Friday, 16 November 2012

How I Stopped Biting My Nails

I had been biting my nails for as a long as I can remember. I can never recall having lovely white tips and shiny nails as a child or teen. It's actually a really irritating habit and can be quite painful; no end of times I had been ripping away at my nails or skin and suddenly they had begun to bleed and sting. I was constantly berated by my Grandmother for it and she would smack my hand away whenever she saw me do it! Plus, I was always very aware that people could see my nails and I became paranoid that they were judging me because of it. "Was she nervous and liable to make mistakes?" "Did she have no self control?" "Did she just not care about her appearance?" None of these things were true about me. I simply found myself doing it every time I wasn't fully occupied. I would do it when I watched films or sat on the internet or when I was waiting for anything! It was unsanitary and unattractive.

So this year, I decided that being 19 was a ridiculous age to still be nibbling at my fingers, and more than anything I wanted to be able to have lovely long nails that I could file and paint.

1. I made sure to think about the bad things associated with nail biting (is there anything good?!?) and kept them in my mind whilst I went cold turkey.

2. I bought a great hand cream so that I could nourish my dry fingers and cuticles. 

Hand Food by Soap and Glory (Buy at Boots) was my choice. At £5.00 it was affordable but not so cheap that I could think about wasting it by not keeping up with moisturising.
But no matter how soft and lovely my hands were I just could not stop focussing on my nails. As soon as the tips started sprouting I kept unconsciously bringing them to my mouth and stopping myself as I noticed. (Disgusting I know...) So,

3. I bought a multi use nail block.

This six-sided battered-beauty came from Boots at a mere £2.50. 
For about a month I was not seen sitting still without this with me. Every time I got the urge to bite I would file, buff and shine my way to satisfaction. My nails gleamed. People would ask me if I had a clear varnish on. It was a great feeling. Seeing my nails growing and gleaming was so encouraging and I couldn't wait for when they had enough growth so that I could paint them!

4. Finally! I bought my very first nail polish, aged 19. It was Barry M's Coral and a Top and Bottom coat to go with it. 

 I spent the entire length of The Little Mermaid (very appropriate for the colour I thought) carefully applying my varnishes. I was thrilled with the result but it felt so strange having these bright orange/pink nails and I would keep noticing them when I was walking or reading etc. 

Once I could paint them it was so much easier to keep up with my new lifestyle choice. No longer being able to see the white tips stopped me thinking about biting them all together. At that point I was changing the colour every two or three days because as soon as it started to chip I would get the urge to bite again. Humans are so weird. 

This is not to say that I didn't ever slip up. I absolutely did and I felt so awful that it completely strengthened my resolve. 5 months later, I can happily go varnish free and it no longer bothers me. I officially destroyed a life long habit, and it feels great! 

Have you beaten this habit or are you still suffering with it? How did you stop?

To sign off I'll leave this list of celebrity nail biters for you to chew over. (Puntastic! I'm so ashamed haha)

David Beckham
Phil Collins
Uma Thurman
Britney Spears
Elijah Wood
Lindsay Lohan
Kylie Minogue
Bruce Springsteen
Lisa Marie Presley
Prince Harry
Eva Mendes
Tony Robbins

And many more!


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