YouTuber Bailey Sarian inadvertently found the kind of beauty blogger stardom so many makeup artists dream of, but she didn’t just stumble on it by accident. The former freelance MUA had been making video tutorials since 2013, but it was her true crime stories, filmed with a side of lipstick and eyeshadow, that eventually caught the attention of millions of viewers.
While the view count on her Murder, Mystery and Makeup videos go up into the millions, her more traditional makeup tutorials may only reach the hundreds of thousands of views, which is nothing to sneeze at. The popularity of her true crime stories shines a light on society’s overall fascination with murder mysteries and serial killers—and with the success of binge-worthy TV shows like Dirty John, Mindhunters and HBO’s recent I’ll Be Gone in the Dark docuseries, it’s safe to say deadly tales are hotter than ever.
While her makeup artist skills are definitely on point, it’s the YouTuber’s quirky storytelling skills that suck you in, almost as if she’s right there in your bedroom with a flashlight under her face. NewBeauty caught up with Sarian to find out how her unique videos come together.
NewBeauty: What is your process? Does the case you’re retelling inspire the makeup or does the makeup inspire the case?
Bailey Sarian: I mainly start off by finding a case to talk about, and that can take some time. The hardest part is trying my best to find true facts versus opinions on certain cases or sometimes finding any information at all. I usually give myself one or two days to find a story, type up the full story and then spend one day filming and one day editing. As far as the makeup goes, I normally just do whatever color or look I am feeling for that day. I always joke that I should pre-plan my looks because it would probably help the filming process go more smoothly, but I always change my mind last minute so there really is no point in pre-planning my look.
NB: How do you choose which cases you’re going to cover?
BS: I try to find stories that interest me the most. I’ve always had an interest in true crime stories, and I enjoy researching and trying to find all the information about a certain story. I look for the less talked about ones or just the bizarre WTF-type stories, they always interest me the most. I have a fascination with—don’t judge me—cannibalism. Not because I am into it, but because it is so far opposite of anything, we know in our day to day lives. How does one become a cannibal? Why? When? How? What?! I’ve got all the questions and I’m just looking for an answer. So far, I have found no answers.
NB: Which episodes have gotten the most attention?
BS: My most popular videos tend to be the most well-known serial killers. Which I personally don’t like doing many videos on the “well knowns” because I feel like many of us have heard the story many times and what else can I add at this point that hasn’t been said? So, I try to find the lesser talked about ones, which is funny because if you’re trying to grow your channel on YouTube, the number-one thing a creator should do is pay attention to which videos of theirs performs the best and keep doing that. I just ignore those numbers and do what I want. But my most popular video is the Jeffrey Dahmer story, which was recommended by my subscribers nonstop, so I have to be fair and give the people what they want from time to time.
NB: Why do you think our society is so obsessed with true crime?
BS: I think we want to understand how to protect ourselves from the bad that is out there, but I really don’t know anymore!
NB: How has the industry responded? Are brands reaching out specifically to be included in your true crime videos?
BS: Honestly, not many beauty brands have reached out wanting to be included in the videos which I can understand, but maybe they’ll come around! Plus, my videos are not so much product focused, I don’t speak to the products I’m using or rarely talk about my makeup. I personally feel like that can come across as disrespectful, which some people might say my videos in general come off that way, but that’s never my goal. I just want to talk about true crime, and I do my makeup to keep myself busy while I’m talking, it’s really as simple as that. I never imagined it would turn into what it is today! Never.
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