Student Feature: Travis Grimm - QC Makeup Academy

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

Hi, I’m Travis! I’m 24, non-binary gay, and I live in New York! My “natural” hair color is blue/green, as I’ve had that shade most of my life. My entire life has been influenced and surrounded by film and television. That’s how I get to most of my destinations in life!

I used to be an entertainment writer, and somehow have joined the makeup world. So, I can definitely say that film and television is my calling – at least to some capacity.

Why did you decide to become a professional makeup artist?

It actually stemmed from my love of film and television! I’ve always wanted a career in the entertainment industry, but I never knew in what capacity. I absolutely love recreating clothes, signs, etc from movies and television.

One day, I was inspired to recreate a specific makeup look, and that was when I instantly fell in love with makeup. I love the idea that you don’t always have to use it to hide your flaws, but rather, to express yourself. It’s kind of like dying your hair, but more intricate!

How would you describe your makeup style?

I go through phases! More recently, I’ve loved natural makeup styles. (Which is a very odd choice for me, given my day-to-day style.)

But my staple makeup looks, the ones I absolutely love doing and that got me started, are editorial looks! I love the idea of taking these looks that you would wear for photoshoots, film, etc and wearing them everywhere! All the shapes and colors make me so happy! Anything from very clean-cut looks to messy, eyeshadow everywhere looks… I love it so much.

The more color, the better!

You have a talent for creating fun, colorful eye looks! Where does your inspiration come from?

Everywhere! I truly just love color! My entire surrounding is a rainbow; from my desk, to my shelves, to my actual makeup. Color makes me happy, and it tends to make most people you meet happy as well. So, I like to incorporate as much color as I can.

Sometimes, I’ll take an entire rainbow eyeshadow palette and use every single color. Why? Because no one can stop me, haha!

My biggest inspirations for liner looks, and the use of gems/rhinestones, comes from other Instagrammers, as well as HBO’s Euphoria! Both of these combined make my brain explode in creativity. I typically sit down without an idea of what I want to create, and then just dive in!

Either it will look clean and sharp, or it’ll be messy. But honestly, I love any outcome. Anything will look purposeful if you believe it is!

You’ve had your YouTube channel for the past several years, but started incorporating makeup into your content focus over the past 10 months. What are your hopes and goals for your beauty vlog, and how do you intend to achieve them?

This was something I really had to sit down and think about when I started posting videos. I have many long-term goals for my beauty vlog, but my first goal is to eventually be able to do it full-time. I have yet to find a job setting that I thrive and feel comfortable in – and making videos does both for me.

Other than that, I want to be an inspiration to EVERYONE who enjoys makeup! I want people to embrace the notion that makeup has no rules; that they can just run with it.

I’ll never be a place where people will come to learn how to do a natural, soft glam look. That simply isn’t me. Soft, natural looks are something I practice and want to learn on my own time, but it isn’t necessarily the brand or message I want to send to my audience.

Rather, I want people to take as little or as much makeup as they want, and just throw it on their face and find the beauty in it! I’m still getting there. I know I have a lot of work ahead of me! Most of my current videos are makeup hauls or reviews. It’s all I can think of doing right now, and that is totally fine.

It’s not the most original content right now, but as long as I can entertain someone for 10 minutes or so and help take their mind somewhere else, I’m happy. I want my channel to evolve naturally – even if that takes me a lifetime.

Who are your MUA idols? Tell us why!

Vanessa, a.k.a @cutcreaser on Instagram. She is the graphic liner queen. Her looks are so detailed, yet simple. I wish I had just a sliver of her skills for one day!

I also look up to Patrick Starr. He truly embodies the notion that makeup is for everyone, and it shows it in everything he creates. I wish to help spread that same message one day.

Other MUAs I admire are Doniella Davy, Kirsten Sage Coleman, and Tara Lang. They all did makeup for HBO’s show, Euphoria, and that series basically launched my journey into fun and weird makeup looks.

If you could see yourself 5 years into the future, where do you hope your makeup career will be? What will you have accomplished?

I would love to be doing makeup for film and television. I’m never one to stay in one place for long, so who knows where I will be doing makeup!

