If there's one person I know who can seamlessly show up camera-ready to work before 6 a.m. — in a perfect Instagrammable outfit and with an upbeat attitude — it’s Brittney Levine. If you’ve tuned into the TODAY® show, The Wendy Williams ShowTM, or QVC® within the last few years, you’ve likely watched Levine offer wardrobe advice to the masses. The 33-year-old is an on-air style and trend expert, known for her appearances on national TV. When she isn’t broadcasting from New York (where she lives), she commutes to different cities across the U.S. to host segments that are packed with beauty products and other solutions for day-to-day issues.
“Getting to work on the TODAY show and Wendy Williams have always been goals of mine,” she said. “It took many years of pitching and silence before I even got a response. I just kept trying to cultivate a relationship.” Her ties — forged over many years — include notable producers, as well as household names. “I have really enjoyed getting the chance to work with Catherine Zeta-Jones at QVC. She’s a girl’s girl and has been extremely uplifting and complimentary.”
I first met Levine five years ago while she was a hard-working publicist — hustling between her day job (in public relations) and her passion (on-air segments). Incredibly, the Miami University®, Ohio, graduate maintained the same excitement, persistence, and drive for her work — all while making it all look easy. (It’s not.)
Even today, as we connect on the phone, Levine is traveling in between a segment in Washington D.C. and an upcoming TV appearance in Chicago. This week alone, she’ll have four on-camera stints. (Other weeks, she’ll have a lighter schedule, or complete satellite media tours, which broadcast her bit from one studio to 20 local markets in three hours.) “It can get a little crazy at times,” she said. “There's a lot that goes on behind-the-scenes to make a beautiful segment.”
But, regardless of the little sleep or thousands of miles she must go for a TV segment, Levine lights up when she’s about to go on camera. “No matter how tired I am, there’s something about being in a studio that makes me most awake and feel the most alive,” she said. “It’s an indescribable rush.” Between presenting in front of blinding bright set lights, and taping her podcast with her co-host, One Tree Hill® alum Bevin Prince, Levine found time to share her journey. Here’s how the Westport, Connecticut, native worked her way to the top shows on TV, with little sleep and the support of her loved ones (including her mom, Babs).
Spotlyte: Did you always want to be on TV?
Brittney: I knew I wanted to be involved in some form of television, but had no idea how. I always looked up to Jenn Falik, who I interned for and who was one of the first beauty experts to really showcase the hottest products on TV. I’d be with her in any green room, or in-studio. I always just really gravitated towards [being on TV]. And no matter how tired I was, I was like, "Oh, I'm up!" The energy at these studios is on another level.
She really instilled in me how important your connections are, especially in the media world. Her mom and my grandmother were very close before she passed, and I got the opportunity to follow Jenn around to some of her tapings. I always admired how thoughtful her ideas were and how she was able to make such great relationships with producers.
Spotlyte: Having a stint on the TODAY show is every broadcaster’s dream, but you didn’t start your career on camera. What was your first gig?
BL: My first job was with Elite Traveler® magazine. I graduated from Miami [University®] of Ohio two weeks before, got an apartment with one of my best friends, and was thrown in. The team was small for such a robust magazine, so I got to see how both the editorial and sales teams worked together. Having interned in public relations, it was interesting to see how the groundwork was laid.
From there, I worked with the PR powerhouse Gwen Wunderlich, helping build her fashion, beauty, and lifestyle public relations firm. That’s where I started representing some of our brands on air, acting as our in-house style expert.
Spotlyte: How did you transition in your career over the years?
BL: When I first started going on TV, I always had my main job. Instagram® and Facebook® were not what they are today. I would get up at 3:30 a.m. or 4 a.m., drive to regional networks in Connecticut and Philadelphia, go on-air at 7 a.m., take a quick picture, and drive back to New York to start a full day in PR. Sometimes I would be working until 1 a.m., if we had an event that night. I consumed lots of coffee.
My boss Gwen supported this, as we were able to get our clients on certain networks, and knew I would work overtime to get the other stuff on my plate done. If the clients were happy, we were happy. Many times, this also meant working on the weekend. I would craft my personal pitches late at night, but no one ever sees the work that goes into a four- or five-minute segment — they only see the shiny finished product.
