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Learn How One Viral Tiktok Video Changed Beauty Influencer Jen Aedo’s Life

In this interview, TikTok star Jen Aedo shares how a viral video changed her life and made her believe in miracles. Jen also talks about how beauty and skincare helped her postpartum depression. You will be inspired by Jen’s journey and outlook on life. Interview conducted by Josh Skinner. 


(minor edits made for better readability)


Josh Skinner

Hello, and welcome to this edition of American Influencer Real Talk. We have a special guest on I love following her on TikTok, and so do hundreds of thousands of other people. It’s Jen Aedo. Hi, Jen.


Jen Aedo

Hi there, Josh. How are you?


Josh Skinner

I’m so grateful to have you on the show.


Jen Aedo

Oh, my gosh. Thank you for having me.


Josh Skinner

Well, we’ve got a lot to talk about. Let’s start off with your specialty. It happens to be in the beauty market. What does beauty mean to you?


Jen Aedo

Wow. Oh my gosh. It’s so broad. Beauty means so many things. Honestly, I know a lot of people this is a little bit controversial, but some people feel like it’s self-care. And I really do feel like beauty does help with a lot of people. It helps with insecurities. It boosts people up. It makes people feel beautiful. I love that beauty can do that for people. And it’s not just makeup. I mean, skincare can do that. It gives people confidence. It makes people feel empowered. Like, that’s a huge thing. So I love that about beauty.


Josh Skinner

Now, tell me about your journey. Where did you start and how did you get to where you are with thousands of people following you?


Jen Aedo

Oh, my gosh. How much time do you have, Josh?


Josh Skinner

As long as you need.


Jen Aedo

Okay, let’s try to do the cliffs note version of this. So I went to cosmetology school right out of high school, so I got my license. My passion was to do bridal hair. That was my thing. And then that kind of got interrupted by my need to perform in front of people. So I took a little bit of time off from doing beauty stuff and hair to actually work at Disneyland, which actually makeup and hair came in really handy because I had to do all of that for myself and actually multiple other cast members. I needed help doing that. But the beauty stuff didn’t really hit me until 2017.


 Right after my daughter was born. I had severe postpartum depression, which is something that I feel like most women don’t really talk about, but we should. It should be something definitely talked about a little bit more. Thank God for a friend of mine, she reached out. She could tell I was just really sad. Really cryptic posts on Facebook and Instagram. And she reached out and just offered to send me a couple of things from which she was part of an MLM.


I don’t know if you know what one of those things is, but it’s a multilevel marketing company, and she sent me some products to just kind of, like, make my day better. And amazingly, doing a face mask and washing my face pulled me out of a really dark spot. So I started really getting into skincare. That’s where it started.


 And then fast forward to 2018. I moved back to California, and I got a seasonal job over at Sephora in Chino Hills, where I grew up. And that’s when I started to really, really, like, dive into makeup. Because as most people know, the perk of working at Sephora is that you will get Gratis. And Gratis is basically a training product that an employee will get to familiarize themselves with. So then that way, when a client has a question about a product or a brand, they’re able to actually talk to them about it because they’ve used it before they have a real experience using the product. So that’s when I dove head first into makeup, and then all of a sudden, support squad happen in 2020, and I feel like, after that, the rest is history.


Josh Skinner

Well, tell me about the moment that you feel that you became an influencer.


Jen Aedo

Oh, boy. Well, I’ll honestly tell you, I had one of these moments last night. But let me tell you, the first time that happened was when I still work at Sephora currently as a licensed beauty advisor. So I’m the one that kind of does all the facials and waxing and makeup appointments since now they switched over to license services. You have to have your Cosmetology license or your Esthetician license to do those services at Sephora now.

 And I had a client that came in, and I was doing her makeup. She was a bridesmaid at a wedding. She just made an appointment, and she came in, and I was doing her face, and she was like, oh, my gosh, I love it. Do you have, like, a social media so I can follow you?


 And I was like, oh, yeah, I post tips and all this other stuff. And when I gave her my handle, she typed it in. She’s like, oh, my God, I follow you. And then she clicked on my name, and then she was like, oh, my God, this is you. She’s like, I already follow you. And then so I took off my mask.


