This post was originally published on our partner website India.com.
Deepica Mutyala has the kind of job most beauty aficionados all over the world lust after. As a senior manager in brand development at the popular New York-based beauty subscription company Birchbox, Mutyala works with the latest innovations in the beauty industry.
“All in one day, I could be doing our co-founder Katia’s makeup before going on Good Morning America, filming a video tutorial on the ‘perfect smoky eye,’ meeting with a brand on how they can create more cost efficient samples, and talking to a manufacturer on the hottest new beauty product on the market!” enthuses Deepica.
But that wasn’t always the case for Texas-native Mutyala, who dreamed of moving to New York to work in the beauty industry, from a young age.
Despite belonging to a family of medical professionals, Mutyala was determined to embark on a career in the beauty world. She said she was always the girl doing everyone’s makeup and knew at an early age that she wanted to make beauty her profession and passion.
“My idea of a fun night was sitting at home with my friends or family and experimenting with new products (and it still is!),” Mutyala said. “To this day, I have regrets of never working at a beauty counter – that would be the dream!”
A proud Longhorn graduating from The University of Texas at Austin, Mutyala studied marketing at The McCombs School of Business. She focused her time in college on ways to break into the beauty industry, which paved her path to working at companies like L’Oreal USA and L Brands on Victoria’s Secret PINK.
“In college, I participated in a marketing case competition for L’Oreal USA that showed me firsthand what it would be like to be a Brand Manager for a major beauty house. This opened the doors to a summer internship at L’Oreal USA in NYC,” Mutyala said.
Even though the internship did not turn into a full-time job after graduating, she took a job as an analyst for L Brands working on Victoria’s Secret Pink.
“At the time, I was devastated because I was convinced that my career path would be working at a major beauty company, go to business school and then start my own brand,” Mutyala said.
Although this was not a part of her long-term plan, she said she felt it was important to learn about the data and analytics side of the fashion/beauty world.
Along with her full-time job, she said she started a beauty blog as a side project/hobby.
“It was my way of staying truly tapped into the beauty world, but more than anything, it was fun!” Mutyala said.
In her day to day research, Mutyala noticed a company that was doing monthly shoe deliveries, chosen by beauty stylists and tailored to your liking, and wondered why a concept like this did not already exist for the beauty industry.
“I thought I had a eureka moment and even bought a domain!” she said
After doing some research, Mutyala said she soon realized a company called Birchbox was mailing monthly deliveries of personalized beauty, grooming, and lifestyle samples, tailored to your profile.
“It was much more of a savvy business model than I had envisioned – there was a 360 approach to beauty that had never been done before,” she said.
This led her to applying for an open position within the company and was later hired as a campaign strategist. Within a month, she moved to Manhattan from Texas to work for the fast-growing start-up company.
“I feel extremely fortunate to work at a company with co-founders Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna, who truly care about the career path of each of their employees,” Mutyala said. “One thing, Katia said to me before that has really stuck with me through the years, is the importance of shaping my own career path. No one is going to make things happen for you, but you.”
Mutyala said she started her time at Birchbox as a campaign strategist, where she designed and executed campaigns for their beauty brand partners. But after a close evaluation of her career goals, she said she switched to a new role in brand development.
“I get to work hand in hand with product development, which exposes me to the newest and latest innovations in the beauty world and consult brands on making better business decisions,” Mutyala said. “Even though I’m not on either the editorial or social media team at Birchbox, I’m given the opportunity to help lend a hand in creating beauty looks and strategies for those teams as well.”
For new-age-beauty-fanatics wondering how Birchbox works, Deepica explains, subscribers get products in their box based on the information they provide in their beauty profiles.
“You specify your hair type, skin type, level of beauty knowledge, splurge items, etc. in this profile and with the help of a patented algorithm, [and] we send you a curated box monthly,” Mutyala said.
As for Mutyala’s own beauty box, she said her most bought product is lipstick.
“If you knew how many I owned, you’d think I had a problem. I carry three with me (at the minimum) at all times because I never know what mood I’ll be in. Some people collect coins, I collect lipsticks,” Mutyala said.
So what’s next for this talented beauty maven?
“You never know what will happen, but being at Birchbox, I am so inspired by female CEO’s and entrepreneurs,” Mutyala said. “I hope to one day add to this list and have my own beauty company. I would love to develop a line from all my learning of working in this industry. The best brands and companies out there are those created around a personal need. I want to develop a line that serves all the market holes that I see, which quite frankly is a lot!”