Spotlyte: What was your first segment on your own?
BL: I will never forget it. It was News 12 ConnecticutTM, on a show called Pet TalkTM. We got Halloween pet costumes for dogs. I was wearing a flapper costume. It was on their Sunday program, and I took my cousin's dog, who is kind of violent sometimes, and did it. He was really good for me . . . and he peed on the green room floor.
Spotlyte: Who has been your biggest cheerleader throughout it all?
BL: Without my family, husband, and best friends, I honestly don’t know what I would do. My mom, Babs, is my best friend, therapist, mentor, my everything. I go to her for it all and am so grateful to have her.
Ryan, my husband, is one of the hardest working people I know, so he inspires me every day. He doesn’t have social media and works in finance, so he doesn’t really understand it all in terms of the imagery and fluffy stuff. Still, he is always behind what I do and urges me to work harder to achieve what I want — even when the clothes and samples take over our apartment most weeks.
Spotlyte: Who have been your greatest mentors?
BL: The woman that helped me get my first job, Linda McNicholas, has always been an amazing mentor to me. She has always been there for the tears, to support, and to cheer me on.
My neighbor and podcast co-host, Bevin Prince, has also become one of my more recent mentors. Bevin walked into my life at the exact time I needed it; it was almost serendipitous. From what started as many wine-filled, sushi night convos where she helped me sift through the mess of life and career stuff — she has always been someone I could be my true and total self with, without judgment.
Spotlyte: What is your podcast about?
BL: We took a lot of our conversations to our podcast Be My NeighborTM, which is centered around elevation through conversation. It’s a neighborly chat on the topics of relationships, fitness, and health, but also how people got started, and how they were broken down to build themselves back up again. There are a lot of just female entrepreneurial stories and how they started in the business.
Bevin and I both bonded over going into a lot of different auditions, rejection, and being constantly told no. She had grown up as an actress on the show One Tree Hill, and is now a highly polished SoulCycle® instructor in the city.
Spotlyte: You’re often credited as a style expert — do you have a favorite beauty icon?
BL: I fangirl over Jennifer Lopez every single day. It’s not always about what she wears — although her looks are stunning — but how she carries herself. She has created this niche with all of her businesses and just exudes confidence.
Spotlyte: What are three beauty rituals you conduct before on-air segments?
BL: I always try to do a mask the night before. Right now, I’m loving First Aid Beauty® Hello Fab® Ginger & Turmeric Vitamin C Jelly Mask. It keeps my skin bright and helps clear up redness.
I also try to stick to more cream and neutral shadows. It allows my eyes to pop a little bit more. I always wear eyeliner on the top and the bottom. Right now, I’m using Glossier® liner. The thing I should do is get more sleep, which never tends to happen the night before.
Spotlyte: Have any fellow on-air experts given you any beauty advice?
BL: Milly Almodovar is the guru when it comes to beauty advice and products. She’s also as real as they come. I love her product suggestions and always come to her when I’m in need. She's always offering her little tidbits on Instagram.
Spotlyte: What’s the best career advice you’ve received and who gave it to you?
BL: That one goes to my mom, Babs Levine. It applies to both career and life. She always says, “Put your head down and stay in your own lane. You can’t get caught up in what others are doing, as it will only hold you back.” This is easier said than done. To be completely transparent, I’ve had to mute others’ Instagram stories to not get caught up, or distracted, or down on myself for not doing more.
Spotlyte: What is your morning skincare routine?
BL: Recently, my skin went wild. I went from having perfect skin at my wedding to major breakouts, and it was hard. In the realm of life, it was not a big deal, but I was getting very caught up in it.
My good friend introduced me to Recherche Beauté, and my skin has been responding really well to it. I first use the Aura FlashTM Facial Treatment Wash & Masque. Then, I apply the Aura AbsolueTM Active Elixir Tonic — I never used to use a toner, and I got yelled at by a makeup artist because of it. Next, I use the Aura IVTM Vitamin Infusion Essence before applying Aura RadianceTM Active Elixir Serum — I love this serum. It has turmeric in it and I love the little sting it gives my skin. Lastly, I apply Aura SuprêmeTM Active Elixir Crème. It’s a really clean, sealing moisturizer. My skin always feels fresh when I put it on.
