Making the Ordinary, Extraordinary
I don`t know about you, but I love nails. They are the one piece of glam on a girl that can look perfect for a week and good enough far longer, as well as always available in the right size! I have wide feet, and shoe stores always annoy me because even though I have an average size 8 foot (American size eight, because I`m, you know, living there. And was born there. And a citizen here too, as a matter of fact!) but average length does not work when your feet are just a bit too wide. It also makes heels rather tippy, as I don`t do enough glorious shoe shopping to find a really cute pair that fits so I usually just stick with getting normal pinchy narrow ones. Oh well. That is my problem with putting up with unnecessary pain, not your issue.
The point is, when I look at nail polish or tools, it will always fit my nails. I know not everyone can say that, especially when Lee Redmond had her record-breaking examples. (sorry, but I couldn`t find a blog for her and was stuck just posting her Wikipedia page. Please feel free to correct me if I`m wrong!) I imagine it would have taken about half a bottle each time she painted them! I find that my nail polish disappeared after just a few applications when my nails were about an inch long.
It was very 80’s. Rather long ovals that the Frau calls talons and bright neon nail polishes were my go to style. But this year it is time to shake things up! So my new years resolution is sheer or nude colored nail polishes, and many times no nail polish! Heck, I’ll even go so far as to chop them off to a very short rounded square shape. It is time for change, so I will embrace it.
Any Robert Frost fans in the house? (Or apartment, because I don`t actually know where you live. It would be pretty creepy if I did, actually.)
Because I`m a recovered nail picker and biter, I can share some information with you on how to save your manicure. It takes a tiny bit of commitment, but it makes you feel really good even on days when your jeans are depressing, so I think it is totally worth it. And it makes you look more professional! I don`t know if it was movies with scandalous secretaries in the fifties that had blood-red nails, but to me nice nails are the epitome of work appropriate accessories. You can make them more modern by using nice neutral colors like greige or ecru, but the point still applies. Nails that look nice, look rather nice. Deep concept, I know :)
One important part of growing out your nails, is simply growing out your nails. There are ways to make that easier than just willpower! You use enough of that stuff as it is :) Discovery health has a cool top ten list of ways to cut back on nail-biting:
1. Wear fake nails- they don`t break well when you bite, they have the wrong texture, and plastic tastes bad.
2. Adopt a new habit I like the idea of nervous celery chewing, as it eases your urge to chew something and is a good source of veggies. Negative calories, check!
3. Use the buddy system it helped me stop because a friend kept up nail watch and poked me if I did any nail picking without realizing it. They also help you to feel a little bashful and try harder to not be a repeat offender!
4. relax! Most people bite their nails because they are stressed, but you know there are better ways to do that! Make a soothing playlist or fit in some yoga. If your work place doesn`t have a gym, you can go for a walk with a friend, or sneak into a wheelchair accessible bathroom stall* and do some careful stretches there. If you are fine having people see you bend and stretch, feel free to workout at your chair as well, or just spin around on your chair for a few seconds. That is fun and calming all at once!
5. Keep your nails groomed, so you don`t feel the need to drastically ‘fix’ them with your teeth or nails as tools. Or keep a nail file on hand so you can take care of such problems with the proper tools.
6. Keep some bitter apple, hot sauce, Purell, or other deterrent on those gems.
7. Distract yourself. This is much like the get a new habit idea, but it involves things like do ten squats at your desk or using a stress ball or fidget toys. I`m a huge fan of silly putty myself. I like popping the air bubbles :)
8. Find the reason why you bite, and fix that directly. Biting, like many bad habits, is just a symptom of a bigger problem. Even if you do stop biting your nails, without addressing the root cause you will still develop some other nasty habit.
9. Nail biting could be a sign that you are actually OCD. Look into that, and take any necessary changes, like visiting a therapy group or one on one sessions with a therapist.
10. Visualize the goal. Keep a picture of pretty nails on your cubicle. You could even make a goal idea board, using this post!
*You can use a bathroom stall if there is more than one available. Don`t hog the only space available, especially if you know of someone who is regularly in your building and needs to use it.
– Nails need lotion too. You may slather it up all over your hands religiously, but you probably skip your nails. Both your hair and nails are made of keratin, and both need moisturizing! I like Neutrogena`s Norwegian lotion for hands, and Badger`s cuticle cream for your nails and cuticles. I like to rub on a rather thick coat of it each night, and that is especially important when your nails are weak. Cuticle oil is something that usually works best on nails that are already rather healthy.
– Nails chip less easily when they have some nail polish on. If you don`t want to bring attention to your woeful digits yet, a nice layering of base coat, clear polish, and top coat will really add some strength. The key to this system, however, is to always have polish on. It will just chip the second you`ve waited too long to apply and most of the polish itself has worn off. A special strengthening polish will do wonders.
– Check your nutrients! Nails are made up of keratin, and need vitamin E and healthy oils to keep them strong!
Healthy sources of fat* can actually keep your nails, hair, and muscles strong and fabulous, and there are many sneaky ways to incorporate them. You can use flax oil as a salad dressing or flavored varieties in your Greek yoghurt. Coconut oil makes a yummy butter substitute, as mentioned in my mostly unhealthy pancake . I particularly like it in oatmeal, with some nuts and honey to round out the whole thing. You can stick chunks of avocado in your salads or slices on your turkey sandwitches, like this recipe at CleanandDelicious. There are really lots of things you can do!
*Discuss your diet with your doctor or a registered dietitian before committing to any diet changes. If you keep a food log for a few weeks or even a whole month, like the Lose it! app I`ve been using the last few weeks, you and your doctor can easily see where you need to make some changes.