The Happiest Influencer On Instagram: PeaceLoveGlam’s Jo Placencio Exudes Joy In Every Beauty And Fashion Post
In a recent Instagram Stories post, Jo Placencio advises, “Be happy at every phase of your life.” It’s not hard to believe she actually is. Wearing a smile and red lips, the gen X influencer and Texan behind the blog PeaceLoveGlam brings positivity to a social media environment often weighed down by the opposite through her intrepid outfits, clean beauty picks and regular affirmations. “Live each day so that, at the end, you are reveling in how amazing your life truly was, not regretting all the things you did or didn’t do,” she says in a rundown of 50 things she’s learned in 50 years. Among her other many mantras are to smile at everyone, be present, love passionately, and buy the shoes and bag (will do, Placencio). Beauty Independent got a chance to chat with the optimistic blogger about the best part of being a social media mainstay, why small followings spark big consumer connections, her interest in indie brands and the events she’s turned into sisterhood empowerment sessions.
Are you originally from Texas?
I am a purebred Texas girl. I grew up in a very small town called West Columbia and, eventually, I left and moved to Houston. That is where I raised my son until he was in 8th grade and, then, we moved to LA. While we were there for 10 years, it was definitely not where my heart was. I was always drawn back to Texas and loved Austin, so we made the move and have been there ever since.
How did growing up in Texas shape your idea of beauty?
Here, it’s all about hair, makeup and looking your best when you leave your home. Just making sure you have your lipstick and mascara on, that is how I was raised and from the time I was little. It was something I was engrained with. I really love beauty and skincare, but I never intended on going down this career path. I work in pharmaceutical research, but I found myself attending aesthetics school at night simply because I wanted to learn more about the function of the skin, how to treat it best and how to look my best. It’s always been a passion.
How did your blog “PeaceLoveGlam” come to be?
I am a firm believer in following your gut and intuition. Outside of my job, I knew that I wanted to do something in beauty and incorporate it into my lifestyle. At one time, I had plans for a beauty bar. We’re talking nails, organic tans, blowouts, getting makeup done, lashes, all of it. I had investors and everything, but something deep within said, “This isn’t it,” so I never pulled the trigger. I did research and even with a full proof business plan, I never could go through with it for whatever reason.
In my meditation, I would continually ask what my purpose was if that wasn’t the fit. In the middle of that, “Peace Love Glam” came to me. It felt right. I jumped up and told Chris, my partner, about the idea, and he said, “Yes! You are a walking blog. You always have been!” So, it was perfect. I had an existing Instagram [account] with quite a few followers. I started giving it a focus, sharing my life, beauty, fashion, health, and dove straight into someone helping me develop my site.
Did you have any idea you would be deemed an influencer?
I have always believed, if you follow your passion, that it will work out in your favor. I wanted to inspire. I knew I was different in that I’m a mom, and I just turned 50. I just had a notion that something good would come from it.
Do you feel like your age affects you in the influencer realm?
I’m not one of the many 20-, 30-, even 40-something women out there as an influencer. Everyone tends to look the same or talk about the same things in this space, and we aren’t the same. I wanted to represent who I am. I’m proud of where I’ve been. The advantage for me is that we all get older. And, while I don’t like the word anti-aging, there is a way to do it gracefully and take the best care of yourself possible. You have to take care of your skin, you have to take care of your health, and that’s what sets me apart. I’m a representation of that. I have experience. Younger and older women alike come to me when they get to that point because I’ve been there. I’ve figured it out.
What do you wish brands knew about working with influencers?
We all as influencers get the continual “we’ll send you a product” in return for what we do. Brands should know this is work, and I take pride in my work. Planning and creative processes, lighting, getting to the location, there’s so much that goes on behind the scenes. I use a professional photographer that I pay. If you want that caliber of work, then it requires that caliber of payment. Take a look and assess the content. If that’s what you want, be ready to pay for it. You would never go to an ad agency and say you want to take out an ad, but that you won’t be paying for it. Nobody works for free. It also says a lot about your professionalism when you respect what we do from the start.