She was like, oh, my God, it is you. Because I had a mascot, she didn’t realize it was me. So that was very surreal. I never thought that would happen. Like, a complete stranger that just walks into my store already followed me, and she’s like, you’re the person that taught me to put on eyeliner. I really didn’t know what I was doing until I watched one of your videos, and it just made it so much more simple, which is, honestly, I feel like my biggest goal.


 I want to take the complicated out of makeup and skincare. Like, it should be fun, it should be empowering, it should be something that brings joy to you. It shouldn’t be stressful. And I understand that that’s a huge thing for people when they go into a beautiful space, they look at all the products and all the people around, and they just get really overwhelmed and they shut down. So I want to prevent that, and I want them to feel confident when they go into a place and they want to try something new. But that was really cool. And then I actually do have like I said last night, I had a follower reach out to me.


Jen Aedo

She dm’d me. And she was like, she just asked me a simple question about a concealer. Like, she just wanted to know my opinion about it. And I responded to her with a voice memo. Like, I’m a huge fan of voice memos on Instagram because I suck at typing. But I’m also a grammar Nazi. I don’t like sending typos. I just voice memoir really quickly. And she sent me a voicemail back, and she was like, oh, my gosh. I did not expect you to respond. Like, the fact that you responded means so much to me. And then she was all, thank you so much. All the way from British Columbia. Like, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I was like, what? It’s so mindblowing. We never realized how far your reach is. So that probably those are the two big ones for me that I’m like, okay, I’m actually this is a thing.


Josh Skinner

Well, your videos have received millions of views, and I was wondering if one of your videos has over 22 million views. Will you tell our audience about that?


Jen Aedo

So, funny enough, it’s like that video, like, the context of it, yes, it has to do with beauty, but when you watch the video, it’s my honest, genuine reaction to something that happened from recording on a viral sound. So sometimes people don’t realize there’s a lot of times where you could say, oh, my gosh. You could take the sound down. 


When you’re recording a TikTok, you could use a trending sound, but then you could take that sound all the way down to the level so you can’t hear it, and you only hear the person talking. So I used the sound bite, but I took the sound all the way down so you can’t hear it. It was just an affirmation. The affirmation says, whatever is coming to me will come easily and freely. 


And it was just, like, a really nice affirmation. But I’m crying. Like, you could tell that I was, like, post-crying in the video, and people were concerned, apparently. People are like, oh, my gosh. She, like, summoned something, whatever. But what happened in the video is that after I recorded that video, listening to that sound, and I just saved it in my draft.


Jen Aedo

Someone from my past reached out to me, like, someone that I had not spoken to in, like, literally over a decade. Well over a decade. And this person meant a lot to me, so it was a real shock to hear from them out of nowhere. And it took me back because there were a lot of unresolved issues with this person. And basically, they said, hey, I have some pictures of you and your mom. 


And just to bring you I’m sorry, I might get a little emotional. My mom passed away, like, right before the pandemic. So 2020 was really hard for me and my family, especially me. Like, I could not believe that I literally blinked and she was gone. But this person was like, I have pictures of you and your mom.


 Do you want them? And I said, oh, my God, yes. Because you never realize what you don’t have until that person is gone. Like, I never realized I didn’t have any pictures of me and my mom. So, amazingly, they sent all these pictures over, like, overnighted them to me. And the moment that I opened that package.


And I was looking at these pictures of my mom. I got an email from Clinique. Clinique is the only brand or was the only brand that my mom ever used. She loved their clarifying lotion. She loved their almost lipstick. She loved everything about that brand. And like, literally all my makeup, when I was a teenager, was Clinique because she would just give it to me.


 Like, if she didn’t love it, she would give it to me. So I was very familiar with the brand, but they reached out to me and they said, hey, we saw your viral TikTok about our almost lipstick black, honey, we want to work with you. 


And I just lost it. I could not believe that that happened. That was the first time, like, well, I mean, a brand that, like, means so much to me and meant so much to her. It was the perfect collision of so many emotional things. So that really shocked me. But it was like a very happy it was a very happy shock to my system, I guess you can say. So that’s the reason why that video is pinned on my page, because it’s like a gentle reminder of, you know, whatever the world brings to you, you got to roll with it. You just got to roll with it, and you’ve got to trust it.


