If it was good enough for Cleopatra…

When the world was new…oh, wait, wrong country. Still, I liked it when I was a kid.

In the land of Milk and Honey

Listen, I’m not a great, legendary beauty, but I’m no slouch. (At least I hope not. My twitter account might occasionally sound like I feel that way, though!) You might have realized by now that I work on television. Okay, local television. Okay, okay! I’m a traffic reporter! Happy? No, really. I like my job, but I wear a lot of makeup every day and I get up at a ridiculous hour that I can’t even call morning. So, my skin doesn’t always look fresh and healthy, especially if I forget to drink lots of water.

In order to keep my skin happy and calm, considering that I have to clean it 3x a day because I wash a bunch of makeup off of it every late morning, and usually have to wash sweat, dirt, and pollution off in the evening after running (away from ZOMBIES!) or something, I need to give it a treat to bring back that glowing, dewy complexion after faking it with air-brush makeup every day for work.

The point is even though we all know Cleopatra wasn’t exactly an example of modern beauty, but rather a powerful, intelligent and captivating woman who knew how to get and hold power and men, that doesn’t mean some of those beauty regimes didn’t have a lot going for them. For example, the milk bath thing. Did they just throw a bunch of mare’s milk into a tub with a bunch of mashed-up rose petals, herbs, fruits and whatever else that smelled good so that she could soak herself into gorgeousness? Well, actually, yes. Not that I suggest you do that. It would be about as expensive as that ridiculously expensive face cream that no self-respecting dermatologist in the world would suggest you go waste your money on. However, you can use milk for a variety of beauty uses, and guess what? Milk is efficacious when it comes to helping your skin look its best.

Milky morning exfoliating wash

This is simple. In fact, it’s a French model’s beauty tip, and well, who doesn’t want to look like a French model? I like this for my morning wash. Go to the grocery and buy a package of powdered milk. If you can find full-fat powdered milk, even better. Put it in a cute little container with a cover, or in a jar, or in a plastic tub with a lid and keep it in the bathroom.

Wet your face with warm water. In your hand, pour in a spoonful or two of powdered milk and add a bit of water, enough to make it into a very slightly gritty paste. Gently apply to your wet face, and gently scrub your face and neck. You can do this before your shower and just leave it on until the end and rinse it off, or just rinse and pat dry. Moisturize and voila! Clean, exfoliated and brighter skin. The lactic acid also brightens your skin.

Milk and honey mask

I taste good! Only problem is I’m having a beer right now, too. Interesting combo.

I suggest you use raw honey. Local is best, or at least a good, local regular honey. For the love of all that’s healthy, don’t bother with the honey bear honey or most of the honey you buy in the grocery store. To very loosely paraphrase Monica Geller, “It’s not honey!” (okay, she was talking about mayo, but still)

All the ingredients for gorgeous skin.

  • 2 Tablespoons raw honey
  • 1/2-3/4 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (organic is nice but if you’re going on the cheap, don’t worry)
  • 1/2-1 Tablespoon whole milk OR 1 tsp powdered milk with a little bit of water, and make into a loose paste

I made a small amount as the AC is in the bedroom, and I’m meeeelting. So is the mask.

Mix together in a small bowl. If the milk is really cold, you’ll have to stir it around a bit until it warms up and mixes together. If you find it too watery, add more honey, and next time, add less milk. I like doing this before a shower or bath on a freshly cleansed face. Put on a robe, put your hair up, and gently spread it over your face and neck. It’s a bit drippy if you use fresh milk, especially, so I take a paper towel or a tea towel and tuck it around my neck to catch it. This is refreshing, soothing, and if you have acne, it does help. If you have sensitive, dry skin, this does help. If you have stressed, overly used skin, this does help! No, olive oil won’t make you break out more. Leave it on at least 15 minutes, and wait to rinse, not wash, just let the water gently rinse it off, no real scrubbing, until the end of your shower. This is enough for your neck and chest, too. You can reduce the amount if you like, OR add sea salt or brown sugar to the rest and use as a scrub on your rough bits. Your skin will be fresh, dewy and soft. If you have very dry skin, add a moisturizer, but for many people, you won’t need it. Do it 2-3 times a week if you have the time. It’s far less expensive than any other mask you might buy, and as far as I’m concerned works so much better for so many things.

