I'm revamping the "State of my Nails" posts into a whole new feature called "Breaking the Biting Habit". (Thank you Kirby from The Mercurial Magpie for the name.) Since the point of this blog is to chronicle my efforts at breaking the nail biting habit, I'll be posting updates of my natural nails every few weeks, along with the products I'm using. But first, a little history...
Those were my nails a year ago. That picture was taken June 18, 2013. I was going to be Matron of Honor at my twin's wedding in a few weeks. That's the moment I decided to stop biting. It was hard, there were a lot of stressful moments where I chewed them off (like very stressful, serious family health, hospital stays stressful). Following the advice of some good friends, I started investing a little in myself, buying one bottle of nail polish every few weeks, to have something pretty to put on my nails, and to stop me from biting them. I started reading up on nail care and following nail polish blogs.
It's now a year later and I'm finally satisfied with my nails. I wished I had been brave enough to do the blog from the start but I was so ashamed of how they looked that I wanted them to be a little more even. They are still really short but I'm not embarrassed of my hands for the 1st time in my life. Don't they look great?
Here's what I've been using:
I switched a month ago to ORLY Nail Defense because I had been using Essie Grow Stronger for a year or so and hadn't seen dramatic results. I put the Nail Defense as a base coat every time I paint my nails (every other day usually). I also use Essie Apricot cuticle oil every day, several times a day.
This is my nail care routine. Every 3 days or so I file my nails with a crystal file from Sephora (I've read it's not the best, but it was cheap and better than the metal file I was using before). It's dramatically improved the edges of my nails, they don't split or peel as often. Then I use that yellow buffer to smooth the edges. It has a very fine grit, I can't remember the number, it's the finest one they sell at Sallys. After filing I use Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle remover (forgot to take a pic...oops), in the blue bottle. To be honest, it's not the best and I'd appreciate suggestions. So I put that on my cuticles and then push them back with the stick. I do cut off any small excess bits of dead skin but never the cuticle. It's rare that I need to trim anything now that I take care of them often. And that's basically it! After I do all that I'll put on the Nail Defense, put on some color, top coat, wait for it to dry, oil the cuticles and done!
I leave you with my before and after pic.