Backstage

  • Photo Credit Erica Livoti
  • Photo Credit Sarah Mendelsohn
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Deepica Mutyala

One tube of bright red lipstick changed everything for Deepica Mutyala. After a video on her YouTube channel on how to mask under eye circles with the beauty product went viral, garnering more than 9 million views and grabbing the attention of The TODAY Show and The Dr. Oz Show, Deepica left her post as Senior Manager of Brand & Product Development at Birchbox and committed to vlogging fulltime. Even as a little girl growing up in Texas, Deepica was intrigued by beauty and obsessed with New York City. And now as an on-air beauty expert and YouTube personality living in her dream city, she spreads the universal language of beauty by making it approachable for everyone through her expert tips, tricks and tutorials. Deepica, who you can catch on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, talked to us about launching her “beauty decoded” channel a little more than a year ago as well as her expertise and fascination with New York City’s rooftops, Snapchat and Dry Texturizing Spray.

Deepica has recently been featured on Today.com with her Five Minute Waves Tutorial using only Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray,
Click here to get the look.

Photo Credit Shay Paresh

You are known for sharing tips, tricks and tutorials—what is your all-time favorite?
People probably assume that the “red lipstick video” that went viral would be my favorite—I do love it and am so grateful for what it has done for my career—but my favorite (and the one that I’m most proud of) is actually a video that shares a message rather than a tutorial. I did a video called #BeYourOwnPrincess where I transformed into three iconic Disney Princesses and ended by transforming into a Disney Prince to show that you can be whoever you want to be no matter what you look like on the outside. It’s a message inspired by my childhood. I felt like I owed it to my 16-year-old self and other kids growing up today to share it. Beauty tutorials are the core of my YouTube channel, but I hope to use my platform to share messages I believe in as my channel grows.

How does New York City inspire you?
New York City inspires me every day. As a girl who grew up in Texas, I dreamt of living here and working in the beauty industry. It’s so surreal to live in the West Village right by Carrie Bradshaw’s Sex and the City apartment. Sure I live in a 400-square-foot studio, but it doesn’t bother me. Who wants to stay inside when you can frolic and get inspired by everything this city has to offer? Everything from a stroll through Washington Square Park to local coffee shops to attending red carpet events inspires me and keeps me motivated.

Every time I fly back into Manhattan and see the skyline, I get butterflies as if it’s the first time I’m seeing it. I get such a rush of anxiety. This city makes you hungry to realize your wildest dreams (and hungry for the amazing Italian hole-in-the-wall in Nolita). I don’t think there is another city in the world that has as many ambitious and dynamic people as New York. I meet someone every day that inspires me to work harder and dream bigger. I can’t really explain it in any other way but to say that I am meant to be here.

Photo Credit Erica Livoti

It seems like visiting New York City rooftops is a preferred activity—Which one is your favorite?
If Instagram capped the number New York City rooftop photos allowed, I would have hit that cap during my first week living here. Whenever someone asks me what I want to do or where I want to meet up, the answer will always be a rooftop—I’m obsessed. There is no greater feeling than the one you feel floating in the middle of Manhattan. My current favorite is Mr. Purple in the Lower East Side. It recently opened, and I have a feeling it will be one of my go-to spots this summer.

How has launching your own YouTube channel changed your career?
How hasn’t it changed my career? I still can’t believe it’s only been about a year since I launched a video filmed on my iPhone that changed my life forever. I remember sitting in a work meeting and receiving a Gchat from a co-worker that said, “your video is on BuzzFeed, and you’re going to go viral.” Before I knew it, the video hit 100k views, then 1 million views, and now close to 10 million people have seen it. Every global publication I could ever dream of would be featuring the video. It was a whirlwind to say the least. The day I got an email from The TODAY Show asking me to come on to do a segment showcasing my “red lipstick trick” was the day I put in my two-weeks notice. I felt like it was the sign I needed and that I was meant to do this fulltime. A few months later, I had become a regular TODAY contributor, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and helped premiere Amazon’s new live show StyleCode.

