LIVE TINTED's Deepica Mutyala On Colorism And Vulnerability
Start writing a post

LIVE TINTED's Deepica Mutyala On Dismantling Colorism And Building An Empire Out Of Vulnerability

The CEO isn't just changing the beauty game — she's making a new one.

Deepica Mutyala smiling, holding one of her brand's Huesticks
Anuj Goyal

Deepica Mutyala didn't know this till we talked about four days ago, but she's the reason that four years ago, I left the job I hated to pursue my lifelong dream of being a beauty writer.

I'm just one of hundreds of thousands of like-minded South Asian followers who for years have looked to the influencer turned CEO of clean, inclusive, and diverse beauty brand Live Tinted for Mutyala's knack for cultivating some of the most passionate communities on social media.

Live Tinted's Oprah Magazine-loved, Allure award-winning Huesticks are truly iconic, but what they represent is so much more: using her products, including the newly-launched HUEGLOW are like holding the manifestation of Deepica's years of work to fight colorism and the lack of diversity and inclusivity in the beauty industry.

For me and several of my fellow Desi friends, Mutyala has been one of the few South Asian faces and voices in the beauty industry to look to in order to feel seen and considered as beautiful. To be a part of the Live Tinted community is to be amongst fellow warriors in the pursuit of changing the norms of beauty.

Live Tinted is her brainchild, but this is her story.

Anuj Goyal

It's clear you're a storyteller at heart — what is the story you're telling with Live Tinted?

Storytelling to me is a key part of Live Tinted because not enough beauty brands speak to what your purpose is. For me, the product is just the vehicle to showcase a passion and love for diversity and inclusion beyond just the makeup industry. When people hold our products they feel like they're part of something bigger.

The core of Live Tinted will always be about changing the face of diversity and representation.

You'll see that with everything we do from hiring and partnerships to investors. Our first campaign was to sell a color corrector and in it we showcased people from our community — people who weren't wearing makeup and who weren't models.

It took more time, but it's those little details that take more effort but are worth it.

You do a great job at being vulnerable and open about mental health on social media. What are some of the challenges you experience as an entrepreneur that people don't talk about as much?

It is very scary to be vulnerable online when cancel culture is a thing and you can say one thing online and be canceled.

You can talk about some hardships you're going through online and people will say, "oh, boo hoo people are dying". It's scary to put yourself out there but I know there are people who can benefit from me talking about my struggles.

Not enough people are talking about the hardships in business.

You see me posting about the story I was in for Forbes, marketing, and all the outward-facing things. But, I challenge my fellow founders to be more open about the hardships. I think it's important if you do have a platform to use it to showcase what really goes in to making a business.

It's important to recognize it's not all glitz and glam. Running a business is so lonely.

Even for someone like me who has an incredible group of investors I can call up anytime from Jaime Schmidt to Andy Dunn and Bobbi Brown; these are people who have built massive companies.

It's my first time being a CEO — I don't have all the answers at all but I find comfort in asking for them. There's power in vulnerability and owning it.

Live Tinted

How much does coming from a marginalized community play into the way you do business on a day-to-day basis?

I'm always thinking about ways to showcase my culture and other marginalized cultures in my business. That is the DNA of my business and I'm constantly learning and evolving, but that will never change.

You know, I'm not Asian or Latinx so I want to learn from those communities and showcase their culture, too. I'm South Asian but what I've learned through sharing my immigrant parent experience, a lot of us have similar narratives.

If we can educate and learn from each other, it'll create a better world.

I have so many goals for this company that go beyond this product but there is so much that goes beyond the physical product. We really want Live Tinted to be a multicultural hub.

I don't think I've ever encountered such passionate and loyal followers as I have with your personal Instagram and the Live Tinted communities. How did you cultivate such astrong sense of community?

I don't feel like I was trying. I was just speaking to things I experienced. It was just me talking about things nobody else was interested in talking about.

I talk about how I had to hide from the sun because fair was lovely and I had to hide from my mom because I had to shave my mustache.

Part of the game plan of Live Tinted was to create a hub for people to discuss issues within the beauty realm and to make you realize that you're not alone. My hope goal is to work more closely with the community as we launch products.

