How To Quit Biting Your Nails

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I generally have good beauty practices. I always wear SPF, take off my makeup at night, and clean my brushes religiously. But, it's the real world, and no one's perfect. Here's my beauty confession: I'm a nail-biter. Whenever I'm anxious, nervous, or even bored, I go to town on a perfectly healthy nail—it's almost cruel! I've torn tips to the nub and ruined a perfectly good manicure subconsciously. Over the years, I've been perpetually frustrated at myself when I looked at my stubby and unhealthy nails, yet I couldn't stop! And it's not just me—this subliminal quirk plagues many people, even celebrity Beauties (see above).

It's hard to stop beauty patterns we've had for so many years—we are, after all, creatures of habit, right? That's why I resolved to suck it up and go cold turkey for my 2011 beauty resolution. It's been a bumpy journey (sometimes involving hairspray, cayenne pepper, and sock mittens), but I've been "bite-free" since April. I still get the occasional urge to rip a loose hangnail or a small tear, but I can safely say I'm on the path to long and strong tips! And if I can do it, anyone can. There are so many techniques to quit, but I found three ways that work for me—I hope they work for you too! If you're a nail-biter like me, what tricks do you use to cut the habit?

Keep The Polish On

There's nothing like a freshly lacquered manicure to help me curb the unnecessary gnawing. Who wants to ruin a perfectly good (and expensive) polish application? When I maintain my nails regularly, they look too pretty to bite. And since my nail beds are so weak from the biting, the nourishing base and top coats build up strength.

Moisturize and Smooth Daily

Hangnails and rough edges have more tear-appeal when they're peeling off the skin. I always moisturize my hands at least three times a day and push back my cuticles twice a week. You're less prone to picking when there's nothing to pick!

Sheer Willpower

Success comes with willpower and discipline. I had the right mindset and the determination to quit. Set mini-goals for yourself ("I'll stop for a week and see how my nails look!"), that way you won't feel discouraged if you slip. Be realistic and don't beat yourself up—giving up a serious habit takes patience and positivity.