How This Beauty Guru Created a Community Focused on Empowering Brown Women
When Deepica Mutyala initially launched her YouTube career, she was best known for being the red-lipstick-under-the-eyes girl. But over the past few years, she has taken that viral success and turned it into so much more. Videos like Be Your Own Princess and Be Your Own Hero (in which she reimagines Wonder Woman as South Asian) use beauty and makeup to inspire women and girls everywhere to be who they want to be and feel confident in their own skin, regardless of stereotypes.
Her newest passion project, TINTED, is a digital community focused on providing an inclusive platform for underrepresented brown women in the beauty industry. Mutyala has been vocal about her struggles as a teenager to accept her skin tone, largely due to the fact that there was, and still is, little to no representation of brown women in the media (you can hear about this, as well as her foray into YouTube in her latest video). TINTED was fueled by her desire to create awareness for more representation, while also providing a space for women to feel empowered and support each other. We sat down with her to talk about her inspiration, goals, and all things #tinted.
Brit + Co: What was the motivation behind creating TINTED and what are you hoping to achieve with it?
Deepica Mutyala: I’ve been doing the beauty influencer thing for three years now and I get messages from women daily about their frustrations [about] not finding the right shade or not feeling represented by beauty brands, and how much it means to them when they see me “representing” for big campaigns. I don’t want to just be the token girl who has my skin tone, but instead showcase all these other TINTED women that are doing amazing things in beauty and beyond. There’s an opportunity to build on a community that already exists but just needs a place to come together and feel like their voice matters. We hope with TINTED we create a meaningful and productive digital hub where people feel part of a real community and will feel inspired to engage with us. We want to show brands the power of this demographic of women.
B+C: Your brand-new newsletter (which is amazingly named “No Shade”) just launched. What can we expect from that?
DM: We love the name — it feels like a tongue in cheek nod to the name TINTED. I will say the most exciting way to get involved is to sign up for our weekly newsletter — think The Skimm but for beauty and [with] super targeted info specifically for the #TintGirl. We’re going to have a lot of fun interviews, “Tinty” product reviews, and our thoughts (maybe some rants) on issues that matter to our community. Every time I look at our content lineup, I have a huge smile on my face because I know girls are going to read this and finally feel a sense of community and belonging. It’s about time.
B+C: Fenty Beauty has made huge waves in the media for its incredibly inclusive range of shades. What other makeup brands do you recommend for women of color?
DM: First off, I totally agree and I’m a HUGE fan of Fenty Beauty! Who isn’t completely obsessed with Rihanna? I will say though that it was unfortunate that I didn’t feel like there was someone that looked like me in her campaign. I get that it’s impossible to cover everyone even for a brand that is created for everyone, but my hope is that one day we WILL be seen as a necessity to a beauty campaign and not an afterthought, or another check on a brand’s list. We will truly be… valued and looked at as someone that doesn’t just need but deserves representation.
Back to your question, I’ve always felt that MAC was the brand that did it best. Since day one, they have stayed true to creating products with undertones to serve a spectrum of women. It sort of makes me cringe seeing other brands try and catch up now. You just feel the inauthenticity of it all.
B+C: What does the future of TINTED look like? What do you hope this means for the beauty industry going forward?
DM: I have a gut feeling that TINTED will be a major player when it comes to brands and outlets thinking of beauty and representation as it applies to the TINTFAM. I think there are a lot of voices, but they aren’t being represented in one place the way they should be, or [don’t] have an effective, unified platform. That’s what we want TINTED to be, and we want to encourage supporting one another, and collaborating — that in itself is a big differentiator because there’s so much competition with brown girls sometimes. We try really hard to have positive vibes on our pages, and support our community and influencers. We hope the beauty industry will take notice that this is a powerful community that really wants to be heard. Just with the rollout of our Instagram account, I’ve realized the opportunities are endless. I see merch in the near future and… I’ve dreamt of making the beauty space more inclusive for women who look like me since I was a kid and I’m going to make sure that happens.
B+C:And lastly, how can our readers get involved in the TINTED community?
DM: So many ways and there are just more ways developing daily! First off, follow us on Instagram (@livetinted). This will be the primary hub where people can get updates daily on what’s happening in the TINTED community. We have some unique and fun Instagram story ideas in the works, so stay tuned!
Are you here for a possible TINTED beauty line in the future? Let us know @BritandCo!
(Photos via TINTED)