Beauty 101: Growing long beautiful nails

I am not one for bad habits, however my entire adult life I have struggled with one nasty one I just can’t seem to kick.

I am a chronic nail biter ūüė¶

And I don’t even know why! I don’t have excessive anxiety, I think it is a foul habit (hand to mouth = major germ exchange EW), and it is SO¬†embarrassing. I have tried so many different remedies, from homemade mixtures of hot peppers and vinegar, to store bought solutions, to having friends swat my hand every time I go to bite. I had a nice stint early last year where my nails grew so much that the lady at the salon had to cut them for the first time in my life. But soon after, work got stressful and the habit started up again.

I am making another attempt at stopping after my roommate challenged me to grow my nails out so she could give me a killer Coachella mani next month. So I have 4 weeks to shape up or ship out. But where do I start? Obviously, I have to stop biting. The quickest way for me to stop – historically speaking – is to make them look nice. The better they look, the less I fuss over them. It’s when they look uneven or raggedy to I start chewing. So, thanks to my roomie – who you may already know as FashionLush, but who ALSO is a contributing writer for Julep Blog – I have a boatload of tips on how to get long, beautiful nails.

1. Use acetone-free polish remover to prevent stripping your nails of all their essential oils. This makes a huge difference in not only the strength of your nails, but also prevents staining by lifting all that color junk.

2. Use cuticle oil DAILY! My nail lady gave me a bottle of some basic enriched cuticle oil she swears by, and I have been putting it on all the time. In the morning, in traffic, at night, at my desk… This helps me in a major way because I am always biting the skin around my nail beds. Cuticle oil is also a great moisturizer for the whole nail,¬†which will reduce the incidence of chipping, cracking, and splitting (WebMD).

3. Protect your nails from water, as they dry out the nail bed. When washing your hands, be sure to dry them thoroughly. While gardening, always use gloves. When you get out of the shower or ocean, use lotion right after.

4. Keep those nails painted at all times. This will not only lock in moisture, but should help for any of you other biters that need your nails to look pretty to keep them out of your mouth.

5. Trim your nails on the reg. Keeping them well cut will prevent cracking and breaking, which can lead to hangnails, ingrowns or biting.

6. Take Biotin! In several studies, researchers found that supplements of biotin Рa member of the vitamin B family Рincreased nail thickness and prevented splitting and breaking (WebMD). I have been taking Biotin for over a month and my nails are growing pretty fast, especially my toes.

7. Take care of yourself instead of over-manicuring at the salon. Many times, those who frequent the nail salon complain of dry, brittle nails or result in infection. Using your own tools that you can clean at home, and using products without heavy chemicals can be much easier on the hands and nails in the long run.

++Be sure to check out Erica & Julep‘s blogs to get more beauty tips from my pretty roomie!!++

4th of July mani by Erica for Julep

4th of July mani by Erica for Julep

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