I’ll never forget the first time I met Brandi Milloy. It was 2012, and I was the fashion host for media outlet POPSUGAR® and its video content. The executives at the company were looking to build out the video team across different verticals, and Milloy — the bubbly and forthright beauty that she is — walked in for an audition to be another host. I’ll be frank: It’s easy to be intimidated by someone like her, but Milloy’s infectious laugh and incredible work ethic quickly faded any ounce of intimidation into admiration. Of course, she snagged the role — she’s one of those women who can truly do it all — and she quickly built a cult following as the host of the YouTube® series Eat the Trend® and Get the Dish®, where she made buzzy, “like”-worthy meals such as unicorn push pops and Oreo grilled cheese (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!).
Though Milloy didn’t start her career with the intent of being in food — she’s covered movie junkets and the 2008 presidential election, among other gigs — that unique angle catapulted her success. Since our days at POPSUGAR, Milloy has built out an impressive resume, appearing on the TODAY® show and Access Hollywood®, frequently playing judge on your fave food shows, like Guy’s Grocery GamesTM and Chopped®, and even co-hosting her own show Let’s Eat!TM on the Food Network®. While hosting her own show is forever on her radar (trust me guys, she’s one to watch), she’s also carved out a new niche: parenting.
Now a mother of two (daughter Milly turns 3 in July, and baby boy Sonny is nine months old), Milloy has created a hit podcast, MOMHOOD℠, focused on erasing mom-guilt and empowering all mothers. “It’s a carefully curated podcast, where we strive to provide huge value to our listeners while also keeping the interviews relatable and transparent,” she explains. She and her co-host, Orly Shani, interview mothers from all areas of expertise, including behavioral science, human resources, wellness, writing, and more. “We hope that by sharing these honest, authentic conversations, and by going deep with our guests, we are eliminating this idea that motherhood looks like one specific thing or another,” Milloy adds. “You are everything your child needs, because you are their parent — and how you ‘mom’ is the right way for you and your family.”
She also shares regular peeks at her family’s life on her Instagram® account (which has a loyal following of over 45,000) and on her blog, where she notably shared her incredible natural birth story. It’s easy to keep gushing about how Milloy is a superwoman, but instead, let her show you herself: Read on to learn how the 30-something got her start in television, juggles raising a family with an insatiable work ethic, plus (of course!) her favorite multi-tasking, timesaving beauty products.
Spotlyte: Did you always want to be on-camera?
Brandi Milloy: I always knew I wanted to be a journalist/reporter and producer. When I was little, I looked up to Lisa Ling, Barbara Walters, and Oprah Winfrey. I remember being really young and pretending to be a reporter on TV. I loved the idea of asking the questions, getting the information, and sharing it with the masses. I wanted to learn people’s stories and be a storyteller.
Spotlyte: How did you get into on-camera work?
BM: I worked as a reporter for my college news station at the University of Arizona® and did some shadowing at the local news station. Then, after I graduated college in 2006, I moved to Chicago and tried working for Oprah. I didn’t end up working for her — but I was chosen by Oprah to be on her show, Oprah’s Big Give℠. Nine other people and I went around the country surprising people with money, rallying communities together, all for a great cause. It aired on ABC and it really gave me my first experience on-camera.
Spotlyte: What was your first job?
BM: My first job in television was as a script writer for KVOA® NBC4 in Tucson, Arizona. I was obsessed with being in the newsroom and just being a part of the entire energy. I’ve been working since I was a kid. I was hustling even when I was 11 years old — I’d ask my parents to buy king-sized candy bars from Costco® and I’d sell them for double the cost at school. Then, when I was 12, I started making my own custom nail polishes and I would sell them door-to-door. I’ve always loved to work and earn money.
Spotlyte: What was the biggest challenge you faced starting your career?
BM: All of the rejection. This industry is full of no’s. There were so many auditions, callbacks, interviews, camera tests, etcetera. Finding the confidence and tenacity to keep trying takes unbelievable strength, especially when you aren’t making money yet.
Spotlyte: You had a variety of popular food shows while at POPSUGAR — what made you want to parlay your career into the culinary?
