabrics and sexy necklines, and even works under T-shirts,” Montes shares.
Jené Luciani Sena, intimate apparel and lifestyle influencer and the founder of The GemBra, says that breast tape has many benefits. “Tape can be a useful tool when you have a dress that won’t accommodate a bra, or you need a little lift or some modesty (i.e., using tape to cover up nipples),” she shares. “Kim Kardashian West set off a stir a couple of years ago when she wore duct tape under her dress in place of a bra — ouch!” But, unlike duct tape, breast tape is designed exclusively for wearing on the skin. “With some of the DIY types can get creative and can make a custom bra with it,” Sena adds.
Large, pendulous breasts (sizes DD and up) may not see as much of a difference with tape since the weight of the breasts makes it hard for them to stay ‘up.’ Yet, some brands, like Brassybra and Nood’s Game Changer Lift & Shape Bra, are made especially for larger breast sizes and use medical-grade adhesive for a better lift and stick. However, for the most part, tape works on all other breast sizes and shapes.
How to apply it
Most breast tapes come with application directions, but YouTube videos are also just as helpful, if not more so if the process becomes a little daunting. For a quick lift, Sena suggests ripping the tape into one strip that’s long enough to reach from the outside of one breast around to the other and applying it horizontally, making sure to pull the tape taut. “Or, take two strips and place them vertically on each breast,” she says. “Place the tape on the bottom of the breast first, and then pull it upward and apply the other end on the skin above the breast,” Sena instructs. Although you may need more than one piece of tape to hold it all in place, it should adhere to the skin in the same manner. Lastly, she says that tape can also be applied using the “nips to shoulder strategy,” which requires about 6-inch strips applied in layers on the outside of each breast from nipple to shoulder, which creates a natural lift.
If creating cleavage is part of the plan, the application method will make all the difference. “Depending on the pattern you apply the tape in, it can push the boobs together for cleavage, lift them, or keep them away from each other (for that sexy deep V-type dress),” Sena adds.
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To ensure that the tape adheres to the skin, Montes recommends skipping all moisturizing products before applying the tape. “Body oil or lotion will interfere with the adhesive,” she advises. “Always apply tape directly onto the skin and use light pressure so that it sticks to the skin,” Montes adds.
Some of our favorite tapes include Nue, which comes in four skin tones and gives back to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation with every purchase, the latex-free and waterproof Booby Tape that’s perfect under bathing suits, and Good Lines Boob Tape, which you can wear up to 12 different ways.
The right way to remove it
Breast tape gives a Cinderella-like effect — as soon as you remove it, your breasts will immediately revert to their natural shape and position.
When it’s time to remove the tape, Sena suggests letting the shower run on hot water and allowing steam to fill the room to help loosen the glue. “Or take a shower with the tape on and slowly peel off each piece, rubbing the skin gently with cotton rounds soaked in baby oil while pulling each part away from the skin.”
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