Murder, Mystery, Makeup, & Marketing

Taylor Lawrence
4 min readApr 5, 2021
Courtesy: Bailey Sarian & Makeup A Murder on Instagram

There are some pairings that just make sense: peanut butter & jelly, rainy days & a favorite book, good friends & good conversation.

True crime and makeup tutorials? Kind of an odd combination at first glance, but beautuber Bailey Sarian has found her niche, and she is THRIVING.

Pairing morbid nonfiction storytelling with the typical “Get Ready With Me” (GRWM) video structure is a unique approach to both the cultural True Crime obsession and YouTube’s plethora of stunning makeup content. Bailey informs, educates, and speculates about some of the worst and most obscure crimes in history while artfully illustrating her full face makeup routine.

Her “Murder, Mystery, & Makeup” video series has earned her 4.47 million YouTube subscribers, 9.9 million Facebook followers, and millions more fans on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Pinterest, and Reddit as of April 2021.

Courtesy: Bailey Sarian’s Instagram

Sarian has been a YouTuber since 2013 when she was working at Sephora and created a channel to share some of her favorite tips, tricks, and looks.

The first MM&M video hit her channel in January 2019, and the reaction was astonishing; more than 100,000 views in 24 hours! The idea was a hit and the beauty guru was officially a rising star.

Recently, Bailey has been interviewed by BuzzFeed, Allure, and Film Daily regarding the series, and has collaborated with Loud Lacquer nail polish, Estate Cosmetics, and Etah Love jewelry to design products influenced by her aesthetic and morbid interests.

She also has an online shop hosted by MerchLabs where fans can find apparrel, accessories, and other fun products (over half of which are currently sold out) inspired by Bailey’s personality, pets, and quotes from her videos.

Bailey seems to have become an influencer almost by accident in the sense that, while she was working hard to get her name out there as a beautuber/ product expert/ YouTube personality, no one ever could have expected that THIS combination of her passions would be the thing that made her famous.

Clearly, the murder/makeup thing is working for her, which makes her an ideal collaboration partner for the eccentric cosmetic brand, Makeup A Murder.

The Florida-based, woman-owned small business features a cruelty free and vegan line of cosmetics themed around crime scene investigation, murder, and other deadly pastimes.

Some of the items available in the shop include Evidence Marker Eyelashes, Bloody Blender Sponges, Trace Evidence Eyeshadow Palettes, and more, all of which are handmade and made to order, according to the brand’s website.

For a brand with 11 employees, 41K followers on Facebook and 166K followers on Instagram is rather impressive.

A number of the “Cosmetic Crime Investigators” (a.k.a. customers) that currently help promote the Indie brand are extremely talented and well known in makeup artist circles, but they are reaching nowhere near Bailey’s 10+ million fans.

Past makeup unboxing and tutorial videos on Bailey’s YouTube channel received tens of thousands of views even before the MM&M series made her famous among makeup mavens and True Crime aficionados alike.

However, that could be the biggest drawback to collaborating with a star like Sarian. Much of the Makeup A Murder brand’s current social media messaging includes heartfelt thanks to the CCIs that shop their products as well as apologies that they are unable to meet the current demands of their clientele.

It seems that the fanbase’s purchasing habits are outgrowing the company’s current manufacturing model and staff size, meaning the small business will need to scale up production before they can consider a collaboration that will result in even more fans clamoring for an already limited stock.

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Taylor Lawrence

Social Media Manager, Graphic Designer, Small Business Owner