Deepica Mutyala on Taking Control of Her Reproductive Timeline
Growing up, Deepica Mutyala knew she wanted to forge her own path as an entrepreneur. That path led her to create her own beauty brand in 2018. Live Tinted puts inclusion at the forefront, representing people with different skin tones and from all walks of life. But launching a company to fill a need in the market isn’t the only way Mutyala is shaping her own destiny. In 2021, she publicly announced she had chosen to freeze her eggs and take control of her reproductive journey. The Bump caught up with her to talk about her vision for Live Tinted, the impetus for freezing her eggs and how her niece and nephew have helped shape her ideas of motherhood.
The Bump: What drove you to launch your own brand?
Deepica Mutyala: I think it was kind of a culmination of my entire life, starting Live Tinted. It’s always been my passion and goal to create this ecosystem. I always wanted to create my own beauty brand. I really loved this idea of creating a home and community for people to come together and discuss what I felt like nobody in the beauty industry was talking about at the time. Colorism is a great example of that. One of our very earliest posts discussed it—and it was before anybody was talking about it. It was just so important to me to make people feel like they were seen in an industry that didn’t traditionally represent them.
TB: Live Tinted has had so many collaborations in the past few years, particularly ones that celebrate heritage—including the amazing Diwali Party you threw in partnership with Meena Harris’ brand, Phenomenal. Live Tinted is also the first South Asian beauty brand to launch at Ulta. What’s next for the brand?
DM: I think collaborations are always going to be a part of the brand. We’ve had some major ones with big companies like Barbie because I think it’s important that we innovate and push these massive companies to do better. But on the same token, such a big part of what the Live Tinted brand stands for is elevating, amplifying, and celebrating BIPOC voices. Doing collabs with people, amazing incredible artists—like Aadil Abedi to celebrate Ramadan—is also important to me. It’s finding that balance of pushing the big, but elevating talented people who deserve to get the voices and platforms that they don’t maybe traditionally get in this space. But the way we go about it evolves and grows. I can sit here and plan a five-year narrative, and then a pandemic can happen. As a CEO, I have to have clear business objectives for sure, but as a human being and a person who wants to make a difference in the world, I also take a step back and recognize that that path will evolve and change as I’m building it.
What I’ve learned through building this company is that the core of it has always been the same. I want to be the brand that makes others feel seen and celebrate themselves, their identity and their culture. My inspiration wall is just all the beautiful hues of the world. I’ve always wanted us to be truly inclusive—I don’t want to be in an ethnic aisle or a niche aisle or even be seen as niche to anyone because we deserve bigger and better than that. I’m really proud and excited to see how many brands are coming out leaning into their culture and heritage. It’s really beautiful to see, and I think we need more of that energy.
TB: Pregnant women and new moms struggle to find safe and clean products for their skin, and motherhood isn’t always conducive to maintaining an extensive skincare routine. What products in your makeup line are your friends and family always asking you about? Are there any other brands that you would recommend?
DM: Within Live Tinted, people really love the Huestick. It’s so multi-purposeful, multifunctional—and it’s a clean product. My sister is an example of a new mom who has no time at all, and through the pregnancy itself she felt safe putting it on. Post-pregnancy she loves the efficiency of it; it’s quick and easy for on-the-go. Again, it’s all about accessibility for us, so I think all of our products are great for that. But the Huestick is the hero, and I feel like we have so many different shades at this point that there’s going to be something that everyone feels like works for them and hopefully makes their life easier.
Another brand that I think is great for new moms is the brand Ranavat. It’s incredible, and I love what Michelle Ranavat is doing with celebrating ayurveda and ayurvedic beauty. It’s for the mom who wants to treat herself because the price point is higher. The Saffron Masque is a great example of something you can use to just chill out for the spare 5 to 10 minutes you have as a mom.
TB: As the founder and CEO of a beauty brand, is there a skincare mantra you live by?
DM: I feel like my skincare mantra is my life mantra: Find what works for you. Take advice from other people, but pave your own journey—in skincare, life, across the board. I can share what’s good for me, but someone else probably has a different skin type than I do and a different work style than I do. What someone else may need versus what I need are different.
I found what’s finally worked for me, and it’s not a 17-step system. It’s a handful of products, and it works. What I realized is so many times I see all these celebrities posting about their skincare routines, but, first of all, genetics and a really good doctor has a lot to do with all of this. A great skincare routine that works for you feels good and relaxing. It’s a wind down and a ritual for me in my day that feels like I’m just giving back to me. I’m really trying to find pockets in the day that I feel like I’m giving time back to myself.
I usually use a cleansing oil—the one that I typically use day-to-day is the Tatcha—a good eye cream, a great serum for whatever skin concern you have—Superhue is the one that works great for me because it’s specific to someone like myself who has hyperpigmentation—and then a great moisturizer. I typically like a thicker moisturizer for my skin because I have dry skin, and it pairs well with Superhue. In the mornings, I put on our Hueguard SPF to protect my skin and make sure that I don’t get future hyperpigmentation.
TB: You mentioned finding pockets of time for yourself, and skincare is obviously a wonderful way to do that. Is it your go-to form of self care?
DM: There was a period of time where I did nothing for self-care, and I felt like I was going to crash and burn. I was really exhausted, I lost my voice and it was just way too much. I realized it couldn’t last, and if I didn’t last, then this company wouldn’t last. I had to fix this ASAP. I started to get weekly massages—and it wasn’t something that I did to relax. It was actually for my health and back.
