Beauty Magnet Founder Liz Kennedy on Creating the Ultimate On-the-Go Skincare Tools
When we first saw the Beauty Magnet, a magnetized set of rose gold, esthetician-approved skincare tools, we couldn’t help but feel intrigued — and a little intimidated. Dermarolling, the practice of exfoliating your skin with tiny needles, sounds uncomfortable at best and painful at worst. But founder, on-air expert and esthetician Liz Kennedy assures us we have nothing to worry about. Here, she talks us through how to use the Beauty Magnet, what it was like starting a brand after having a child in the middle of a pandemic and of course, some of her favorite skincare products.
What was your relationship with skincare like growing up, and how has it shifted over the years?
I grew up with a single mom. She was a major tomboy, didn’t like makeup, didn’t like getting dressed up, but she always took care of her skin. She was using an oil cleanser before oil cleansing was a thing. My love for skin started at a young age, and I noticed I was always teaching people how to use different products. Even in college, I was the go-to girl for skincare. Once I moved back to Manhattan from Florida, I became a licensed esthetician. I started going to nursing school, and then I realized quickly that I didn’t like practicing on people as much as I loved educating people. That’s when I started doing more TV and social media.
Were your TV appearances a result of social media?
The TV part was before social media really blew up. My first role, if you will, was backstage at fashion week. I got asked to be a spokesperson for a brand called Skyn Iceland and once I started doing that backstage, it formed into me being the on-air expert for New York Live. Then I started doing QVC for Cindy Crawford’s skincare line, and then I started doing makeovers for the Steve Harvey show. It kind of just snowballed.
Now you make great Reels on Instagram! Can you talk about building your social media presence after your TV career had already taken off?
During COVID, all the TV networks were down. I was so upset because I was like, ‘Wait, I don’t have a job anymore!’ And then TikTok was coming around and I said well, I love video and I’m much better at explaining things on camera than just taking a photo for Instagram. So I started doing TikTok and that’s when I really got an insane amount of traction. Then obviously Instagram came out with Reels. But with the whole short-format video, I was able to take everything I did on TV and transform that into social media.
What was your reasoning behind creating Beauty Magnet and why did you choose the five tools included?
Beauty Magnet came out of the frustration of always looking for my skincare tools. I started to get really upset because I was like, why am I asking my husband every single night, ‘Babe, have you seen my tweezers? Babe, have you seen my roller?’ And he’d tell me to just put it in one place, it’s not that hard. But when I did that, I opened the drawer and all the pieces moved. When I traveled, I ended up losing them in my purse. So I said, what if I just solve this problem and I take my five favorite skincare tools as an esthetician and I magnetize them?
For those of us who have never used some of the tools in the Beauty Magnet, like a pore extractor or dermaroller, how do you suggest using them?
Whenever you’re using an extractor or the dermaroller, you never want to use acid afterwards. That’s because acids increase inflammation. What I would suggest is the nights that you use an extractor or dermaroller, use something really calming after. For example, a hyaluronic acid serum, which is a hydrating serum, a collagen cream or something with no acids that are exfoliating. The other tools, like the rose quartz roller, are very soothing. You can use it in the morning, you can keep it in the fridge. The same thing goes with the eye serum roller. And everyone knows how to use tweezers.
What was it like raising money for and releasing Beauty Magnet during a pandemic, shortly after you had your son?
It was hell. I cried myself to sleep a lot because when I was trying to do the raise, it was super frustrating. I was postpartum, just got into lockdown, didn’t have a job because networks were down, still hadn’t raised money for the brand and it was really, really hard. But the truth is just when you’re about to give up is when things happen, so I just kept pushing. When I first raised money for the brand, it was really just to get the mold of the tool done, but when I did my second raise, it was a lot more money and it took me about a year and a month to do.
It’s amazing you were able to accomplish that during such a trying time. How do you reflect on your accomplishments and what you’re grateful for now?
I used to write down that I’m grateful for my health, my family, food, all the things that we’re typically grateful for. But I was like OK, I write this every day, it seems a little redundant. So what I started doing is writing down things that bothered me or things that made me upset and instead of just writing down, ‘This makes me angry,’ I wrote, ‘What did I learn from this?’ By writing what I learned, it allowed me to look at things pragmatically and be grateful that I was able to learn something from it versus just taking the approach of, ‘I’m angry and this bothered me.’ It really makes you shift perspectives.
How do you imagine the future of Beauty Magnet?
With Beauty Magnet, my goal is to create a lifestyle brand behind it, but then come out with a skincare component, with skincare pods that you can actually insert into the neck of the tools. It’ll be like Pez — remember Pez candy back in the day? It’ll be like that, where you insert the skincare pod and then it disperses while you roll. But this all takes money, so we’ll have to wait.
When friends and family turn to you for skincare advice, what are the most crucial pieces of info you try to convey to them?
When it comes to skincare, you really need to know your skin type and your concerns. For example, what works for me doesn’t work for my husband. My husband’s super acne-prone, but the products he uses are really appropriate for him. If I used his products, my skin would not be OK. It would get dry and irritated. So what works for me won’t necessarily work for you. People say to me all the time, ‘What are you using on your face?’ And I'm like, don’t worry what I’m using, let’s talk about your problems because your issues are different from mine and they’re different from the person to the left of me.
Are there any skincare products you’re loving right now?
So many! A very underrated product in my opinion is the Lancôme Génifique serum. It’s super game-changing. Garnier also has an SPF 30 brightening serum that goes on super milky. It’s an SPF, it’s a serum, it’s a brightener and it’s also super underrated.
Photo: Courtesy of Liz Kennedy
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