Do you like watching makeup videos on YouTube? Are you a fan of murder mysteries and true crime? What about both? If you answered yes to these questions, chances are you’ve heard of Bailey Sarian, or as we’ve dubbed her, YouTube’s murder mystery, makeup maven—that’s a lot of M’s, we know. But it has a nice ring to it…doesn’t it?
In the YouTube world, there are tons of beauty channels, which can make it a difficult category to succeed in. Yet, by implementing murder mystery stories into her makeup videos, Bailey formed a special niche within the YouTube beauty community which set her apart in the best way.
Video Views: 190,961,491
Channel Type: Education
User created: Jan 23, 2013
With her friendly, inviting and quirky personality, we can’t help but be drawn to her videos and go “down a rabbit hole” with her as she tells us true crime stories. Bailey Sarian gave us the content we didn’t know we wanted and needed.
Makeup maven: Bailey’s life before YouTube
Before Bailey started focusing more of her time on YouTube, she worked at Sephora for five years. During this time, she began posting her daily makeup looks on her Instagram, which gained her a bit of a following. Many commented on her photos, encouraging her to start a YouTube channel. She started one in 2013, but only uploaded occasionally.
After working for Sephora, she worked briefly at Urban Decay. However, Bailey grew tired of working in the sales part of the beauty industry. “At that point, I was tired of sales, as I am not a good salesperson,” she laughs.
“[I] decided I was going to try and be a freelance makeup artist, its what I was most passionate about—doing makeup, not selling it!” she says. “I worked my way up to assisting celebrity makeup artists and bigger gigs, which was a lot of fun.”
She worked as a freelance makeup artist for a few years before becoming a full-time YouTuber, and she still freelances from time to time, but not as of late due to COVID-19.
Getting started on YouTube
Although she started her channel in 2013, Bailey didn’t focus on it too much and uploaded new videos whenever she could. She started by filming and editing her videos on her phone and then uploading them to YouTube. “I mainly just wanted to share makeup tips and overall brand knowledge I had gained throughout my years of working at Sephora,” she recalls. However, as she grew more of a community and following on her Instagram, people encouraged her to start making more videos on YouTube, which “is what gave me the push to start,” she says.
We asked Bailey what kind of videos she wanted to make when she first started on YouTube. When she began uploading videos consistently, she wanted to share her makeup expertise and create makeup-related content. “I always wanted to get on the education side of things and teach others about ingredients and techniques,” says Bailey.
Most of her early videos focus on makeup looks and tutorials that vary from smoky and dramatic looks to Halloween looks.
True crime interests
Makeup and true crime; seems like an odd combination, right? But it works for Bailey—and at around 2 millions views per video, it is clear that people love these videos. Why true crime, though? We asked her where this interest in mystery and true crime began.
“Probably when I was a little kid,” she says. “I used to go to work with my mom who was a 911 dispatcher at the time and [I would] listen in to her calls. We laugh about it now, but looking back that probably wasn’t a great idea,” she laughs.
Nowadays, Bailey’s life revolves around true crime, as it takes a lot of time and research to create content for her videos. Her favorite content includes “Crime,” and “Snap Judgement Presents: Spooked Podcast.” She says the spooked podcast is “more creepy than ghost stories but the storytelling is perfection and always gives me the creeps,” she laughs.
“i love being creeped out.”
However, listening to too much true crime and mystery really does weigh “heavy on her noggin.”
“I try to limit how much true-crime related content I listen to and watch throughout the week only because my life kind of revolves around it now—hey, I’m not complaining. But it can definitely mess with my mood and bring me down,” she says. She takes a break from uploading about once a month as a refresher so she doesn’t get burnt out, as she states in her most recent video.
We don’t blame her. In her videos, she talks about some seriously heavy stuff, including stories on some of the most notorious serial killers such as Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer.
The evolution of her channel
Once she started focusing more of her time on YouTube, Bailey began building a following. Towards the beginning, she focused mainly on creating makeup looks and sharing tutorials, which gained her a solid amount of views. Still, she felt that she held back her personality a bit.
“My videos at first were me trying to be a little more ‘proper’ and not truly being myself. Finally, I got to a point where I relaxed a little and that’s when YouTube started to become more fun,” she recalls.
It wasn’t until 2019 that Bailey’s channel started getting some heavy traffic, and we’re sure you can guess the reason why. Murder, mystery and makeup Monday’s—queue Bailey’s catchy intro jingle.
