Slipping into a strapless top or a backless dress and you don’t want your bra straps or band to show? Or donning a swimsuit that just doesn’t give “the girls” proper support? Time was you had to suffer with a strapless bra that just would not stay up, shell out for a bra with uncomfortable clear plastic straps or worse, wear a bra under your swimsuit to combat the sag. But, these days, all you need to fix any of these issues, without the discomfort: lifting breast tape!
What is lifting breast tape?
Called boob tape, lingerie tape, lifting breast tape, this tape of many names does one very important thing: it lifts your boobs comfortably when a bra just won’t fit your look.
The idea for the tape came from the duct tape hack that fashion stylists used for decades to add lift under red carpet dresses on celebrities and models. Ouch! Thankfully, this tape innovation is a skin-friendly adhesive-backed fabric that comes in either a roll that you cut into strips (some come and pre-cut strips) and place on your boobs to help lift and hold them in place. It comes in all shapes and colors, but the result is the same: “Lifting breast tape is a wonderful solution to lift and shape your breasts,” says Holly Katz, personal stylist and host of Fashion Crimes Podcast. “You’ll instantly get the illusion of higher, rounder looking breasts.”
“This tape is also great for providing proper support without the confinement of a bra or the extra fabric in the summer that can make you sweaty — the last thing you want during a heat wave is extra fabric to make you hotter,” says fashion stylist Anna Katsanis, who has worked with Jessica Chastain and Zoe Saldana. Here, the expert picks — one is right for you!
Best overall: Hollywood Breast Lift Tape
The tried-and-true favorite that Katsanis and other celebrity stylists swear by is Hollywood Breast Lift Tape (Buy from Ulta, $10.99). “This stuff is amazing,” she says. “I’ve used it for over 20 years now.” It’s clear, undetectable under clothing and works wonders to boost the bust.
Best waterproof lifting breast tape: Booby Tape
Stylists like Booby Tape (Buy from Walmart, $24). It’s made of a stretchy spandex and cotton blend that’s sweatproof and waterproof so it can withstand a dip in the pool or a night out dancing.
Best tape for sensitive skin: Nood Shape Tape
One thing to also consider when picking a breast tape is if your skin is on the more sensitive side. Most tapes are hypoallergenic and free of latex, but check the label to be certain. A sensitive skin safe choice that stylists love? Nood Shape Tape (Buy from Nood, $29), which is latex-free and made of hemp.
Best for bigger cups sizes: Threads Lifting Breast Tape
For bigger cup sizes a breast lifting tape like Threads’ extra-wide Lifting Breast tape (available in 3 colors, Buy from Threads, $18), works best since it is 7.5cm wide (2.5cm longer than most breast tapes available), and is made with medical grade nylon so it can stretch up to 150% of its original length.
No time for cutting? Best pre-cut tape
Katanis suggests Fashion Forms’ The Nude Bare Bra (Buy from Bloomingdale’s, $24). They come pre-shaped so all you have to do is place one on each breast.
All stylists agree no matter which tape you choose, do a patch test before wearing to ensure you have no sensitivities or allergies. To do: Simply apply a small piece of tape to the breast area and leave on for 12 to 24 hours. “At the end of that time if your skin isn’t irritated, itchy or red, you are ready to apply,” says Katz.
How to apply lifting breast tape
Though it might seem intimidating, applying lifting breast tape is actually super easy.
- Start with clean skin that is and free of moisturizers and oils. “Skin must be completely dry,” says Katsanis. “I’ve used powder or just the smallest amount of deodorant spray or even a panty liner to soak up any extra moisture, especially during summer months to ensure tape really sticks.”
- Stand in front of a mirror so you can ensure the tape is applied symmetrically on both breasts for a balanced lift, advises Sarah Whitwalker, founder of Bra Size Calculator. “It’s a smart idea to use nipple covers first to provide added comfort and painless removal.” One we like: Muqu Silicone Pasties (Buy from Amazon, $6).
- Use one hand to place your breast in the desired elevated position, and use the other hand to attach the bottom end of the tape to the base of your breast, starting at the side. One caveat: Don’t stretch the tape too tightly when pulling up, since it makes the adhesive weaker, and tape won’t last as long, warns Whitwalker. “Layer the strips on side-by-side, most breasts need three to four strips slightly overlapping, until you get to the breast bone,” says Katz.
The tutorial below from YouTuber Idara Stephanie shows how to apply lifting breast tape for different shirt and dress necklines.
How to safely remove lifting breast tape
When it’s time to remove the tape your main goal is to soften the adhesive for a painless peel-off. “Apply a small amount of baby oil, coconut oil or adhesive remover to the edges of the tape, and let it sit for 15 minutes. This will help loosen the adhesive,” says George Wooming, M.D. head dermatologist at The Med Spa of North Texas.
Or run a washcloth under hot water, wring it out and apply to tape for 2 minutes. “This will soften the adhesive and make it easier to peel off,” says Dr. Wooming.
Tip: Be sure to use one hand to hold your skin taut while using the other hand to slowly pull the tape in the opposite direction. Finish up by applying a hydrating moisturizer to keep skin calm and avoid any potential irritation.
Want to learn about more ways to flatter your breasts? Check out these stories:
Lorraine Sullivan has always been curious, and once she realized being a journalist meant she could ask all the questions she wanted AND get answers, she was hooked! As a freelance writer she loves contributing to FIRST for Women magazine, regularly writing features about beauty and fashion fixes, ways to save cash while shopping and tips on how to take the best care of furry pals. After 21 years in New York City, she currently lives in the Heartland, in a house with her three children, spoiled cat Zuzu,and a big backyard where she’s always hanging up birdhouses and trying to cultivate the perfect pollinator garden. She also loves traveling with her family—they’ve visited places like Mexico, China, Australia and plenty of other places in between.Follow her adventures at https://www.instagram.com/rainbowdops
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