Sunday, August 23, 2009


He told me he loved it when I scratched his back.

An old boyfriend from many moons back confessed he had a sweet spot for long nails. Freshly painted talons with an edge that could cut like a knife, he revealed that he loved when those nails dug into his skin during more amorous moments.

And that was when I resolved to do my best and avoid biting my ragged, flimsy nails.

I've always had a problem with nail biting. Even as a kid, I'd chew off my nails with reckless abandon (there was even a time when I was limber enough to bite off my toe nails. I know. Gross). My sister and I never fought fair, at least where nails were concerned. A scrawny seven years old to my more strapping 10, Brig had one thing going for her whenever we battled - tiny, little claws. Where my nails failed to match, I was able to respond with brute strength.

I guess cat fight is an appropriate euphemism.

Through the years, I have had little luck breaking my dirty habit. My nails always made their way to my mouth in times of stress and adversity. It didn't matter whether my crisis of the moment was borne out of professional challenges or personal conflict, I typically always responded with a good nail chewing.

That was up until two months ago.

The end of my nail biting didn't happen during an intentional effort. I've polished, filed and painted my nails in the past - all efforts that failed to stop my claw chomping. My attempts to use that horrible tasting nail polish were met with failure, too.

My nail biting ended a couple months ago with no effort. In fact, I didn't know it had stopped until I looked down at my hands and noticed my nails were long. Well, they extended just beyond the nail bed, which is long in my book.

I've always been envious of women with beautifully painted and shaped nails - not chicks whose hands scream acrylic, but women whose hands look feminine and polished.

Just over a week ago I was sent some hand and nail care products from a PR rep on behalf of Barielle Skin Care. It was perfect timing - I had some nice, longish nails that deserved maintenance.

I started with the Intensive Nail Renewal Oil - a clear, oily solution brushed on the nail and cuticle area. After about a week of treatment, my cuticles look clean and healthy, not dry and ragged like in days past.

I was also sent a Cuticle Replenisher pot made with mango butter. As soon as I opened the pot, I was struck by a scent that reminded me of a Lemondrop vodka shot. The product says its meant to help cuticles recover from everyday wear and tear, but I honestly think it works better as a lip balm. It might be a great thing to pop in your purse and to keep your cuticles in good shape while on the go, but mine seem to be pretty healthy thanks to the treatments from the renewal oil.

I've also been trying the Ultra Soft Hand Cream. Without a signature scent, the best thing about this hand lotion is that it has SPF 15. As a 30-something chick, I am very conscious of whether my skin is starting to surrender my youth.

The one Barielle product that has prompted tons of compliments? The nail polish. Shades by Barielle is a line of vibrant polish - I've been testing "Slate of Affairs," a blue-gray shade, and "Pin Up," a shiny cherry/scarlet.

Last Monday I had a meeting with my COO, and she was quick to admire my blueish nails, noting they looked fun and cool. I said I was grateful I can get away with something a little more edgy. Two days later I was rocking the bright red shade - it's a color that makes me feel very glamorous and sexy. I caught up with my dear friend, Bluegrass Brit, and she gushed about my nails, noting they were the first thing she noticed when she saw me.

I am loving my new, long nails.

The thing I like about them best? I'm growing and taking care of them for me, not a boyfriend who loves a little clawing.

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Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.


Unknown said...

What a nice blog you have..thanks for all this information

Unknown said...

I was all set to leave a comment stating that "it's not how long the nails are, it's how you use them," until I tried scratching my mosquito-bitten legs and feeling quite unsatisfied.

Yeah, (nail) size matters.

Great Post, Kate, you can take the smallest detail and turn it into something insightful and introspective.