In an ideal world, we would all be perfectly content with the bodies we were given. But in the real world, even the most confident woman struggles from time to time, wishing she had been blessed with more (or less) in a certain area. One of the biggest sources of uncertainty for many women is our breasts.

While it’s tempting to pick apart our supposed shortcomings – Too big! Too small! Too round! Too flat! Not perky enough! Too high! – why not instead focus your energies on some easy ways to give your bust a boost?

If you aren’t ready, willing or interested in going under the knife, there are still plenty of ways to give “the girls” a helping hand. While most of these tips are aimed at creating the illusion of size, many apply to women who simply would love to emphasize their assets and make the most of what they’ve got.

Tip #1 – Stand Up Straight!
Mom was right. By simply improving your posture, you instantly perk up your breasts, helping them appear higher and fuller. Standing up straight will lengthen your body and thrust out your bust, two keys to easily give your cleavage a free and easy boost.

It may take time to break the slouching habit, but make it a point to remind yourself a couple times a day to lengthen your spine, push back your shoulders and hold your head high! Practicing yoga and/or Pilates is helpful, as both forms of exercise focus on strengthening and lengthening your core muscles and reinforcing great posture through self-awareness.

Tip #2 – Find the Perfect Bra: Your Support System
Supportive undergarments have long helped women mold their bodies into a more “desirable” shape. But unlike those horribly stiff, constricting and punishing contraptions of yesteryear, today’s options are far more user-friendly.

The Wonderbra is a time-tested classic in terms of push-up bra technology, but there are numerous brands and styles available to help give a lift to the ladies while simultaneously vamping up your cleavage.

Tip #3 – Other Bra “Tricks” That Will Increase Your Cup Size
Fancy push-up bras aren’t the only way to get the job done. Below are a few tricks that can add a little “oomph” to your bust line:

A convertible bra with the straps configured in an “X” on the back creates instant lift and pushes the breasts together for a very flattering look.

If you feel like the cotton inserts in more traditional padded bras are too clumpy or unnatural looking, try a silicone bra insert, which will give you the eye-catching look of silicone implants without surgery. Browse for silicone bra inserts (they look a lot like chicken cutlets) available in a variety of sizes and price points (anywhere from $12 to $48 and more). These are also great for women who have breasts that are different sizes and wish to even out their chest.

When you’re in a pinch, why not try wearing two bras at once? Start with a pushup bra for lift and supplement with a traditional two-strapped bra to provide extra support and a slight bump in size. This works great under T-shirts and sweaters.

Tip #4 – Use Your Clothing and Accessories to Play Up Your Chest
Once you’ve got your undergarments in place, it’s time to put together a look that will play up what you’ve got and create an illusion of volume up top. Start with a top or dress that has detailing – ruffles, beading, bows – at the bust line. Horizontal stripes also work to accentuate the size of your chest, particularly when using large bands of color. Empire waistlines, wide lapels, pockets on the breast and gathered or ruched bust lines also work to fool the eye.

While you want to go big on top with your clothes, you should go the opposite direction with your accessories. Keep your jewelry small, forgoing big, bold necklaces for a dainty chain or charm that rests just above your cleavage. Think of red-headed bombshell Joan Holloway on “Mad Men” with her signature slim chain and pen worn around her neck. You want the jewelry to look small in comparison to your bust.

Tip #5 – Use Makeup to Create the Illusion of Deep Cleavage
Never underestimate the power of a little bronzer and a makeup brush. As always, start with a great push-up bra and top it off with a low-cut or V-neck blouse. Next, use a large make-up brush to apply a thin dusting of bronzer powder to the area of your chest just above where your top hits. Start from the inside out and apply the bronzer in a “windshield wiper” arc across your breast; repeat on the other side. This creates a slight natural-looking shadow and the appearance of depth. Finish the look with a touch of light powder in between the breasts. Be sure both sides are even and the makeup is not too heavy. We don’t recommend that you try this with a white top!