Josh Skinner

How did you get to that conclusion?


Jen Aedo

I think that comes from when I was younger, in my twenties, when I was young and scrappy, I guess you could say. I try really hard to control everything in my life. Everything. And the only thing you can really control is yourself. 


You can control yourself, and you can somewhat control your emotions and everything else around you. You have no control over, no matter how hard you try, you’ll never have control over your spouse or your partner or your children or these are all things that you just have to go the ebb and flow with. 


And you either have to make up your mind to be upset or be at an end with something or take it, take a deep breath in, and roll with it. I’ve had a discussion with many of my friends. I totally feel now that, like, happiness is a choice and happiness is within yourself, and it’s never within anything else but just yourself.


Josh Skinner

I love that, Jen, thank you so much for saying that. Jen, I have to ask you, what do you want your followers to do to be influential just like you?


Jen Aedo

Oh, wow. You know what? When it comes to beauty and when it comes to skin and all these other things, especially me as a makeup artist, I’m still out there daily talking to clients, working on clients, meeting different people with different colors of skin, and skin texture. 


They’re different ages. And it’s such a wide range when it comes to social media, and this may be a little bit more on influencers than anybody else. I would really love to see if we could kind of kick back on those filters because it gives everybody a very unrealistic expectation of beauty. It’s almost sad because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a bride sit in my chair. 


And because it’s their wedding day and because they think they’re going to use a full coverage foundation that they saw a 20-year-old using on TikTok or on Instagram, and they look great, or it’s a picture that has clearly been edited, they think by using that product, they’re going to look exactly like that. 


When they have a different undertone, they have larger pores. They have so many other things going on with them. So if we could stop using filters, I myself, beginning the year I set up my stories, I’m like, you’re not going to see a single filter out of me for the rest of this year. You’re not going to see a single one. I won’t do it anymore. Especially me being 40.


Josh Skinner

No, you can’t be 40.


Jen Aedo

Yes, sir. Yes, sir. That was another big thing. A lot of people there was a huge age gap, lots of influencers that were 20 years old, 25 maybe top out 27. And then also I would get like 50. You know, there was this huge gap of like 35 to 45. And I’m like, there needs to be some more representation there because we don’t have necessarily mature skin, but we also don’t have our baby fat still kicking it on our face anymore. 


We’re looking into more options like Fillers and Botox, but there are also other things that we can do to kind of age gracefully. I don’t want anyone to feel like there are certain things that they have to do. You don’t have to contrary your nose, you don’t have to do that. You don’t have to wear full-coverage foundation. So, like, influencing-wise, I want people to look at beauty and beauty products and say, I would love to play with that, but I don’t need it. I don’t need to put it on my face, but I will use it because I like the way it feels. I like the way that it makes me feel, but I don’t need it.


Jen Aedo

I could take it or leave it.


Josh Skinner

I love that. Thank you. My final question is, what do you do with the haters?


Jen Aedo

Now? It’s funny. I really didn’t think I was gonna have this. Is that so silly? I really didn’t think I was going to have any, but they’re out there. Once you pass 10,000 followers, you’re going to have some people that really hate you. Honestly, more times than not, I just ignore them. The delete button is an amazing thing. More people should use that and flex it or the block. 


You got to protect your own energy. You got to protect yourself from like if it’s going to stress you out then you just go ahead and hit that delete button. And I do. Many times. But I think there was a video that I posted like two days ago because I’m a single mom and I was talking about, I want a vacation by myself. That’s what I want for Valentine’s Day, a vacation by myself. And some troll was like, don’t say stuff like that. That’s so high maintenance. Guys don’t like that. 

And I’m all thinking, Wait for a second, did I ask you to pay for this vacation? No, I’m going to pay for it myself because I know how to deal with things. Like, sometimes I do answer them, but you gotta take everything with a grain of salt.


Jen Aedo

Everyone’s gonna you know, I’m not there to please everyone. There’s going to be people that don’t really care for my opinions or views or techniques, and there’s going to be other people that are like, wow, it really clicked for me. Thank you for explaining it like that, or thank you for having a sense of humor or whatever. You could be the sweetest peach on the top of the tree, but not everyone’s going to like peaches.


