Bouyain was born in Reims, Marne, France. Her mother, who was French, and her father, who was half Burkinabé and half French, met in France while he was studying there.
Having originally studied mathematics, Bouyain later shifted her attention to cinematography, studying at the Louis Lumière School of Cinematography. She went on to work as a camerawomen for several films, and eventually directed several of her own.
She wrote her book Metisse façon after researching her African heritage in Burkina Faso. She learned of the history of Upper Volta (as Burkina Faso was known in colonial times) and of children who were born to African women and French soldiers only to be forced to leave their mothers to live in orphanages. The characters in Metisse façon are based on these children.
Her first feature-length film is Notre Étrangère ("The Place In Between"; 2010), which The Hollywood Reporter called " A nicely observed docudrama about a biracial young French woman who goes back to her roots." It premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival.