Founded by influencer-turned-beauty CEO Deepica Mutyala, inclusive beauty brand Live Tinted makes its Ulta Beauty debut this week.
On October 1, the brand will launch on Ulta Beauty’s website, followed by 450 physical locations on October 3. Participating in the retailer’s Sparked program for beauty startups, Live Tinted is entering physical retail for the first time with this launch. The brand’s founder Mutyala has been vocal against colorism in beauty. And, with shades of eye, lip and cheek products designed for women of color, the brand is making inroads as the first South Asian-owned makeup label to be stocked at Ulta Beauty. Before the holiday season, it will enter an additional 100 doors.
“When you’re in that many doors, the accessibility aspect was super important to me,” said Mutyala. “I cannot wait for the day that we can have meetups in person with our community.”
Ulta Beauty announced last year a $25 million fund for its diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.
“We want to drive greater inclusivity, diversity and equity overall in the industry, and I would say this plays straight into that,” said Muffy Clince, director of emerging brands at Ulta Beauty. “And there’s a lot of work to do to make sure that we’re taking care of those underrepresented voices across retail and beauty, and these efforts definitely reflect some of the investment in the $25 million for 2021.” Ulta Beauty recently joined the 15 Percent Pledge, and according to Clince, its selection of Black-owned brands will have doubled in 2021.
As part of Ulta Beauty’s Sparked program, the brand will be featured in prominent endcaps and Sparked programming to enhance visibility. The brand will also be featured in the retailer’s Conscious Beauty lineup.
All of Live Tinted’s products will be sold on Ulta Beauty’s website. Select hero products, including its 4-in-1 color-correcting stick and undereye patches, will be featured in-store.
Live Tinted’s core demographic is South Asian women, and it has focused on building a brand community around open discussion of beauty standards.
“It’s been so word-of-mouth because we did start as a community platform before we launched any products,” said Mutyala. “We had discussions and conversations around really heavy topics that you didn’t hear people talking about in the beauty industry, like colorism.”
To support the scaling of the business as it expands its retail presence, Live Tinted announced last week a $3 million seed round led by Montage Ventures with participation from Halogen Ventures, Curate Capital and Fearless Fund. With the funding, the brand is expanding its team and adding senior leadership, moving beyond what Mutyala refers to as its “scrappiness” phase.
The startup has doubled its team to a total of nine people in the past year, and it’s made up of 100% people of color. It projects year-on-year sales growth to be 250% by the end of 2021. Internationally, it is stocked at Cult Beauty, and Mutyala plans to expand more internationally in the future, including to India.
“I’m very honored and grateful that this is happening, but I also hope to not be the last” South Asian-owned beauty brand to launch in retail, said Mutyala. “We still have a long way to go, but progress is happening.”