I also hope to have made YouTube a profitable platform that I can rely on, as well as launching my very own eyeshadow palette. I’m trying not to overthink it all, but bigger and weirder thing can happen in a span of 5 years. So, we shall see!

In your own opinion, what makes a YouTube beauty vlogger successful and popular with their audience?

People want someone who is real; who are themselves, unapologetically and unabashedly. I believe that is the core of it. You can post whatever content you want, but if you’re not being yourself, no one will enjoy it to the fullest extent. Even if being authentically yourself puts you back 10 more steps than the rest of the crowd, in the end, it’ll throw you 50 steps ahead.

For me, success isn’t defined by numbers or money, even if they do play a part in it. I mean, you can have the best of both worlds, but being successful is such a personal thing. It’s up to you and what you want to achieve.

For me, personally, it would be to do beauty content full-time. Keep in mind that my idea of success might grow after achieving that. I think it’s good to continue to raise the bar for yourself. Just don’t let those goals equate to your idea of success!

Let your success be a personal thought – not numbers or money.

You’ve completed Units A through C of your online makeup class. What important things have you learned so far that you didn’t know before?

This might sound very strange, but a smoky eye. Yes, a traditional smoky eye! Like I said before, natural makeup has never been my thing. It’s beautiful, but not for me. So, learning that technique blew my mind!

It was super easy and looks gorgeous. I immediately had to do a smoky eye with colorful shadows. It’s a new favorite look of mine. I’m very happy I now know how to achieve that flawless blend.

Another thing learned is working on other people! I’ve only done that a few times, but it’s been nice learning about sanitization and being gentle with clients. (These are both things I fail to do when I put on makeup on myself.)

Online makeup classes really make you think more about what you’re using and not using, and I really like that.

What made you want to earn your makeup certificate, and why did you decide to do it through online makeup classes?

I really needed that certificate of approval; that I’m capable of doing this, and that there’s an accredited makeup institution that can attest to my skill. I love labels for myself, so why not add to the roster?

I chose online makeup school because I’m ALWAYS moving! Not by choice really; just how life seems to roll with me, which I love. So online was necessary, as I could never commit to a brick-and-mortar makeup school for so long. I like the flexibility of being able to do my work whenever, and from wherever.

Why did you ultimately choose QC Makeup Academy, and how has your experience been?

I’d heard nothing but great things! I loved the prices and the course breakdown. It was exactly how I pictured my online dream school would be. Also, the flexibility of doing my work whenever I had the time was a big thing. Overall, my experience has been excellent! I have received nothing but support and love from everyone.

You’re being tutored by celebrity makeup artist, Nathan Johnson. How has your experience with Nathan been so far?

I love Nathan! He breaks down everything so perfectly in the course videos. You can tell he has a real passion for makeup, and it shows in everything he does. His critiques for my work have been so helpful, too! He catches stuff that I never even thought of before. It’s definitely changed the way I view certain makeup looks!

What’s ONE false myth about makeup artists that you’d like to debunk right here and now?

That they are better than you. This is something I used to think of makeup artists, and I’m ashamed I was ever so judgmental like that.

Makeup artists aren’t here to tell you you’re wrong; they are here to help you! They also have bad makeup days, and they also don’t know certain techniques. They’re learning just like everyone else. And I can tell you, they definitely do not talk about you behind your back. The most they’ll do is sometimes brag about what a good job they did… but can you blame them!?

Imagine: You get to banish ONE makeup product out of existence for the remainder of time. Which product do you choose to get rid of, and why?

I still use these because I have so many, but let’s be honest… liquid to matte lipsticks.

I have NO idea why we thought these were the coolest thing ever, but we did. While the payoff is incredible, our lips just don’t deserve the harsh treatment it goes through. They all are always so drying! You have to apply them too often for comfort, or it winds up looking like you’re dehydrated.

Again, the payoff of the color is admittedly incredible. But the feeling is so unpleasant. It’s not worth it for me!

Get a DOUBLE makeup artist certification with online makeup classes! Until July 31st, enroll in QC’s leading Master Makeup Artistry Course, and get ANY Advanced Course absolutely FREE!

Author Sarah Seguin

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