I still miss that part of the business that wasn't just about a product, but I realize when somebody uses our product they know they're part of something greater.

Live Tinted

You inspire a lot of younger South Asian people, especially in the beauty industry. What advice do you want to give to them?

I would tell a 13-year-old to be fearless. There's no playbook.

What can we expect from the future of Live Tinted?

You're going to see a lot of thoughtful partnerships that continue to echo the Live Tinted brand throughout them.

And, if the goal is to dismantle colorism when colorism is a global issue, you're going to see us expand — everywhere.

Live Tinted

Report this Content
Image by Karolina Grabowska from Pixaba

Unfortunately, the time is here. It is officially the spring semester, and you know what that means: lots and lots of studying. If you are in the same situation I am, then you are probably doing your 3rd semester of online/hybrid school. Not being at school or not attending classes in person definitely makes learning and studying a lot harder. Because I know this struggle all too well, I put together a list of study tips to hopefully help us all succeed a little more this semester.

Keep Reading... Show less

8 Valentine's Day Gift Ideas For Your Long-Distance Partner

Looking for a gift idea for your long-distance Valentine's date this year? Here are some creative, thoughtful gifts for you!

Photo by Ben Collins on Unsplash

As Valentine's Day approaches, I realized that it's the first Valentine's Day I have had with my boyfriend that we're more than 6,000 miles apart. Despite the distance though, my mind has been reeling over what to get him, as one of my main love languages is gift-giving. So here are some ideas that I've seen that I think would be perfect for any relationship, whether you're together or apart.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

To be perfectly honest, I wasn't sure how to write this article.

In the past, I've written about the lies we tell ourselves. I've written about how thoughts can be destructive, how they can have power over who we are.

Keep Reading... Show less

Put Down Your Phone And Read These 8 Statistics About Texting And Driving You Wish Didn't Exist

We text all the time, so it's no surprise you may find yourself wanting to pick up your phone even when you're driving.


You're driving to the grocery store when your phone buzzes in your pocket. You instinctively reach to check it, but it can wait until you park. These are eight statistics to read before you text and drive because they'll change how you view your time on the road.

Everyone's made the mistake of looking at their phone while in the driver's seat, but not everyone gets home safely afterward. Learn why it's better to avoid distracted driving so you don't become one of these statistics this year:

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Have An Eating Disorder And I Refuse To Let It Kill Me

Even at my lowest, the number on the scale never seemed low enough... but was it ever worth the risk of losing my life?

Trigger warning: This article discusses topics that may be triggering for some readers.

I looked down at my thumb today. I know haven't been eating enough. I told everyone I would get all my vitamins and calories in. I totally wanted to eat more of the guacamole I bought the other day, but I counted what I had eaten and those numbers seemed a little too high. I decided I didn't need the extra helping, so I went to bed and the guacamole went bad.

Keep Reading... Show less

When pursuing a degree that most deem 'useless' or a 'waste of time' there happens to be a lot of self-doubt and fear, especially with the pending doom of graduation around the corner. I remember when I was about to graduate from college with a Bachelor's in Acting, I was absolutely terrified.

Keep Reading... Show less

TikTok Made Me Buy It: Flawless's Skincare Fridge

I bought and tested one of TikTok's popular products so you don't have to.


I spend a lot of time on TikTok and I never know whether the products I see are worth it or not, especially when I'm looking at the price. For Christmas, my aunt got me a gift card to Ulta. I didn't know what to buy. I have way too many palettes and lipsticks. I have my essentials. What else could I need? Then it hit me that I saw a lot of people these past few months showing off their skincare fridges. So, the second I thought of it I went on the Ulta app and bought it. So, here are my thoughts.

Keep Reading... Show less

37 Cute And Unique Pinterest Board Titles

Let's be real, the hardest part about Pinterest is thinking of a cute title for your board.


I don't know about anyone else but I have recently become re-obsessed with Pinterest. Like, I am spending a stupid amount of time on Pinterest daily now. While I have been binging Pinterest I have found that I love making cute and aesthetic boards but it is SO hard to come up with a name to match it. So, I scoured the internet and my brain for you. Happy pinning!

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments