All posts by Kelly Palmer

Is your nail biting a nightmare?

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Nail biting (onychophagy) is a habit many would like to stop but a difficult one to break.

There are thousands of children and adults in the UK suffering this and according to American Psychiatric Association, nail biting is now recognised as a sub-group of OCD.

One of the first steps to quitting is recognising your trigger. Think about when you bite your nails. Is it when you’re anxious, bored, hungry or stressed? Knowing this and addressing it can be the first step to stopping.

I recently conducted some research on this subject, asking former nail biters to tell me their triggers and top tips for quitting which are listed below.

It’s a fact that due to constant stimulation, nail biters nails grow faster than non-biters so if you can keep your fingers out of your mouth long enough you’ll really notice them grow. The secret is then keeping them beautiful without eating them! According to the book ‘Psycho Cybernetics’ first published in the 1970’s, ‘it takes 21 days to break a habit’ so there’s hope!

Based on the results of my research, here are the top ways to put an end to your nail biting.

Book a manicure. A good, thorough manicure would involve tidying your nails, softening and cleaning up your cuticles, exfoliating and massaging your hands and arms and buffing your new nails to perfection. Treatments can be added to upgrade your manicure for a bespoke service. Make sure you go to a natural nail care specialist who can advise you on the best course of action and come up with a treatment plan

Paint them a colour Ok so they might look ridiculous at first but stay with me here! Psychologically, the brighter the colour of the nails, the less chance there is of you putting them in your mouth.

Grow one at a time if you have to. As a small child I was a nail biter. The promise of my first gold ring was the push I needed. I decided to only bite my thumb nail and eventually stopped that too. Allowing myself just 1 nail to nibble on was enough and eventually my bad habit was broken forever!

Foul tasting treatments All nail biters remember the taste of this stuff, but how many have actually tried Mustard on their nails?! Yes, mustard was mentioned several times from the contributors and it worked for them! Surely it’s worth a go? ( unless you LOVE the taste of mustard, like me!)

Regular gel polish/acrylic appointments While this worked for many, I would also imagine the urge to pick off your enhancements and causing horrendous damage to your nail plate) too tempting. The contributors said the ‘thickness’ of the gel polish and acrylic deterred them from biting.

Wearing a hair band to play with was also suggested by many of the army of ex-biters. Flicking and fiddling with a hair band around their wrist was the ultimate distraction for some.

So where do you go from here? These simple suggestions are from the very people who stopped biting their nails, so take note! Try one suggestion at a time, try them all, choose 2 at a time, whatever you like but give them a go – you have nothing to lose.

And if you manage to break the habit, get in touch. I’d love to see your results!

Good luck and much love,

Julie x

‘No gimmicks, no nonsense, just beautiful, bespoke treatments’

5 tips to grow your natural nails

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french manicure

Do you wish you had beautifully groomed nails?

Your nails say so much about you! We spend so much money and time on our hair, make up and clothes but often our hands and nails are neglected. Don’t let your digits let you down. Follow these simple tips to help grow and groom your nails

  • Choose the right file! Files come in a variety of grits (just like sandpaper) Minimise damage and over-filling by trimming your nails first with nail clippers and then filing the shape with the pale side of an emery board. For an oval nail, file from the side to middle. Never saw! Throw away that metal file you got in a Christmas cracker 20 years ago. It’ll shred through your nail and cause damage.
  • Wear rubber gloves especially for washing up or when using detergents. Modern cleaning products are far too strong for your natural nails to be immersed in. Protect them when doing ‘wet’ jobs. The secret here is to buy a size that fits and a pair for every room you’re likely to need them in (the kitchen and bathroom.)
  • Oil, oil, oil Did I mention oil? It helps keep the nails flexible which helps absorb shock. It’s great for your cuticles*, can help with peeling and will nourish your nails. Try solar oil or Dadi oil. They’re beautiful!
  • Try a nail treatment. We advise all our clients to wear a nail treatment specific to their problem. A beautiful treatment for post-gel or acrylics is Lavender Base by Bio Sculpture. Take a look at the OPI range too at have a plethora of fabulous treatment to keep your nails in check.
  • Look after those cuticles!That skin around the base of your nails (which isn’t actually cuticle but we’ll save that for later) has an important job to do. It keeps nasty germs from entering the ‘living’ part of your nail (the matrix) so it’s important to keep them supple and moistured. After soaking your nails in warm water, gently push back the cuticle* with an orangewood stick or cuticle pusher. Don’t be tempted to cut it off! There are lots of cuticle removers on the market but I suggest doing a trial nail first as many of these contain potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide which could cause an allergic reaction.

And there you have it. 5 simple tips to help keep your nails groomed. Ideally you should be visiting a reputable salon for professional manicures, but these are all easy things you can do at home to do help to keep your nails strong, tidy and ready for painting.

Love Julie x

* the true cuticle is a white substance on the nail plate that is often seen when the eponychium (that was previously thought to be cuticle) is pushed back.

Living with a skin condition

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img_4780-1.jpgThe first sign of psoriasis on my body was when I hit puberty. My mum took me to a dermatologist that first thought I had ringworm.

It spread like wildfire covering my elbows, knees and scalp. Like my changing body wasn’t enough to cope with I was now covered in silver scales and sore, red patches. Add to that the constant taunts from school kids and I felt pretty shit throughout my teenage years. Actually, often adults were the worst with their stares and grimacing.

Normal things like swimming and choosing an outfit to hide my scaly skin became a nightmare. People would glare, some would ask if I’d been burnt, literally hundreds would tell me their tales of someone they knew who had it and what they’d used to clear it up. Fast forward 35 years and I’ve had pretty much every topical treatment on the planet but now add to that the arthritis and rosacea that came to join the party! Oh the joys of auto-immune disease.

My nose is constantly red with rosacea. If one more person asks me if I’ve burnt it, I won’t be responsible for my actions. Some days (especially in winter) my face feels like it’s on fire if I even put moisturiser on it. Some days I can barely sit still because the arthritis burning deep in my hips hurts so much. Who would have thought my psoriasis, rosacea and arthritis could all be linked? But they are. So do you know what I do? I wear fabulous foundation to hide the redness (Clarins Everlasting foundation to be exact), take pain relief when I need to, ignore stupid comments and wear what the hell I like and it’s working a treat!

Sufferers – I share your pain!

Love Julie

No gimmicks, no nonsense, just beautiful, bespoke treatments.’