One surefire way to boost your sex appeal this Valentine’s Day: Pretty up your décolletage. When someone is gazing at you, say from across the table at your favorite restaurant, the chest tends to be the first place they look, according to a study by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Use these expert tips—and your favorite bra—to put your best chest forward.
Prep your skin
Exfoliation is key when it comes to nixing unsightly dry patches. Use a chemical exfoliator that contains gentle ingredients such as lactic and phytic acid instead of the typical body scrub, recommends Los Angeles skincare specialist Sonya Dakar. “Body exfoliators tend to be way too strong for the sensitive skin on the neck and chest.” Our pick: Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser ($36, sephora.com).
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Seeing splotches? Don’t panic. “Grab an aloe vera plant, squeeze out the contents, and apply directly to red spots,” advises Debra Jaliman, MD, a New York City dermatologist. A soothing lotion with aloe vera works, too. One to try: Kiehl’s Deluxe Hand & Body Lotion with Aloe Vera & Oatmeal ($22, nordstrom.com).
Nourish and replenish
Once your skin is feeling brand new, slather on lotion or body oil. Look for emollients like shea butter, coconut oil or almond oil to keep skin extra supple. Try: Jergens Shea Butter Lotion ($8, target.com). If you plan on wearing perfume, skip the scented moisturizer—the last thing you want is two fragrances trying to compete with one another.
Contour your cleavage
So you don’t have Kim Kardashian’s makeup artist on speed dial—no problem! Contouring your chest is actually pretty simple. Choose a bronzer that's one shade darker than your face and create a ‘Y’ shape—blending from the sternum up and around the breasts towards the shoulders, says New York City makeup artist Kristofer Buckle.
Add sexy sheen with highlighter: “Dust a luminizer on the fronts and tops of shoulders and on the collarbones to pick up light,” says Los Angeles makeup artist Stephen Dimmick. To give your girls a little visual lift, Buckle suggests also applying highlighter to the area where your breast is fullest and to the inside curve of your cleavage.
Now that you have sculpted the perfect décolletage, it’s time to slip on your best dress and let it work its magic.