bl2It has been pretty well established in fashion circles that the bra strap showing alongside the straps of your camisole, if it was ever OK, is probably no longer, not for Formerlies anyway. It seems like women (like me) who actually need bras are the ones who have to work the hardest to conceal them, because displaying your magenta lace straps to hint at how easily your shirt might be enticed off is a whole lot cuter when you’re a little perky-boobed 20something who could probably get away with going braless anyway.

So what’s a full-figured Formerly to do, if she wants to wear something like the halter dress I wore today, and yet doesn’t want to have her lungs deflated by a strapless bra that’s going to wind up around her waist by 4 PM anyway?

Enter Bare Lifts, which my friend Jeannie called my attention to and asked me to test drive. I’d tried the ones that go under your boobs to support them, which ended up making me look like an airplane tray table. These are different: They’re little croissant-shaped adhesive strips that you tape to the top your boobs to hoist them up, providing, as the label says, “The Instant Breast Lift.”

(Not that I want you to leave this page, but you have to click the link and watch the ad. Hilarious. All the infomercial cheesiness you’ve come to adore–highly frustrated women experiencing outsized anxiety over bras that SIMPLY DON’T WORK, clog up their drawers or squeeze their back fat into the dreaded bra bulge–and a must-see shot of a woman wearing but one Bare Lift, to show how pathetic and horrible her life is on the droopy side of her body, versus how glamorous and loved and successful she is on the side with the tape.)

So here’s how it went: I watched the brief instructional video, and then trimmed one to my size (at least one of my breasts is a C). Next, I peeled the backing off the lower half of the croissant. I positioned my nipple in the arch, like a jolly leprechaun standing directly beneath a rainbow, and stuck it down. (It looks like clear surgical tape, only thinner.) Then I peeled the backing off the upper part, grasped the tape, and hiked my right breast up to where I’d like it to live all the time. Finally, I pressed the tape down on my upper chest to hold it aloft.

Then I started on my left breast, which has always been a little problematic. It’s slightly bigger and has it’s own trajectory, and let me tell you, pregnancy and nursing didn’t do it any favors. (Everyone has one good breast. Have you noticed that? This is one of life’s inarguable truths, like, when someone spontaneously wants to be honest with you about something, odds are what you hear is going to be unpleasant.) I repeated the steps, but in order to position my left nipple on the same longitude as the right, I had to press the tape practically up on my clavicle.

10AM: Aside from the fact that I had Scotch tape on my boobs, they looked pretty good, and in the halter dress, they looked great.

2 PM: It was a hot day, and there was no breast sweat, as usually forms in the crease, because, well, no crease.

5 PM I met a friend for coffee, and my breasts were still suspended more or less where I’d hung them this morning. There was no pointing or laughing, and no undue staring.

9 PM: I have sensitive skin, and didn’t itch or or develop a rash from the glue, which the package warns  might happen. They did hurt a little to take off, but left my skin intact.

So I’m giving Bare Lifts my official Formerly Hot two boobs up, with the following caveats:

I’m not that big. They claim to support up to a D. It’s possible, but if your boobs are heavy like kettle bells, that bit of Scotch tape might not do the job.

I didn’t go jogging in them. That would be a profoundly bad idea.

I didn’t wear something tight. Bare Lifts offer no protection from the effects of too much air conditioning, and I’m not sure if they’d show through a filmy T.

I’m not wrinkled or tremendously droopy (yet). If your breasts are at the stage where they could fold, when you pulled them up and stuck the top part down, there might be some creasing involved. There are worse things, of course but there you have it.

If you found this helpful and would like to see more potentially life-improving Formerly products reviewed, let me know!

UPDATE: To respond to Jeannie’s question, below, about whether they’d show with a low cut top, they are about an inch and a half thick, so depending on how high you hike your boobs, it is possible that they’d show with a very low cut shirt or low-riding tube top. That said, for my medium boobs, lifted to a medium-high spot in a halter dress, they were not visible.

On the nipple issue, no, they do not cover your nipples, hence the caveat about not wearing anything too tight. But! There’s an adhesive product for that, too. Not sure you could wear them together, or that you’d want to. That’s a lot of tape on your boobs.