I am currently well into my third trimester. I was honestly really looking forward to dressing my pregnant body this time around; I feel like I’ve become a lot more comfortable in my own skin since my last child was born and my style has become much more defined. What I didn’t count on, however, was how thoroughly the heat of summer would defeat me. Both my previous pregnancies took place during the fall and winter and I never experienced cankles or the pain of trying to squeeze myself into a swimsuit at seven months pregnant to attend a first grade swim party.
It just hasn’t been nearly as fun as I was expecting, you know?
Mercifully, the weather is cooling as I head into the last seven weeks of pregnancy. I’m the largest I’ve ever been, but I am working really hard at feeling good about myself as we prepare to welcome our daughter!
Here are eight things I’ve done to fight the beauty blahs and help myself feel glamorous in the third trimester:
1. I tried some new makeup techniques
I am a creature of habit when it comes to makeup. I rarely buy or try anything new. However, after I complained to a makeup artist friend that I look pregnant EVERYWHERE (including my nose), she gently suggested that I give highlighting and contouring a try to help give definition to the softened angles of my face. I was pretty nervous but she gave me some tips and I went home and tried it. I’m no Kim Kardashian but, sure enough, my nose receded a bit and my cheekbones reappeared.
2. I went on fancy dates with my husband
My life as a work-at-home mom is not particularly glamorous. I often leave the house only to hit up the grocery store or do pre-school pickup, neither of which necessitate a nice blouse or curling my hair. My husband made sure to take me out on a few nicer dates this trimester that required dressing up. We went to a play, a couple nice restaurants, and a fancy dinner party. I even wore heels (although I packed flats in my purse, which ended up being wise!). It’s amazing how good those outings made me feel!
3. I routinely wear glittery styles
I normally prefer stuff with a bit of an edge (think studs and faux leather), but during this pregnancy I’ve found myself repeatedly reaching for glitter (like on this gold belt from Target) and other more feminine touches. It gives me the extra boost of prettiness I need when I feel big and swollen!
4. I started wearing big jewelry
I am the type of person who wears the same delicate necklace for months on end, but this pregnancy has called for statement jewelry! I picked up five new necklaces on clearance a few months ago and have been wearing them constantly. I kind of feel like big necklaces help balance out my big belly!
5. I hide what needs to be hidden
I’m happy to don a lightweight maxi dress any time my ankles are not fit for public consumption. No one needs to see my swollen sausage toes! Plus maxi dresses tend to make me feel long and lean, regardless of my belly size. They’re my secret third trimester weapon!
6. I take weekly belly pictures — and I force myself to get dressed for them!
Pregnancy may FEEL interminable, but it’s actually pretty fleeting. I was terrible about taking belly pictures with my boys, but I was determined to document this one! Every Tuesday I wash my hair, put on makeup, get dressed, and take a belly picture in this little corner of our house with great light. I’ve missed a few weeks here and there but not many. It’s kind of like a weekly glamour shot, and it helps to have visual proof that I’m not quite the whale I think I am.
7. I bought new unmentionables
As I mentioned above, I am pregnant EVERYWHERE this time around! My backside and thighs were among the earliest to expand, and I quickly noticed that my underwear was drawing deep lines in my skin AND creating a rather lumpy look under my clothes. I finally admitted defeat and bought myself a couple packs of underwear two whole sizes bigger. It hurt my self esteem at first but now my underwear fits comfortably and I have no more awkward lumps going on around my hips and bum. Confidence really does start with what you have on under your clothing!
8. I paint my nails
I almost NEVER bother giving myself a manicure, and I’ll leave one outgrown pedicure on my feet for six months. However, with my swollen toes and pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel-y fingers, a little polish makes a BIG difference in how I feel about myself. The sausage look doesn’t bother me quite so much when it’s topped off by a pretty paint job.