BM: Food has always been important to me. I grew up moving a lot, because my Dad served in the US Army, so my family lived and experienced all different countries and cultures. I was always fascinated by how powerful food is, and how we all share this common denominator every time we break bread. I love discovering the stories behind recipes and learning about people through their food. It makes so much sense to me now — that when I chose to pursue journalism as my career, that what would feel most natural is covering food. I always tell people that I feel like I have the luckiest job in the world: I get to meet new people, hear their stories, share their message, and eat — all at the same time!
Spotlyte: Did you ever think you would get into blogging or influencer work?
BM: When I was in college, blogging was so new, and influencer work was non-existent. I always enjoyed documenting my life, taking photos, writing in journals, etcetera — to the point that my friends were telling me to start a blog 15 years ago. I wish I had! For me, it’s a privilege to have built the community I have, online and otherwise. And to be able to develop authentic relationships with brands and earn a sense of trust with my community are really gifts I never take for granted.
Spotlyte: How has motherhood shaped your career path?
BM: Becoming a mother completely changed everything for me. Just like most people, as you evolve and enter into new chapters of life, your interests start to change and you naturally gravitate towards what you are experiencing. For me, it was motherhood. From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I immersed myself in learning as much as I could.
From preparing for birth to studying child development, it became a huge interest of mine. It unlocked this layer of understanding and perspective for me, and I started attracting more work in the parenting space. Even my point of view on food, a vertical I had predominantly focused on, started to shift into a healthier version. Because now, as a mom, it was more about how good the food is for you, as opposed to how good the food tastes.
Spotlyte: What are some of the lessons you learned while juggling being a mom and having a career? Did you ever feel like you had to make a choice?
BM: For me, being a mom is the most important job I could have. When I became a mother, I decided that my children would always come first — but in order for me to be the best mom I can be, I have to be my best self. What fuels my soul and fills me up is my work, so it’s important to always make sure I’m filling that cup, so I can operate out of abundance and gratitude instead of sacrifice.
Spotlyte: Who inspires you? Why?
BM: My daughter, Milly, inspires me daily. She is carefree, brave, and thoughtful. She has the most confidence in the world. Nothing can stop her. She is smart, curious, and inclusive. She inspires me that anything is possible.
Spotlyte: What is the most challenging part of motherhood thus far?
BM: Staying present is the most challenging part of motherhood for me. When I’m with my children, I’m all in. I don’t want to worry about anything else, but because I work from home a lot, that’s a tricky harmony! I am constantly giving myself boundaries (and grace) on when it’s OK to work and when I need to take a break . . . but when you work for yourself, that’s a challenge in itself.
Spotlyte: You have a podcast — do you have tips for those wanting to start a podcast of their own?
BM: Start now. In fact, I would encourage others not to wait to do anything your heart dreams. Know your mission and what you want to accomplish with your podcast. There is room for everyone in every industry because we are all so unique, and our point of view is so specific to each individual. Just go for it! Release episodes consistently. In order to build an audience, they need to trust that you’ll be there for them every time you say you will be.
You can purchase affordable audio equipment online, but you can also start by using your phone voice memo! Don’t hesitate just because you feel like you need to have everything perfect before you can release an episode — there are plenty of people who didn’t overthink things and are successful! Also, there is power in numbers. I’m grateful to have a partner that balances me. Where I am weak, she is strong. We learn so much from each other. She motivates me to do better and keeps me accountable.
Spotlyte: What are some beauty tips all moms need to know?
BM: Because moms never have time or space to do anything on their own (i.e. a child climbing all over them), it’s crucial to have staple products that you feel confident using and don’t take a lot of time to apply. For me, when I look my best, I feel my best — so figure out the key things that make you feel good when you wear them.
It doesn’t need to take a ton of effort. Sometimes, I bring my makeup in my diaper bag and do it in the car once the babies are strapped in, or I’ll do it in my kitchen — where there is natural light — while I’m waiting for my coffee to brew. It doesn’t need to be a whole production. I swear by multifunctional products, so my everyday, five-minute makeup routine consists of my IT Cosmetics® CC+® Cream (which acts as my foundation and SPF), Honest® mascara, Too Faced® blush, Anastasia® Brow Wiz® — and I usually leave my lips bare, or I’ll swipe on some Laneige® Lip Sleeping Mask.
