However you feel about flaunting your bosom, fashion houses are celebrating it in all its glorious forms this season. You’ll see clear hints of it through the assortment of sheer finishes (gauzy chiffon at MSGM, embroidered tulle at Dior); more of it with low necklines (deep Vs at Loewe, Saint Laurent’s micro dresses, including one that covers the nips just so – in see-through fabric); and all of it with the runway’s “free the nipple” movement (cue the completely transparent sweaters at Calvin Klein 250W39NYC) – a fashion statement that echoes our politically charged times.
The trend is not limited to the catwalks. The likes of Bella Hadid and Kylie Jenner have been popularising the underboob look (at press time, there were over 232,000 Instagram posts with that hashtag) for a while now. For the uninitiated: If you come across snaps of them with the bottom curve of their bosom peeking out, it’s not a wardrobe malfunction.
Bare Necessities: The Skincare
Beauty brands have long encouraged giving busts some TLC to keep them perky and looking youthful. Take Clarins’ bust care range, introduced in 1973. Its current offerings – a gel and two types of lotions – emphasise lifting, hydrating and firming.
“The bust is extremely fragile and vulnerable at specific moments of a woman’s life – from puberty to pregnancy, and (changes that arise from) our menstrual cycle,” explains Cheryl Lee, the brand’s communications, PR & product marketing senior manager. “A specific treatment for the bust is essential to ensure that it is well supported and taken care of over time.”
How it supposedly works: All products contain organic quince to reactivate collagen synthesis, star apple extract to prevent the breakdown of collagen fibres, and Voluform, a synthetic plumping agent that encourages the storage of lipids in the fat cells in the area. (In other words, it’s meant to make your boobs look fuller.)
I tried the Extra-lift Gel ($98) – to be applied every morning – and found that it left the skin on my decolletage feeling firmer immediately. The Bust Beauty Lotion ($98) – for evening use – absorbs easily and leaves the area hydrated and smooth.
Other brands are championing a similarly nourishing approach. Intime Organique from Japan has a Breast Care Cream ($89, Tangs at Tangs Plaza) with Kigelia fruit extract that reportedly helps strengthen collagen fibres, as well as antioxidants like vitamins C, D and E to minimise free radical damage. London-based brand Mio Skincare’s Boob Tube+ Multi-action Bust Firmer (US$35, or S$48, www.net-a-porter.com) cream has organic shea butter to moisturise skin, Coenzyme Q10 to maintain the strength of collagen fibres, and dandelion and lady thistle root extract to boost elasticity and soothe tired skin.
The Perks Of Theraphy
Today’s bust treatments are also tailored to enhance one’s assets the natural way. Shou Slimming Centre (#03-03&37/38 Velocity@Novena Square) offers a 90-minute-long Softlight Bra treatment ($498) that employs traditional Chinese massage techniques.
First, the therapist uses a set of handheld devices that emit infrared light – this reportedly stimulates cellular regeneration and accelerates the metabolic process. Placed directly onto skin, both devices are applied from the underboob up, moving towards the shoulder blades and upper arms repeatedly.
Next – after applying a firming ampoule mixed with a herbal massage oil on my decolletage – the therapist manually massages the area (caution: This is more painful than relaxing). She does the same to my lymph nodes in the underarm area, reportedly to reduce water retention and aid detoxification. The result? My bust feels plumper and firmer instantly, and remains surprisingly smooth for days.
A New Age Lift
As progressive as Fall’s boob-baring ways are niche products that are better associated with the face than bosom. One of the most innovative I came across was Nannette de Gaspe’s Plumping & Lifting Techstile Bust Masques (US$149, or S$204, www.net-a-porter.com).
To be worn inside one’s bra cups daily for at least an hour (ideally for six days straight), the C-shaped fabric masks are infused with sodium hyaluronate and marine collagen to hydrate and boost skin elasticity. They’re, however, dry to the touch.
If you think that they double as push-up pads, well, they don’t – they’re so thin, one can hardly feel them. But they supposedly stimulate the production of collagen to make skin look smoother, as well as restore firmness and bounce. How’s that for a nipple cover?
This story first appeared in Female’s August 2017 issue.