Pregnancy Files: 2nd Trimester Beauty and Style Essentials

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I’m a couple of weeks into my third trimester (!!!), so that means I’m ready to share what items were (and are still) essentials for me during this summertime pregnancy. Let me tell you, being pregnant in the summer is NO JOKE and I’m really glad I don’t live in Houston anymore because I’d probably be dead. But regardless, these are the items from clothing and accessories to body care and makeup that I’ve had on constant rotation for my 2nd trimester beauty and style essentials.

2nd Trimester Beauty and Style Essentials hero

2nd trimester beauty and style essentials

When I first found out I was pregnant, it was the dead of winter (early February) and I was able to disguise myself under leggings and giant oversized sweaters.

I strongly assumed I’d live in 450 maxi dresses all summer because they sounded light and breezy.

DISCLOSURE: they’re hot and give you chub rub.

Let’s get into the style/fashion essentials first.


I quickly learned that the maxi dresses not only make me feel so hot and like there’s no ventilation, they also made me look 5x larger than I was since I’m carrying high.

I have always been a shorts/tank top/t-shirt girl, so the decision to rock cute maternity cut off shorts was a lot easier than anticipated. This cute denim pair from Motherhood Maternity is always in my laundry getting washed and re-worn weekly because they’re cute, trendy and flattering.

For the tops, I stopped wearing the slouchy, boyfriend t’s of the first trimester and had to move into more fitted styles to – again – avoid looking much larger than I am.

I stocked up on about five of these basic side ruched muscle tanks from Motherhood Maternity when they were on a $5/each sale. Easy to dress up or down, these are a summer pregnancy staple!

If I’m NOT wearing one of the muscle tanks, I picked up a couple of these Jessica Simpson nursing tanks, as well. They have a built-in shelf bra with light padding so you don’t need another bra which is lovely in the heat. The pretty lace detail makes them easy to wear from day to-night.

2nd trimester style essentials summer pregnancy | brighter darling

2nd trimester style essentials summer pregnancy | brighter darling blog

In the early to middle parts of the second trimester, I wasn’t totally comfortable with the burrito belly I was still rocking since I didn’t pop until around 24 weeks.

To combat feeling a bit bloated and provide a bit more coverage with those tank tops and short shorts, I added a few kimonos to my repertoire. These will work well post-baby, too, and totally on trend! I got the floral (similar here) and cream crochet one (similar here) at Motherhood Maternity, and the solid black from Caslon at Nordstrom (similar here).


Towards the end of the second trimester once the belly popped, a few of my undies felt like they were constantly riding up and weren’t large enough. I decided to size up to a bigger size in this seamless style from Victoria’s Secret. They’re great because they don’t show through IF/WHEN I do wear a fitted dress, and they’re larger than my pre-pregnancy undies, so I feel more comfortable especially under the bump and on the booty!

2nd trimester style essentials | seamless undies victorias secret | brighter darling

To help elevate the tank top/kimono look, a pregnant mama would not be complete without some cute accessories. I think sticking to maternity basics like tanks/tees and a couple of staple bottoms (whether shorts, leggings or a pair or two of jeans, depending on the season), but having more fun with accessories is the best way to stay on a budget with maternity style.

I am often a studs and simple/delicate necklace wearer, but I find wearing a pretty pair of (neutral, of course) bolder earrings helps me feel a little fancier when I basically feel like a beached walrus.

2nd trimester style essentials | kendra scott jewelry earrings necklace bracelet cuff

You guys always see me wearing Kendra Scott, but it’s because her jewelry holds up, doesn’t tarnish, and she makes lots of delicate pieces I LOVE. She also has been expanding to have a few more statement, bright pieces… but they still have neutral color tones so I don’t feel too over the top wearing them. These crystal earrings, these tassel earrings, this pearl necklace, and this cuff bracelet have been worn often.

If you’re curious about the other 2nd trimester details – like symptoms, weight gain, diet, exercise, etc. – you can watch my 2nd trimester “Bumpdate” here:


Not much has changed in regards to my skin care routine in the second trimester. I spoke more in-depth about it back in the first trimester here.

But of course, a beauty blogger would not be true to herself if she wasn’t dabbling in a few new things along the way.

As far as skin care, I added a couple new things to my routine. The more drier skin has continued through the second trimester, as well as, an overall lack of radiance. I attribute this 100% to not being able to use my Retin A anymore and literally am counting the days until it’s safe for me to use it again.

Ugh… Retin A is LIFE for anti aging! I miss it!

2nd trimester beauty essentials | brighter darling blog

So in the meantime, I’ve been layering on one pump of Paula’s Choice Radiance Renewal Mask as the last step in my evening skin care routine (2-3x/week) for a little boost of glow. It’s a mask you can sleep with and is surprisingly non-greasy/heavy on the skin with the lightweight gel formula.

In the mornings, I subbed out my Holy Grail Glossier Super Bounce (temporarily, I’m sure… as I do LOVE that stuff) for the Paula’s Choice Brightening Essence. This isn’t NEW to me… I’ve already finished a bottle before pregnancy… but I love the texture. Light and serum-y, the brightening essence has Licorice Root Extract, Niacinimide and Vitamin C (three HUGE brightening ingredients) to help even my skin tone and …well, make it appear brighter!

As for makeup, I think my eyes have looked a little more tired lately (probably due to the drier skin I’m experiencing), so I’ve actually lightened up on the amount of eye makeup I’m wearing particularly on the lower lash line. I’m focusing on heavily coating my upper lashes with a lengthening and volumizing mascara I used to LOVE – L’Oreal Telescopic. It can be a little clumpy for some, but I love the intense black, thick drama it gives the lashes. Paired with any neutral shimmer shadow, and a baby wing with an intensely black liquid liner pen(like this one from Urban Decay or Pixi)… and my eye look is complete.

Not wearing makeup on the lower lashes tends to draw the eyes UPWARD and give a more wide-eyed, youthful appearance for me right now… especially for every day.

Lastly, with body care, I mentioned this in the 2nd Trimester YouTube Video, but I’ve been loyal to mixing in a 5-7 drops of Bio Oil with any body lotion/cream/butter I have on hand to help ward off stretch marks and just keep my skin looking healthy.

I also have been dry brushing my body to help exfoliate the dead cells off which helps with cell turnover… I hope that helps with stretch marks too. Who knows.

Now that I’m out of the first trimester, I have been OCCASIONALLY self tanning. I know some may freak out about that, but to each their own and as long as I’m using a ‘clean/organic/vegan’ type of formula… I don’t feel badly about it. I’ve been switching back and forth between the Tarte Brazilliance Plus (subtle color, wears off incredibly well) or the Isle of Paradise Dark Mousse (more intense color, probably the most natural ‘dark’ self tanner I’ve ever tried).

Alright, that wraps up my essentials. I hope this is helpful to those of you a little behind me in the pregnancy journey (or those in the future reading this).

If you’ve recently went through pregnancy and have any advice for me in my third trimester now, definitely leave it below in the comments. Would love to hear from you!

2nd Trimester - Pregnancy Beauty and Style Essentials for Summer Pregnancy _Brighter Darling Blog

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