The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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So maybe you won’t be flaunting your abs at this year’s holiday parties. After all, for most, pregnancy ’tis not the season for midriff-baring fashions. But you can still draw plenty of attention with the combination of your glowing skin, your blooming body and a little beauty know-how.
We consulted makeup artist Bobbi Brown, creator of Bobbi Brown Essentials and mother of three — Dylan, 8, Dakota, 6, and Duke, 6 months — for tips on how you can sparkle throughout the holiday season and how you can camouflage some changes to your features that may occur during pregnancy. We’ve also suggested products — both new and tried-and-true, Brown’s and others — to help you get the look you want.
Dark spots These may appear on your cheeks, forehead and upper lip. “This hormonal-based condition known as melasma, also called ‘mask of pregnancy’, gets worse in sunlight, so don’t try to hide it by tanning,” warns Dennis E. Newton, M.D., clinical professor of Dermatology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas.
Beauty secret Wear a moisturizing sunblock with an SPF of at least 15. Conceal existing spots with a yellow-toned concealer. “I’m a huge believer in the yellow tones,” Brown says. “Warmer colors work wonders.” Lightly and evenly apply a foundation that matches your skin color.
Set your foundation with a matching tinted powder, applied with a powder puff.
Acne These blemishes are also the result of hormonal fluctuations. “Women who have never had trouble with acne before may now be afflicted,” Newton says. “For those with a tendency toward the condition, it could get worse.”
Beauty secret Clean your face and neck daily with a mild cleanser. Then apply an oil-free moisturizing lotion, followed by a yellow-toned concealer and an oil-free foundation. You can also try a foundation that’s specially formulated for acne. Top with a matching tinted translucent powder.
Dryness Dry skin can occur all over or just in some areas, such as your lips.
Beauty secret After cleansing with a mild cleanser, apply generous amounts of a rich moisturizer to your lips as you hydrate the rest of your face. Make sure to keep them protected all the time — with gloss or lipstick during the day and balm or Vaseline while you sleep.
For an evening out on the town, Brown suggests a shimmery lipstick in silver or pale pink. With these soft colors, define your lips first with a fine line, using a natural-toned liner. "You won’t need the liner for these bright colors,” Brown says. “It will look fresher without it.” For lasting results, apply foundation and powder on your lips first; then add lipstick with a brush.