Brighter Sides

Life & Style blog of a Seattle artist, hairstylist, and social media pro

Product Review: e.l.f. Liquid Eyeliner

This post contains affiliate links. I make a small amount of money when some links are clicked or purchases are made after clicking links. This helps me to keep the blog running. I will never endorse products I don’t personally believe in. Thanks!

I have another makeup review for you! Though I have my tried-and-true makeup favorites, I still like to try out inexpensive alternatives when I have the chance. I was running a little low on liquid eyeliner, so when I was at Target last week (when am I not at Target? They’re going to start charging me rent soon.) I picked up some of e.l.f.’s Liquid Eyeliner for a mere $1.00 and went home with fantasies that it could replace my current fave and save me a whopping $5.00 every time I buy eyeliner (though, if you want to split hairs, the e.l.f. liner is .15oz, and the Maybelline is .25oz. So really I’d be saving a little over $4.00). Anyway, here is my review.

e.l.f. liquid eyeliner review
Yes. It was, indeed, a fantasy. I was, shall we say, underwhelmed with the performance of the e.l.f. Liquid Eyeliner. That’s especially disappointing to me, since I am smitten with their Brightening Eye Liner which I actually use to fill in my eyebrows, as it’s the only pencil I’ve found that even remotely comes close to my natural color. I liked the brush that came with Liquid Eyeliner – it was stiff enough to make a precision line and get really close close to my lashes, but had enough give to to create a really nice curve. Unfortunately the formula of the liquid was watery and showed up rather translucent. I let it dry and went over it again, which didn’t seem to help much. After going over it another time with the same results, I finally gave up and went over all of it with the Maybelline Ultra Liner that I had left, which gave opaque coverage in one coat, as it always does.

I guess it was worth a shot for a dollar, but it lives in the garbage now, and I’m definitely going to keep using Maybelline Ultra Liner, which has served me well for years. I would recommend the e.l.f. Liquid Eyeliner if you plan on using it ONLY for for tightlining and don’t want anything dramatic. However if you’re like me and you want a lot of definition, and to be able to create a thicker line or a cat eye, go with the Maybelline Ultra Liner, which is the best liquid eyeliner I have found.

Have you used either of these products? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful? Be sure to check out my 10 favorite makeup products and the products I use in my skincare routine!

By Kelsi Eldredge

Happy 4th Birthday, Blog!

Brighter Sides lifestyle blog 4th birthday/blogiversary

Well, today marks my blog’s 4th birthday! In some ways, it doesn’t seem like it’s been that long at all, but at the same time, it kind of feels like something that I’ve “always” done. Granted, I’ve been “blogging” since the days of Livejournal and maybe even before. But I didn’t become serious about it until four years ago. A lot of you have been with me from near the beginning, and may remember that Brighter Sides, in it’s current incarnation has only been around for a couple of years. Before that, it was Kelsi Does Hair, but after I grew tired of such a specific niche, I rebranded. Though my hair-articles still seem to be the most read, I feel like rebranding as a lifestyle blog was the right choice for me. Sometimes I write about hair (which has been my career for the past decade) but often I find joy in writing about other things.

It’s been somewhat of a slow year for me, blog-wise, because I’ve had so much else going on. Three moves, one of which was across the country, starting up new businesses, a new relationship, getting a dog, turning 30, my first grown-up apartment. I wish I had shared more of it here on my blog, but you know how life gets in the way. Here are five of my favorite posts from the past year. I’d love it if you would leave a comment here and let me know what post was your favorite, or what types of posts you hope I’ll do in the future.

1. DogVacay Review and Our Lovely Mini Vacay
2. Window Shopping: Luna Moth Inspired Outfit
3. Tutorial: How To Make Glitter In Photoshop
4. Window Shopping: All On Black
5. Yosemite Nat’l Park with Jessa from Caked Vintage

To celebrate, I’m offering 50% off all ad spaces on my blog. Just use the code 4YEARS at checkout and nab up some great spots to advertise your blog or business!

Happy Birthday, blog! It’s been a good run. Here’s to many more :)

If you haven’t yet, now would be an excellent time to follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest!

photo credit Elana’s Pantry

By Kelsi Eldredge

ModCloth’s 70% Off Sale Is Here!