Spotlyte: What do you look for in a beauty product?
BM: I really like getting my bang for my buck, so my beauty products have to do a few things. If it’s a concealer, can I use it as a foundation if I blend it with my moisturizer? Sold! I’m slowly swapping things out of my makeup bag for non-toxic options and I always look for cruelty-free. I still haven’t used retinol, since I’ve been pregnant or breastfeeding for the past four years, but I can’t wait to try it.
Editor's note Retinol shouldn't be used by women who are pregnant, considering getting pregnant, or nursing. Please consult with your doctor before use.
Spotlyte: What are your favorite skincare products right now?
BM: I love how the Indie Lee® Brightening Cleanser removes my makeup and cleanses my skin. There’s nothing like the Mara® Universal Face Oil; it’s super hydrating, makes my skin glow, and has changed the texture of my skin. I wear it in the morning, before I apply my foundation, and at night. And I’ve been using Goldfaden® MD Doctor’s ScrubTM Exfoliator for years — and it works wonders for making my skin smooth and radiant.
Spotlyte: What are your favorite beauty products right now?
BM: Pixi® MatteLastTM has been my go-to lip and it lasts. It doesn’t get dry, and the color is really rich. The color of Charlotte Tilbury® Pillow Talk® Lip Gloss is spot-on for enhancing my natural lip color, and I love the texture. The smell is intoxicating! Beautyblender® BounceTM Liquid Whip Concealer — it’s super thick and creamy. I will sometimes skip foundation and use it with a little powder on top and I’m done!
For hair, I use Oribe® Dry Texturizing Spray in my hair when I do beach waves or to give texture to a power ponytail. Kristin Ess® purple shampoo and conditioner works great for getting rid of brassiness and helps tone my hair between color appointments.
Vita Liberata® BodyBlur® is on my legs anytime they’re showing. I love the way this blends into my skin and makes them look airbrushed. I mix it with my Josie Maran® body butter and it’s perfect.
Spotlyte: What are your favorite beauty places to visit in LA?
BM: I love perusing all of the amazing products at Credo®! I’m a huge fan of everything they carry. I also love getting massages. I go to Trilogy® Spa in Manhattan Beach and Terranea® Resort.
Spotlyte: Are there any facials or other treatments that you like to get?
BM: I should really get more facials! I go to Face Haus® here at the Point when I can. They do an incredible job and it’s easy peasy. There are a lot of treatments I swear by that I do at home, like facial massage, dry brushing, and Olaplex® for my hair.
Spotlyte: Are there any foods you like to eat for your hair, skin, and nails?
BM: Absolutely! We eat a lot of salmon, eggs, avocados, nuts (lots of healthy fats), and citrus in our household. Plus, I enjoy putting collagen peptides in my coffee every morning. I also have been taking prenatal vitamins for the past four years.
Editor’s note As always, talk to your doctor before starting any new supplement.
Spotlyte: What is your stance on medical aesthetics?
BM: I’m all for aesthetic medicine and supporting whatever people want to do for themselves, especially if they are being safe. I haven’t done anything yet!
Spotlyte: When you have limited time for self-care, how do you treat yourself
BM: I love getting my nails done. I wear the same color almost always — OPI’s® Funny BunnyTM. I also get massages regularly. I have scoliosis and have had three back surgeries, so keeping my muscles loose is crucial. I have a Thai masseuse who does house calls, but she also has a private spa. I make sure to put everything in the family calendar, so everyone is on the same page.
Spotlyte: When do you feel your most beautiful?
BM: I feel most beautiful when I’m with my husband and our children, we are enjoying a day at the beach, and we have zero cares in the world.
Discover more inspiring interviews:
- 10 Models, Executives & Influencers on How They Practice Self-Care at Home
- Savor Beauty Founder Angela Jia Kim on How She’s “Americanizing K-Beauty”
- Celebrity Colorist Cassondra Kaeding on Bargaining & Blue-Toned Brunettes
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