Something else that I just started this year—which I’m very proud of, because in the last three years of building this company I haven’t been consistent with it—is that I got a trainer, and I’m prioritizing my workout routine because I’ve changed my thought process behind working out. Instead of wondering how I get back to the size that I used to be when I was in my 20s, I think about it as a new chapter of my life. My body is where it is, and it’s been through a lot and it’s gotten me to where I am today. I’ve kind of flipped the idea of working out as an hour of time that’s just for me, before I start the chaos of my day. I see my trainer every morning from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., and I don’t take any meetings before that. Before I would associate working out with fitting into a dress, or looking a certain way for a certain event in my life. When it shifted to being about an hour of me-time—and I felt the energy in my body and self—it’s now become something I enjoy.
TB: So much of that rhetoric is placed onto women by society, so we love that you took back what workouts mean to you.
DM: When I look at my sister, I’m just like, you did this twice in such a short period of time! Relax, enjoy, take your time, be in this moment with your kids. But the snapback culture is intimidating, and it needs to change, in my personal opinion.
TB: It’s clear that family is a very important part of your life. Your sister has two young kids, Jayden, 2, and Sofia, who was just born. What have you learned in your role as an aunt?
DM: I think there’s this simplicity and joy in babies and kids that just makes you pull things back in your brain and realize the purity of life. Any weeknight or weekend I have free time, if I’m in town, I spend it with Jayden. He’s kind of my therapy. He helps me get out of my head and not think about work. If I’m not around him, and I’m just alone in my apartment, there’s no way I’m not thinking about work. As a leader in a company, I’m trying to not send slacks on the weekends, so he’s become this tool for me to escape my work brain and focus on what really matters in life. I want the world to be a better place for Sofia and Jayden. And their giggles—I just love when he laughs, it’s the best. I’m obsessed with them.
My respect for moms is also through the roof after watching my sister. It’s the most difficult job in the world, being a mom, and I don’t think that they get enough credit at all. …You’re literally giving birth to a human being—the fact that lungs and a heart is being created inside of your body is so bizarre to me. I think it’s given me a newfound appreciation for my mother. I don’t have kids, and I don’t have a husband, but I really have a new respect for moms.
In going through this experience, I’ve also recognized I’m not ready. I think before, when Jayden was born, I was having baby fever. I had just turned 30, and I had this clock in me that I needed to have this happen right away. But I feel like I’m raising my baby right now with Live Tinted. For me, at this stage in my life, I realize how incredibly hard it is, and I’m just not there yet. It’s why I froze my eggs—I know it’s something I want to do in my life, but I know that chapter is not right now. I wanted to make sure that I could one day and wanted to create an insurance policy for myself.
TB: You froze your eggs in 2021. What was your experience with the process like? What were some highs and lows of the experience while you were going through it?
DM: The high I would say was the fact that I was taking control of my own destiny, and giving myself the time that I deserved to be able to make that decision for myself. I think there’s real power in owning your own destiny and having that control of your body. I made this decision for myself. Women are incredible—I was injecting myself with hormones, and I had this “we can do anything” kind of moment. That was really, really beautiful.
I don’t know if it was the hormones, but people say that you get emotional. It was also the reality of, “Wow, I’m gonna one day have my baby, this is really great.” And then low was also, “Well, I’m going to one day have a baby, and that reality is nowhere near in the future of any kind.” The thing that people don’t know, which I don’t mind talking about now, was that I was actually dating somebody at the time. It was really nice to go through it with somebody. Every shot I took, he was on FaceTime with me, so that was really lovely. But it didn’t work out, and there was an emotional roller coaster that happened with it all. The high was owning my own fate, and then the low was just the emotional journey of wondering when it would happen.
TB: What advice do you have for women who might be looking to freeze their eggs?
DM: You’re stronger than you think; at least that’s what I realized about myself. In hindsight, I’m like, “Wow, you’re a badass, Deepica.” You literally extracted eggs from your body that you can one day put back in you to give birth, and that is just so cool. I think for anyone going through it who’s scared or nervous, just know you can do it. You’re capable of so much.
TB: What advice would you give the younger version of yourself if you could?
DM: When I was younger, I knew I was meant to do something that was different or non-traditional, like a path that hadn’t been paved for me. I would tell that 16-year-old girl to keep going, because she knows what she’s doing. I wish I could tell her to just be a little bit more kind to herself and her family, because I feel like I was so hard on myself. This “keep going” energy was almost like a defense mechanism to this girl who didn’t feel good enough in her skin. I wish I had realized that these things that you find to be uncool or unacceptable by society are actually the things that are going to make you stand out and be really successful in your future.
TB: Is there one lesson that you’ve learned from running your company that you apply to everyday life?
DM: Yeah, it’s that I’ll always be a student. I feel like I’m learning every day—and I don’t have it figured out at all. Sometimes it’s scary, because there’s a team of people who are relying on you to have the answers. But I find that being vulnerable and honest with the company and just recognizing, “Look, I hired you because you’re great at what you do, and I want to learn from that.” It’s taken me a long time to get there, but I feel like when I first started my company, there was a lot of girlboss energy in the world that was really intimidating and scary and made it really hard for me to feel confident that I could do this. I wasn’t like any of those people that I read about—it really made me question myself, my self-worth and capabilities. So I told myself that I was going to just do me and figure it out my way and help build my own path for how I want this company to go. Part of that is being a constant student. I’m figuring it out, and I don’t ever want to put out this message into the world that I’m some girlboss who is so inspirational. If anyone does find that to be inspirational, I hope what they’ll find to be inspirational is the vulnerability of admitting that I don’t have all the answers.