My Makeupless Engagement Shoot

About a month ago, my fiance, Scott, and I had one of those popular (read: overdone) engagement photo shoots. I spent the days prior considering what to wear, what image to portray. Cute and girly? Sophisticated and timeless? “Effortless” and casual? These are pictures that I hope to pass  along to our future children and grandkids, so I wanted them to truly represent who we are as a couple.

More confusing than what to wear clothing-wise was whether or not to  put on a full face of makeup and go for a “flawless” look or to stick to the bare face I am learning to accept. The ladies at Beauty Redefined have written about photoshopping ourselves out of reality, and I feel like when I wear enough makeup to create a “perfect” image, I no longer look like myself, and am indeed doing just that. It wasn’t until the night before the shoot that I decided: I want to look like myself in these pictures, “imperfections” included, because that’s the Shalini that Scott loves. I also didn’t want to spend an extra 40 minutes primping, or have to worry about getting concealer on Scott’s shirt, or having to re-apply makeup halfway through the shoot. These are often the reasons I don’t wear makeup on a daily basis anyway; it’s just so much easier to go without it.

I was a bit nervous opening up the photos last week, afraid that I’d look horrible, and that I’d made a poor decision in not giving in to societal standards of flawless beauty. I wondered, what if my grandkids remember me as ugly? But then I thought of the pictures I’ve seen of my grandparents in their youth, and it’s not their looks that I notice; rather, I see the love, hope, certainty, and excitement in their eyes, and that is the most beautiful thing you can witness in a couple. When I look at our engagement pictures, I see Scott and myself in our element, happy and goofy, and so in love with each other for who we truly are. I am lucky to have found a man who sees beauty in my “flaws” and has challenged me to see it for myself. I’m slowly starting to see the beauty, and for that, I am ever grateful, Scott.



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Photo credit: The amazingly talented, and quite possibly the most fun and chill photographer in the world, Michael Munoz. Thanks for such a memorable day!

  • Democracy Diva

    I love this idea. I’m not sure if I’m brave enough to do this when I get engaged, but I’m seriously considering it. You look beyond radiant. Thanks for another inspiring post!

    • Shalini Wickramatilake

      Thanks so much, sweetheart! You ARE brave enough to do this. I’m really glad I decided to go with a natural look. I’m sure I’ll wear makeup for the wedding, so it’s nice to have some high-quality pictures of us looking like… well, us!

  • Cait

    You’re SO beautiful! This is such a great idea. Thank you for the inspiration.

    • Shalini Wickramatilake

      Aw, Cait, you are so kind. Thank YOU so much- you just made my day! <3

  • Shalini Shah

    Another Shalini who is obsessed with self love, body love, and everything in between??? You are inspiring and your photos are beautiful. Is there a way outside of comments where I can contact you?


    • Shalini Wickramatilake

      Shalini!!! What a lovely name 😉 sorry I’ve been MIA; out of town for a few day (in Omaha of all places). Feel free to email me: Can’t wait to hear from you!

      I had a glance at your site (which is awesome, I might add), and your work is so incredibly important and admirable. Can’t wait to learn more about it!

      Here’s to Shalinis, body-loving, and happiness! You are amazing.