A 33-Year Old’s Journey to Stop Biting My Nails

It is embarrassing to admit, being a 33-year old mom, wife, and professional, that biting my nails is a habit I am still trying to kick. When someone bites their nails it is typically a sign of boredom, loneliness, nerves, hunger, or anxiety of some sort.

Personally, I have found I bite my nails when I am stressed or anxious, not even realizing I am doing it until I have bit my nails so far down that my fingers are in pain.

My, how I hate admitting that. On May 31, I vowed to stop biting my nails, once and for all.

How I Stopped Biting My Nails

I knew I needed more than just nail strengthener. There is no need in strengthening my nails if I was just going to bite them off. I needed a deterrent that would prevent me from biting them.

I Googled how to stop biting my nails, and the recurring theme was finding a polish that tastes so bad that when you would put your fingers to your mouth, you are disgusted with the taste and start associating biting your nails with a nasty taste.

My first try was amazing! I was nervous that I would have to go through a few different brands before I found one that worked. I ordered the Mavala Stop. The taste is absolutely appalling.

45-day nail transformation: Going from biting my nails, to manicured hands!

In putting this on my nails several times a week, I have not bit my nails since May 30, 2020. I have also realized how often I put my fingers in or around my mouth. Whether it is just sitting at my desk or licking something off my fingers (i.e., food). Every time my fingers touched my lips or went in or near my mouth, it was such a disgusting taste!

Investing in Your Nails: How this helps to stop biting your nails.

I wanted my nails to begin looking nice so that I would be proud in the way they look and would continue to be motivated to stop biting my nails, on top of being deterred by the taste.

The only nail polish I had was an old Essie pink and an OPI topcoat. You see, when you bite your nails all the time, why would you ever buy nail polish just for it to sit in your bathroom?

After several times of painting my nails with this old Essie/OPI combination and hating the way they looked, I decided that I would reward myself with nice new polish, after going several weeks without biting my nails.

So, I began pairing polished nails with the nasty Mavala polish. I am happy to say that I began to be proud of my nails and a lot less self conscious.

Taking the Time with Your Nails

Now that I am on my way to stopping the habit of biting my nails, I have been consistent in my routine of manicuring my nails and adding the Mavala polish. I have not decided when I will stop using that as I do not want to fall back into the habit of biting these nails that are starting to look, dare I say, normal.

Coming from someone who always hated painting her nails, I wanted to learn some tips and tricks that would make me excited to paint my nails and take some time for some self-care.

Through my trial and error, I have found a few things to do and things to avoid.

Buff your nail before applying polish.

This ensures you have a smooth surface for the polish to adhere to. Uneven surfaces can lead to cracks in the polish.

Use a base coat and topcoat.

This is my favorite tip. I can see a huge difference in my nails after utilizing the OPI base and topcoat. This will help prevent chipping or cracking. Base coat allows the polish to adhere to your nails. The topcoat is what seals it all in. Reapply topcoat every other day to prevent cracking.

Do not let your topcoat touch your cuticles.

I learned this lesson the hard way. I got sloppy when I applied the topcoat. Getting the topcoat on your cuticles can cause your polish to lift completely off your nail.

Paint thin coats.

Again, lesson learned the hard way. I would do these big globs of nail polish, only to find chipping and peeling later. The thinner the coats and the longer you let them dry in between coats, the longer the polish will last.

Do not shake the polish.

This was new to me (found on Google), and makes complete sense. Shaking leads to bubbles and bubbles lead to chipping.

Stick with the same brand.

When I first started this nail journey, I was using the Essie and OPI that I had. But then I splurged and bought the OPI base and topcoat, followed by the OPI nail polish. Well, duh, they are meant to be used together! After using all three from OPI, the difference was shocking!

Cuticle serum is your best friend.

Just like I use high quality skin care morning and night, I have started applying cuticle serum daily. This gives my nails the fresh “salon” look, but also has helped prevent me from picking at my polish. Plus, it is super hydrating for my fingers!


I am extremely happy to have finally tackled this awful nail biting habit that I have had since I was a child. The progress I have made is tremendous. I feel I am not out of the woods yet, but every day I am one step closer to never biting my nails again!

Kara Robinson
Kara was born in Florida, lived in Washington State and California as a Navy brat, and then settled in Jacksonville, Florida. That was until work moved her to Texas. Her (then) boyfriend followed her out, and there they got engaged, married, and welcomed their son, Mark, in 2016. Then Kara was a surrogate and welcomed her surro-baby in September 2019. Her favorite hobbies including finding adventures (aka free things to do) on weekends with her family around town, spending time at her parents in Oklahoma, fitness and working towards paying off their debt. You can read more about her family, fitness and financial freedom journey on her website - Taking KARA Myself.

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