Spotlyte: What is your evening skincare routine?
BL: I repeat the morning process. If my skin is feeling dry, or if I’m traveling a lot that week, I sub in First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration as my moisturizer. I also exfoliate twice a week with DermAppea®l by SKINN® Thermo-Enzymatic Microdermabrasion Treatment.
Spotlyte: What do you use to take off all the makeup from a shoot?
BL: I have very sensitive skin and try to get my makeup off ASAP post-shoots. Between heavier makeup and the lights, I hate having the makeup sit on my skin. I always remove all makeup with Bioderma®, and follow-up with KNOURS.® (no-rinse) In-bed Cleansing Wipes, and wash my face with the Recherche Beauté regimen.
I try to stay pretty consistent and get scared to change it up!
Spotlyte: What’s in your makeup bag?
BL: My go-tos are my Chanel® Vitalumière® Moisture-Rich Radiance Sunscreen Fluid Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15 and Weleda Skin Food® to help smooth everything in. I also love Laura Geller® mascara and setting spray.
Spotlyte: What’s your stance on anti-aging?
BL: I am all for anything that will help prevent those pesky fine lines. Give me all the collagen! My mom and aunt are close to 60 and are blessed with amazing skin. I appreciate the beauty of aging well by treating yourself and your skin well.
Spotlyte: Who is your dermatologist?
BL: When my skin flared up a few weeks back, I visited my favorite dermatologist in the city, Dr. Diane Berson. She helped get me on a new skincare plan.
Spotlyte: Would you ever try medical aesthetics, like injectable wrinkle reducers?
BL: I'm definitely getting [a consultation for] them post-honeymoon in January. (We’re going to Singapore for New Year’s, Svengali, and Cambodia.) I’m going to [have someone] start looking at some of the lines in my forehead, 100 percent. My family and my husband are against it — but my husband’s lines don’t show much! Now that mine are there, I can see them. I definitely need to go [temporarily] take care of [their appearance], for sure.
Injectable wrinkle reducers are used to temporarily smooth the look of moderate to severe wrinkles in certain areas of the face such as the forehead, frown lines, and crow’s feet. They should not be used more frequently than every three months. Like any medical treatment, they have potential risks and side effects. Be sure to talk to a licensed provider to see if they’re right for you. Have more questions? Chat with our team of trained aesthetics specialists now
Spotlyte: What about other medical aesthetics treatments?
BL: About a month before my wedding, I also did a Clear + Brilliant® treatment at New Look New Life℠ Surgical Arts. This really helps to get the dead skin cells off your face, allowing new ones to resurface. There is also little downtime, which is an added plus! I’ve done two of these thus far, and am going to try and do one before the holidays.
As always, talk to your doctor before starting any new treatment.
Spotlyte: What beauty treatments do you get?
BL: I love Oasis Day Spa℠ in the city and have been going to one of their best specialists, Sandra Lakatos, for years for the Elemis® BioTechTM facial. This treatment has dramatically changed my skin! I try and go once a month.
Spotlyte: When you have limited time, what's your go-to for self-care?
BL: I try to workout three to four times each week, for at least 25 to 30 minutes. If I can’t do that, I at least try to eat more healthily. I also try to squeeze in a facial every month, or a Shape House℠ session every two weeks.
Spotlyte: What do you like to do in your spare time?
BL: When I can spend time with my husband, family, and friends, I’m the happiest — whether it’s going to dinner or out dancing, it’s the best. I also love to read and travel. If I can combine those things on a beach, I’m a happy girl.
Spotlyte: When do you feel your most beautiful?
BL: I feel the most beautiful when I’m fresh-faced, no makeup on, and having a good skin day. There is something I love about giving my skin the chance to breathe and not putting makeup on.
Spotlyte: What’s your mantra, and why is it important?
BL: There are a few mantras that I find myself repeating each month. The way my career has evolved thus far, I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and God has a plan. It kills me not to know the plan, but that’s how my brother and I were raised.
I will never forget when I heard Denzel Washington speak at my brother’s graduation commencement ceremony in 2011. He said, just “fall forward.” Even when you get knocked down, or something doesn’t go the way you want it to, you need to keep falling forward. That has really stuck within me over all these years.
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