I have a confession. It’s not pretty, but I have been a nail-biter since I was about six-years-old. For twenty years I have been a victim of horrible short nails with painful hangnails that don’t look nice, and funnily enough they don’t taste too good either.
When I started blogging just over two years ago, I was still the hardcore nail-biter that I had always been, and then everything changed. For me, being able to grow my nails to a decent length has been the biggest benefit from being a beauty blogger. Of course, I’ve met some incredible people, but I’m no longer ashamed to show those people my hands, or should I say, my nails!
In the past, I’ve found a lot of write-ups about nail-biting that try to freak you out by going on about the hygienic side of things, or they try and promote those horrible tasting nail varnishes that apparently put you off biting your nails. Personally, I’m not convinced that that type of advice is really that helpful.
So, I wanted to share with you my tips, aimed at fellow nail-biters, for achieving beautiful nails:
Polish, Polish. Whilst your nails are short, wear a pale nail polish rather than a dark one. Darker shades tend to draw more attention to your hands, and for now, you probably don’t want that. Lighter shades, however, are more discreet. So, save your darker polishes for when your nails are a bit longer and neater.
You might wonder why I’m encouraging you to wear nail polish, but I always find that whenever I wear nail polish my nails tend to grow much more quickly. However, do remember to look after your nails; give them a break from polish every so often, and don’t forget to nourish and buff the surface regularly.
Strengthen. Instead of buying a nail polish that tastes bad, think about what your nails probably need right now. When you bite your nails, they become weak and brittle. This means that when they begin to grow, they are going to be more prone to breakages. For this reason, you should work at strengthening and nourishing your nails using a specialist strengthening and hardening polish. There are a lot of these types of polish on the market, and they can be picked up fairly cheaply. Another option is to buy colored nail polishes that come with added hardeners that protect your nails. They should tell you on the bottle if they have them.
Be Prepared. Always carry a nail file around with you, even if your nails are still fairly short, so that if you find yourself subconsciously gnawing on the corner of your nail, you just need to get your nail file out and smooth off the gnawed edge to get rid of the jagged edges.
This is beneficial in two ways:
1. It looks a little bit nicer if your nails have a (sort of) smooth and clean edge
2. You are ultimately removing further temptation to chew or pick at your nails.
Having a nail file with you at all times also helps for those annoying moments when you break or chip a nail, because a broken nail is just another huge temptation.
Glam it Up. Nail Art is the absolute secret to my No Nail Biting success. Nail Art is incredibly on-trend at the moment and thankfully it’s showing no sign of letting up, so why not give it a go. You don’t have to attempt any super-difficult pieces of art, just invest in a Nail Art Pen and dot or stripe to your nails delight! The trick here is that if your nails look genuinely pretty (and especially if people comment on them) then you’ll trick yourself into not wanting to ruin them. Hence you won’t bite them - well, you might, but it hopefully won’t be as often!
Blog It. Practically everyone has a blog, and if you don’t yet, now might just be the time to start. Dedicate yourself to posting at least once a week with an image of a Nail of the Day (NOTD) showing which nail polish you’ve been sporting, or even some Nail Art that you’ve tried. It doesn’t have to even resemble the work of a professional Nail Artist. The point is that it should inspire you to not bite your nails, because you need them to look good for next week’s blog post.
Be Kind. Most importantly, don’t beat yourself up if you do bite your nails. It is not the end of the world. Nail biting is a habit, which for many of us is really difficult to crack, so take baby steps and accept that you’re probably not going to stop overnight.
What little tricks do you use to try and curb your cravings for nails?
Kat is a freelance writer, who regularly contributes to MakeupMew.com. She believes that everyone is beautiful, and make up just helps to enhance that natural beauty. She also runs a beauty/lifestyle blog; Barefoot Girl.