Josh Skinner

I like peaches.


Jen Aedo

Oh, good, I’m glad you do.


Josh Skinner

We’re on the same tree, Jen.


Jen Aedo

Oh, good, I’m glad. I love this tree.


Josh Skinner

Thank you so much for being on the show. It was a pleasure.


Jen Aedo

Oh, thank you. I’m trying so hard. I just want to be as authentic as possible because I know that you got to show the ugly, because not everything’s pretty.

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Life As An Influencer, Content Creator, And Author With Lisa Schwartz

This excerpt is taken from an interview with Lisa Schwartz by Josh Skinner on American Influencer Real Talk. Some minor dialogue was edited for better understanding and reading flow.

Josh: You know, Lisa, you’ve been doing this for quite some time. You’ve been an influencer. What was the moment that you thought, I’m really an influencer?

Lisa: Here, gosh. I remember way back in the day, YouTube was holding a contest and it was called The Next Up. And if you submit your videos, you can be like, the next YouTube sort of star. And 25 of us were picked and we won, like, I think it was $20,000. And they flew us to make content per week with other content creators. And that’s when I was like, oh my God, this is a real thing that I’m doing. And I guess this is my life now. So I definitely think that was kind of the turn for me in terms of going from a hobby to a full career.

Josh: Wow. Well, what is it like trying to sustain millions of followers?

Lisa: It’s terrifying. It’s a rat race, man. It feels like I’m on a hamster constantly, just like you kind of can’t get off once you start. You just kind of go, go. I did take, like, six months off a couple of years ago, and it was such a relief. But I also truly missed doing it. And ever since then, I feel like I’m slowly climbing back again, just proving the point that, like, once that hamster wheel, it benefits you to kind of keep pushing. So, yeah, it’s a race every day.

Josh: Let’s talk about your first book. 30 Life Crisis. Navigating my Thirty s one drunk Baby shower at a time. What was that like?

Lisa: It was a really long but kind of cathartic experience. I had waited, I’ve been asked. There was a period of time when a bunch of influencers were putting out books. It was kind of the trend, and publishers were sort of seeking it out. And I had been asked at that time to write something, and I just wasn’t ready. I didn’t really feel like I had a point of view or anything, like, relevant to say that hadn’t already been said. And then I entered and the stories and experiences started rolling in. I knew, like, oh, now I’m a good long process. I want to say it took about a year and a half from start to completion, which is awesome, and I’m so very proud of it.

Josh: I love it a lot. Let’s talk about your YouTube channel. You have over 2 million followers. And what are some of your favorite videos that you’ve released?

Lisa: Since I’ve been doing this for so long, the channel has continued to change in terms of what kind of content I’m putting out. When I first started, it was all comedy sketches and character based stuff, and then it turned into a daily vlogging, and then it turned into really big productions like music videos and parties. Those are some of my favorite. I’m just so proud of them, the work that went into it. But now I’m really enjoying where I’m at, which is just kind of doing like daily lifestyle relatable very well and honest of my life. And people seem to be responding to that. And I think that my age group and my generation need more of that right now, being taken over by the younger generation and the hype houses of the world. So I feel like I’m trying to cultivate this corner of YouTube and kind of keep the old school games from a lot of people want to be influential as an influencer.

Josh: How do you think you’ve been influential?

Lisa: So funny. The word influencer wasn’t even around when I started, so I don’t even know if I totally identify with that. But I hope that I’m making a difference in somebody’s life and I feel like I read the comments and there’s more to that. Strike me as someone who I moved, inspired or motivated in one way or another. And if that’s all it is, then I’m happy to be that person for that person. I think that’s just what the world needs right now is a little bit more kindness and motivation and positivity and I guess that’s where my place and all this is, or at least I hope it is.

Josh: Well, I’m so glad you touched upon kindness. Often in these interviews I ask our influencers, what does kindness mean to you? So let’s ask you that. What is kindness mean to you?

Lisa: Kindness is acceptance and understanding that not everyone is exactly the same. And people approach things differently and have different point of views and you might not always agree with them. The kindness comes from accepting that that’s where they are in their point of view or in their life right now. And if they’re not, then accepting them for who they are and what they believe is all we can do. And I think that’s kindness.

