Deepica Mutyala, Founder & CEO of Live Tinted, on Building a Cultural Legacy in the Cosmetics World

Amanda Kahn
Amanda Kahn
May 7, 2024

Whether you're an aspiring creator, a beauty enthusiast, or simply drawn to inspiring success stories, this episode offers a plethora of insights into how to create a legacy that transcends traditional boundaries. 

In Ep. 128 of Earned, Conor sits down with Deepica Mutyala, content creator,  CEO, and the founding force behind innovative beauty brand Live Tinted—your home for clean, inclusive, and hyperpigmentation-focused beauty essentials. 

To start, we dive into how Deepica harnessed her online influence to establish the beauty empire that is Live Tinted. Deepica shares why she created the viral Hue Stick, a product that has won three Allure Best of Beauty Awards since launch, and has helped fill a void in the beauty industry for underrepresented audiences. We then hear about the early days of the influencer landscape, and Deepica reveals the shift from big-name collaborations to partnerships built around genuine affinity. We discuss Deepica’s content creation journey,  from being on the Today Show as a beauty expert, to founding her own brand. Deepica recounts pitching Live Tinted to industry titans like Sephora and Ulta, and emphasizes the importance of aligning with partners that share your vision. To close the show, Deepica discusses her quest for fulfillment beyond financial success, and shares how she is still searching for the balance between business achievements and personal life.

We’ve included a couple of highlights from the episode below, but be sure to check out the full video above, or tune into the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen!

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The following interview has been lightly edited for concision. 

“I would become friends with the people at brands and we would do content”: How Deepica Got Her Start as a Creator

Conor Begley: The vast majority of people that try to do [content creation] do not get to the level that you are at today. What do you think they do wrong or what is it that you think you got right that led you to have the success that you've had?

Deepica Mutyala: It’s hard for me to say, because it's obviously changed so much. It's so hard now. I think valuable advice for today is to have so much collaboration. I didn’t really reach out to other content creators, since quite honestly, I didn't have that network yet when I was still very small. What I actually did was go straight to the brands. I had all these brand contacts from my time at Birchbox, so I would just email them.

I connected better with the marketing manager at brands than I did with an influencer. So I would become friends with the people at brands and we would do content. At that time, if Maybelline tagged me, I would have grown by 5k followers. I would just do free content with them and not ask them to pay me. Or if they did pay me, it was like $500 or something small. It's the ripple effect of if Maybelline wants to work with her, L'Oréal wants to work with her, then MAC Cosmetics, Laura Mercier, and BeautyBlender wants to work with her. These are all real brands that did work with me.

It's crazy to think that's really what did it for me. In the beginning, it was collaborating with the brands and doing free content. I wouldn't advise that these days and honestly brands don't even go there because they're not trying to get canceled. I do believe at the time social currency was real.

Keep up with new episodes of Earned by following the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts, or by subscribing to our YouTube channel. To catch up on our previous episodes, featuring leaders from brands like Revolve, K18, Meta, Stanley, and Roblox, visit our Earned Podcast page.