Tips for getting glowing skin for your engagement session

Your engagement photos are a unique opportunity to celebrate your love and capture the magic of this special time. Whether you’re a natural in front of the camera or feeling a bit camera-shy, being photo-ready goes a long way to help you radiate confidence, authenticity, and love in every frame. Every artist knows that your canvas matters, the quality of the base you are working with can make or break the end results. This goes for makeup artists as well. The secret weapon to being photo-ready is to have glowing healthy skin. We had the opportunity to chat with Portland Esthetician Allison Garguilo, owner of Skin Love PDX to get the details on how to put your best face forward.

A Conversation with Allison Garguilo 

What role does a healthy skin care regime have in being “photo-ready”?

A healthy skincare regimen is so important for being “photo-ready”, whether you are planning on wearing makeup or not. Having a skincare routine customized to your needs can help to even out skin tone and texture, clear blemishes, hydrate the skin and just give an overall ‘glow’. A proper skincare routine will help to prevent any flakiness or unevenness, so that makeup application will look smoother and apply more evenly. I often hear clients concerned that their foundation isn’t wearing evenly, and the problem isn’t the foundation, but that the skin hasn’t been properly prepped. There is really no one size fits all skincare routine, so seeing an esthetician is a really great way to find a skincare routine that works for you.

What services should couples consider when prepping for their engagement photos or wedding day?

When prepping for engagement or wedding day photos, there are a wide array of services couples can consider. Besides just getting facials, couples may want to consider brow and lash services; such as shaping, lamination, tinting, or lash extensions, depending on the look and level of glamor they are going for! Simply getting a brow shape and tint is an easy way to achieve a more dramatic and glamorous look. For people with facial hair, facials and hair removal services are a great way to help keep the skin in those areas smooth and bump free, and waxing will create a smoother surface, if you are choosing to wear makeup. Body services, such as back or chest facials are a great service for brides who may be wanting to show a bit more skin and want to even out the skin tone or clear up blemishes for a low cut or backless fashion.

Is a healthy skin care regime a “girl thing”?

A healthy skincare regimen is for EVERYONE! Girls, guys, gays, theys, masc, femme and everyone in between! A skincare studio should be a safe space for everyone to go and look great, feel great and be educated about what a skincare routine looks like! Everyone has skin and everyone wants to look and feel their best for their “big day”. Engagement and wedding photographs are an important reminder of starting your life together, and everyone should be able to love how they look!

When is the optimal timeline for getting a facial before engagement photos or wedding events? Like 1 week out, 2 weeks out…?

In terms of when one should get a facial prior to the big event, the most common advice is to schedule a facial two weeks prior, but that isn’t a hard and fast rule. I often have clients who begin getting monthly facials 3-6 months prior, and some couples even start a year prior to the wedding! For someone who has never had professional facial services before and is more of a skincare novice, I would recommend scheduling your first visit about 3 months prior, which will allow your esthetician time to build a treatment plan and achieve significant results. For someone who is already getting facials more regularly, listen to your esthetician! Talk to your esthetician about your skincare goals and the wedding day you are hoping for. The “two week” rule is generally advised just in case of a purge, or to give skin time to heal after extractions, but if you have been getting facials regularly for at least 3 months prior, purging won’t be a concern and you can get a facial closer to the day of.

What’s your skin care philosophy?

My personal skincare philosophy is “do whatever makes you feel beautiful, sexy, and confident, just remember to cleanse, moisturize and wear sunscreen”. I think that for so long the beauty industry could feel very intimidating, because women were made to feel so much shame, for either not doing enough or for doing too much and my focus is really working with my clients as individuals and creating a routine that works best for them. Your skincare should be about feeling comfortable in and confident in your own skin.

In conclusion, your engagement photos are a testament to the love and magic you share with your partner. Being photo-ready involves more than just posing and styling—it starts with the foundation of healthy, glowing skin. A customized skincare routine, tailored to your specific needs, can ensure an even complexion, smooth texture, and a natural radiance. Seeking the expertise of an esthetician, like Allison Garguilo from Skin Love PDX, can guide you in finding the perfect skincare regimen.

As you prepare to get photo-ready for your engagement session or wedding day, consider additional services such as brow and lash treatments, facials, and hair removal to enhance your overall look. Remember, skincare is not limited to any gender—it’s for everyone who wants to look and feel their best. So, prioritize your skin health, and let your inner beauty shine through in every captured moment of your special journey together.

Discover more ways to feel more confident and prepared for your engagement or wedding in the latest issue of our magazine!