Here’s Deepica’s expert beauty and makeup tips for South Asian women:
Ditch the eyeliner for mascara and brightening concealer:
“South Asian women tend to wear extremely heavy eyeliner. I think it was how we were raised because I was definitely guilty of this too. I think we think that our eyes look dull without it, but the real trick to making your eyes look awake is a good mascara and brightening concealer under the eyes. If you brush your lashes inward versus outward with a good volumizing mascara, it opens up your eyes. Also, a trick, that I’ve been doing to get the effect of an eyeliner in a more subtle way, is getting my mascara wand close to my waterline and essentially wiggling it to act as an eyeliner. It gives a smudged/smoky eyeliner effect without going overboard. Don’t get me wrong, I love me a good winged liner, but there is something refreshing about skipping the intense liner every once in awhile.”
Try bolder looks:
“Another reason, I’m into the subtle liner looks, is because it also leads to a bold lip look. South Asian women tend to think that the boldest lip, they can touch, is a red, but that’s not true. It’s all about confidence when you wear it. Own it and everyone else will wish they were too. Makeup is all about having fun! I want more South Asian women to experiment with new looks out of their comfort zone. You’d be surprised at what you discover!”
Discover the power of coconut oil:
“I recently started to use coconut oil on my hair, body, and face. Yes, the same coconut oil South Asian women grew up seeing their mom put in their hair. I used to rebel when my mom wanted to put it in my hair, but it’s really served as a miracle product for me. I’ve already noticed my hair look shinier, face feels more nourished, and body is less dry. It’s funny how sometimes the simplest products can make the biggest impacts.”
Invest in a good dark spot corrector:
“If you have extreme dark circles under your eyes (like me and most South Asian women); use a bright red/orange lipstick as a base under your eyes before applying concealer. The bright pigmentation of the lipstick evens out your skin tone.”
If I DM my friends a bunch of videos on any given day, one of them is almost always an Ankush Bahuguna reel. When I first stumbled upon his content, I saw him as an actor and a comedian, lifting our mood up during the lockdown one video at a time. However, his day-to-day content is more than just that — Bahuguna is changing the landscape of the beauty industry by making (and holding) space for men who aspire to be makeup artists and who have a passion for all things beauty.
Content creator, makeup enthusiast, actor: Which title do you resonate with the most? And, why?
A creator is the word I’d resonate with the most — that’s what got me here — creating comedy, creating beauty content. Even as an actor, I’m very collaborative. I tend to weave nuances around a character and make it my own. I believe, no matter what you do, your work should be unique to you and that can only happen when you build it up yourself.
How did “Wing it with Ankush” come about?
Till three years ago, I used to work for a media house that had a whole team of stylists and MUAs working on every shoot. So when the world went into lockdown, I realized I would have to don all those hats myself. I used to [regularly] shoot videos with my mother and she didn’t know anything about makeup either. So I had to try my hand at it — I would do her makeup and we’d shoot videos together. Soon I realized how much I enjoyed learning a new skill from scratch. I used to paint as a kid, so makeup just somehow made sense. It felt like even though I had a whole lot to learn, it came naturally to me. I decided I would journal these experiments [on] a ‘secret’ page called Wing it With Ankush so that I can look back at it five years from now and see what I was up to [during] lockdown. I didn’t tell anyone about it. But people eventually discovered it and there was no looking back!
One word for gender stereotypes?
One word: Ingrained. It’s so deeply ingrained in us that we find it hard to just accept people the way they are.
How is (or isn’t) India evolving in terms of stereotypes?
We are definitely evolving. It’s a slow process but there’s hope. There’s a long way to go and for starters, I wish people could give non-cis people as much respect, appreciation, and credit, as they give to cis people like me, especially in the beauty space.
Must-have makeup products for men?
Makeup ‘must-haves’ are very subjective across all genders. Some people can’t do without a full face of makeup, while others could care less. I feel nothing is a must-have. [D]on’t wear makeup because you feel you need to, wear it only if it makes you feel good. My must-haves would be a color corrector, concealer, and powder.
Favorite makeup hack ever:
My favorite makeup hack is to underpaint. Apply bronzer and blush before your foundation. It’s so much more natural looking.
