Bailey Sarian tells Derek Blasberg about her favorite murder
YouTube’s first-ever Beauty Festival is happening on May 14. And along with a stunning lineup of celebrities (Jessica Alba, Gwyneth Paltrow, etc.), you’ll also see your favorite YouTubers (Michelle Phan, Gothamista, Hyram, Manny MUA) there, too.
Known for her murder-and-makeup videos, Bailey’s channel skyrocketed to new heights in 2020, when she grew by 2.9 million subscribers! Curious and intrigued, I caught up with her ahead of #BeautyFest to see how she’s handling her growing business and career, hear about her favorite murder, and dish about the beauty community.
Bailey’s panel -- along with the rest of the programming -- will be available to watch, for free, on May 14 starting at 1p PT on youtube.com/fashion.
Derek: First things first. Do you think of yourself as a beauty creator or a storyteller?
Bailey: I get asked that all the time and I don't know. I think of myself as like a storyteller. Makeup is secondary. But, on my channel, makeup has always been the foundation.
Derek: No pun intended! Get it? Foundation.
Derek: You're one of those rare creators who created their own video genre: combining makeup and murder. Which one did you encounter first?
Bailey: Makeup, for sure. I worked at Sephora when I was 20, and I never really wore makeup before that. It opened up this whole new world to me of, like, “Oh my god, I love this. Where has this been all my life?” At that time, I decided, “This is what I'm going to do. I don't know how I’m going to do it but it's going to involve makeup.”
Derek: Do you have a favorite mystery? It's sort of gruesome to say it but, do you have a favorite murderer?
Bailey: Definitely the Ed Gein story, just because he was so different. I have yet to come across any other serial killer who's similar to him. He made stuff out of people's skin! I had a lot of questions, not a lot of answers.
Derek: For a lot of creators who are in your spot -- building a business or hiring people -- scaling the channel into a business can be a tricky thing to navigate. How has it been? Have you hired people?
Bailey: Yes. Now I have management, I just brought on a PR team, and an attorney, which is important. I have a business manager to help me with the financial side of things, because all of that gets so crazy and confusing. All of this within the last year and, yeah, it's been wild. I hired a lot of help that I never even thought of but it’s been the best thing for me, at least mentally.
I think we get scared about taking breaks but your audience can tell when you're not yourself. They always can. Take the break. If you lose people, so what? They weren't really there for you in the first place.”
Derek: That's another important thing to think about: burnout. What are your tips for burnout?
Bailey: I do three Monday uploads and then I skip the fourth one. That helps me tremendously. Also, in December of last year, I realized I was really burned out and I needed a break, so I didn't upload for almost two months. Which is scary, but I needed it. It gave me time to sleep, not look at social media, just enjoy frickin’ anything else.
Derek: Was it hard to do that?
Bailey: I think we get scared about taking breaks but your audience can tell when you're not yourself. They always can. Take the break. If you lose people, so what? They weren't really there for you in the first place.
Derek: There is a funny video where you are looking at an old video of yourself and you mention that there are power cords on the floor and you couldn't believe you didn’t think to at least move them.
Bailey: Yes! I was, like, “Oh, it looks so great!” And I have makeup all in my hair! I thought it was cute.
Derek: What's the biggest misconception you think people have about the beauty community on YouTube?
Bailey: It's all drama. I mean, some of it is, but not all of it. Everyone's super nice and just wants to talk about products and makeup. I feel like a lot of people on the Internet are looking for a sense of community and not necessarily to be famous. They just want to share product knowledge and talk and hang out and be friends. It's as simple as that.
Derek: My last question for you. Do you have a favorite beauty icon?
Bailey: Remember Anna Nicole Smith for the Guess ads?
Derek: Of course, I do! You mean the black and white pics with her in a strapless corset and she’s sort of pouring out of it? Ellen von Unwerth shot those pictures.
Bailey: I love that! That, to me, is like the definition of beauty Anna Nicole Smith… she was just, ugh! Sex, you know?