Nail biters

Aside from my pizza addiction, one of the biggest longtime problems that I’ve battled with has been nail biting. I’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember – when I’m bored, nervous, anxious, tired, you name it. I tried to stop countless times starting in my teen years but would never go more than a few days without relapsing. I tried all the tricks in the book to help, including dipping my fingers in Tabasco sauce and using Thum, to no avail. Last June I read an article discussing the classification of nail biting as an obsessive compulsive disorder in DSM-5, the psychiatric bible. For some reason learning that nail biting was not just a gross habit and poor hygiene but an actual psychiatric disorder gave me the motivation I needed to stop for once and for all… almost. Although I’ve been extremely good about not biting, I have to admit that I’ve relapsed a few times including once during a particularly close Oakland A’s divisional series game.

What helps me the most when it comes to not biting is making sure that my nails are always painted. I think it works twofold – keeping my nails pretty keeps me motivated and painting them hides the length that I was (disgustingly) accustomed to biting off. Since I can’t afford a weekly manicure habit I realized that I had to learn how to paint them myself. This was something I’d purposely avoided doing for years because I was SO BAD at it. Seriously, it looked like I had let a kindergartner experiment with my nails. But in light of my new midyear resolution I decided to give it another shot, and then another, and another. And it turns out that practice made me MUCH better. Now I keep my nails painted about 90% of the time and I am constantly getting asked if I got them done!

As with everything else, I tend to steer towards bright colors when it comes to nail polish. Most of my favorite colors come from Essie, OPI, or Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Extreme Wear. I also recently discovered Zoya, which is not only eco-friendly (it omits 5 ingredients linked to toxicity) but also has amazing colors and stays on very well. As for topcoats, I’m partial to SecheVite’s Dry Fast Top Coat. It’s the number one seller on Amazon for a reason!


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