Josh: That’s beautiful. What tips would you have for people out there that would like to be influencers?

Lisa: Think long and hard before you put yourself out there. Whatever goes on the Internet stays on the Internet. Even if you try to bury it, it’s there to be very mindful when posting. I mean, you should always be mindful when you’re on the Internet in general. But if you’re going to put yourself out there on a platform make sure you’re very careful with what you choose to put out, what you choose to reveal. And also, I think ultimately, what I’ve told and I think ultimately what I’ve been telling people who ask this question. Make sure you like what you’re doing. Make sure you’re just trying to chase a trend. I’ve gone through periods where I was doing that and I was miserable, and the response from the audience was never good. It’s like they can unlock up on that. So if you’re going to do something, make sure you’re actually enjoying it and doing it because it brings you joy, and then it will bring other people joy. So just try to be authentic in what you’re putting out and be mindful of how much you’re sharing.

Josh: I’m sure you can get a lot of haters if you share too much, right?

Lisa: Oh, my God. Yeah. Or it becomes a safety issue, too. You need to remember there are some crazy people out there, and they have access to you. So the more you put out, more access people have to you. And yes, the more haters have, like, hold against you or take things out of context. So very important to be mindful of what you put out, how you put out what you put out, and make sure that your safety is number one, at least.

Josh: I’ve done over 50 of these interviews, and every influencer that I’ve interviewed has a different spin on how they deal with their haters. I was just wondering, what are some of your tips?

Lisa: I think it depends on the day, the time, where I am in my life, my confidence. A lot of times I’ll just ignore. I think that’s probably the best thing to do. I feel like a lot of these haters just want to stir up trouble and they want attention. So I feel like often not giving it to them is probably the best way to handle it. Once in a while, if I’m feeling a little snappy, I’ll respond. But oftentimes I respond with so much kindness. Or maybe sometimes it’s not so kind, but I present it as overly nice. I guess that’s passive aggressive. Most of the time, the people will back down, apologize, take down their comments. I think a lot of people just want to be seen and just remind yourself that these negative comments coming at you most of the time have nothing to actually do with you. It’s just a projection of this person or something that’s going on in their own life or something that’s being said to them. And for that, I just feel kind of sad for them. So kind of keep that in mind and in perspective.

Josh: How do you want your followers to be influential?

Lisa: We’re circling it back to kindness. I think I should have this written in my description box of every video. It’s like, I understand we’re all going through such a hard time right now. So I’m just asking, not only are people kind to me in the comments, but kind to each other, because those mean comments don’t just come at the influencer, they often are at each other within the comments section. So I just hope that I am spreading that idea that we need to be better to each other, to ourselves, and to our community.

Josh: I love that. I absolutely love that. Tell me about the time that you really, truly felt influential.

Lisa: I went on when I had my book signing. We got to do it at the Grove here in Los Angeles, which is a huge honor and was kind of surreal. And to be able to meet the people behind the screen that I have either talked to over the years or I just have seen their names pop up or even people I didn’t know show up and meet them in person and actually get to connect and hear their stories and hear why they connect with me or why they appreciate my content. That’s when you’re just like, whoa, it’s not just a numbers game. It’s not just me at home behind my camera. It is an actual community and there are people being affected by everything I do and say and that’s such an honor and also so scary and all the feelings. But I think being able to put some faces to names and hear those stories in person was kind of that like, AHA, Oprah moment for me.

Josh: What’s next for you?

Lisa: Well, I started doing content Monday through Friday. I haven’t done that in years, so I’m just like pumping out content. So fun. And I’m also pitching a show based off of my book, so we’re in development and we’re out talking to networks and streamers and I’m hoping that will be able to bring that to everyone who’s been so loyal to me all these years.

Josh: Now, Lisa, if they want to follow your journey, where can our listeners go?

Oh, yes, I would love for the listeners to come join me over on my channel, Lisbug L-I-S-B-U-G. I’m also on Instagram. Lisa Schwartz on Instagram. And that’s kind of queue you into when I put up videos. But I’m there on YouTube Monday through Friday, so come join me.