If you're like a lot of women, probably the most thought you give to your breasts is when you're putting your bra on (or when you're taking it off), when you're trying to make the soreness stop while you're PMS'ing, when you're trying to get your partner to give them just the right amount of "attention" during sex and/or when it's time to get a mammogram (by the way, they now say that you should be 45 instead of 40 when it comes to getting them on an annual basis).
But the reality is the more attention we give to our girls, the better our mammary glands—ones that are made up of lobules that produce milk, lymphatic vessels that drain unnecessary fluid and breast tissue—will not only feel but look as well.
If you're wondering about what you can do to get your breasts sundress-, swimsuit- and little black dress-ready, these 10 tips will make you—and them—very happy!
Rinse Your Breasts in Cold Water
I don't know one woman on the planet who doesn't want perky breasts. If this is a personal goal of yours, first it's a good idea to keep in mind what causes breast tissue to sag in the first place—mostly it's genetics, cigarette smoking, drastic weight gain or loss, multiple pregnancies and poor posture.
If you have lost some of your breasts' elasticity, something that you can do is apply some hydrotherapy to them. If you soak them in warm water for about 15 minutes (basically if you take a bath), it will increase blood flow to them. Then, if you rinse them in cold water (basically if you rinse off in a cold shower), that is what will stimulate collagen production so that your breasts look and feel firmer.
Massage Your Breasts with Clove Oil and Olive Oil
Speaking of making your breasts firmer, it can never hurt to massage them for about 10 minutes a couple of times a week. If you do it with a blend of clove oil and olive oil, it can help to (slightly) increase their size and "round out" their shape over time. That's because the warmth of the clove oil also stimulates blood circulation while the properties in olive oil moisturizes the tissues of your breasts, making them supple and soft.
Make sure to warm up the oil combo in your microwave for five seconds or so and massage each breast for 10-15 minutes in a circular motion in order to get the best results.
Soothe Your Nipples with Shea Butter
Unless you're currently breastfeeding, you probably don't give your nipples much thought. But you should. They are a part of your breasts and deserve their fair share of TLC. If lately, you've been noticing that your nipples or your areolas (the ring of skin that surrounds your nipples) are itchy, it could be that they are irritated due to a skin condition like eczema or because your laundry detergent is too strong.
Whether your nipples itch or they are slightly cracked, soothe them by rubbing them down with some shea butter. It's moisturizing, it's healing and it contains anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties too. Also, thanks to the emollient and humectant properties that shea butter contains, it can lock in moisture on your nipples so that they stay hydrated for hours at a time.
Just as a heads up, your best bet would be to get the kind of shea butter that is unrefined. That way, you can get it in its purest form; one that has the most concentrated amounts of vitamins and minerals in it.
Keep Your Weight Stabilized
If your breast size is in direct correlation to your breast tissue, losing and gaining weight won't change it very much. So, if you recently lost 25 pounds and you went down a few cups, that usually means your breasts were made up of fat more than anything else. And since maintaining a healthy weight can reduce your chances of having breast cancer post-menopause, this is a good thing to know.
What can happen with a spike in weight gain or loss is it can alter the shape of your breasts and/or cause them to sag. That's because the change in weight directly affects the collagen and elastin in our bodies (breasts included).
Aside from doing your best to keep your weight off of the up and down roller coaster, from a cosmetic standpoint, the non-cosmetic remedy is to invest in bras that have padding in the lower part of the cup so that your breasts will appear plumper and fuller. Something else that can help (although it has a more subtle effect) is to consume foods that are high in collagen. Some of those include garlic, berries, bone broth, quinoa and white tea.
Something else that can perk your breasts up a bit is to apply a collagen mask on them. Combine a kiwi, a peach, three tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt, two teaspoons of lemon juice and a teaspoon of sweet almond oil. Rub the mixture on your breasts, let it sit for 15 minutes and rinse with warm, then cool water. It's one of the most delicious ways to give your breasts an immediate collagen boost!
Eat Some Sweet Potatoes, Salmon and Red Grapes
We are what we eat. There is certainly a lot of truth to that. The next time you head out to the grocery store, do your breasts a favor and pick up a couple of foods that they will totally thank you for.
For instance, if you have a history of breast cancer in your family, it can't hurt to eat foods that are high in carotenoids. They're the kinds of foods that are loaded with carotene. This is great because studies reveal that the more carotenes that are in our system, the lower risk we have of being diagnosed with breast cancer. Sweet potatoes are one food that fits the bill.
Something else that our breasts need is omega-3 oils. They are responsible for keeping inflammation in the body low; the more omega-3s, the less disease (cancer included). Salmon has plenty of it.
And finally, red grapes. They're the kind of fruit that contains a natural phenol known as resveratrol. What's so good about that is not only does resveratrol have the ability to lower your blood pressure and protect your brain, it also neutralizes free radicals in your system, keeping cancer cells at bay.
Fun fact: Resveratrol is also found in red wine too (woo-hoo)!
