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Keeping abreast of how to boost boobs

Breast implants have become so routine that many women don't think twice about having them. But, like any operation, there are risks, and some boob jobs don't turn out as well as others.

Take the woman in the UK recently who was undergoing a breast enlargement and the plastic surgeon inadvertently burned her breast. I had initially presumed that the doctor was either having a sneaky ciggie, balanced it on her chest while he contemplated her next step and the implant caught fire, or else she is a pyromaniac and just likes playing with matches. But no, the damage was caused by heat from medical equipment. The patient is now suing her ass, which I suspect will hurt her a lot more than the breast operation.

There are other risks, such as infections, breasts that end up weighing a kilo each and pointing in opposite directions, or being left with nipples the size of heat-seeking missiles. But fear not, because Maggie was on hand to explain, once again, how to get the appearance of new mammaries without having to undergo surgery.

"I've told ye lot before, you can buy new boobs in a jar," she loudly sighed, which implied that the three of us were intellectually challenged.

It seems that bust-busting creams have taken off in a big way, with sales trebling during the past year. Debenhams alone sold 1.5 million pots of bust-boosting lotions in 2010 compared with 500,000 in 2009, which makes this sector the fastest growing (if you pardon the pun) in the beauty industry. It's all because women don't want the 'Madonna effect'.

What's the Madonna effect?" I asked. "It's where your face looks 10 years younger than it should but your neck and cleavage have the texture of sun-dried tomatoes."

Sara Stern, director of beauty at Debenhams, explains the boom further. "However much you take care of your face, ignoring the d├ęcolletage and neck area will betray your age in a second.

"The popularity of the hour-glass figure shows no signs of slowing and women are keen to turn back the clock with a plump bust."

Stern also advises women to use a high sun- factor cream on their chests. If none of this works, Stern also tells women to: "Swirl your bronzer around your cleavage and wear costume jewellery to cast a flattering light and distract the eye."

This is exactly what Maggie does. In fact, she uses so much bronzer that her boobs look like two large pumpkins waiting on the shelf for Hallowe'en to come round. I live in fear that I'll get hit with one on the back of the head.

Flattering they are not, but they are distracting.