If Jennifer Lopez didn’t have you convinced, like, 14 years ago that a round, firm and perky booty was the new definition of beauty then maybe Vogue’s recent (and way too late to the party) editorial called “We’re Officially in the Era of the Big Booty” had you seriously taking a look at your own derriere. Or maybe, like Sir Mix-A-Lot, you were always fond of a round backside. Curves being sexy isn’t exactly a new phenomenon.
Whether your backside is the focus of your beauty and exercise energies, there’s no denying that a toned body (booty included) can take years off your appearance. Just look at 45-year-old Lopez (or more accurately, look at her butt) in her new, aptly-named video (see below) called “Booty” alongside 24-year-old Iggy Azalea’s rear end. (Note: this is not a video to watch at the office unless your boss is cool with semi-nude, sweaty, bums twerking against each other.)
If Lopez’s new brand of in-your-face booty fitness isn’t your cup of tea, no problem. We’re not suggesting that you hire a trainer and dance coach. Most of us just want to look good in a pair of jeans, maybe a bikini on the beach, rather than in a high-cut leotard worn in a sweaty nightclub.
How to get that booty looking firm and youthful? Follow these five steps.
Want to look bootylicious like Beyoncé? Arguably, one of the most effective ways to instantly see firmer-looking, healthier skin on your behind is with exfoliation and massage. Dry skin is bound to look bumpier than moisturized skin and the best way to get rid of that top layer of cellulite-enhancing dead skin cells is to exfoliate. Plus, scrubbing your bum promotes blood circulation, bringing oxygen to the surface, temporarily plumping the skin (while helping to hide dimples) and, depending on who you believe, actually fighting cellulite. Some experts will say that regular massage will help reduce the appearance of cellulite permanently, others say that regular massage only temporarily reduces the appearance. Either way, if you continue to do it, you’ll continue to see results.
Try: Dermadoctor KP Duty Body Scrub, $52, sephora.com (This scrub combines a physical exfoliant with a chemical peel to leave skin looking its best.)
Use targeted skincare products
Yes, body serums are now a thing. Why just moisturize when you can firm and improve the texture of your skin with a targeted serum before topping up with a lotion? Arbonne’s new Arbonne Intelligence Genius Booster Serum For Body, ($66, arbonne.ca) promises hydration, improved firmness and elasticity plus skin that glows — because why should your face get all the illuminating?
Also try: Clarins Body Lift Cellulite Smoother, $65, clarins.ca (This body lotion promises to minimize the orange peel look of cellulite while firming skin.)
You can’t get a firmer booty with just lotions and potions alone. You may have to sweat a little. If you’re not the traditional workout type, try riding a bike or just walking more. Work biking or walking into your daily commute and not only will your bum look better, the exercise is bound to make you feel better, too. If you want some bum-targeting exercises, we’ve got ‘em:
Plié: This classic ballet move can help you get the tight ballerina buns you’ve always wanted. Simply stand with feet a little wider than shoulder width apart with feet turned out (but not further than is comfortable. You’re not training for Swan Lake, here). With hands on your hips or extended out to the sides, bend knees and lower into a squat, then using your gluteus maximus, slowly raise your body back to your starting position. Repeat.
Squats: Like basic (often hated) crunches, squats work. That’s why people do them. And really, they’re not so bad. Stand with feet hip-width apart and lower your body while pushing your bum back over your heels. You shouldn’t feel off-balance but you should definitely feel the strain in your booty and upper thighs. Stand up again, keeping your weight in your heels. Repeat.
Yoga: The list of bum-enhancing yoga poses is too long to include here. If you’re into yoga or want to get into it, a regular practice with sun salutations and warrior poses will get that butt into gear.
Okay, so it is possible to get a firmer-looking booty without any work — unless you consider squeezing yourself into shapewear work. Of course, this method only gives you that youthful booty when you have clothes on but sometimes you need a quick fix, right? Look for pieces that promise to lift or firm your bottom. A panty or bodysuit that simply slims might pull you in tighter than you’d like without the lifting action you’re looking for. Bum-enhancing shapewear usually features panels on the backside for lift. And that lift is also available in hosiery, giving you lift without having to wear too many layers.
And if you want to go all out, try a garment with a padded bottom for extra volume and perkiness. Like a push-up bra for your bum!
Choosing the right clothes can also help to enhance your backside. The first step to creating a curvier silhouette is to actually draw attention to your waist, rather than your bum. A slim-looking waist helps accentuate the proportions of your body, making your hips and bum look wider. If your hips are wide enough, thank-you-very-much, focus instead on slimming pants and jeans that make your bum look firmer and perkier. Pants with back pockets that are small and set high on the bum help give your behind a visual lift. When buying jeans, look for back pockets that are not only set high in the back but that feature stitching or other details that draw attention to the area.
Combine these five tips and your backside will look worthy of J.Lo’s new video!