Let’s talk about your career in entertainment. What does comedy mean to you?
Comedy is a defense mechanism for me. It’s also self-expression, to be honest. That’s how I go about my day — finding humor in mundane things. Comedy is how I see life.
Beauty Influencer Of The Year Male (Popular Choice) — Ankush Bahuguna! Congratulations! You left your audience with these words in your Instagram post: “There’s always been too much self-doubt and too little self-worth.” How does one overcome that feeling of self-doubt?
As someone who has grown up constantly feeling inadequate, it’s difficult for me to not give in to self-doubt, literally every day. But I guess the idea is to be as kind and forgiving to yourself as you are to others. If you’ve come this far, you must’ve done something right. Right?
We can’t deny that Ankush Bahuguna is going out of his way to put a smile on our faces with his day-to-day content — reels, photos, Insta stories, and more! All while paving a new path for himself and, like we mentioned before, holding space for those who aspire to be them one day. Ankush continues to push the envelope one makeup tutorial at a time, showing the modern world that it’s time to take men in makeup seriously because they’re here to stay!
The featured image is courtesy of Dream N Hustle Media.
Ever since we can recall, the Cannes Film Festival has been a merger of movies and glamour. On one side, there are hand-picked films — ready to premiere and make their mark in the world of entertainment — and on the other, audiences and paparazzi alike are served epic moments in fashion.
The festival, aimed to preview upcoming films from all over the world, invites a wide variety of guests that span the film fraternity, of course, but more recently, has opened its doors to many digital content creators, including renowned South Asian creatives.
With a more vast guest list comes a more recent debate: Cannes is a film festival and not a fashion showcase. Kickstarting the debate this year was none other than ace Bollywood director, Nandita Das, who in an Instagram post shared:
Sometimes people seem to forget that it is a festival of films and not of clothes!
In short, Das wants Cannes’ narrative to continue to focus on films.
But of course, there’s been a paradigm shift in the guest list over the last few years; this shift has allowed talents from various industries — including lifestyle content creators, entrepreneurs, etc., who showcase their work in fashion and beauty like fine masterstrokes — to walk the carpet and represent their craft, making space for others in their industry.
Influential names like Dolly Singh, Kaushal, Diipa Buller-Khosla, and Shivani Bafna — all of whom made a raging impact on the red carpet this year — weigh in on the significance of representing South Asian artists/influencers on the red carpet, and how they feel they’ve been part of this paradigm shift at Cannes Film Festival.
I believe that each step we take at events like Cannes sends a powerful message of diversity, cultural richness, and artistic excellence. Representation matters, and the presence of South Asian creators on the red carpet at Cannes helps broaden the narrative of beauty, talent, and creativity. It allows us to showcase our unique perspectives, narratives, and contributions, ultimately contributing to a more inclusive industry. By actively participating and making our presence felt, we help create more opportunities and spaces for South Asian creators, encouraging others to share their stories with the world.
Since 2015, the first time I walked the red carpet, till this year I have always been invited by L’Oreal Paris, one of the main sponsors of the event. It has always been such an honor to be invited to the festival through the makeup brand that I have been using for almost two decades, and, before my social media career began. Personally, I feel a sense of acknowledgment from such a prestigious brand, and its head office teams that sponsor Cannes Film Festival, and value the work I have done and continue to do as a South Asian content creator within the beauty space. Makeup, hair, and beauty will always play a big role within the film industry and it’s something I have always created my content around which is why I am proud to attend.
This is a proud moment not just for me but also [for] my peers and the entire content creator ecosystem given that we have reached such new global stages and presence. Of course, as you said, such film festivals, once considered as an exclusive hub for a congregation of the finest acting talents have, in the last few years, opened their arms to more people from the entertainment industry.
This is not just a sudden phenomenon with a burst of Indian creators at the festival this year but there is increased participation from non-film and non-South Asian celebrities across various spectrums from different sides of the world. Along with the many filmmakers, actors, producers, etc I also met some amazing influencers and entrepreneurs from other sides of the world. It’s amazing to represent India and celebrate and champion the advent of the digital ecosphere on such a prominent platform.
The confluence of actors and creators signified the amalgamation of traditional cinema and new-age digital influence, highlighting the transformative power of creative expression and how festivals like Cannes have become more forthcoming and progressive in their approach.
