Lisa “Kennedy” Montgomery is among those few successful women who millions know by only a single name. Hosting her own show on FOX Business Network, Kennedy delivers sharp, eye-opining commentary on the most pertinent political, economic and cultural events.
Before she arrived at FOX, Kennedy used to be an MTV VJ in the 1990s. It was her first bout before the camera and she quickly forged a reputation for her witty on-screen acts. Over two decades later, she has retained her quick – and often polarizing – oratory. And, honestly, her good looks.
Only a couple of days before Kennedy takes the stage with Jesse Watters to host FOX’s All American New Year coverage, Haute Living caught up with her about her skincare routine and triathlon training, about her tactic of dealing with criticism and professional fulfillment.
What is your secret to protecting your skin from the heavy makeup your work requires?
The good thing about makeup is that technology is so much more advanced than it was in 1992 when I started on TV. Now you have a lot more products like primers and water-based foundation and high-def foundation that is not the super sticky, cakey makeup. But even with that, when you layer foundation and primer and powder, the trick is to get it off the second you are done, so you are not spending eight hours in makeup. So, if I do an hour-long show or a couple of hours, as soon as I am done, I take it off with an exfoliating wipe. I think that is really critical.
I have always thought – and I got that from my mom – that the very best beauty routine you can possibly do is long-term and completely organic. Sleep and hydration are the very best things you can do for your skin. You want to drink water and green tea throughout the day and get as much sleep as you possible can. That is the greatest investment you can make in how your body and skin function. I am a big, big believer in that as well as in sweating as a function for purifying and healing your body and skin. That is what I always tell people when they talk about not liking to work out. It is not about running on a treadmill, it is not about taking Pilates or a spin class just because other people do it and get results. It is not going to work for you if you do not like it. You have to find the activities that you like that make you sweat and that is when you get the most benefit because you will also be happy and satisfied.
What skincare products you cannot do without?
I really like OLEHENRIKSEN Truth Serum. It is a wonderful serum in an orange bottle and I use that in the morning along with FRESH Crème Ancienne Eye Cream. I also use an Aveda eye cream that I really like. For moisturizer I use Kiehl’s Rosa Arctica Lightweight Cream. I like it a lot because it is great moisture but my skin tends to break out so it has to be lightweight. And, you know, it is so dry here, you have to have good moisturizer. At night, I have a Kiehl’s serum that I wear under the Rosa Arctica cream. I also have the FRESH overnight mask. I think it is great. It sounds like it is really heavy but your skin is so glowy in the morning when you wear it.
Also I am a big believer in full-body exfoliation. I use Clarisonic on my face and neck. I am a huge believer in dry brushing before you take a shower. In the shower, I use exfoliating gloves. Think of your skin as an organ that has to be maintained and enhanced like your internal organs. You drink green tea to protect your stomach and breasts from all different forms of cancer and dry brushing and exfoliation also flush the skin and your lymphatic system.
I tried to get my mum into dry brushing because she actually has lymphoma and I think it helps a lot. Again, when you have cancer in your family, you really have to be mindful of circulation and making sure that what you are putting in your body doesn’t cause inflammation. Whatever you do, you can turn that over and allow for healing and regeneration.
What is your diet like?
I have celiac disease, so I do not eat gluten. My body cannot process gluten and celiacs are automatically prescribed a gluten-free diet. I also do not eat dairy [to ward off] inflammation. I stopped eating dairy about two years ago and lost about 18 pounds and have maintained [my weight] for two years. So, I am gluten and dairy free and I make most of my food. It is hard for celiacs to make sure that they are getting a high percent gluten free [meals when eating out]. When I eat out, I just try and eat unprocessed [food] like chicken and a baked potato and steamed vegetables. When I go back to my house, that is when I have the most fun cooking and eating. There is a lot more quality control and I can play with flavors and textures and make my own stuff that I know is safe to eat.
What does your workout routine consist of?
I have been doing triathlon for 22 years now, so I swim, bike and run. In addition to that, I take barre classes two or three times a week because it is overall muscle balancing and for triathletes you can really overdevelop certain muscles and completely ignore the lateral muscles, especially in your hips and shoulders. If you are doing one sport or multiple sports, it is important to balance it out. I find that barre does that. And it is also really fun. So, if you find good instructors and have great music, it is something that you actually look forward to. I train for triathlon six days a week and the days I do barre, I sort of double up, so I will do a barre class in the morning and then run or ride a bike at night.