Short, but sweet, honey sweet! Don’t spend $300 on something that stays on your skin a short time before breaking down due to exposure to air and really doesn’t do enough for the cost. Face washes are rinse-off products. You don’t want nasty chemicals in them, but you don’t need royal jelly in it when it’s formulated to grab whatever is on your face and rinse off with the dirt. Be gentle, but you have my permission to be cheap.

But hot. You can be cheap, and hot.

Cheap, Hot, Sweet Love,



Yummy food, shiny, clean pits, and I still can’t afford the gym/class.

The natural look takes a shit-ton of makeup.

After 6 hours with almost no sleep. I think I need more makeup.

As usual, it’s been a little while since I last told you how to live well on the cheap. And as per usual, I am so, so sorry!

For those who don’t know, I’m a freelance broadcaster, and in order to advance my career a bit, I grabbed at a great opportunity, but knew it would be a sacrifice financially, physically, and emotionally. I’ve been working 6, usually 7, days a week just to make ends barely (sometimes) meet, all while trying to look not just human, but good, groomed, stylish, and rested. I have been keeping a certain makeup company afloat by using concealer in bulk. Seriously. With. A. Trowel. Sometimes, it makes me miss the days of being just the voice, and who cares if my hair is crazy, my clothes are about as mismatched as any 3-year-old could come up with, and the circles under my eyes are becoming a permanent part of my features. Still, I’ve been having a ball and I love the crew I’ve been working with, 4 A.M. crabbiness, and all.

Because I’m not certain when my schedule will become normal, I thought that instead of the usual long posts, if I did much more frequent, smaller posts highlighting one or two things, it would be a lot more informative for you, and with a cup of extra-charged coffee and a spare hour or so, I could fire off at least one a week. I’ll do a longer one this time, to try to make up for my flakiness. Let us begin the cheap-bang-thank-you-ma’am experiment!

I am obsessed with smell. You could say it’s become one of my neuroses.

In a previous post, I covered my views on personal stinkiness. Yes, sometimes it is absolutely unavoidable. God knows that now that I’m up at 2:45 A.M. 7 days a week, sometimes I forget to make sure I don’t stink later in the morning. Of course, I’m also paranoid I’ll forget my makeup, hair stuff and my clothes, so everything is literally hanging from the doorknob before I go to bed. It took one time trying to hide jeans with a longer blouse and standing far closer to the camera than I prefer for me to take the extra measures every day. I’m slow, but I’m not dumb.

I went even more “natural” on the de-stinkifying than I did before, mainly because I realized that lots of chemicals just do NOT mix with my body and make me smell even worse. Plus, I’m broke, so cheaper is better. After lots of experimentation, I went back to a pit-rub. Lots of research and reading later, I think it works best, and it’s dirt-cheap.

Natural anti-stink pit-rub:

  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 2-3 drops essential oil like peppermint, tea tree, eucalyptus, lemon, etc (optional)

In a container with a tight-fitting lid, mix the baking soda and corn starch together. If you wish to add some scent, add a couple of drops of essential oil, cover tightly, and shake, baby, shake! Use a cotton ball or pad or a powder puff to apply to your arm pits. You’ll have to figure out how much to use as you go, but this is not an anti-perspirant, just a good deodorant. Baking soda is a little irritating to your sensitive pits, especially if you shave, so it will sting a tad right after shaving, and it definitely will if, like me, you suck at it and usually nick yourself at least once. Also, if your skin is a bit sensitive, go for the lower amount of baking soda as the higher ph might irritate you. I go for the half and half because stinging doesn’t bother me and because I hate to stink.

This usually keeps me smelling neutral most of the day, but if I sweat a lot or my stress pops up, or my adrenaline spikes because I forgot the clicker and have to run to the control room to grab it and book it back to the studio while the bump is going on and on and runs out while I’m still putting in the ear-piece, then I may have to re-wash and re-apply in order to make sure I smell like, well, nothing but pleasant me. Also, a box of each costs $.60-$1.25. Yay, cheap! If you don’t like to think about it but for once a day, then obviously, one of the big brand chemical anti-perspirants are your best bet.

