Live Tinted Founder Deepica Mutyala Has Always Dreamed of This Role

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Live Tinted Founder Deepica Mutyala Has Always Dreamed of This Role


Photography by Brayden Olsen

The Live Tinted founder was born for this role.

“I didn’t grow up dreaming of being a model; I grew up dreaming of being a CEO,” says Deepica Mutyala over a video call. The founder of Live Tinted, which launched at Sephora Canada this past summer, is dialing in from a gorgeous light-filled living room in L.A. (“Can you believe this is an actual house and not just a Zoom background?” she laughs.)

Mutyala is celebrating Live Tinted’s five-year anniversary, but she is quick to point out that it’s been “five years for the brand but a lifetime of manifestation [for her].” Prior to launching Live Tinted, Mutyala was doing “the influencer thing,” and before that, she worked in the corporate side of the beauty industry. But she rose to fame after her second-ever YouTube video (2015’s “How to Cover Dark Under Eye Circles”), which showed her using red lipstick as an undereye colour corrector, went viral, racking up 10 million views.

Shortly after, she launched a digital platform — also called Live Tinted — to celebrate diversity in beauty and encourage fellow women of colour (Mutyala is of Indian descent herself) to share their makeup tips and questions. “When I launched the online community, I knew I wanted to one day create a line of beauty products, so it was kind of like a focus group,” she says. “But the conversations had to be organic; I didn’t want to launch a brand just to launch something. So I asked this group of women of colour what their biggest beauty concern was, and 98 per cent said it was hyperpigmentation. It quickly became obvious that there was a gap to fill in the market.”

In May 2019, Live Tinted officially made the transition from a digital platform to a beauty brand, with the launch of its first product, Huestick Color Corrector, a multi-use colour stick that can be worn on lips, eyes and cheeks and, of course, as an undereye colour corrector. Since then, the company has launched bronzers, liners, brushes and highlighters — just to name a few. The robust lineup is especially impressive considering the founder had “no mentor, no guidance, no incubator, nothing.” “I built Live Tinted from scratch — what I did have was the most delusional confidence,” jokes Mutyala. “I had such an insane level of ambition and drive that I don’t think anything could have stopped me.”

“I want Live Tinted to be so big that it just normalizes the brown girl coexisting with everyone else in the beauty industry.”

Growing up in a predominantly white neighbourhood in Texas, Mutyala spent her teen years experimenting with wearing blue contact lenses and putting blond streaks in her hair in an attempt to look more like her peers. She says founding Live Tinted has helped her speak to, and heal, her younger self. “I hated myself for so much of my life because I didn’t feel beautiful. Because girls can see themselves in Live Tinted and now in retailers like Sephora, they’re able to say ‘I’m beautiful, because this retailer that stands for beauty is showcasing people who look like me.’ I know it because I feel it, too.”

The end goal, says Mutyala, is for the brand to be so massive that its commitment to diversity and inclusion isn’t novel. “Live Tinted isn’t called, like, Brown Girl Makeup,” she says. “I wanted it to always centre brown women — and I think we do that with every decision, every product, every campaign — but I want Live Tinted to be so big that it just normalizes the brown girl coexisting with everyone else in the beauty industry.”

The latest launch is the Hueskin Serum Concealer, a product that has been many years in the making. “Man, I wish people knew what goes into making a product that has 20 shades,” laughs Mutyala. She says the formula had to be perfect because of “what this product means to the community.” “Us young brown girls never had the right concealer shade,” she explains. “We always had to mix products or deal with our moms and aunties telling us to use a lighter shade because lighter skin was considered more beautiful. Entering the complexion category as a brand that has always tried to change the narrative around colourism, we had to do it right. I did not take this launch lightly.”

Mutyala’s commitment to Live Tinted’s mission radiates through the screen. She seems hyper-focused and clear-headed, which she reveals is the result of a recently implemented pared-back work schedule. This summer, she hired a leadership team to help her navigate Live Tinted’s expansion, allowing her space and time to ideate and plan for the future. “I’m setting boundaries for the first time, because I’ve done the hustle and grind for a decade now,” she says. “I’m just now, in my 30s, learning basic life skills like how to cook, how to date, how to take care of a home — things that other people learned in their 20s. I couldn’t prioritize them then because I was building a brand, which is OK; I’m trying to be kind to myself about it. The company had to be 150 per cent of my focus then to get it to where it is today.”

It’s this intensity and determination that has led to Live Tinted’s success, but the pressure and weight on Mutyala’s shoulders is obvious as she speaks about the sacrifices she’s made. “Because I have a purpose-driven brand, there’s a heaviness that comes with the decisions I make,” she says. “It sometimes slows down other parts of the business. I know that other brands exist without putting so much emphasis on the purpose of what they do. They’re like: ‘Here is a product. It is what it is.’ And not all companies have to exist for a purpose. But I wouldn’t be proud to be the founder or CEO of that type of company.”

Below are Deepica Mutyala’s tried-and-true beauty favourites.

Tatcha Indigo Overnight Repair


“This is a cream I swear by; I always have it on my nightstand. It leaves my skin intensely moisturized, and I wake up glowy every time I use it.”

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Live Tinted Hueskin Serum Concealer

Live Tinted Hueskin Serum Concealer

“A lot of concealers are being released right now, but I know the girl who spends her dollars on Live Tinted waited for our concealer. I’m so proud of this formula; it’s lightweight, full-coverage and loaded with skincare ingredients.”

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Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo

Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo

“Since I began using this, my hair has never felt stronger or healthier.”

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Henry Rose Windows Down Eau de Parfum

Henry Rose Windows Down Eau de Parfum

“This scent is amazing! Plus, the travel size is really easy to throw into a bag.”

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Fable & Mane HoliRoots Hair Oil

Fable & Mane HoliRoots Hair Oil

“I love oiling my hair. I grew up with my mom doing it for me, and now it’s one of my favourite self-care rituals.”

Shop Now

This article first appeared in FASHION’s Winter 2024 issue. Find out more here.

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