Empowering Stories: Meet Deepica, The Beauty Mogul Fighting For Representation



We want to empower you! Today, we’re chatting with Deepica Mutyala, a beauty mogul who has inspired and empowered us (and many of you) for years. Stay tuned for more #EmpoweringStories from incredible people around the world.

Meet Founder of Live Tinted, Deepica Mutyala. As we sit here trying to find the right words to describe the badass beauty mogul, it’s almost impossible to put all that she is and has accomplished into singular terms. Deepica started her beauty journey as a YouTuber before becoming the founder of a beauty brand with a real purpose. She’s a trailblazer without a question. Deepica is someone who knows what’s right and what’s needed in the world (especially the beauty space), and she has the determination and grit to be the person who makes the change.

Just consider some – not even all – of the incredible things Deepica’s already achieved: she founded the first South Asian-owned beauty brand to be stocked at ULTA. This year, TIME magazine named her one of the Next Generation Of Leaders 2022. Oh, and the first South Asian American CEO Barbie doll was modeled after her, giving little girls everywhere the representation they deserve. If that’s not a mic drop moment, we don’t know what is.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Deepica Mutyala (@deepica)

Before we start to ramble on about how she continues to inspire us and empower her community, we’ll let her take the lead. Here’s Deepica’s journey in her own words. It’s one hell of a read…

1. Tell us about yourself and how and why you got into the beauty space? How did being a South Asian woman in America affect your perspective on beauty growing up and inspire you to build the incredible online community of women, Live Tinted? 

I’ve always had a love for beauty. I feel like my mom got me into it because I always saw her apply makeup, and I always just wanted to be like her (she and I are basically the same person now, haha). Growing up, I remember walking into stores, looking at magazines, and watching commercials thinking none of these girls looked like me. It definitely affected the way I felt about my natural looks, having dark hair, brown eyes, and brown skin.

I wanted to be considered beautiful by the people around me, so I changed everything about myself to fit into those beauty standards. I dyed my hair blonde and wore blue contacts because this was the look that everyone labeled as “popular” or “pretty.” This was also deeply embedded in South Asian culture; we were told to hide from the sun, so we don’t get tan or “darker.” Within the South Asian community, fair skin was championed. As I grew older and began working in corporate beauty, it became more apparent to me that I wasn’t alone in feeling that people who looked like me did not feel seen or appreciated for the way we naturally are. The messaging to us was to change everything about ourselves if we wanted to be “beautiful.”

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Deepica Mutyala (@deepica)

Live Tinted was created to be a safe space where people who’ve felt unseen can come together and share their stories, and when we did, we realized we have more in common with each other than we knew. It started as a community page on Instagram to spark conversations about our identities and culture. With social media being a place where it becomes all too easy for us to compare ourselves to one another,  I wanted to promote a place with a standard of kindness, where we can learn about each other’s experiences. Seeing the rise and overwhelming support we received with Live Tinted, I think it turned out to be the exact thing the industry was needing.

2. Why do you think your color-correcting video using lipstick blew up on social? 

I honestly think it blew up for two reasons, the first being that it looked crazy! You can’t deny you would take a double take at a girl wearing red lipstick under her eyes. The second reason is because I think I was tackling a concern that MANY people, especially people in the South Asian community, shared. Hyperpigmentation and dark circles/spots are common concerns, and this was a unique way to tackle it that worked.

This need/concern was what inspired the launch of Live Tinted’s first product: the Huestick. It only made sense! Live Tinted is a community-first brand, so before we launched our first product, we asked our community what they wanted to see. They replied they wanted a simple, personal, and most importantly, functional product that solved beauty concerns in their lives, with the biggest concern being dark circles. So we created a solution with the Huestick, a beauty product that could mask dark circles with color correction while also being used as an eye, cheek, and lip.

The Huestick has now won three consecutive Allure Best of Beauty Awards – the most recent one from this year. It means so much to know that in addition to being a really great product that is super effective, it all started because of that video and wanting to make a bigger difference.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by LIVE TINTED (@livetinted)

3. How has owning your own business and seeing the impact your brand has made contributed to you feeling empowered?

Nothing makes me feel more empowered than helping others realize their natural beauty. Through Live Tinted, hundreds of people connect with one another by sharing their own experiences and communicating with one another through comments and our DMs. Through our posts, we drive conversations around products and topics that we all share (and we know this because we base our content around the feedback we receive from our community). It feels amazing to know that people are learning to love and accept themselves in their natural hues, just as they are, through Live Tinted. Seeing them empowered, empowers me.

