How YouTuber and Student Hillary Trinh Finds Balance (And Perfect Selfie Lighting)
by Faith Choi
Images: Hillary Trinh
At the age of 18, Hillary Trinh (better known as Hyulari), has a YouTube channel that boasts over 466,000 subscribers after being on the Youtube scene for only around a year. For me, personally, finding just the right makeup tutorial on YouTube for my Asian features has always proven to be like looking for a needle in the haystack. But stumbling upon Hyulari’s channel several months ago was almost like stumbling into a small gold mine of sorts. Her soft-spoken, patient voice-overs that accompany her no-frills tutorials and vlogs offer a nice reprieve from my hectic, loud New York days.
It doesn’t matter that she may not post new content at a scheduled time every week — her videos are always exciting and on trend, and Hyulari makes the wait worth it every time. And it’s no wonder, too, considering the high standard she admits she holds her videos to.
Hillary chatted with me about finding a balance between her life as a hardworking student and her hobby/potential career as a YouTuber, what her biggest struggle is as a YouTuber, and her special ingredient for the perfect selfie.
Milk Makeup: Who or what inspired you to become a Youtuber?
Hillary Trinh: I’ve always loved watching YouTube and I’ve always wanted to start a channel. I also think watching my friend Olivya Nora and her YouTube channel gave me the push and confidence that I needed to start a one. I always felt embarrassed about talking in front of a camera (and I still do sometimes), so seeing her do videos really inspired me and gave me courage.
MMU: How did you learn how to do makeup?
HT: I learned how to do makeup from watching YouTube videos and practicing. After doing my makeup for so long, I learned more about my face and facial structure, and what looks good on me and what doesn’t. It’s really all trial and error.
MMU: What’s your favorite beauty look that you’ve ever done?
HT: I haven’t done that many beauty looks on my channel or Instagram yet, but I think my favorite is my ultra-violet makeup.
MMU: The cringey-est one?
HT: None! I like all my beauty looks. 🙂
MMU: How do you determine which makeup tutorials to post on Youtube?
HT: As much as I love fun and “Instagram-y” makeup looks, I like posting wearable makeup looks that everyone can follow.
MMU: What has been the toughest part about being a Youtuber?
HT: One of the toughest parts about being a YouTuber is not 100% liking the content I put out. It’s easy for me to be critical of my videos, and I end up deleting whole videos after editing them because I’m not happy with the footage or [the] end result. This really holds me back from producing consistent content.
MMU: You’re always sporting the prettiest lip shades on your Insta pics. What’s your favorite or go-to lip product?
HT: I honestly have so many go-to lipsticks, but my favorite has got to be the Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche lipstick in Chai.
MMU: The one beauty product I can’t leave the house without is:
HT: Milk Makeup Flex Concealer!
MMU: What is your number one way of protecting your makeup from sweat and the summer heat?
HT: I would say translucent powder and baking are my best options! That’ll protect my makeup for some time, but I’ll still sweat off my makeup by the end of the day anyway, haha.
MMU: As someone who personally always goes for a minimal makeup look, I admire you for being bold with your looks sometimes. What would be your advice for someone like me, who is a little afraid to go outside the box?
HT: I’m actually like you, too! I normally do minimal makeup without going too outside-of-the-box. When it comes to doing a bold look, there are ways you can tame it and make it more wearable! With my ultraviolet eyeshadow, I paired it with a mauve lip color and for my two-tone sunset blush, I toned down my eye makeup! Don’t be afraid of color!
MMU: I remember you mentioning that you were a Computer Science major. Is the workload difficult to balance? If so, how do you do it?
HT: The workload is definitely hard to balance, but I just think of YouTube as a hobby and do it in my free time. I don’t get to upload often because of school and work, but keeping up with a schedule is how I balance all of that plus YouTube! College makes it easier for me to be in control of my time because I can choose my class times, so there are days where I film right before my 10 AM class or after my 6 PM class. Sometimes I’m up editing until 5 AM, but I enjoy it so I do it anyway.
MMU: I saw that you went to KCON recently! How was it? Do you have a favorite K-Pop group?
HT: KCON was really fun for me! I wasn’t going to go because I didn’t know many artists, but my friend convinced me to go with her and I really enjoyed the experience. I don’t really have a favorite K-pop group now, but I do love IU as an artist. I used to love f(x) too!
MMU: If you weren’t doing YouTube, what do you think you would be doing?
HT: If I wasn’t doing YouTube, I would still be a full-time student! I’d probably be working as an intern at some tech company right now, or maybe working part-time at a restaurant like I did before doing YouTube.
MMU: If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would it be?
HT: I can’t choose, but just anywhere cooler! This California summer heat is killing me.
MMU: What’s your secret to the perfect selfie?
HT: The secret to a perfect selfie is golden hour. Something about good lighting just makes your skin looks 10x better than it actually does in real life.
MMU: What does makeup mean to you?
HT: Makeup is an enhancement. 🙂