Entrepreneur, Founder and CEO of Live Tinted, Deepica Mutyala is the epitome of a businesswoman! Not only does she have a very popular YouTube channel, but she has made her mark in the beauty industry with Live Tinted, a community-driven brand focused on beauty and inclusiveness. She's been featured in Vogue, Marie Claire and the New York Times- just to name a few. It goes without saying- she knows a thing or two about building an empire and of course- all things beauty!
LA: What is one interesting thing people may not know about creating beauty products?
DEEPICA: Creating beauty products is an incredibly fun, but challenging, process that requires endless testing and trial + error, but is so rewarding once you find a formulation that really works and people respond to.
When we were formulating the original Huestick, one thing people may not know is that we essentially crowdsourced from our community to come up with the idea, formulation, and pretty much everything in between that went into producing it. It all started when our followers on both YouTube and Instagram began asking for product recommendations for their #1 beauty concern, which was dark circles, of course!
From there, we continued to ask them questions and they continued to provide the most thoughtful and insightful answers to the point where we realized that if we really wanted to make an impact, we should just take the product creation into our own hands. Our community’s feedback informed the color palettes and ingredients that normal, everyday people were looking for in a beauty product, and we began experimenting from there. At a certain point, we had community members actually come to my house to try samples and provide their honest feedback in real time. This led to hundreds, if not thousands, of iterations of what eventually became Huestick.
When I say we are a brand founded on a community-driven approach, I really mean it. Sometimes, I feel like now that we’ve become more established, people don’t even realize how grassroots this really was at the beginning. Sometimes I can’t even believe how far we’ve come. It’s been so thrilling to work so closely with real people to develop these products that they now can’t live without! We pour our heart and soul into each product, and I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished as a community so far.
LA: What is one mistake you made in your career that you learned the most from?
DEEPICA: It’s so hard to pick just one as I really see every mistake as a learning experience that can only make you grow as an entrepreneur and founder. If I had to, it would be times when I allowed myself to doubt my success or deservedness to be where I am and stifled these feelings because they made me feel powerless. When I was just starting Live Tinted, this was a feeling that could, at certain points, feel all-consuming. Now, however, when I’m feeling powerless or doubting myself, I allow the feeling to run its course, confiding in a close family member or friend and taking steps to actively breathe. The next day, I’ll wake up with a renewed sense of purpose and drive. It’s so important to acknowledge how you’re feeling and why before you try to suppress them as that’s the only way to truly grow.
I’m very fortunate to have a strong community as a support system. Overall, I’m extremely open, some might say to a fault, about the ups and downs that go into founding a company, but I don’t see any other way than to be who I am. I’ve seen firsthand my vulnerability and honestly inspire other people, and I believe that should be the role of CEOs and influencers. Every day, I aim to give others courage to follow in my footsteps, and if that means being an open book, then I’m more than happy to do my part.
LA: As a beauty brand Founder, what is one bit of advice you can share with our readers if they want to pursue this particular career?
DEEPICA: My number one piece of advice, which actually comes from my mentor and close friend Bobbi Brown, is to stay scrappy and enjoy the early days. When you’re in the thick of it, sometimes it’s difficult to take a moment to soak it all in.
Whether it be the first time an idol posts about your product on Instagram or a YouTube video hitting 1 million views, these early victories that you’ve spent years dreaming about only happen once, so allow yourself to relish in them. And though it may seem obvious, the beauty industry can be challenging, so always stay true to yourself. I promise, it will come back to reward you in the end so you can look back and feel accomplished with what you succeeded by sticking with your gut and intuition, never compromising your beliefs even when people tell you to.
LA: What are you most proud of at this moment?
DEEPICA: When I created Live Tinted, I sought out to create a community that would dismantle colorism and allow people to feel not just comfortable, but confident in their own skin. I’m so proud of the community I’ve built and the incredible team that surrounds me every day. I truly would not be here without them. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned along this journey is that the people behind a brand are paramount to its success. Being surrounded by my team, whether in real life or virtually nowadays, is beyond inspiring, and I can confidently say Live Tinted is here today because of them.
This absolutely extends to the community as well. Every day, I see our followers supporting each other in Instagram comments and providing useful tips + tricks in YouTube videos. In a world where social media can so easily turn negative and cancel culture runs rampant, I’m so incredibly proud and humbled to see our community continue to foster positivity and celebrate inclusivity. That’s no easy feat these days, and I’m in awe of this network of support they’ve created! It’s the backbone of Live Tinted’s success and so amazing to witness every day.
LA: Your go-to beverage after a long week (specifics please!)?
DEEPICA: Red wine! A full body smooth red is my happy place.
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