It occurred to me last night that I should come up with a list of pregnancy must-haves to help those who might need some (fashion and beauty) tips. Of course, every pregnancy (and woman) is different so bear in mind that these are things that have helped me through the third trimester (to get the best deals and selection, start shopping as soon as you start trying to get pregnant; but keep all tags/receipts until after you get pregnant):
(1) Maternity clothes and shoes. No need to go crazy here–just a few pieces to put into rotation are fine. Suggestions include a couple pairs of leggings (great for every day and for all seasons), two to three wrap dresses (easy to wear and, again, for all seasons), hosiery (for fall and winter months), cocktail dress (nothing too fancy–just something to wear for more formal occasions [i.e., weddings, holiday parties, etc.]), rain jacket/windbreaker, winter coat (for fall and winter months), nursing tanks/camisoles (again, great for every day and for all seasons), and comfortable shoes (Nordstrom.com has an excellent selection of wide sizes).
(2) Maternity underwear. Bras (go without saying) are definite must-haves. If you don’t want to stretch out your pre-pregnancy underwear, get maternity panties ASAP (you’ll need them before you realize you do).
(3) New skincare routine. Since the first trimester, my skin has gone into overdrive in terms of oil-production. It’s high school all over, again. Whether your skin is changing for the better or worse (oilier or drier), it’s time to re-evaluate and change your skincare routine. Basics include a cleanser fit for your skin type NOW (versus pre-pregnancy), toner, moisturizer (if you need it), and SPF protection. My favorites include Dr. Weil’s Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Cleanser, Christian Dior’s Toning Lotion with Velvet Peony Extract, La Mer Moisturizing Cream (yes, it’s pricey, but a little goes a long way; there’s something about that sea kelp formula that WORKS), and Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector SPF 42 (great for all seasons–if you have dry skin, you can use moisturizer underneath). Also, your nails will likely grow quite fast so keep a good set of nail clippers on hand.
(4) Prenatal Vitamins. This one is self-explanatory. Of course, use per your doctor’s instructions/directions. Same goes for your diet.
(5) Aromatherapy. Have a scent and/or scents on hand to relax you (especially if you’re prone to pregnancy blues, anxiety, and/or depression). Whether it’s candles, perfume, lotion, soaps, and/or shampoo, it’s nice to have something that smells pleasant around you. My favorites include Origins Smoothing Souffle (body cream that smells like mint), pine cones, and Nature’s Own Essence Peppermint Essential Oil.
(6) The book, What to Expect: The First Year (Heidi Murkoff, Sharon Mazel, Arlene Eisenberg, and Sandee Hathaway). Even if you already have other baby books, this is a great resource that offers some interesting perspectives.
(7) Simple and/or streamlined makeup routine. Even though I’m less of a makeup fiend than I was during pre-pregnancy, it still helps to have a set of go-to items for days when I want to glam it up a bit (but not take two hours to get ready). The three main areas that need coverage are face, eyes, and lips. Basics include a foundation, mascara or false lashes, and lipstick or gloss. If you’re blessed with flawless skin, all you need on your face (in place of foundation and/or powder) is a good SPF (and maybe moisturizer). My favorites include Christian Dior’s Airflash Spray Foundation (pricey but a little goes a long way; wear a shower cap and apply with your fingers to get the most natural look; great if you want an air brushed and I-just-walked-out-of-a-magazine look [with every little effort]), Ardell’s Natural Lashes (Demi Wispies), Bobbi Brown’s Long Wear Gel Eyeliner (favorite colors are Caviar, Espresso, and Ivy Shimmer), Estee Lauder’s Automatic Brow Pencil Duo, and Christian Dior’s lipstick and fluid stick (CD’s selection of color is amazing; this stuff glides on and has a subtle shimmer; there’s something for everyone). If you need makeup brushes, nothing compares to Chanel’s brush line. Nothing.
(8) Jewelry and/or accessories. At a time when you’re feeling nostalgic for your pre-pregnancy clothes (and shoes), I find that there’s nothing that some makeup, nail polish, and/or jewelry can’t fix (and, cake, too–but that’s another topic). A simple but eye-catching piece of jewelry can do wonders for your outfit (and your mood). If you’re shopping for jewelry, try to look for something that you would consider passing down to your child and/or children. This makes wearing (and buying) jewelry all the more meaningful (not to mention fashionable).