This post contains affiliate links. I make a small amount of money when some links are clicked or purchases are made after clicking links. This helps me to keep the blog running. I never endorse products I don’t personally believe in. Thanks!

ModCloth 70% off sale

It’s the most wonderful time of the year; ModCloth’s end of season 70% off sale is back! If you’ve been reading my blog long, you’ll know that I’m a HUGE fan of ModCloth and their big So Long, Summer Sale has some majorly cute stuff marked way, way down and in limited quantities! You’ll be sad if you don’t check it out.

By Kelsi Eldredge

DogVacay Review and Our Lovely Mini Vacay

This post was sponsored by DogVacay, who provided me and Bruno with our mini vacays. Photos of Bruno in this post are courtesy of his sitter, Kelsey.

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you might be familiar with my pup, Bruno. He’s the sweetest little guy, but like a lot of dogs, he gets pretty upset when I have to leave him alone.

He stays by himself for most of the day when I’m at work and I usually feel too bad about leaving him at home to go out and do anything in the evening. I used to be able to leave him with my roommate once in a while, but now that I’m living on my own, it’s not an option any more. Enter, DogVacay.

DogVacay "pup"date

DogVacay is a website/app that helps you to find a great pet sitter! They contacted me about trying their service and sent me and Bruno for mini vacays for the night. The process was really simple. I just did a search for sitters in Seattle and found several nearby to choose from. You can read sitters’ bios, including what type of home/yard they have, whether they have pets of their own, what training courses they have completed, how many years of experience they have, and more. Best of all, you can read reviews from their past clients to see if they would be a good match for you and your pet. I chose a sitter with great reviews who lived close by and we arranged a meet and greet so that she could meet Bruno and I could see where he’d be staying. She seemed great, so I went ahead and booked an overnight vacay for Bruno and he stayed with her on Sunday night.

Screenshot DogVacay

Meanwhile, my boyfriend Aaron and I got to have a night out on the town without worrying about Bruno being sad at home! We went to a nice restaurant called Tilth that he suggested. They had an impressive menu which boasted a wide range of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options and some crazy good cocktails. We each ordered the seasonal Vegan Tasting Menu, which was some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. It included Watermelon Gazpacho, Chilled Sweet White Corn Soup, Mixed Baby Lettuces, Pot au Feu, Carnaroli Risotto, and Chocolate Sorbet… and it was absolutely delicious.




(Bat bracelet from Frosted Willow on Etsy. Dress from Emerging Thoughts. Photo courtesy of Aaron Shay)

If you go (and you should), you MUST try the lavender daiquiri. It’s slightly sweet, light tasting, and deceptively strong. I want to be drinking one every night. We had also planned on going to the Sci-Fi museum but didn’t make it there in time, so we’ll have to save that for another night. Don’t worry, we still got our nerd fix by curling up with some cups of tea and watching Firefly later on.

It was beautiful patio weather, so we sat outside. It was too dark to get any good photos once our food started coming out and I failed to get a picture of us together, because I never remember to do things like that when I’m out, but here is a portrait of us that I commissioned from a local artist.


While we were enjoying our vegan feast, Bruno’s sitter, Kelsey sent me occasional “pup”dates so that I knew he was having a good time on his mini vacay and I could see what he was up to. All DogVacay reservations also include 24/7 customer service for owners and sitters, and free pet insurance. It was so much easier to enjoy the night knowing that he was in good hands!



Want to try out DogVacay for yourself so you can have a getaway? They’re generously offering all Brighter Sides readers $10 off their first DogVacay with the promo code KELSIBSIDES

We are very thankful to DogVacay for sending us on our mini vacays and will be using them again to find a sitter in September for a few days. Alas, Kelsey will be back in school then and won’t be available to watch Bruno, but I’m confident that I can use DogVacay’s website to find another awesome sitter for Bruno!


By Kelsi Eldredge

Window Shopping: Fashionable Workwear

This post contains affiliate links. I make a small amount of money when some links are clicked or purchases are made after clicking links. This helps me to keep the blog running. I never endorse products I don’t personally believe in. Thanks!