How do you care for your hair?
I have a really curly hair. I use Kiehl’s Argan Oil conditioner that I really like. I also like Moroccan Oil Clarifying Shampoo. I always like to mix up the shampoos because I think your hair gets bored if you use the same stuff. I have two daughters and I use some of their CurlyKids shampoo and conditioner. I like that stuff because it is not too dry and it is formulated for curly hair. I always rinse my hair with cold water because it heals the cuticle and I think it makes it shiny.
You used to split your time between New York and California. What beauty and wellness differences have you noticed between the two coasts?
Now we live in New York, which is great, but I still go back to California usually once a month and I train with a triathlon team there, and we raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and I made a lot of really wonderful friends doing that. I love going back in forth but also love living in New York. It has been great.
But it is really interesting. New York is definitely a more class-based environment. Any sort of social activities you have with working out are usually going out with friends to a spin class or a boot camp class or something like that. In California, you are much more likely to go surfing with someone or hiking in the canyons or go for a bike ride in the Santa Monica Mountains. Style in New York is much more accessorized and tailored and LA is way more flowy and day-to-evening. It is fluid and a lot of flip-flops and long skirts, which I think is great.
Who are your favorite fashion designers?
I love the influence of surf culture on fashion in LA. One of my good friends is a designer. Her name is Heidi Merrick and I am wearing one of her sweatshirts now. Her dad is one of the most famous surfboard shapers in the world. So, she grew up surfing and has an incredible eye for design. She blends the two worlds really, really well. She has an exquisite taste and the patterns that she has and the fabrics that she uses are so beautiful and well curated, and then at the same time, she naturally infuses that love for the ocean and the social climate that comes out of surfing. It is great. It is beautiful.
But other than that, I wear all sort of stuff. I do like Ultracor leggings. They are my favorite. I just got a great pair and they have skulls and lighting bulbs on them. I find that if I do some sort of a class in the morning before work, I have to be able to wear something that I can throw a skirt over and show up and not look like a walked out of the gym.
As a woman with strong opinions who is in the public eye, how do you deal with criticism?
With social media, it is a lot easier than ever for people to criticize you. It is just like water off a duck’s back. You cannot let the individual comments people make get to you. But if you start seeing trends and if people are kind of saying the same thing, then you go, “Ok, maybe there is something to it.” Or, if they are saying the exact same thing, you realize that it is just a bunch of pre-programmed bots. That is essentially meaningless.
The best thing is to believe in what you say, do as much homework as you possibly can, work and speak with passion. The rest takes care of itself.
What advice would you give to young women at the start of their careers?
Find out what you do well and be honest about it. But also be honest about where you fall short. Maximize what you do well and work on the areas where you are challenged. The more focused work you put into what you love, the faster and more robustly you will see results. The most worthwhile work is by far the hardest and most competitive, but it is worth making the investment and trying because no one can take that away from you. Even if you do not succeed in the way you think you will, no one can ever take the experience of working your tail off and having a goal and really going for it. You will be surprised – either you change course and find something new you did not realize you were interested in and pour yourself into that or you have a series of successes that give you confidence and hopefully humility and your intuition serves you and you continue forward on that path.
Tell us a little bit about the All American New Year coverage?
I am so excited about being with Jesse [Watters] in the cold. I think it is going to be hysterical, the two of us trying to stay warm, keeping the crowd excited, checking in with all of our reporters. We have reporters in Times Square, all over New York, in Nashville and in Miami and we will be keeping an eye on all the parties but also making sure that people are safe and checking in with NYPD. It will be really fun, and for Jesse and I this is our fourth year doing New Year’s together. We have a great time. He is so fun and smart and spontaneous and he is one of my favorite people to work with.
FOX’s New Year’s Eve programming begins Sunday, December 31st, 2017 from 8PM – 1AM/ET. The “All American New Year” coverage begins at 10PM live from Times Square.
Images courtesy of FOX