My name is Steffanie and I’m a no-nonsense Jersey girl currently residing outside Philadelphia. Brighter, Darling is a place to share beauty and style advice and riddle through the marketing hype. You will find makeup reviews, skin care tips and style inspiration for the every day woman.
You won’t find InstaGLAM makeup looks here. You will find information about products, tutorials, and tips on how to take the everyday woman to her most glamorous self.
Besides dumping all of my top secret tricks online, my career includes nearly a decade of success in marketing communications and public relations for non-profits to Fortune 100 companies. I have my Master of Business Administration in Entrepreneurship/Innovation Management and my Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism.
Growing up on the coast of New Jersey, I love all things summertime and – when not glued to my iPad mini reading other blogs or watching YouTube makeup tutorials – you can find me giving beauty advice to friends and family, trying new workouts, whipping up gluten free recipes, researching new makeup or enjoying life with my husband and our golden retrievers, Tex & Jersey. Also, lots of wine drinking and snapchatting my friends.
Glossy, hydrating and plumping... this formula is a cult favorite for a reason. It doesn't wear terribly long, but the packaging is incredibly chic and the colors are so easy to wear since they're sheer-buidable. Very flattering and you'd be hard pressed to NOT find one you'll love.
Elf has had this mineral primer around for a minute, and many have said it’s a dupe a similar, $54 primer that's advertised as great for oily skin, and so does elf. When I compared both formula’s ingredients, both are chock-full of silicones, however; the high-end formula is much cleaner in terms of fewer ingredients. Nonetheless, BOTH formulas break me out. I was an oily mess using elf’s and even Snapchatted it a few weeks back. Such a letdown. But if you have more normal/dry skin (or aren’t super sensitive), I can see how this is an incredibly accurate dupe for the high-end formula.
Acne, Large Pores, Fine Lines & Wrinkles, Uneven Skin Tone
Said to create a sculpted glow, this highlighter/bronzer duo looked promising. In the pan, it seemed to be very pigmented – but when swatched, it was mediocre on my medium tan/olive skin. I actually didn’t bother using the shades separately. I mixed both colors and it resulted in a near-dupe of the Victoria Beckham x Estee Lauder $65 highlighter (although MUCH less pigmented/buttery). If you’re someone who isn’t into the *see me from outer space* highlight and you’re fairer than me, you may totally LOVE this.
Acne, Large Pores, Fine Lines & Wrinkles, Uneven Skin Tone
Advertised as being smooth to apply, nondrying and long-lasting, the elf matte lip color I got in the box was in a pretty berry/wine shade. I wore it in this post, and I was very pleased with it. There are 15 shades on elf’s website, but I’ve yet to pick up a couple more. Naturally, I’m eyeing the two nude colors – Natural and Tea Rose – although Praline also looks perfect for a winter neutral.
The formula is as described – applied smoothly, lasted long and was never dry. I’d say it’s more of a satin finish – not totally matte (which I prefer anyway). I also am a fan of the crayon/slim lipstick packaging, as they’re easier to apply without a lip pencil. Definitely give these a try next time you’re shopping on elfcosmetics.com, Walmart or Target.
This lip exfoliator treats and helps smooth lips, leaving them with a buttery and hydrating film to protect. Influenster sent the mint-flavored one. elf also make a few different flavors like rose, grapefruit, coconut, sweet cherry, and a brown sugar but I was happy because I love mint flavored lip products – it’s nice to use before bed! The product is a thick stick with sugar granules mixed with shea butter, vitamin E, coconut and jojoba oils. It’s really nice and an excellent product if you like to wear matte/liquid lipsticks or just suffer from dry lips.
I keep it in my bathroom to use once or twice a week. Typically, I’ll run it back and forth on my bottom lip for 15 seconds, then my top lip for 15 seconds. Wipe the excess off with a tissue and leave the leftover balm on to go to sleep. Love this stuff!
I have two red shades (one bright; one wine) and was excited to try these after reading they won a Best of Beauty award from Allure magazine this year. These are NOT a flat matte liquid lipstick - more of a full pigment, cream lipstick with a semi matte finish. It's totally comfortable on the lips and NEVER dries down/dries out. The applicator makes for easy precision color application and there's no noticeable fragrance or flavor - which I prefer. The colors are intense, yet flattering. My one qualm is the two red shades I have feather pretty badly after eating (but only when eating). Advice: blot off before a meal. I received these complimentary for testing purposes in exchange for an honest review.
I'm the type of woman who enjoys a warm, cozy long-lasting scent. Some past favorites have been Flowerbomb, Narciso Rodriguez, La Vie Est Belle and Si is the perfect complement to those in my collection! Slightly unique because of the vanilla note, this fragrance is my new 2016 fall/winter and evening fragrance of choice! Full disclosure: I received this product complimentary for testing purposes in exchange for an honest review.
Has not just been more gentle on my nails, but actually minimized my need for in-salon manicures because the formula isn't drying on my cuticles - therefore I don't need to constantly be clipping them/pushing them back. Switching to this formula (instead of using acetone) has changed the way my hands and nails look forever! So happy I don't have to spend money at the salon anymore (unless I want to).
The setting powder brush is extremely soft and the handle makes it comfortable to hold when lightly applying powder. It’s lovely and works well, but it didn’t do anything particularly life-changing for me. But it’s soft… so definitely go touch it when you’re in Sephora next time because it *is* delightful.
The blunt-cut V-shape of the concealer brush was interesting at first, but after using it just once I realized how awesome it was. This brush wouldn’t be as awesome if it wasn’t so incredibly soft and gentle on my skin. The angled edges are perfect for getting right underneath the eye and inner corners, just as well as tapping/blending any blemish-concealing. Kat also makes a larger version of this brush for foundation and I bet it’s even MORE awesome! I love this brush and have used it daily since getting the box.