I also want to remind brands that smaller influencers push products, too. Followers relate to us. They look to us for advice and recommendations. You don’t always need these huge influencers to build your brand or announce your new launch. Smaller sometimes means a more meaningful connection.
How do you choose which products or brands to feature?
I turn down so many gigs, even paid gigs, because it doesn’t resonate with my brand—me. It has to be what I believe in. Once you get to know what your followers love about you and what they come to you for, you can really derive the right choices in brands and products. I will not promote a brand I don’t believe in, money or not.
You have a pretty rigid timeline for testing products. How do brands react?
For most products, I make a disclaimer that I use said product for four weeks before even posting. If they don’t agree, I politely tell them someone else may be a better fit. How can I make an assessment or honest recommendation without true experience? Swatchable items or something a little easier to figure out like makeup, that’s a little different, but skincare and targeted treatments that my readers are interested in, I need that time.
What are your favorite ways to work with brands?
I’m a fan of an Instagram post and sometimes an additional Story or taking over their Stories. If they want, we can also do a blog post that accompanies it. Any of those three I love, but Instagram is my place. It’s my favorite. I get quite a bit of comment and response. I have true authentic followers that pay attention, and we talk about it. We have meaningful conversations, and that’s the absolute best part of all of this.
You consistently feature indie brands. How did you get into the indie beauty movement?
I had an autoimmune issue, so I started on a clean beauty journey about eight years ago in response to that. There was hardly anything back then. Now, there is so much. I’m such a beauty girl. I always wanted more, so I would seek it out. When I discovered indie brands, it was exciting and they just kept coming. Then, when I discovered Indie Beauty Expo, it was like a kid in a candy store. There’s affordable brands, there’s luxury brands, there’s clean, there’s green, literally every option.
Indie brands are the new innovators, the cutting edge of beauty, forward thinkers who can branch out. It’s not like a big conventional brand. Indie brands are more soulful, bigger on ingredient decks, on what actually works. They can flex easier. They can work around this or that to create it better. Indie brands seem to care. And, now, to see them at big stores like Neiman Marcus, it’s just so cool. It makes my heart happy that people are realizing, retailers are realizing that what we are using matters.
You’re attending IBE Dallas in a few weeks. What brands are you excited about seeing or some favorites from the past?
I was at Dallas last year and IBE LA in January. At both I was just so inspired by so many amazing brands, Aether, Cela, Veriphy among them. While all the brands are indie, they still care about their packaging and have really upped the game to stand among their peers, or at least at these shows. I am a luxury gal, so I appreciate that they are catering to all of the segments. I also love hearing their stories. Honestly, a lot of it is created out of a health need, and I resonate with that.
What are trends you’re loving in the beauty and skincare space?
I will say that I am seeing more makeup, more color cosmetics. Aether palettes are gorgeous. Kosas Cosmetics is stunning. I say keep it coming in the indie market, pigments, colors, reds! I also love the plant stem cell infusions that are being created, so it’s more botanical and naturally-based.
What is your dream post or project?
High level, I would love to work with some brands, to collaborate. I’ve always been passionate about this field, so it would be a dream to do a Peace Love Glam collection [of] clean makeup, one that’s vibrant and full of life. I’m a red lipstick gal and maybe a few pinks.
What’s next for you?
I started this year really focusing on supporting other women. In January, my friend Angie and I started Glam Soiree. Once a month, we have an empowerment dinner. We dress up, we sit down, we converse, we share our intentions and, at the next dinner, we talk about how far we’ve come with them or how we can help one another reach fruition. We’re building a sisterhood. It’s not necessarily bloggers, it’s major boss babes in the oil industry, finance. We are all learning to support one another and share this space. It’s doubled in attendance each time we’ve held it, and I can’t wait to see where that goes. We can bring in themes, supporting businesses. We do truly rise by lifting others, my father instilled that in me. Help others, always, always, always. You can never go wrong doing that.