YouTuber Bailey Sarian on the connection between makeup and real crime


Most people would say that makeup and real crime are in no way related, but Bailey Sarian would disagree. When she first started on YouTube in 2013 after working at Sephora and Urban Decay and as a bride and celebrity makeup artist, like any other beauty vlogger on the platform, she created her signature makeup tutorials. But that changed in 2018 when the Chris Watts case hit the internet.

“I just followed everything I could do in the story and had all this built-up knowledge of the case and no one to talk to about it,” Sarian told POPSUGAR. “I was like, ‘Maybe I should do a YouTube video talking about it.’ And then I was like, ‘Well, I’ll do my makeup at the same time just to make sense for my YouTube channel.’ “

“I was nervous that the feedback wasn’t going to be very good because I was talking about murder and then doing my makeup.”

She didn’t take the video right away. “I was nervous that the feedback wasn’t going to be very good because I was talking about murder and then doing my makeup,” she said. Then, in January 2019, she decided to do it. The video went off overnight. “I think I got 60,000 views in the first 24 hours and that was game-changing for me because at that time I got an average of 10,000 views of my videos. I was like, ‘Oh my god, I think I’m … up something here. ‘”

In that first video, Sarian introduced himself and said, “I just want to sit down and get ready and then talk about crime, murder mysteries and the like … I don’t know.” Then she went on a little nervously and said, “I don’t even know how to go about this without sounding insensitive at all.” It is clear that she had concerns about filming the video at the time – she had no idea she was going to take off. “YouTube, it’s a big community so it can be really difficult to stand out from everyone else.”

From then on, her channel exploded. She started uploading true crime videos every Monday, and that’s how it became the series it is today: Murder, Mystery, and Make-up.

Her video about Chris Watts now has over 8.5 million views and her channel over five million subscribers. Every time she uploads a video, her fans instantly send requests for the next one. “If I keep seeing a name or a name I’ve never heard of, I just look at it,” said Sarian. “I also have a long list of different topics and stories to talk about. I pick a name, start googling and then just move on.” Almost nothing is off-limits unless she tries to avoid unsolved mysteries because she “absolutely hates” them. “I need a degree or I’ll stay up all night thinking of putting the pieces together like I’m solving it or something.”

“I was like, ‘Oh my god, I think I ran into something here.'”

The creative process of creating a video typically takes two to three days. She writes a script from start to finish that covers the person’s upbringing and crimes and then the consequences, but she doesn’t read it verbatim. “Usually when I got into filming, I’ve done as much research as I’ve watched tons of documentaries, read various articles, read little autobiographies, and watched every type of film I can do to make me comfortable with the story feel. ” said Sarian.

Researching the topic and getting all the little details just right – like names and dates – is a priority. Make-up comes last. “Everyone always asks, ‘Why do certain killers get a glittery eyeshadow look?'” Sarian said. “Honestly, the makeup is always an afterthought. I sit down and think, ‘Okay, I want to do a Purple Smoky Eye today’ and then I do that.”

Sarian is aware that the subject is serious and the medium in which she presents it is unconventional. Although she tells these stories in a casual tone, she sprinkles a number of disclaimers and warming throughout. “I try to be very careful when I tell these stories and make sure I don’t go into detail about certain things,” she said. “I just feel like doing my makeup isn’t really right. I try to do it the best I can and keep the story pretty simple.”

At over 30 minutes in length (most around 40 minutes on average), Sarian’s videos are longer than most makeup tutorials on YouTube, yet she has her viewers hooked from start to finish like a good Netflix show. Despite the gruesome nature of the subject, their true crime chats make you feel like you’ve just spoken to your best friend on the phone.

“I get tons of messages from followers every day [and] Subscribers who tell me I helped them through the quarantine, “said Sarian, who has seen their views increased in 2020, but for some reason they find me reassuring.”

Image Source: Courtesy of Bailey Sarian

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