For some, there are few things more relaxing than sticking a make-up tutorial on YouTube and settling in for a few moments of escapism. Then there are those who like their make-up videos peppered with tales of depraved killers and their crimes. Sound bonkers? Not for the 6.4 million subscribers of Bailey Sarian, an LA-based make-up artist-turned-true crime maven. Her YouTube videos combining these two utterly diametrically opposed subjects – a series called Murder, Mystery & Make-up – have turned from a hobby into a full-time career that, among other things, has led to deals with the likes of US streaming giant Netflix. The 33-year-old herself is surprised that YouTube – and true crime – have become her day job. “I thought it would be awesome to make money off of YouTube, to pay some bills,” Ms Sarian tells the BBC. “Now that I got here with over six million subscribers, it is so much. I never imagined that it would turn into what it is today.”

The premise of her videos is simple. Ms Sarian sits in front of the camera, putting on make-up and chatting about a true crime story. Each video takes an enormous amount of research – so much so that Ms Sarian now employs someone to help her – and includes information from court transcripts or police interviews. The most popular video in the series is about notorious American serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who murdered 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991, and whom Ms Sarian talks about while creating a sparkly green eye look with nude lip. That video has been viewed more than 22 million times. Just for context, the finale of TV drama Line of Duty was watched by a record breaking 12.8 million people in the UK. Overall, Ms Sarian’s YouTube videos have been viewed nearly 800 million times.

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