“I uploaded my first Murder, Mystery and Makeup in January of 2019 and I kid you not, my channel has just been growing ever since,” which still amazes her.
In August of this year, Bailey reached 2 million subscribers on her channel, which is quite the accomplishment.
Clearly, her channel has evolved from where it was when she first started. Now, she gets to combine two things she loves—true crime and makeup. “I love it, though, and it makes me so excited that two worlds I’ve always been interested in have collided and it just works,” she says.
Finding the story
Every Monday, Bailey uploads a new video as part of her “Murder, mystery, and makeup Monday’s” series. This series is what gained Bailey immense popularity on YouTube, averaging over 2 million views per video.
Creating weekly videos on true crime stories is a process, and it takes Bailey some time and effort to put together these together. For inspiration and ideas for her videos, she typically starts by looking in the comment section for suggestions. “Everyone is always recommending stories to do and it makes me excited to read the comments,” she says.
From there, she chooses her victim *get it?* and begins her research. She does as much research as she can on the person and from there she puts together her version of a script—basically the whole story from start to finish. This typically takes her 1-2 days depending on how much information she gathers on the person.
After that, she is ready to film. As far as her makeup for the video, she doesn’t plan ahead. “I just go with the slow and hope for the best,” she laughs.
Of course, her finished makeup looks are always snatched.
She also creates an ambiance and sets the mood for these videos with a dark backdrop and lots of candles, which gives us some cool, witchy/vampy vibes—what’s not to love?
Working as a full-time YouTuber
Because of the success and growth her channel has seen over the last year or two, YouTube is now a full-time gig for Bailey. Although she does a lot of work for her channel on her own, she does have a small team. “I have a manager who is very patient with me,” she laughs. She also has an editor that she uses occasionally when she gives them enough time to edit.
“I have this terrible, terrible habit of filming and editing on Saturdays and Sundays, and then the video goes live on Monday, so it just doesn’t give me enough time to hand off the footage to an editor,” she says. But hey, she’s gettin’ the work done.
Even though Bailey’s channel has reached a great deal of success—with over 2 million subs and millions of views on her videos—it is clear that she remains humble and works hard to keep the ball rolling.
She’s got some merch
In 2018, Bailey decided to come out with her merch line. The line features tee’s, hoodies and other items with catchy phrases such as “Suspish” and “Too Poor for Couture.” She says the feedback on the line has been great. “I wanted to make pieces that I would actually wear and not necessarily a shirt with my name all over it. I just wanted anyone to wear it, even if they never saw my videos before,” she says.
“Some of the designs me and my fiance had drawn up, which is awesome to see people wearing something we created.”
She loves her subscribers
With so many different social media platforms, it can be hard to engage with subscribers, but Bailey does what she can. “I love engaging with my subscribers,” she says. “I try my best to respond to as many comments as I can when my video goes live.” She also responds to Instagram comments and DM’s when she can, and also responds to people on Twitter.
Bailey’s tip for success
We asked Bailey what is one secret she has for making YouTube videos. “That’s hard,” she answers. “Just be yourself? I feel like that’s so cheesy, but it seems to be working.” When Bailey first started her channel, she said she focused on being “proper” rather than being herself. Once she became more comfortable with being herself, it not only became more fun, her channel also grew.
Another key Bailey attributes to her success is consistency, which she believes is key.
“Being consistent, I feel, is what really helped me grow my channel.”
Remember, Bailey uploads her Murder, Mystery and Makeup videos on Mondays and that is what people came to expect and look forward to. “People knew to come back on Monday’s, so I didn’t have to rely on YouTube’s notifications to gather the subscribers,” she says.
Wrapping it all up
When we asked Bailey what is in store for her and her channel, she admits she’s been thinking about that a lot as of late. “Oh man, I don’t know. I have been thinking about this a lot lately, ‘what now?’ I’m not sure what the future holds, but I just want to ride the wave and see where I end up next,” she admits.
The wave she’s been riding is a pretty big one, and with the way she’s doing things, it seems she could ride this wave for a long time.
Bailey Sarian has created something unique and fun on YouTube, which is hard to do these days. Her personality and makeup know-how, combined with the true crime stories, make for interesting, engaging—and yes, pretty creepy—videos that keep people crawling back every Monday.