Cannes, like any other prominent festival, boasts of a red carpet that is synonymous with fashion and glitz, and I wanted to use this opportunity to represent all the amazing Indian fashion designers on the carpet besides, of course, attending the screenings. As someone who is just not an influencer but also an actress, I thoroughly enjoyed all the red-carpet screenings and meeting like-minded film talent from around the world at the event. At some point in the future, I would like to be attending Cannes for a film I’ve featured in.
Creators are often placed into boxes of where they belong and the rooms they can be a part of. Being on the red carpet dismantles the ideology that there’s a cap on how far we, as creators and as a South Asian community, can go and what we can achieve.
The Cannes Film Festival has always been viewed as the epitome of a glamorous event — everyone who attends looks like they’re living their best lives. I used the platform to share an authentic message of what the experience felt like for me. To represent all of us who doubt our potential, experience imposter syndrome, and are nervous to find their place, yet continue to push through to achieve their dreams!
As the first Indian American influencer to walk at Cannes, I hope I can inspire young women to confidently ask, ‘Why not me?’
There’s no doubt that the Cannes Film Festival is centered around films, and continues to be a unique space for the global film fraternity to bring their art and showcase their aptitude. But, creators like Bafna, Singh, Buller-Khosla, and Kaushal — a special shoutout to Raja Kumari for being instrumental in paving the way as well — have their own set of responsibilities to fulfill upon their invitation to the prestigious event. Their will to represent their South Asian identities, celebrate their industries, and continue to hold space for their peers makes their presence at Cannes more than just clothes.
All images in the featured photo are from the influencers’ Instagram feeds.
Holistic beauty trends are more prevalent than ever — that makes ayurvedic beauty brands incredibly sought-after, as well. Do you find yourself asking what your beauty products are actually made of? A lot of us even resort to food products for a skincare routine such as honey for face wash.
The term “Ayurvedic Beauty” is getting more recognition outside the South Asian world as well.
Ayurvedic beauty is coined upon the term “Ayurveda,” which originated in Hindu culture as the basis of utilizing the five life forms — air, water, ether, fire, and earth — to heal the human body.
Is your skin feeling a little dry this winter? Nourishing your skin with body oil will lend it the right amount of moisture — Soma Ayurvedic’s jasmine body oil can do that trick! Shop the oil, and their full line of products, here.
If you’re familiar with author and podcast Host, Jay Shetty, then you may have heard of his tea line, Sama Tea. Herbal teas provide many natural benefits. Has it been a stressful week? Try their lavender rose chamomile tea for some TLC. Check them out here.
Know the Netflix show “Ginny & Georgia?” Loved the actress’ fresh-looking skin? Sahajan Skincare is behind that glow! They’re a must-try, featured in both Vogue and Elle India. See their full range of products here.
This unique company showcases its brand with an emphasis on ‘holistic.’ Whether it’s bad hair days or excessive shedding, not only do Shaz and Kiks provide the products to help but also break down the science behind the problem. Go on your very own shopping spree by clicking here!
Looking for accessible ayurvedic beauty products? Look no further! Ranavat is now in Sephora. With a beauty line that covers both hair and skin, there’s something here for everyone. See for yourself here.
Are you looking for brown skin-friendly sunscreen filled with nutrients? Look no further. Inde Wild has its very own SPF 50, with natural substances such as liquorice extract and cica, and it’s a mineral SPF suitable for all skin types. See what the brand is all about and shop it here.
I’m always in the market for brown girl-friendly lipsticks, and ones that are made of natural ingredients are a huge plus. Mango People does just this with their unique lipstick colors that suit all brown skin tones. Try them out here!
Need to swap out your shampoo for something better? Try Kama Ayurveda’s Ayurvedic Hair cleaner, infused with a variety of herbs and pulses with key ingredients like vetiver, tulsi, rose, moong beans, and shikakai. They have a variety of products to choose from so start with your hair and keep shopping for more here!
Just getting into skincare and don’t know where to start? PRATIMA skincare has starter sets, with basics, that every woman can use such as vitamin C serum, essential oils, and collagen creams. Grab yours now by shopping here!
Struggling with hair care recently? Fable & Mane includes various hair oils in their collection that help grow and nourish your hair. Not only that, they have a scalp detox line as well — definitely worth checking out. See their full range of products here.