Deepica Mutyala is part of Oxygen’s digital series In Progress 52. In 2016, Oxygen's Very Real digital hub is featuring 52 of these outstanding women: that's one woman a week, for 52 weeks. Check out the series here!
Dark circles. It's one of the most common beauty complaints women have--one I know all too well. Last year, I was clicking around in the YouTube rabbit hole when I stumbled on “How to Mask Dark Under Eye Circles” featuring a young woman who looked a lot like me. One minute, she has raccoon eyes. After smearing red lipstick on--poof--perfect complexion. I tested this sorcery myself and yes, it really works.
Meet Deepica Mutyala, the beauty genius who let this secret out of the makeup bag. With over 9 million views (and counting), her viral video catapulted the Texas native out of a 9-to-5 job into a career as an on-air beauty expert and YouTube personality. With appearances on The Today Show and collaborations with major brands, Deepica is using her newfound fame to empower young women and change the face of beauty.
Growing up with traditional Indian parents, Deepica was far from the doctor her family wanted her to be. “Even as a little kid, I was reaching for the lipstick while everyone else was reaching for the stethoscope. That’s just who I was." She majored in marketing and interned at L'Oreal. After graduation, she worked as Senior Manager of Brand & Product Development at Birchbox in New York City, which allowed her to dabble in video makeup tutorials. After creating content for her day job, she asked herself: “Why not create my own channel?”
“I just made excuses after excuses,” she says about hesitating to venture out on her own. “Everyone was telling me that YouTube was a cluttered, cluttered market but it’s really not for a beauty blogger that’s brown. She put aside her fears. "One day I woke up like, ‘I’m already growing a following with Birchbox. There’s already these Indian girls telling me on Instagram and stuff, ‘Thank you so much. I’ve been waiting for someone to go to that actually has my skin tone!’”
Deepica launched her YouTube channel in January 2015 around the theme of “beauty decoded”. Contrary to the current trend of contouring to high heaven and rocking a full beat 24/7, she wants to make beauty approachable--like the red lipstick trick she picked up from a makeup artist. “I filmed it on my iPhone,” she laughs about that video. “Didn’t realize you have to hold [the phone] horizontally. [I] held it vertically. Posted it on my YouTube channel. Maybe two weeks later, it got picked up by BuzzFeed.” Viral history was made and soon everyone from TheTODAY Show to Dr. Oz wanted to feature her.
Deepica was faced with a decision shared by many budding entrepreneurs: Stay in her office job or risk it to follow her dreams? She took the plunge.
“I realized there aren’t people who look like me doing what I’m doing." As one of the few Indian American beauty bloggers, Deepica uses her platform to spread the word about diversity in beauty. “It blows my mind. I feel really lucky with all the success I’ve gotten,” she says. As for the secret to her success? "I’m not doing what everyone else is doing.”