corals + cognacs works with third-party affiliates and advertising companies to serve advertisers. These companies may use aggregated information (not including your name, address, email or telephone) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements about products and services that may be of interest to you. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, click here.
In addition, sometimes I'll share affiliate links of retailers that I personally support via Twitter or Facebook. If you click through an affiliate link when buying an item, I will be partially compensated for your purchase. You're under no obligation to click through via one of the links when shopping online, but, if you do, you'll be supporting my blog as well.
You, my readers, and overall editorial integrity are the two most important aspects of corals + cognacs. Know that I will always retain 100% control over the content on corals + cognacs, all opinions are that of my own, and that I will always disclose to you the items for which I have been paid and/or gifted.
Lastly, please note that the sentiments expressed on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent those of my employer. If you have any questions, I encourage you to contact me. Thanks again for reading corals + cognacs!
Hi, nice to meet you.
I'm Hallie, a Midwest native, New York City transplant and the mind behind corals + cognacs. If you're looking for an online destination for stylish inspiration and musings on Manhattan living, you've come to the right place.
I hope you enjoy reading corals + cognacs as much as I enjoy writing it.
FAQ //LOCATION: New York, New York •BY WAY OF: The Midwest (Cleveland/Chicago) •HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE? Attainable, trendy and fun. I’m constantly wearing unexpected pairings – like statement pumps and a graphic tee. •FAVORITE ITEM IN YOUR CLOSET? The vintage Gucci clutch I thrifted for $40. •ANY OBSESSIONS? I like my coffee black, my heels high and my martinis dirty. •GUILTY PLEASURES? Complex carbohydrates and shoe shopping -- both in excess. (And SoulCycle, as a result.)
ARE YOU A FULL-TIME BLOGGER? No, I work as a Development Manager and Contributing Editor at Glam.com. •WHY DID YOU START YOUR BLOG? I've spent nearly seven years on the corporate grind, where sartorial humor and an expertly crafted color-block can get lost in the boardroom. As a result, I decided to create a blog -- a space where I’d hoped my writing, styling and excessive shoe collection would be better comprehended. •WHAT’S IT ABOUT? Living stylish and spontaneously in New York City – and beyond. I aim to inspire others to have fun with fashion and to live lightheartedly •HOW’D YOU THINK OF THE NAME? To be honest, the name just came to me. I’m a big color-blocker and a sucker for alliteration in writing. It just fit. •WHAT’S THE CORRECT WAY TO WRITE IT? corals + cognacs.
HOW DO YOU PRONOUNCE IT? corals and cone-yaks. •WHAT KIND OF CAMERA DO YOU USE? A Canon T3i with a 50mm f/1.4 lens. •DON’T YOU FEEL WEIRD TAKING PHOTOS OF YOURSELF? Absolutely. Everyone looks at me like I’m insane – especially when it’s cold. Wouldn’t you? •DO YOU WORK WITH ADVERTISERS/SPONSORS? Yep! Shoot me an e-mail and let’s talk. •HOW ELSE CAN WE KEEP IN TOUCH? On Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
A few weeks ago, I saw an esthetician for the first time in, well, a very long time… My poor skin has been long-overdue for some TLC.
It takes awhile to find your go-to’s when you relocate, though; you know?
One of my favorite things about sitting for an hour-plus with any type of expert is that it’s an excuse to ask them all kinds of questions, and getting a facial is no exception. (Side-note, I went to Natalia at Channing’s Spa on Oak Street (in Chicago). She’s a gem – as is Cheryl who does the most amazing brows!)
If you’ve never had a facial, the extraction part can be a bit painful. (This is when they essentially pinch your pores to remove dirt, oils and the like.) I was doing my best not to wince as she was removing impurities from my chin, focusing instead on her verbal definition of “the easiest, best thing you can do for your skin at home – exfoliating.”
Since then, I’ve been doing my best to maintain that post-facial glow. At-home exfoliation is an important step in this process that many of us tend to overlook. But, I mean, where do you start? Product-wise, what’s worth your time and money?
In addition to my normal cleansing routine, I’ve been integrating Murad’s Skin Smoothing Polish cleanser – using it approximately three times per week. I have sensitive skin, so I need something that is gentle yet deeply exfoliating. This is an intense cleansing formula that helps to remove embedded impurities and relieve congested pores and blackheads. It also visibly tightens them and balances oil production, so your skin isn’t overly-oily. It makes your skin feel super-smooth, too.
In addition to a handful of good-for-you ingredients (jojoba beads to exfoliate, witch hazel as a stringent, omega-6 fatty acids), the Skin Smoothing Polish has pomegranate seed extract, which provides powerful antioxidants to prevent radical-free skin damage. Perfect for us gals (and guys) living in busy cities with free radicals and all those other gross air pollutants.
All-in-all, with the two or three times each week that I’ve been using Murad’s Pore Reform cleanser, I can honestly say I’ve noticed a difference in the size of my pores and the overall vibrancy of my skin.
As a side-note: Natalia also told me I only need to be washing my face once per day (with a cleanser – all other times with just water), which came as a surprise to me. This is largely due to the natural balancing or the oil productions in our skin.
The final step in my new skin care routine is to apply Murad’s Invisiblur Perfecting Shield – an all-in-one-type of product that “treats, blurs and protects.” It’s this awesome primer/treatment serum that has invisible sunscreen technology, so it protects your skin while combating signs of aging. (I’m almost 30, so these are both really important to me!) I don’t wear much make-up during the day due to SoulCycle, so a one-product-fits-all is a really good solution for me to even further simplify my beauty routine. The biggest difference I’ve noticed immediately is in the smoothness and texture of my skin, but the product is also said to diminish lines and wrinkles with continued use over time.
In addition, it doesn’t give you that weird forehead flash from photography, which is a personal pain-point. I have oily T-zones, and as you can see in the photo below, that’s a struggle for me!
All-in-all, I’ve been genuinely loving my new skin care routine — and mainly because it’s helped me maintain that radiant, post-facial glow. My only complaint is that I wish I’d tried the brand sooner.