The behind-the-scenes beauty queen and co-founder of a movement to eliminate hygiene poverty shares her online beauty spots.

Jo Jones is a legend in beauty PR. A stellar roster of household names, including Charlotte Tilbury Make-up, Victoria Beckham Beauty and Space NK among many others, have all turned to her beauty industry expertise when building their brands. She is also the founder of Beauty Beat through which she runs masterclasses and Facebook Live tutorials, sharing her know-how with startups and indie brands.

But alongside her day job, which includes co-hosting Beauty Hags, the YouTube channel with another beauty legend, Nadine Baggott, she has also built Beauty Banks along with friend and co-founder, Sali Hughes. This ‘grass-roots, people-powered’ movement is their response to the growing numbers of people living below the poverty line without access to essential hygiene products, such as sanitary provisions and deodorant.

The duo, having first-hand experience of the surplus the industry produces, hit upon the idea of redistributing the excess to those most in need. The mission? To eradicate hygiene poverty for good and establish being clean as a basic human right.

Young people are particularly affected by hygiene poverty, with many skipping school, unable to buy the fundamentals, such as sanitary products. Shampoo, toothpaste and soap are just a few other items high on Beauty Banks’ donations wishlist. It is easy to contribute, either by sending donations direct to Beauty Banks, or signing up to its Easho wishlist page.

Here Jo shares her online hangouts, from starting her day the right way with TikTok, and why you’ll never hear her complain about each new iPhone becoming increasingly massive.



My favourite website...

My own BEAUTY BEAT COMMUNICATIONS, because I built it. I have a start-up that teaches brands how to do their own PR via online and runs mobile learning masterclasses, so I needed a website. I had no idea how to build one and I couldn’t afford to hire someone to do it for me so I upskilled myself and learnt how. My site is by no means perfect and I’m sure that to the trained eye it looks amateur, but I’m proud of it.

My favourite app...

TikTok. I’m completely and utterly obsessed even though, as a 43-year-old mother of two, I have no right to be lolloping about creating dance challenges to Drake songs. I love TikTok because it’s joyful. My other social media feeds have become a bit too earnest and serious. I’m all for a bit of fun.

My favourite blog...

Into The Gloss. It’s not technically a blog anymore but it started its life as one. Beauty is my business and I’m a nosy cow, so I love looking inside people’s bathroom cabinets to see what they spend their money on. Don’t invite me to your house: I will definitely look through your bathroom cupboards.

My internet hero...

An incredible person called Dr Felipe Rossi (Instagram - @drfeliperossi), a Brazilian dentist who travels the world giving people in the poorest communities free dental care and literally making them smile again. Not all heroes wear capes.

My favourite podcast...

The Daily, The New York Times’ news and radio show hosted by political journalist Michael Barbaro. I have no idea what that guy looks like but I go to bed with him every night, haha! Recent episodes on the NBA China Fall Out and the Harvey Weinstein court case are examples of exceptional journalism and broadcasting. I listen to it, er, daily.

My favourite YouTuber...

Nadine Baggott because she’s a grown-up who gives intelligent, informed and straight-talking beauty advice with a heavy dose of humour. She has been a health and beauty journalist for twenty-five years, so she knows her stuff. I’m desperate to look as good as her when I’m in my 50s.

My most recent buy online...

Yet another pair of school shoes, this time for my eldest daughter, Violet. Both my kids go through school shoes like they’re made of paper. I make a point of buying the hardiest, built-to-last, military-style school shoes, but it makes no difference. One term and they are over and onto the next pair.

Last book you downloaded or read...

The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood. I love the way she uses characters from Greek mythology – in this case Penelope, wife of Odysseus – who tells her tale from Hades, to explore different perspectives on the same events. I’m fascinated by how shared experiences can be viewed in completely different ways by different people.

Favourite tweeter...

I can’t bear Twitter so I ignore it. I find it an unhealthy place that brings out the worst in people. It seems to be fuelled by anger and rage and, quite honestly, I’m not clever enough with the written word to survive there.

Favourite Instagrammer is...

the comedian/actor Tim Key who publishes his poetry on the platform. I find his Insta props like the Mint Club and the fish heads as hilarious as his words.

Favourite tech gadget...

My new iPhone 11, which I haven’t managed to lose yet. I lose at least two phones a year and am something of a laughing stock amongst my friends because of this. In 2018 I lost four. I’m hoping because this 11 thing is so huge I might have better luck with keeping it for more than six months.

The most useful gadget on your desk...

My MacBook. It’s knackered, filthy and I should get a new one but I love it and it goes everywhere with me, as I don’t have a desk. I feel lost without it.

First thing/app you look at on your mobile when you wake up/in the morning...

TikTok. I told you I’m obsessed and it makes me happy to start my day with a dance challenge.

The last thing you binge-watched...

Some shit my kids made me watch on Nick Junior. I have no control/say over what’s screened on the television in my house. It’s either kid’s stuff or some sporting nonsense that my husband is watching.

Brands have you discovered online...

Glossier. Literally the coolest beauty brand out there. I discovered it via my love of Into The Gloss. After stalking the brand for a few years I was lucky enough to launch Glossier in the UK via my PR work and worked with them for three years.

Social media allowed me to meet...

Serial entrepreneur Marcia Kilgore (Bliss, Flip Flop, Soap n Glory, Beauty Pie, Soaper Doaper). She’s a hero of mine and through connecting on social media we are now going to be working together. I’m so chuffed and grateful.

The best digital advice I've been given...

From my husband who showed me how to block people who were unkind, copying my stuff, or simply trying to pick a fight. Ignorance is bliss and what people who waste their time and energy trying to irritate others online hate more than anything is to be ignored.

My screensaver...

I have no idea as I always have at least twenty-five browsers, tabs and documents open at the same time, so I never see it. It gives people anxiety just looking at my screen.

My standout online memory...

Filming my first Beauty Hags YouTube Video with my friend Nadine Baggott. I was terrified as I’ve always been a behind-the-scenes person. I still don’t know where to look or how to sit when we film together. Luckily Nadine is a pro and guides me along like a patient teacher.

My pet online hate...

People who hide behind anonymous accounts purely so they can spill bile on other content creators. If you believe someone needs to be ‘called out’ or ‘taken down’ as they say, why hide behind anonymity? You should have the courage of your convictions and stand up for what you believe in – don’t hide. But they do hide of course, because they are cowards.

Do you have any online rules or resolutions?

Nope, I hate rules and I think resolutions suck. Do what you’ve got to do – make yourself happy because if you are happy then everyone around you is. I also don’t believe in judging or shaming people – each to their own. You do you.

By Nancy Alsop
March 2020

READ MORE:

Interview with By Sarah London, organic skincare brand
Team GWG Beauty Buys
My Web with Sophie Beresiner