Photo: Courtesy of Jonathan Freitas


HONOLULU Fashion Week is about to kick off, and local makeup expert Jonathan Freitas is already gearing up. He and the team from Motives by Loren Ridinger are going to be doing the show makeup for all the runway models, and they’re also going to be giving one-on-one beauty consultations to anyone who stops by the Motives booth during HONOLULU Fashion Week.


We chatted with Freitas to get his thoughts on the upcoming Fashion Week shows, plus what’s new and exciting in the world of makeup.


H: So you’re already immersed in setting up for HONOLULU Fashion Week. When you meet with the designers, what do you talk about? What are they looking for from the makeup artists, on the runway?

We’ll look at the clothes, and figure out the message we’re trying to convey. The designers usually have a good idea of what they want. And we know our products, so we’ll take that idea and translate that into a look. We met yesterday about the Reyn Spooner show, and it’s all about Aloha Friday. It’s aloha wear, it’s relaxed. So you don’t want the makeup to overpower the clothes. I keep telling my team, it’s about us making the clothes look their best. You don’t want the makeup to be memorable, you want the clothes to be memorable. So we’re going very natural, very clean. Accents on the eyes, but no harsh lines. It’s the “no makeup” makeup look.


H: What are some makeup trends that people will be seeing, coming into HONOLULU Fashion Week?

Definitely clean skin is back in. The natural look. I mean, yes, cover up the blemishes, even out the skin tone, but don’t make it look like makeup. You’ll see this aesthetic in almost every show this year.

The other thing that’s big now is no liner. More of a smudged, soft look. And then mascara and curled lashes. That was what I saw in New York: It’s all about the lashes. The eye liner is now closer to the lash line, and it’s mainly there to make the lashes look more full. Versus, oh look, she’s wearing liner.


Motives Reveal Me
Photos: Courtesy of Motives

H: With things going in a more minimal direction, are there any opportunities for drama?

Fall is all about the darker, richer colors. Matte lips are very in. Right now, I’m seeing a lot of girls taking a matte lip, and then layering a different gloss over it, to give it a different look. For example, Motives has this cool matte color called Reveal Me, it’s a neutral brown, with just a little bit of warmth to it. But a lot of girls are starting to put a gloss right over that.

Matte colors really bond to the lip, so you don’t have to worry as much about movement of the color. There’s no bleeding or blending of the two colors of the lipstick and the gloss that goes over it. Whether you’re talking or eating or whatever, you don’t get any bleed. It looks great, and it’s practical.


H: If clean, healthy skin is in the spotlight right now, what do you recommend to take care of your skin?

A good skincare regimen, definitely. Even in the wintertime. Here in Hawai‘i, a lot of ladies don’t realize that, even on a cloudy day, those UV rays go right through the clouds. It’s damaging your skin even though you’re not getting a sunburn. Sunscreen is a must, starting at an early age.

As you get older, the sloughing of the skin gets slower, so you want to take care of that. I recommend facials.

As far as products, I would recommend a basic tinted sunscreen. You can even take a natural coverage foundation or a full coverage foundation and use just a little bit of that with your moisturizer. Mix those together, and put that on your skin. That will sheer the foundation out a little bit, so it provides coverage, but your skin will shine through.


H: Besides doing the makeup for the runway models, what is Motives going to be doing at HONOLULU Fashion Week?

We’ll have a booth open for anyone who wants to stop by. We’re going to be doing custom, one-on-one consultations. We have a survey that you can take, to tell us the coverage you want, the ingredients you want, do you want more of a matte look, or a dewy look? So we’re offering custom-mixed, mineral-based foundation, in both a liquid and a powder form. And then we’ll also have the whole Motive line of products on display at the booth, so if ladies want to stop by and get a quick touchup before they walk around the show, we’ll be there.

What’s really cool is that if someone has a foundation that they really love, that they used to get from a brand that no longer carries it, we can actually make that exact color for them. We can make any bottle of foundation you’d find on a shelf. It’ll match you perfectly.


Motives Wildflower

H: What are the benefits of working with a Motives makeup professional?

We like to empower women. We get paid to help people look and feel beautiful. Part of that is education, how to use a product or a tool, and once you have that skill, you’re more confident. A lot of our customers become our friends, because they’ll call us up, and of course we’re going to give our honest opinion about how they look. If you think about it, they’re a walking billboard for our work and the Motive brand.

We’ll also pull you into trying new looks. Maybe someone doesn’t wear lipstick, and I’ll put a lipstick color on them that isn’t very strong, but to them it is, because they’ve never worn it before.

I tell them, I’ll never let you leave my chair looking bad. Because you’re a testimony to my work. You may not be comfortable right away wearing a particular color, because you’re not used to seeing yourself in that way, but I promise you that you will walk out looking great.

I have a lip gloss called Wildflower, and it’s literally purple. It’s a violet with a little white in it to soften it up. But it’s purple. And everyone freaks out when I pull that color out. No, I’ll never wear that! But it’s so sheer that when I put it on their lips, every single person loves it and buys one for themselves.

I like that moment of discovery. I like getting people to think a little bit outside of their box. We’re so in our comfort zones when it comes to makeup.


H: The Youtube makeup scene is huge these days. Has that changed how you do your job?

The YouTube culture is definitely a double-edged sword. Oh my god, there’s so much bad information out there. Even the contouring thing. We used to do contouring for editorials, stuff like that. But it was mostly a special occasion thing. But now so many women are making it an everyday thing. They contour the hell out of their face. I call it Indian stripes on their face. I’m like, you don’t need to do all that!

Women do come in with a baseline of knowledge that’s a little stronger than before. Women used to learn makeup from their mom. And obviously their mothers’ skin tone or facial structure might have been different. But they put their makeup on the way their mom did. Now, there are different options.

We’re still able to educate women. The “no makeup” look, for example, is a little more complicated than you might think. There are products there. I think one of the shows this year, we’re using eight or nine products for the natural look we’re going for. But when you look at the models’ faces, you won’t notice anything.

If you have beautiful skin, I think your skin should shine through.



Join us at HONOLULU Fashion Week, a three-day event spanning Nov. 10, 11 and 12 at the Hawai‘i Convention Center. The event is free and open to the public. Visit for more details.



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