Take a Sulforaphane SupplementGiphy
If you've never heard of sulforaphane, don't feel bad. I'd venture to say that most people haven't. Basically, it's a compound that's found in foods like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage and collards that not only reverses the signs of aging, but also decreases the progression of cancer cells in the body too. As a bonus, something else that sulforaphane does is decrease how carcinogens impact our system.
If you don't like to eat a ton of veggies, you can also take sulforaphane in supplement form. Speaking of supplements, if you want to take something that will make your breasts appear fuller (or can help your breastmilk to come in easier if you are a new mommy), fenugreek is pretty awesome too.
Do Breast-Firming ExercisesGiphy
If you can't remember the last time you even attempted to do a push-up, maybe your breasts will motivate you to take another crack at it. Truth is, a lot of us have saggy breast tissue simply because the muscles underneath our breasts could stand to get bigger. The remedy? Do the kind of exercises that will expand the mass of your chest muscles.
Push-ups are just one example. If you want more, click here for a way to get your chest (back) into shape.
Wear a Bra That Actually Fits
Breast tissue needs support; that's why we wear bras. You've probably heard somewhere that a whopping 80 percent of women wear the wrong bra size, but what you might secretly wonder is how can you know for sure that your bra fits well. For starters, your bra's band needs to comfortably fit around your torso. The part of your bra that attaches the cups together should lay flat on your body. If you're wearing an underwire bra, the wire should fit right underneath each breast. Also, each of your bra straps should fit comfortably on your shoulders.
If it's been a couple of years since you've been professionally fitted for a bra, I know from personal experience that you should get fitted ASAP. The last time I went (last year), I thought I was a DDD. Nope. Sistah girl is an H. (Chiiiiile.)
Make a DIY Bronzer
If you're planning on wearing something low cut and you want your cleavage to look extra sexy, one of the easiest ways to make that happen is to apply a little bronzer to your breasts. I've done it before and it gives your skin a youthful glow that is, incomparable, really.
You can buy some, but I prefer to make my own. All you need to do is mix a little cocoa powder, ground cinnamon and mica powder if you want a hint of shimmer added in. Use a large make-up brush to dust it onto each breast and, I promise, even you won't get enough of looking at 'em!
Sleep on Your Back
Final one. While sleeping on your back definitely increases the chances of you snoring (more), it's one of the best positions for your breasts. The reason being, whenever you sleep on your side or stomach, it causes your breasts to droop all throughout the night and that can ultimately lead to sagging and wrinkly breast skin.
So, if you wanna know how to improve the appearance of your breasts even while you're asleep, spending more time on your back is the way to do it. Sweet dreams.
Featured image by Getty Images
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- 10 All-Natural Ways To Show Your Breasts Some Love - xoNecole ... ›
- 10 Foods For Good Breast Health, Healthy Breasts - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- 2. Stay Hydrated - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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Feature image by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
I didn’t think much could get better about the blissful high that comes with oral. That was until I came across the Kivin Method.
As someone who was never a huge fan of oral sex and could largely take it or leave it, I must admit that I have started to come around in recent years. With my head thrown back, hands gripping sheets and hair, and toes curling from the intense sensations of the work my partner is putting in at my center, I now give myself over to the pleasurable act wholly and unapologetically.
When I came across a way to maximize the pleasure I receive from cunnilingus (already), I had no choice but to tap in. Who knew the key to taking oral sex to new heights was giving it a sideways twist? For those of you who might also be interested in ways to spice up the way you do oral, experience faster and stronger orgasms, or simply want to indulge in something new with your partner, the Kivin Method could definitely be the oral sex technique for you, too.
Keep reading to learn about the method that is sure to have you writhing in ecstasy in no time at all.
What Is The Kivin Method?
For the uninitiated, the Kivin Method is an oral sex technique that focuses on stimulating the clitoris from a different angle. Dubbed “sideways oral” by some, this method involves the action of giving head from a side-to-side movement as opposed to the up-and-down motion that people typically perform when giving head. (If you need a visual, this illustration is helpful.)
The difference in approach as you’re receiving head can be a game-changer in how you receive pleasure. Not only does the giving partner have access to the clitoris, but they can also access more easily the vulva and the labia, which are objectively a bigger focus in this version of cunnilingus. More access means wider coverage, and that, plus the new sensation of oral from a different angle, can heighten the way you experience oral sex that much more.
Where more pleasure flows, intense orgasms are sure to follow.
How To Do The Kivin Method
If you want to know how to do the Kivin Method, it’s actually pretty straightforward. The receiver lays on their back while the giver positions themselves perpendicular to the receiver. Their head will be facing the vulva, but instead of vertical, their face will be horizontal to the vulva.
From there, the giver can get to business, ensuring that they keep their head perpendicular to the receiver’s vulva while working on their craft. Because this technique can be more intense for some receivers, start slowly by stroking the vulva and clitoris sideways with the tongue, and allow sensations and communication from the receiver to be a guide of what you need more or less of with the Kivin Method.
Ultimately, the Kivin Method allows experimentation and unlocking what pressure, rhythm, and tricks work best for the giver and the receiver. Try implementing a finger or two, or adding a sex toy to the mix to intensify the act even further.
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Featured image by Delmaine Donson/Getty Images