What would you do if you woke up one morning and realized you were the latest “big thing” to hit the beauty world? What if something you created was being watched and consumed by millions of people around the world? This is exactly what happened to beauty vlogger Deepica Mutyala. Does that name ring a bell? How about that YouTube video you KNOW you saw that shows you how to erase under-eye circles using red lipstick? Ahh, now the lightbulb is going off in your head! As big fans of this beauty buff and her Cinderella-like rise to social media fame, we tracked down Deepica and asked her to dish on everything from her most valued makeup tips to what life is really like as a YouTube sensation.
Makeup.com: Recently you’ve become a sounding board for women with darker skin tones. What are some common misconceptions about deeper skin tones?
Deepica Mutyala: I think the first misconception is one that I was guilty of for a long time: not needing to wear SPF. Being that I have darker skin, I thought, “I don’t need to wear sunscreen because my skin doesn’t burn.” I was so very wrong! Not only will your skin burn with lack of SPF, but you are also susceptible to long-term damaging effects, including skin cancer and premature aging. With so many products incorporating SPF these days, there’s really no excuse to skip this! Trust me — your 75-year-old self will thank you!
Also, I feel like women with darker skin tones feel they can’t wear bolder colors, which is totally false. Green eye shadow? Yes. Hot pink lipstick? Absolutely. Just experiment and find the right shade that works for you!
MDC: What should be taken into consideration when working with darker skin tones?
DM: Understanding your skin’s undertones is one of the most important things for finding the right makeup for darker skin. You have to know if your skin has warmer or cooler tones. Once you figure this out, you’ll be able to shop for makeup much more easily. To figure this out, look at your veins — if they have a green hue, then you are warm-toned, and if they are more, blue you are cool-toned.
Undertones play a big role in my now-famous lipstick trick for under-eye circles. I received several comments from women with deeper skin tones, asking why the trick wasn’t working for them. You have to figure out your undertone and play with the various shades of red lipstick to find the one that works for you. If your skin has cooler tones, pick a red lipstick with blue undertones to it. On the same token, if your skin has warmer tones, go for a warmer red lipstick, with orange or brown undertones. It definitely took me a few trials to find the right shade, but the process of figuring it out can be fun!
MDC: What beauty tricks and products do you swear by?
DM: Brow pencils! You know that feeling you get after getting your eyebrows done? You look in the mirror and think, “This completely changed my face”. That’s the same effect you get when filling in your eyebrows … times 10! I think many women, like myself, with darker, thicker hair don’t initially think they need a brow pencil, because we typically already have dark brows. Once you find out how to fill in your brows the right way and see first-hand what a difference it makes, your brow pencil becomes your go-to beauty product for life.
Another one of my faves is coconut oil. I can’t get enough of the stuff! I recently started to use coconut oil on my hair, body and face, and it was a game-changer. It has really served as a miracle product. I’ve already noticed my hair looks shinier, my body feels more nourished, and my face is less dry. It’s funny how sometimes the simplest products can have the biggest impact.
Last but not least are highlighting/illuminating products. If you want that radiant skin you see on the red carpet, you need to do two very important things: drink tons of water and find a killer highlighter. I especially love the way highlighter looks on darker skin tones (like my own) — it really illuminates your face! If your skin has cool tones, I recommend a silver- or white- toned highlighter, and if your skin has warm tones, go for a gold or bronze one. It’s always best to play off the natural colors of your skin rather than against them.
MDC: What are your favorite makeup and hair looks right now?
DM: In terms of makeup, I’m really into dewy, fresh skin. There’s no room for heavy foundations once the hot weather sets in. I also really love how spring lets us play with fun, bright pops of color. I’m big on products with lots of pigment, like matte coral lips and aqua blue eyeliner. Bold color is a year-round trend in my book. I also love playing with subtle shimmer — this goes for eye makeup to also adding a luminous glow to your skin. Also, slightly imperfect makeup (smudged eyeliner, blurred lips, etc.) is super on-trend right now, and I love that! You don’t have to look perfectly put together to look good! This is a look that comes easy for me with my mascara and eyeliner habits. Sometimes a little imperfection is refreshing and looks effortless.
As for hair, I’m loving the trimmed styles that are all the rage right now. I just recently got a lob (long bob) and I’m having so much fun with it! It works well with the spring/summer trend of effortless, low-maintenance looks. I’ve been doing low ponytails and playing more with my natural hair texture. Sea salt spray has become my new best friend!
MDC: How did you first discover the red lipstick trick for under eye circles that you are now known for?
DM: I’ve worked in the beauty industry for more than five years now and have had the pleasure of working with some of the best celebrity makeup artists. I regularly complained about my dark circles to them and I noticed that a few makeup artists would apply a dark spot corrector under my eyes, which was essentially an orangey/red-pigmented cream. The purpose of the red pigmentation was to neutralize the green hues under my eyes before applying concealer. I remember wondering what makes this product any different from a lipstick? Being the girl who is always looking for shortcuts in my beauty regimen, I decided to try it out — and it worked!
MDC: How has life changed since your YouTube video blew up and went viral?
DM: I remember waking up one day and getting a notification via social media that I was being featured on BuzzFeed. Within days, I was being recognized by all these major publications all over the world. The views for my YouTube video skyrocketed and within days, I was close to 5 million views. Next thing I know, I’m demonstrating the tip on NBC’s TODAY Show.
Nowadays, I split my time between developing my YouTube channel and adding tutorials, product reviews and insider interviews, as well as serving as a beauty expert for local and national broadcast outlets. Who would have thought one video I made on my iPhone would have catapulted me into my dream career?
MDC: What are the most common questions you get asked by your beauty followers?
DM: I always get asked about my brows, which I find so ironic because I remember growing up and hating my brows. I used to beg my mom to let me get them thinned out. She always refused, saying I would regret it one day and that it was a blessing to have thick brows. I’m now so thankful that I listened to her!
I also get several questions about the face makeup I use, typically from women with a similar skin tones as mine. These questions don’t surprise me, since I’m very aware of the struggle in finding the perfect foundation and concealer for your complexion. To this day, I still believe there’s a lack of makeup options for those with darker skin tones.
MDC: What’s the most valuable beauty advice you’ve received over the years?
DM: At the risk of sounding cheesy, I have to say it’s a tip I received from my mom. I remember getting ready for a family event in high school and asking if my makeup was overkill. She simply replied, “Deepica, whatever you wear, wear it with a smile.” I now never doubt whether my look is “too much” or “overkill” because what really matters is wearing the look with confidence, and that is what will come across to those around you. Even with all the wisdom and tips I’ve received from makeup artists throughout the years, there’s something about a mom’s voice that sticks with you.
What's the most valuable beauty advice you've received over the years? Tell us in the comments below!
Photos provided by Deepica Muyala