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Who is Deepica Mutlaya?
You might recognize 30-year-old YouTuber and social media influencer from her viral video that took the world by storm when she used lipstick underneath her eyes to cover dark spots. That video now has over 10 million YouTube views, and Deepica has embraced her beauty expertise working with The Today Show, numerous makeup brands as an influencer and has even starred in commercials for Samsung and L’Oréal.
Now, Deepica has launched her first beauty product: Huestick; inspired by the inclusive Instagram beauty community she’s built, Live Tinted.
Deepica shares how she’s embraced being a female founder on a mission to change beauty standards.
Tell us about Huestick and your journey to launching a beauty brand?
The Huestick is the first ever color corrector and multi-stick product. It can be used in two ways – as a multi-stick on eyes, lips, and cheeks for a burst of color, or as a color corrector, dabbed gently onto dark circles, hyperpigmentation and dark spots. The Huestick has skincare ingredients like hyaluronic acid, squalene, and Vitamin C + E to give you a makeup product with skincare benefits.
I’ve always wanted to create a beauty brand, basically since I was sixteen. I started out on the corporate side of the beauty industry, worked as a beauty influencer, and now I’m the Founder and CEO of Live Tinted. The journey of building the Live Tinted community, and the overwhelming feedback we continuously receive let me know that I wasn’t alone in feeling left out of the beauty narrative – and there was room for product development within the community.
How has your background as an influencer helped you understand the market need for this product?
As a beauty influencer, I was able to interact with a huge variety of beauty brands and their products. I didn’t see a product like the Huestick – not even close – and I really wanted to be able to develop a color corrector + multi-stick with skincare for all skin shades. I was able to build on my experience with a vast array of products, and I used those insights to build out the product – think texture, weight, ingredients, and so on.
You built a community first product, how did you involve your diverse community for product development and launch?
Honestly, it couldn’t have been done without the Live Tinted community. It started with them asking for product recommendations for their #1 beauty concern – dark circles. From there, we kept asking them questions, and they kept providing answers. Beyond digital engagement, we had community members come to my house (literally) and try the product and give feedback that leads the testing process. Our campaign models are all real members of the Live Tinted community On out our Instagram @livetinted, you’ll see them featured with a little blurb about their experiences with the Huestick, their beauty, and their culture.
What has the response been?
Unreal. I can’t thank the Live Tinted community enough for bringing us to this point, and supporting us through every fork in the road. The community we’ve built is full of passionate, engaged members who I really can’t thank enough for everything they’ve done for this movement.
Female-founder startups Glossier and RentTheRunway now have billion-dollar valuations, what is your long-term goal for HueStick?
I like to say that we’re a small start-up with big dreams. We want to continue leaning on the Live Tinted community to tell us what they want to see and continue pushing for inclusivity and representation in the industry. We want to launch thoughtful, well-researched and responsibly-made products that address real beauty concerns for people of different backgrounds. We want to continue ethically and responsibly reach the heights of financial success so that we can feed this process of social listening, product development, and continuous improvement. Above all, we want to disrupt the beauty industry and normalize diversity and representation.
You’re very authentic and vulnerable in your social media storytelling, it’s pretty different than most CEO’s and influencers, why have you chosen that path?
I don’t see any other way than to be who I am. I’ve seen my vulnerability and authenticity inspire other people, and truly that should be the role of CEOs and influencers. I want to give people courage, and that means showing it all.
Being both an influencer and startup entrepreneur, what three lessons have you learned along the way that keeps you energized to follow your dreams?
- Dream and Do: Think big, and do big.
- Build a Trusted Team: People form the core of Live Tinted, and people are critical for us to thrive.
- Self Care: You have to be 100% to give work your 100%.
You have close mentors like Bobbi Brown and Meghan Markle’s makeup artist, Daniel Martin, what has been the best advice you’ve received for launching a brand?
I’ve been blessed to have incredibly talented, accomplished and inspirational mentors and friends who have been so generous with their advice. Bobbi’s advice was to stay scrappy and enjoy the early days. She encouraged me to soak in the early moments that I used to only dream of happening because those only happen once.
Daniel’s advice taught me the importance of being kind to everyone through all levels of success, and to keep trusted family/friends, advisors and supporters close.
What is your advice to those wanting to take the beauty industry by storm?
May 8, 2019 at 09:44AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs