Confessions of a nail-biter

I've heard that it takes 21 days to break a habit. I don't know if that's true, but after a full month of not biting my nails, I'd say I'm successfully "cured". I've been a nail-biter my entire life - a bad one. I would bite to the point of pain, and honestly never understood why I kept doing it. Having perfect nails was never a huge priority for me, but one day last month I decided to paint them... and then I decided why not try to stop biting? It wasn't a huge decision for me, but it just happened to fall at the right time. Once I got through a week, I was like, "I can do this!". So I did! It's not to say I haven't struggled with it, but it was relatively easy to stop. Now, I'm so in love with my new nails and how much they add to my outfits. Plus, they are pain-free now!

I tried to think of when and why I'd bite my nails crazily. Usually it was in a stressed frenzy when I was in over my head, or when I was scared or nervous like during a "nail-biter" movie or bored while waiting for someone or something. I realized those situations weren't going to go away, so I needed to try new things. The biggest thing that helped me was painting them almost every day. I don't like the taste of nail-polish, and just having them painted all the time was a constant reminder to not bite. I really enjoyed the process of watching my nails grow and cuticles heal, so that inspired me in itself!

For my nail painting process, here are a few essentials I use. I remove my nail polish with vitamin E polish remover. Add any nutrients you can, right? After the polish is off, I clean up my cuticles with a cuticle trimmer. This thing was so crazy to use at first. It straight up peels your cuticles off. I'd be tempted to bite if I had a hangnail, so trimming was essential. Afterwards, I'd file them down to an even shape on both hands. During the "growing out" process, I'd apply Sally Hansen's Hard as Nails before applying polish. After letting that fully dry, I'd apply a polish color. I have many favorite polishes but my staples have been Essie's Navigate her (the green pictured below), Lady Like and Sally Hansen's Complete Salon Manicure polishes in Kook-A-Mango and Commander in Chic.

An overview list of tips and tricks to help stop biting your nails:

  • Keep them painted and repaint often. This was my number one help in cracking the habit. Not only were they too pretty to bite, I hated the taste of polish. Plus, it was a constant reminder of my goal.
  • Treat yourself. Every week I was successful in not biting, I bought myself a new polish. After a month, reward yourself with a professional manicure. Give yourself fun rewards and incentives.
  • Moisturize daily. I was constantly lotioning up. Hangnails and rough skin have more appeal to bite and tear. Be sure to clean up and push back your cuticles too.
  • Mom's advice. She stopped biting her nails after someone told her a long time ago that worms grow under them. Haha! She also took gelatin and pre-natal vitamins to help with strength. I personally didn't do this, but it's a great tip if your nails are thinner or break easily!
  • Power through stressful situations. One of my biggest issues was biting when I was nervous or scared. When a situation arose, instead of biting, I would sit with my hands folded. It helped!
  • Will power. Stick with it, if you really want it! Set mini goals... like getting through a week. If you can make it a week, you'll be inspired by how pretty they look and most likely, you'll keep going. You can do it!

Makeup routine

I'm excited to share my everyday makeup routine with you guys tonight! I haven't done a post on my routine since I graduated college almost 3 years ago. My routine has definitely changed, and matured. I no longer use my hands to apply makeup, and I don't use spit to clean off mistakes. Haha! You can watch the old video for kicks and giggles, but if you're interested in my current routine... read below! I've picked up several tips and tricks over the past few years, but I'm definitely not a makeup guru. I stick to this routine 98% of the time. I've been experimenting a tiny bit more, but this is what I feel comfortable wearing most everyday.

I follow a pretty basic skincare routine at night and I don't do anything in the morning. First, I apply a coat of Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Primer. Then, I apply foundation. I upgraded to Make Up For Ever's Professional HD Foundation. A saleswoman recommended it (and helped me learn a few tricks) at Sephora one time and I've used it ever since. I use a foundation brush (see below) to apply it. I focus mostly under my eyes, nose, chin and forehead. Be sure to blend into your neck too so you don't have a noticeable line. 

Sephora saleswoman also told me to apply under-eye concealer after you've applied foundation. I don't have a huge problem with under-eye circles, especially since using Clinique's All About Eyes Cream, but I still like to cover up what is there. I use a smaller concealer brush to apply Make Up For Ever's Full Cover Extreme Camouflage Cream. I bought a tiny tube a year ago and I still have some left. It lasts forever!

I'm not a huge bronzer girl, or a fan of looking "tan" in general. I embrace pale with rosy cheeks. So I stray away from bronzer, but my skin needed something. I really like NYX Cosmetic's Illuminator in Chaotic. I use a giant powder brush to lightly apply this to my entire face for a flushed look. 

After getting an overall color to my face, I apply NYX Cosmetic's Powder Blush using a blush brush. I love rosy cheeks, so naturally their Rose Garden color worked really well for my skintone. I always start at the "apple" of my cheek and brush toward my temples for an even look on both sides. 

Being a naturally curly haired girl, I tend to also have wild eyebrows sometimes. I use my eyebrow brush every morning to tame them down a bit. I like this dual one as well, because it unclumps mascara on the other side.

One thing I'm new to recently is eyebrow pencils. Now that I've started using one, I don't know I ever didn't use one before! Seriously. I use NYX Cosmetic's Push-Up Bra for your Eyebrow pencil. It's a one color fits all, which I really like. I use the brow pencil throughout my eyebrows to give them an even look. I've been trying to tweeze and have my eyebrows waxed less for a more full look recently, and this pencil helps during the "growing out" stage. The other side is a highlighter which you can use right under the brow to push them up a bit.

I'm a huge fan of black liquid liner. I have been ever since I started this blog and I can't imagine not ever using it! I always go for the darkest black I can find. Normally I use Maybelline's Line Stiletto in Blackest Black. I still swear by this product. It's so easy to apply a great line and it stays on all day. I also tried NYX Cosmetic's The Curve which gives you a really nice ergonomic shape to easily apply a line. The only huge difference I noticed on this one is that you can apply a really thin line, which is nice for a different look. I usually like to wear a thicker line, so I'll apply this one twice. For mascara, I use Maybelline's Lash Stiletto in their blackest black.

I'm not a huge daily lipstick/gloss gal. Most days I'm reaching into my purse for my Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm. My lips get chapped so easily and this is a lifesaver. But when I do go for lipstick, my absolute favorite is Maybelline's Color Sensational Lipcolor, the lipsticks in the square red tubes. My three must-have colors are Very Cherry (bright red), Fuchsia Fever (bright pink) and Coral Crush (a perfect coral color). If I'm going to go lipstick, I'm going to go bold. If not, I'll go for a gloss. I really like Artistry's Lip Gloss in Fresh Pink from their new Enchanted Garden Collection.

That's my everyday makeup routine! It usually takes me about 10 minutes in the mornings, or 20 minutes if I'm really going all out for a night on the town. I hope this helped you in some way! I'm definitely getting more excited about makeup recently and am branching out a bit. I'll have a couple of fun spring makeup tutorials coming soon on the blog, so stay tuned!

Skincare routine

I've been getting skincare routine requests lately, so I thought I'd give you an updated look since my last post. I've pretty much stuck to the same routine. I'm a huge Clinique gal. To be honest, I've never had major issues with my skin. I mean, I get the occasional blemish, but I'm really lucky to have an overall clear complexion. My biggest problem is dry skin, especially with winters in Michigan. I swear all of the moisture is just sucked out as soon as December hits! But usually, I stick with a pretty basic and easy routine.

Clinique New Clarifying Lotion 2: This is my all-time favorite product. If I use this twice a day - once in the morning and once at night, my skin tone is much more even. It really does help prevent breakouts. Just use with a cotton ball and swipe over face and neck. This product is good for dry combination. There are others you can get for your specific skin type.

Clinique Liquid Facial Soap (Mild): I always use this at night before bed. This specific product is good for all skin types.

Clinique Acne Solutions Spot Healing Gel: I love this for when I do have a spot that I need to heal quickly. Usually if I put it on, I'll wake up the next morning to something more manageable I can cover with makeup.

Clinique Take The Day Off Makeup Remover: I absolutely love using this product for when I don't feel like washing my face before bed - ha! It quickly takes off makeup and I've never broken out from using it.

Hope that helps! I'll be posting on my makeup routine soon too!