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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.
To kick off this week’s content, I’m sharing a beauty experiment that I’ve been doing for the last few weeks…
Thanks to my job in the fitness industry – coupled with a semi-recent cross-country move – I’ve gotten very good at simplifying my beauty routine. (Plus, who doesn’t love to de-clutter their bathroom cabinet?)
I was cleaning out my bathroom in my New York City apartment a few months ago, and what really astounded me is just how many beauty products I acquired over the span of my time there. Like, hoarder status. Anyone else with me on this?
You’ve undoubtedly read about oil-based beauty products in the last year (anyone else try oil pulling — once?), but there’s one in particular that’s proven to be a stand-out skin-saver among bloggers & beauty gurus alike: Argan oil.
Argan oil (often referred to as “liquid gold”) has become this beauty cure-all, as it’s this multi-tasking miracle that claims to combine the benefits of a moisturizer, softener, brightener and more – all-in-one. And you can use it on your hair, nails, body – anywhere, really.
… Say what, now? A single, simple magic ingredient that benefits practically any part of the body you put it on? Sounds too good to be true, so I decided to take one for the team and put the declaration to the test.
Of course, in my exploration of the product (slash before I lather it all over my face), I did some research up-front: 100% pure Argan oil is loaded with Vitamin E and essential fatty acids, so it has healing properties and conditioning benefits that improve your skin’s brightness, tone, texture, and elasticity. It’s extracted from the nut of the Argan tree, which can only be found in the Moroccan desert.
And with that, I was convinced. Bring on the two-week beauty experiment.
It retails for under $15 (it’s $13, here) — and the best part, in my opinion, is that there’s nothing in the bottle but 100% pure Argan oil in the bottle. No fillers, no fragrances, no preservatives. Nada. (Again, yaaas!)
Here’s how I’ve been using it over the past few weeks — and what results I’ve seen:
… As a facial moisturizer.
So, I’ve used Argan oil both during the day and at night, and I’ve found that I like it much better as a night treatment. After cleansing, I rub three small drops between my fingertips and onto my skin while it’s still a bit damp. The next morning’s result is dewy and moisturized-looking – and you really don’t even need an additional moisturizer. (I still use an anti-aging night cream, though.)
Over time, Argan oil is said to reduce the appearance of fine lines; most immediately, though, I can say it definitely brightens dull skin, giving you that younger-, youthful-looking glow without leaving a greasy feel or finish. (I have oily skin, too, so this was a concern of mine!)
I’ll probably start to use the product during the daytime come winter when my skin is on the drier side in an attempt to give it that lit-from-within glow.
… On my lips.
Why not, right? This actually worked really well to smooth and hydrate my lips after I’d applied a quick, exfoliating lip scrub. (Again, applied at night.) It’ll be a perfect, quick fix for chapped lips as the temps continue to cool.
… As an overnight treatment on my feet.
This is gross, but let’s be real: Feet need some TLC. I spend much of my day exercising, walking and on my feet in general, so I’m always looking for a solution to naturally moisturize dry, cracked heels. (During boot season/in the winter especially — I know you know this struggle.) Twice a week, I’ve been applying two or three drops of the oil on each heel and sleeping in fuzzy socks – and waking up with softer feet in the AM.
… As a cuticle oil.
Massaging a few drops of the Argan oil onto your cuticles softens the area and encourages nail growth, but the biggest benefit for time-starved me is that it seems to stretch my manicure a few extra days (three and counting – so far)!
… As a body lotion.
Not as an actual body lotion, but when applied in the shower on damp skin – the water helps to stretch it a bit. Also worth noting: I’ve read (/researched) that Argan oil helps diminish stretch marks on pregnant bellies, too.
… As a lotion booster.
While it work as a lotion (as mentioned above), I think it work must better as a lotion booster. Simply add a drop or two to your favorite body moisturizer (or facial moisturizer in place of using it like a serum, as mentinoed above). It’ll give it a nice “glowy” boost.
… For everyday hair styling.
Here’s where I pumped the breaks. For everyday styling, this one wasn’t for me. While the Argan oildid make my hair decidedly shiner, the end result was kinda piece-y – and not in a great way. I have fine hair, so my locks looked weighed down more than anything else.
If you have hair that’s thicker or coarser, though, this may work better for you. If you want to try it as a styling product, use two drops, rub your hands together and run your fingers through your hair to create shine and tame frizz. Stay away from your roots!
I haven’t had a chance yet, but I’m going to try Argan oil as a nightly conditioning/hair treatment this week.
In sum, here’s what I’ve found:
The product (Physicians Formula® Argan Wear™ Ultra-Nourishing Argan Oil) has done exactly what I’d hoped: Quenched my “blah” looking and simplified my beauty routine with some awesome, youthful, non-greasy benefits. It’s light, hydrating, all-natural and absorbs easily (anywhere on your body, as we’ve discussed) without feeling oily or looking slippery. It smells good, too — and as mentioned, there’s no added fragrance or fillers.
Another observation: I’ve been using the 1 oz. bottle for just over two weeks, and it’s apparent that a little bit goes a long way – which makes this head-to-toe beauty elixir a pretty cost-effective purchase. (It’s much more affordable than others that you’ll find on the market). If you’re looking to give your skin a “drink,” your lotion a boost, or your hair is on the dry side, I’d highly suggest picking up the product to do a little experimenting of your own. Perfect timing and all, with winter around the corner. (Ugh!)
In full disclosure, of course (as always): While Physicians Formula® initially reached out and asked if I’d like to try their product, I’m genuinely glad I did. I’ve been really happy with the all-over results I’ve been getting from consistent use of the product, so I’ll definitely be picking up another bottle on my next Target run.
What questions can I answer about Argan oil? Or have you used it in any other ways?
Thanks to Physicians Formula® for partnering on this post.