Sunday, November 2, 2014

6 Month Blogversary & Breaking the Biting Habit Update

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Hi guys! It's my 6 month blogversary! I know that's not really a milestone people celebrate but I'm still excited for it. I haven't been able to post as much as I'd like the past two weeks due to different life issues and it makes me sad. I do try to keep updating on my Instagram so make sure you're following me there since it's the easiest way to keep up with me, especially when my schedule gets real busy. To celebrate my 6 months of blogging I have a Breaking the Biting Habit update, since that is the whole point of this blog in the 1st place. The picture above shows some of the progress through the months, since June last year, to May this year when I started the blog, to this morning. There's tons more after the break!

Let's start with the regular October Breaking the Biting Habit (which if you noticed, I actually skipped since it's technically November).

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Oct 2 Right Hand

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Oct 2 - Left Hand

At the beginning of October, things where good. My nails had finally grown out and I had removed the Orly Nail Repair Kit patches on all of them except my left hand pinky. And then...a hurricane watch/tropical storm warning happend.

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I've mentioned before that one of the things that triggers my anxiety is tropical storm systems. We got the warnings for what later became Hurricane Gonzalo and my amateur meteorology hobby had me checking radar and weather info 24/7 and I started freaking out. It was intensifying fast and it seemed to be headed straight for us. I bit of my nails on both hands due to the anxiety, but my swatching left hand suffered the most. I added some Orly Nail Repair Kit patches to the index and middle, and filed them round in order to salvage what I could. I was extremely disappointed and even though the storm became a mayor hurricane and end up missing us, I didn't feel like polishing my nails for days. 

I started an intense cuticle balm and hand lotion routine, slathering them on my hands as often as I could, constantly massaging my cuticles. I ended up applying some acrylic overlays on the shortest of the nails to protect them, I wore them for a week and then removed them. I used to do my own acrylics years ago, and still have all the materials, I do it by hand, no drills or extensive buffing, and I remove them by soaking them in acetone for a few minutes. Once the acrylics were out I had some length again, still short but not as nubby and I felt better about polishing them and making some nail art. I've posted several of the looks I did that week on Instagram already.

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Right hand.

Here we are today. On my right hand, my index finger has an Orly Nail Repair patch and my middle fingernail broke on both sides. That finger also had some very bad hangnails that I did my best to trim. I don't moisturize that hand a often and my nails are much shorter. I've read that this is common for bloggers, since we use our dominant hand more, it doesn't look as nice as our swatching. non-dominant hand.

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Left hand

My swatching left hand looks great, this is the longest they've been ever! I got Orly Nail Repair patches on all my nails except my middle and thumb. They keep peeling off on the sides, so I have to keep patching them up, it's very frustrating.

A word about my thumbs, they are bitten. Shame on me, I know, I find myself unconsciously biting them when I'm anxious and so my new goal for the next 6 months is to have my right hand and both thumbs match my left.

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What's my hand/nail care routine at the moment? It's pretty much the same as always. I added one new product which I love, Pretty & Polished Cranberry Sugar Scrub.

About every 3 days or so I do the following:
  1. Apply Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover on all nails, count to 15 and then starting on my pinky and working my way towards the thumb, I push them back and scrape of the excess with my orange wood cuticle sticks.
  2. I wash my hands with Pretty & Polished Cranberry Sugar Scrub. It has lots of oils and moisturizers and leaves my hands super soft.
  3. After my hands are dry I apply 1 coat of Orly Nailtrition, every so often I'll switch it for Orly Nail Defense. Apply nail polish and top coat, or another coat of Nailtrition if I'm going au naturel. 
  4. Once that's all dry, apply Indigo Bananas Cuticle Balm. I love this stuff and have several of them. 
Additionally, I apply Vaseline Essential Healing lotion (mixed with a few drops of Tea Tree Oil) every morning and night before bed on my hands, plus I'm constantly applying the cuticle balm. I have one on my desk, one next to my glider in Squish's room for when I'm nursing him, and one in my bedroom. I also have cuticle balm sticks in my purse, one from Reverie Nail Lacquer and one from Pretty & Polished, plus I have lotion in my car. It's honestly the constant and obsessive applying of lotion and balm that's made the biggest difference in my hands and nails. If you're having issues with dry, overgrown cuticles, and nails that won't grow, I highly recommend you give it a try.

That's it! These past 6 months of blogging really went by in a flash for me. What can you look forward to the next 6 months? More swatches and honest reviews, and tons more nail art. I'm committed to including at least one accent nail with every swatch. I have a small camera/phone tripod on it's way to me from China and once that arrives I plan on making short tutorials with pictures and maybe even videos. I also hope that it means I get to use my Nikon camera to bring you even higher quality, sharp, and clear pictures. (I tried to use it before but taking pictures without flash and no tripod causes them to come out blurry due to my hands shaking, it's a side effect of my asthma meds...yup, I'm asthmatic and take control meds every day.) Overall, I hope to continue to share my love of nail polish and work on not biting my nails anymore.

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