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Danny Defreitas on Flawless Skin

When the catwalk lights go up, there's no denying that the main focus is the garment, but the overall look is orchestrated by a tireless backstage team, who painstakingly apply, remove and reapply products to complement and execute the final look. Men's grooming has exploded in recent years with new product innovations and lines flooding the market almost daily. The added challenge, however comes in the way of having to remain exceedingly subtle.

Application techniques must be flawless to give the most natural feeling and where a bold, dramatic look is needed, the execution has to be perfectly pitched to get the right effect.

Velsvoir 2015
Velsvoir 2015

Successfully navigating this potential minefield is Danny Defreitas, freelance Hair and Makeup Artist and Head of Grooming at the Velsvoir Presentation for Autumn/Winter 2015. Danny's ten years of experience and celebrity clientele made him the ideal candidate to creatively set the trends and offer advice to men out of the spotlight. When not working with print, catwalk or personal clients, Danny also teaches at CBMA, of which he is an alumnus. We caught up with Danny backstage at the London Edition Hotel for some insights into the creative process, career highlights and professional tips to get flawless skin. 

How does the initial consultation process with the Designer or Creative Director work? 

“We've had a few meetings and the process takes a little bit of time. There's so much planning that goes into something like this and I really love being hands on and creative. I want to make sure that the collection is the most iconic statement, because at the end of the day, it is LC:M, we're here to see the clothes and for me, hair and makeup is purely there to complement and bring that story and narrative to life.”

What was the team at Velsvoir like to work with? 

“The boys are fantastic and an absolute pleasure to work with. They allowed me to have creative freedom and in doing do, I like to present them with a few different pitches and ideas. From there, they then take some ideas and we work back and forth [to refine it]. The look and the focus areas do change and mutate and that's where we come up with something unique and new. We put our creativity together and perhaps come up with something more fresh.” 

What came next? 

“Afterwards, I [pulled together] a few swatches; I custom blended all the colours that we used. That makes it really unique and a little bit more special. I wanted to encapsulate the collection, which incorporates monochrome with a hue of blue, a kind of reflection on the whole Autumn/Winter season. I still wanted to [embody] a more masculine feel, so I thought by introducing this to the inner socket area, it enhanced that frown while still keeping it a bit more moody, and that hue of deep blue/navy colour just really introduces and ties in with the actual collection.”

Men in general are becoming more comfortable with makeup, what trends have you seen in the industry? 

“I'm quite a big fan of a 'no makeup' makeup look on men. I think it's very important for it to be very approachable and realistic. It's all about enhancing what's already there. At the moment, there's a little bit of a stronger contour going around, which I think if it's executed correctly can look amazing. With this type of environment, people are going to get quite close to the models; they're going to want to get a bit closer to the garments and I feel like it should be very friendly.” 

Do you have any standout career highlights? 

“It's so hard to choose, perhaps working alongside Rihanna as I'm a huge fan of her style and music. She was delightful. On a more personal level I would say it was gaining a distinction when I trained to be a hair stylist. It was my dream, which has now opened a number of others I have.”

Do you have any advice for our readers? 

“A little advice for the year coming is [to have] fresh skin and I think skincare is more important than ever. It is really coming into its own and people are feeling so confident with their makeup application due to social media and YouTube and they're executing fantastic looks. So if ever in doubt, check out YouTube! I'm all about skin, a flawless base is the foundation to creating a key trend makeup look for any season. I use a lot of different products depending on the client, however I can't live without a few specifics which are Strobe Cream by MAC Cosmetics, cream concealers by Chanel and also my contour palette by Tom Ford. Who doesn't love a bit of contour at the moment?”

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