4. How did it feel when Mattel created a South Asian CEO Barbie Doll modeled after you? And what do you think this meant for your community?

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Deepica Mutyala (@deepica)

It is very important to me to ensure that my brand is more than just a brand. My vision for Live Tinted since the beginning was to provide a platform for people that usually feel underrepresented and/or unseen. We are here to amplify their voices and give them the representation, love, and attention that they deserve.

I definitely didn’t grow up with a Barbie that looked like me; they were always blonde and blue-eyed as well. But as I mentioned before, with the lack of representation in the way that I looked, I developed big insecurities around my natural appearance and skin tone. No one deserves to feel like they aren’t beautiful because of the way media presents beauty – which is why representation and diversity is so deeply rooted in Live Tinted DNA, as well as celebrating ALL hues. Every skin has a tint, and we must remind one another that our skin tone is a representation of our culture, and we should wear it proudly.

I was honestly emotional when I first held the Barbie in my hands – because this was a sign that the next generation of young kids WILL have this kind of representation in their childhood. Something I didn’t have and wished I did. Hopefully, they won’t grow up developing the same insecurities as me because they will be seen and represented by our efforts. Our sole mission as a brand at Live Tinted is to dismantle colorism in the beauty industry and to emphasize that representation matters. To be able to show kids everywhere that there is a place for them in this world through such an iconic and prominent figure, such as Barbie, is something I know younger Deepica would be extremely proud of.

5. What have been some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced on your journey so far, and how have you overcome them?

The biggest obstacle I have faced as a businesswoman is the lack of funding. Women only receive 2% of venture capital funding, and that number is even lower for women of color.

More specifically, the beauty industry is known to be a difficult industry to be in, whether that is the harsh standards set and lack of inclusivity or all the competition there is. At Live Tinted, inclusivity and diversity are at the heart of everything and are the drive behind all of our creations. We want every woman of every shade to feel seen and heard by Live Tinted, as it should be universally.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Deepica Mutyala (@deepica)

6. You are someone that so many women across the world look up to! How do you think seeing someone like yourself doing what you’re doing today would have empowered your younger self?

I would have been a much more empowered little girl if I had someone like myself to look up to and a community like Live Tinted to be a part of. Representation, both in the media and in the products we use each day, is so important and would have helped me to learn how to embrace my beauty and heritage at a younger age. Although my mission now is to make sure no one grows up feeling the way I did, it all happened for a reason, and I’m grateful that my experiences growing up pushed me to break barriers and create what Live Tinted is today.

7. What do you do to feel empowered? How do you lift yourself up and show yourself love when you’re not feeling your best? And how do you do that for your community and those around you?

When I’m not feeling my best and feeling down, I turn to my close friends, family, mentors, and of course, the Live Tinted community. Those are the people who inspire me every day, and push me to do what I do. I hope I do the same for those around me and my community through my actions as the CEO of Live Tinted and the way I use my platform to raise awareness about our mission of representation and inclusion.

8. What advice would you give to other women who want to become more confident in themselves? How can they find their power? 

My advice for other women who want to become more confident in themselves is to stop comparing themselves and listening to how other people are describing them/telling them they should be doing XYZ… And instead start to only listen to themselves, what they want to do and achieve out of life. You are your biggest motivator and cheerleader, so you need to learn to realize by loving and trusting yourself above all others will be the key to achieving true confidence. I always stand by this- your identity and culture is your superpower. What makes you DIFFERENT is your superpower. So my suggestion is to find the thing that sets you apart from those surrounding you, then go from there.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Deepica Mutyala (@deepica)

9. What’s next for you? What are your goals and dreams for the future? 

We have big things coming in the future for Live Tinted! So many products are in development right now…can’t wait to share them all with the world, one launch at a time.

A dream I’ve always had is to start a foundation or fund to help BIPOC women begin their own businesses. I hope to get there one day, where I can be a mentor to others who are starting their journeys!

Well, we can’t wait to watch and cheer Deepica on from the sidelines! 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Deepica Mutyala (@deepica)

Stay up-to-date with Deepica on her Instagram and TikTok, and don’t forget to check out her brand Live Tinted. A massive thank you to Deepica for sharing her #EmpoweringStory with us and being a force for representation in the beauty industry. We are so grateful to be able to share her empowering journey with our loving and supportive Huda Beauty community.

For more empowering stories, check our candid conversation with Nadya Okamoto, the activist who will make you rethink period care.