Any advice for someone who wants to launch a similar career?
Just start. I worried for so long about not having the proper equipment, knowledge, team or time to launch a YouTube channel, but after I did, it turned out that a video I filmed the wrong way on my iPhone and made after I rolled out of bed on a Saturday kicked off my new career. At the end of the day, authenticity is what will make you shine on YouTube—it’s you being you, not all the other stuff. Get that voice out of your head saying you don’t have time. You always have time to make your dreams come true.

I would also say to work hard…and then work harder. I’ve never worked as hard as I am right now. You have to make it happen for yourself and sacrifice some things—I don’t even know what a weekend is anymore. Everyday is a workday, but it’s worth it.

What does “beauty decoded” mean to you?
I launched my channel under the premise of beauty decoded because I want to simplify beauty for the everyday girl. I found that there’s plenty of YouTube channels out there that do aspirational beauty looks, but I wanted to take everything I learned while working with some of the greatest artists in the world and break it down into something achievable for the girl in Texas who wants to learn how to apply a liquid liner or the basics of contouring without the intimidation factor. I truly believe that makeup should be fun and make you feel beautiful. When you feel beautiful, you exude confidence, and when you’re confident, you’re unstoppable.

Photo Credit Shay Paresh

You are blowing up on Snapchat. What is it about your content that keeps people interested?
I love the “story” aspect of Snapchat. It’s the social media outlet that allows me to really connect with my followers. I give them a look into my day-to-day life, which captures all aspects of my personality. I share everything from behind-the-scenes footage on a video shoot and backstage moments at The TODAY Show to my daily beauty routine and silly snapshots with my friends and family around New York City. It’s fun sharing my daily journey living in Manhattan and all the random antics that come with it with my followers from Oklahoma to Singapore. It’s like a reality show where I have control over what is shared.

I also love being able to engage with my followers in a more intimate way. For example, they can snap me videos or pictures of them trying out beauty tricks that I taught them. I also do a lot of polling via Snapchat—my followers help me pick what lipstick shade to wear in the mornings and have even chosen the outfits I’ve worn to weddings.

For someone new to the Snapchat world, which five people should he or she start following right now?
Me, obviously! Then Kylie Jenner and DJ Khaled because they are so entertaining and you have to follow them just to be in the know. Inevitably something from their snap story will be in the news the next day. Kim Kardashian just got Snapchat and she just drives around taking videos of herself. Sometimes Kanye is in the background jamming out to his own songs. She’s clearly not taking it too seriously, and it’s hilarious to watch. I think that’s what everyone loves about Snapchat—it’s raw and unfiltered. Shay Mitchell is hilarious too. She gets it and makes you feel like you’re there with her. It also makes her feel more like your friend than the celebrity you see on television. I love being able to connect with people like that.

What is your favorite Oribe product and how do you use it?
The Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray is in my top five favorite products of all time. I use it every day because it’s a game-changing product. It gives my hair effortless waves and has the Oribe signature fragrance, which is so intoxicating. I always tell my followers that if there is one product worth splurging on, it’s this.

Photo Credit Alissa Noelle Photography

Favorite lazy-day hair tricks?
My favorite lazy-day hair tricks and my everyday hair tricks are one in the same and both involve using Dry Texturizing Spray. After having super-long, traditional Indian hair my entire life, I recently cut it off in a major way. It was the most liberating feeling! Now I wake up and run a wand through my hair (missing a piece here and there) and then go at it with Dry Texturizing Spray. If I fall asleep with my hair wet, I sometimes skip the wand because I’ll have natural waves. I just add Dry or hairspray in for some volume.

Who gives you hair envy?
Gigi Hadid gives me everything envy—brows, fashion, hair. I love when people experiment and keep things fresh. Beauty is meant to evolve and inspire.

What fashion trend are you most looking forward to this Spring/Summer?
I am really into the “out of the pool” slicked-back hair look. It’s really chic in an effortless way. I also love all the braid trends happening from high-pony braids to boxer braids.

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