6 Sexy, Pregnancy-Safe Makeup Tips for Moms-to-Be

Pregnancy changes everything—including your go-to makeup routine. Try these expert tips to look and feel your best with pregnancy-safe products.
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By Ashlee Neuman, Content Director
Updated September 17, 2020
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Getting ready for a romantic night out? Picking the perfect outfit from among your maternity clothes can feel like a big enough challenge, but doing your makeup is no small task either. You want to look and feel your best, but your now super-sensitive skin can react badly to your normal products. Plus, now that there’s a baby on board, there are several potentially harmful makeup ingredients it’s best to avoid during pregnancy. Thankfully, you don’t have to toss your whole beauty routine out the window. Here, Markphong, a New York City-based makeup artist and Dermelect ambassador, offers a few easy tips for getting the look you want without putting you or baby (or your skin) at risk.

1. Pick an oil-free moisturizer. Some women experience that legendary pregnancy glow—but too much oil can often lead to acne. “In this case, women should use oil-free moisturizer and sunscreen,” Markphong says. For a great oil-free formula that won’t clog your pores, his pick is LaRoche’s Posay Anthelios Clear Skin SPF 60 ($20,

2. Try tinted lip balm. “When it comes to lipstick, try not to wear your favorite red, because the most vibrant red lipsticks contain more aluminum than other shades, which is very harmful to the fetus,” Markphong says. “Instead, use some tinted lip balm to moisturize your lips while also adding color.” He recommends Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm ($5,, Korres Lip Butter ($14, or Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment ($20,

3. Hand-curl your lashes. Since some mascaras include diazolidinyl urea—a preservative that releases formaldehyde—Markphong suggests skipping the mascara and using an eyelash curler instead. “Use a blowdryer on low heat to blow directly to the lashes, staying away from the eyeball,” he says. “This will add volume to your lashes without the risk of using mascara with potentially harmful ingredients.”

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4. Opt for a concealer instead of foundation. “With all the hormonal changes your body is experiencing, your skin is more sensitive than usual. Instead of wearing a heavy foundation—which can clog your pores and cause acne—let your skin breathe,” Markphong advises. “Use a concealer to cover under-eye circles and even out your skin tone.” His top pick is Demelect’s Redness Rehab Conceal and Correct ($38,, which conceals and camouflages redness and uneven skin tone while soothing and calming irritated skin.

5. Use blush to add dimension. Contouring may have been your go-to trick pre-pregnancy, but it can be too heavy on your now-sensitive skin, Markphong says. “Instead, use blush to lift your face and create a healthy dimension," he suggests. “It’ll create a light and bright glow, making you look more rested and fresh.” Markphong likes Josie Maran Argan Color Stick ($22,, RMS Lip2Cheek ($36, or Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush ($29,

6. Don’t neglect your eyebrows. You may not be getting a full night of rest these days, but with a few touch-ups to your eyebrows, no one will be able to tell. Markphong likes Dermelect’s Revitalite Brow Transformer ($26, for filling in any sparseness, and the Revitalite Brow Lift ($24, for visually lifting your brows. “It’s a great highlighter that brightens your eye area and makes you look and feel more awake when you’re missing your usual ZZZs,” he says.

Published February 2019

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