Hard to give up: eating well

I love to eat. Really. I do not mean McDonald’s, nachos (though I LOVE to indulge occasionally), pre-made canned or frozen meals. I believe in cooking from raw, base ingredients as soon as possible after picking, etc, and giving my body the energy it needs through tough times – without breaking the bank. I freeze some fresh veg I buy as soon as I get home to make it last longer, and sometimes I do buy some guilty snacks here and there, but those are rare. Heck, I’ve been able to feed myself on about $40 every 2 weeks. Granted, as a mostly vegetarian, it’s a little easier as my protein sources are MUCH less expensive. I would not be able to do this without 2 stores I’ve recently discovered. One is only in the Northeast, sorry! The other one has a few locations around the country.

I lovelovelove HMart. It has a lot of Korean and Japanese foods, snacks, ingredients, seafood and prepared dishes. I love laver seaweed snacks and chili sauces and kim chee and mochi and…on and on. However, what brings me back for most of my shopping is the produce. It’s fresh, lovely, varied (asian broccoli, 12 different kinds of organic mushrooms), and CHEAP. $.58/lbs for fresh tomatoes? $.99/lbs for baby bok choy? $1.29/lbs for organic apples! I get a big bag of asian brown rice and a package of some good rice or buckwheat noodles and a ton of veg and I’m set for most of 2 weeks. I can usually get nice grass-fed eggs for $2/dozen, too. Beat that with a rhubarb stalk!

Another love is Fairway Market. They also have great prices. $4.99/lbs wild-caught shrimp, $5.99/lbs filet mignon (don’t say I don’t look out for you, carnivores!), and their produce is shockingly fresh, priced fairly low, plus they have lots of amazing, gourmet foods you would be hard-pressed to find in less than 3 or 4 separate stores. Their cheese mongers ought to be worshiped. I got some of the most stinky, delectable, soft raw goat’s milk cheese the last time I was there. Oh, heaven.

I love to eat, but I like fitness…wait, what was that? What’s that smell? Did the cheese go off? What’s that over there? …Run! Zombies!

Gym? Pffft! I’m spending $20 a week to eat these days. I can’t afford to spend on fitness, sadly. Well, not much, anyway. Now, granted for this, you’ll need a good pair of running shoes, and if you’re a woman, a good sports bra. So, yes, there’s a little bit of investment involved, but it goes a long way. I’ve started running, again, as it’s a fast, easy way of getting fit in record time. Also include core exercises and push ups, etc, so you are strong, but this is about running. And not just running, but scaaaaaarrrryyy running.

That doesn’t sound too impressive.

It’s I thought this would be cheesy, but it’s actually a little scary and lots of fun and holy moly, I ran an extra mile and am looking forward to going out again, running!

Zombies, RUN! is an iPhone app that is coming out for Android on June 14th (yay!) for runners. I’ve used a few free running apps like Run Keeper, which was my favorite, to keep track of time, distance, speed, and to coach me as I went. But Zombies goes a little further. The concept is a game that you do while you run, mostly. There’s a running story line, you add your own soundtrack, and yes, there are zombies. You hear the zombies. And it actually sounds a little scary sometimes. It tells you to pick up supplies (you just go to where it tells you), and run other errands, and sometimes, it tells you to JUST RUN AWAY. Because, you know, ZOMBIES!

When you get home, you assign your supplies, etc to build up your base as you like. They’re going to try to make it multiplayer, eventually, so you can play with your friends, too. Oh, yes. I can see the competition, now. Zombie Marathon, here I come!

You can look hot, smell cool, and eat like Jack Lalane

You’d think as a broadcaster in the New York area I’d be rich, right? Well, I like to pretend that someday I’ll make loads, but it’s not usually a 6-figure salary. Until I make the big-time I’ll keep hot, while keeping my cool, as I whip up a spicy asian stir-fry…at 10 A.M. I also dream of getting up at 6:30 A.M. and having breakfast. We all have dreams, right?

Much Love,