WCW: The Founder of Live Tinted, Deepica Mutyala, Talks About POC Having a Seat at the Beauty TableDecember 26, 2019
Deepica Mutyala is no stranger to the beauty community. You might know her from her “How to Cover Dark Circles” YouTube video, which shows Mutyala using a bright red lipstick underneath her eyes to color correct her blue and purple circles. Since its debut in 2015, the video has amassed over 10 million views and catapulted Mutyala’s career as one of the most inspirational beauty influencers of our time. We chatted with Mutyala about her latest endeavors, including Live Tinted, a shade-inclusive beauty brand and multicultural community and safe space where people of color all over the world can discuss all things beauty and culture. Through her #TintFam, Mutyala learned that some of the biggest concerns to affect people of color were dark spots and hyperpigmentation, which led her to launch the Huestick, a color corrector for every in-between shade. Read on to find out more about this community, product and how Mutyala continues to champion for people of color and challenge societal beauty norms. Can you tell us about the story behind Live Tinted and what inspired you to start your own company? It feels like Live Tinted has been something I've been subconsciously working towards my whole life. As a little girl, I remember wondering why there was no one that looked like me in ad campaigns, in the media, on TV, etc. I felt disconnected and unseen. After college, I had the opportunity to work in the corporate side of the beauty space, and it reminded me that I wanted to help other women of color feel heard and seen in the beauty industry. So, I created a YouTube video to teach brown women how to use red lipstick to color correct under their eyes and it went viral! I quickly became a beauty influencer — someone young women of color sought advice from. I was (and continue to be) honored that these women wanted to hear my story. Shortly after, I started Live Tinted as an Instagram account, to spark discussions in a safe space and reach a wide and diverse community. Eventually, with crowd-sourced feedback, and support from this rapidly growing community, a.k.a., "TintFam," we launched our first product in May 2019. Most importantly, we launched Live Tinted as a a community-first beauty brand focused on including every shade in between.
Our objective was to feature people of color who were underrepresented and share their stories. I felt like there wasn’t a centralized hub that did that anywhere digitally, and it was important to me on a personal level that this existed. When we first started to build the community, the response was overwhelming, and I realized almost immediately that this was bigger than what I had imagined it could be. Can you talk about how you want to change beauty standards? I grew up in a world where people who looked like me weren’t represented in the media and definitely not in the beauty industry. It’s important to me that I shift this narrative. I’ve never been the girl who did what she was told and always went against the grain. I think that’s what it takes to make a shift to something that’s a societal norm. I wake up everyday so motivated because I’m seeing the change happen, and the 16-year-old me who dreamt of this moment is somewhere inside me saying “keep going.” What made you launch the Huestick as a first product? From the beginning, we have asked our community provocative questions, learning, sharing and questioning cultural beauty standards, beauty industry inequities and beauty concerns that relate to minorities that were not being addressed. From our community, we learned exactly what they wanted: makeup that was simple and functional, customizable and personal — especially as they were each trying to use makeup to solve their “own problem.” This resonated deeply with me.
Some of the biggest conditions people of color were reporting to us were hyperpigmentation, dark spots and under-eye circles. Out of this research, came our first product, the Huestick, a multi-stick (for lips, cheeks, eyes) that could also be used as a color corrector for every shade in between. What is your everyday makeup routine? In my day-to-day life, I don’t wear tons of makeup. Life has changed so much in the last two years from being a full-time influencer to running my own company, but having a quick and easy routine that makes life simple has always been who I am. I’ve always been about the everyday makeup vibe. I’m not a makeup artist — I’m just a beauty junkie and my routine reflects the point in my life that I’m in. Day to day, I have a five-product routine. I don’t wear any complexion products. I’ll put on SPF, apply my Huestick as my eye, cheek, and lip, add some mascara, fill in my brows and maybe apply a gloss. Boom. What do you hope to see in the future for the beauty industry? A time where representation is no longer a buzz word — it’s just a normal part of a brand DNA. The great part is we are actually moving to a future where this could be a reality. We still have work to do, don’t get me wrong, but we are getting there. What advice do you have for female entrepreneurs? It’s our time to have a seat at the table — move forward relentlessly and always ask yourself when you think you’re being too nice, Would a man ask the same question? What do you want the world to know about representation in beauty? It’s time that representation in beauty is no longer a trend or focused on tokenism. It is now and it is the future. Makeup is ____? A choice. Read More: WCW: Meet the Founder of Kosas, Sheena Yaitanes The Best Graphic Eyeliner Looks of 2019 Everything You Need to Know About Gel Manicures — And How to Remove Them