Lately I’ve been thinking about a career shift, and realizing that I don’t really have much in my closet that I would qualify as professional work wear. I have a little collection of dresses, but being on the taller side (5’9″) almost all of them hit too high on my leg to consider wearing as anything but a day dress or cocktail dress. I’d really like to step up my wardrobe, but as usual, for now I’m just window shopping. Here’s a little fantasy workwear outfit that I put together.

professional work wear with an edge.

1. Get What You Dessert Dress – ModCloth
2. Fancy Structured Carryall – Forever21
3. Standout Faux Stone Bib Necklace – Forever21
4. Olive Flat – Target
5. Midnight Strider Jacket – ModCloth

I love the universally flattering fit & flare shape of the dress, and at 39.5″ in length (for size M), it should hit me just above the knee – perfect. Since I’m already tall, I almost always wear flats. These ones look cute and comfy, and add a punch of color, which ties in with the inexpensive but bold statement necklace. The jacket adds a little bit of edge, while the clean lines of the bag keep it looking sophisticated.

Granted, when I was doing social media marketing, and worked in a business-casual atmosphere, in addition to the skirt length problem (I hate wearing dress slacks. Hate, hate, hate.), I also needed to cover my legs and upper arms to hide my tattoos. That was pretty easily remedied with tights or boots, and a cardigan… it felt a little silly to be wearing cardigans and long sleeves in the middle of summer, but it worked.

What do you wear to work? Do you find it as frustrating as I do to put together something that fits your company’s dress code but still makes you feel comfortable and stylish?

If you liked this post, you might like these other posts from my Window Shopping series:
Window Shopping: Luna Moth Inspired Outfit
Window Shopping: All On Black
Window Shopping: Free Karl
Window Shopping: Skulls & Spikes

By Kelsi Eldredge

Product Review: Dior Pore Minimizer Skin Refining Matte Primer

This post contains affiliate links. I make a small amount of money when some links are clicked or purchases are made after clicking links. This helps me to keep the blog running. I will never endorse products I don’t personally believe in. Thanks!

This week I tried out Dior’s Pore Minimizer Skin Refining Matte Primer. It came as a free sample with my order from Sephora (I got a replacement Urban Decay Naked Palette to replace my former one, which met a sad and violent end at the hands… er… paws and mouths of a friend’s large dogs. R.I.P. Naked Palette.) I definitely have my tried and true favorites, but I love testing out new things too, so I thought I’d give it a go.

I usd the Dior primer under my usual MAC Select MoistureCover concealer and MAC Mineralize Skinfinish powder, and though I had high hopes (Dior! Fancy, yes?) I was thoroughly underwhelmed.

It felt wonderful and velvety while I was first applying it and really looked like it was smoothing out those pores and fine lines (hello, silicone!), but it dried to a powdery consistency and was whitish and flaky looking under my concealer. Womp womp. Do I want my skin to look matte? Yes. But dry and flaky? Nope. Not the look I was going for. I thought perhaps it was a fluke. Maybe my skin really was extra dry that day. Maybe I didn’t put enough moisturizer on. So I tried it three more times, until the sample ran out. Regrettably, the outcome was the same. My face looked ashen and flaky all the ding dong day. I’m happy that it was just a sample, and I didn’t actually spend money on it; I would have felt much better with no primer at all.
So, that’s a no-go on the Dior. What do I suggest? My old favorite (which I am back to using now), Too Faced Primed and Poreless. Aside from staying a smooth velvety texture, it also has some nice additives like vitamins A & C, is considerably cheaper ($30/oz for Too Faced vs. $42/oz for Dior) and it’s not tested on animals (according to the Beautypedia, Dior is. Sorry.) Now, Too Faced’s primer isn’t necessarily matte, if you’re feeling extra oily, I’d recommend dabbing a little Sephora Collection Anti-Shine Primer. I usually use a bit on my nose, forehead and cheeks before smoothing on the Too Faced primer.

Check out some of my other go-to makeup and skincare faves. What’s your favorite primer? Have you tried either of these? Let me know in the comments!

By Kelsi Eldredge