It was whilst lusting after these Berta gowns that two things crossed my mind: how intricately beautiful they were and how a girl needs a good boob (or two) to carry them off. In fact, make that the whole chest area (let’s call it décolleté from now on.)
Wedding dresses with plunging necklines require your prime assets to jiggle not dangle – and your skin, from the neck down, to look flawlessly smooth. One of the main reasons that boobs start to sag is because the muscles underneath them have lost their tone. This causes the muscles to shrink and the nipples to point downwards so your boobs head south. Luckily, there are ways to perk up those disobedient puppies so you can strut your stuff in a flesh-flashing Berta gown without a care in the world. Applying a moisturising cream, massaging your boobs every day and trying some targeted exercises will firm the skin giving your whole décolleté a more ‘bare-able’, and toned appearance.
It’s not called skin care for nothing!
Being the centre of attention – in a WOW dress like Berta’s – calls for a perfect décolleté. There’s no point in lavishing TLC on your face and forgetting about the skin between your neck and the eventual neckline of your dress. A crepey décolleté is not where you want your guests’ (and groom’s) eyes to focus…. but unfortunately, it’s one of the first places to show signs of ageing, largely because the skin is thinner than elsewhere on your body – plus it gets blasted by damaging UV exposure. Donkeys years ago, a dermatologist advised me to take care of my décolleté and I’ve followed her advice ever since. That means, extending my morning exfoliant to include the skin down to the tops of my breasts; keeping the skin undercover of a layer of a dedicated neck cream by day and a cream loaded with retinol at night. In high summer, any exposed bit of skin gets a smothering of the same high spf as my face.
So about moisturising, here’s a quick shout-out for my forever fave boob beautifier: Elemis Pro-Collagen Lifting Treatment Neck and Bust, £50. I’ve used it for years and love how it makes my skin feel toned and look really smooth. I dread to think how I’d look in that department if I hadn’t used it for so long, to be honest! Okay, so I could just extend my moisturiser down but I love using a decollete cream – plus I’m pretty sure that this extra step in my skincare regime stops me from ever slacking off. My best beauty pal rates Marks & Spencer’s Formula Restore Neck and Decollete Cream, £13.50. It costs a lot less than my Elemis one and she reckons she noticed a difference after four days. She actually said that her skin felt so smooth and supple that she was using it on her thighs! I’m tempted to give it a whirl….
Go for bust
If a slashed-front frock has topped your own wishlist, a toned décolleté is essential to flaunt it to perfection. Give these upper body moves a go..
CHEST SCOOP V-RAISES
Works: shoulders and chest
How: Stand with feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent. Holding dumbbells with your palms facing up, engage your core as you scoop your arms in front of your chest, then raise them out into a v shape at shoulder height. Aim for three sets of 20 reps.
Works: Triceps, chest and shoulders
How: With your feet hip-width apart, squat down and place your hands on a chair behind you. Lower your body down as you inhale, bending your arms to a 90 degree angle. Breathe out as you straighten your arms and lift your body up. Repeat for 30 seconds, rest, then try two more sets for 30 seconds.
Works: Chest, arms and core
How: Shoulder-width apart, place your hands on a chair keeping your back straight and in line with your hips, knees and ankles. Inhale and bend your elbows to 90 degrees, lowering your chest and head down to your elbows. Keep your core engaged as you exhale and push your body back up. Like before, repeat for 30 seconds, rest, then attempt two more sets for 30 seconds. Good work!
Bronze yourself a bigger bust
Don’t fancy chicken (fillets) tonight? All you need is a brush and some bronzer to fake your perfect pair. Simply, brush a light shade of bronze between your boobs, sweeping the colour around the edges and in between to create the illusion of shadow. Then, smudge a dab of a highlighter stick over the swell at the top of your bra or strapless gown to enhance the bulge. Finish with a light shimmer powder over your breasts (following their shape) to make them look plumper. I stress, as always, to go easy on the shimmer powder. It will transfer to the first grey morning suit you embrace – then your secret is out! Alternatively go pro and ask for a contoured airbrushed tan that will fake you bigger boobs!
What a boob!
Be careful on the beach. Exposing your skin to too much sun reduces its elasticity which can cause sagging. Keep covered as much as possible and use the same high spf (at least 30) that you use on your face.
Add this little beauty to your night-before-the-big-day pamper party for one: Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Neck Gels, £35. Loaded with tons of neck loving goodies including niacinamide, an amino acid responsible for strengthening skin, you’re ten minutes away from firmer skin.
If certain fabrics like wool cause the skin on your décolleté to itch or feel sore, stop wearing them immediately. You may find that this happens straight after you’ve had a treatment.
Give your boobs a taste of the ice bucket challenge. Viola! Instant temporary perkiness!
Fixing your décolleté flaws
It could be sun damage spots, scarring, broken capillaries or stretch marks….. Whatever flaw is getting between you and your dream dress, perhaps a glycol peel, some IPL or a spot of Microneedling will help. Yes, needles…. But they’re small, they’re fine and attached to a roller which moves over your skin making tiny pin-point punctures to kickstart repair and the formation of new cells. It’s not cheap – prices start from £200 at The Harley Medical Group nationwide, but you could end up being a Berta bride…..
So what are your tips for giving good cleavage? And how beautiful are these Berta gowns? I’m struggling to choose my favourite from the 2018 collection…