I think I started biting my nails when I first realized I had something growing out of the top of my fingers. Or maybe it was after I stopped sucking my thumb. Thumb sucking: the gateway drug to biting.
I've stopped biting a few times here and there, to get a manicure or something (I got scolded when I first received a manicure because "Your nail too short!" she said, over and over again). It wasn't until a few months ago that I read a blog post that changed everything (language warning in that post, btw).
I decided to stop biting my nails not out of vanity of wanting pretty nails, but because I always had at least 2 or 3 nails that were in pain because I bit them too short. It would get worse if I didn't have much to do (if it was quiet at work or I wasn't doing anything with my hands while watching tv - hello knitting!).
After reading that post I decided screw it, I'm not going to have hurty fingers anymore, I'm going to stop biting them. I had no intention of painting my nails fun colors (I ditched painting my nails about 6 years ago when I was 19). I planned to buy a nail strengthener (I got Sally Hansen Hard As Nails), a nail file, and call it good.
Then I discovered cutepolish videos. And Colette's videos. Cutepolish designs were so simple! I could do that! I always thought it was either paint your nails a single color, or go to a salon and get your nails painted a single color, with maybe a flower on your big toe. Das it.
Sooo, I decided to still keep my nails on the "short" side (they're still pretty long to me) but long enough to where I can paint them without painting a bunch of skin at the top too. My nails are all janked up because some of them were gnawed on more than others, the white parts of my nails vary a lot. And some of them grow out straight while others are rounded. I decided to grow my nails out and clip them rather straight, and then round out the edges instead of keeping the whole nail round.
I still think keeping nails short (with no white) looks really good too. I'm not picky with nails. I didn't have a problem biting my cuticles (though they needed to be pushed back all the time in the beginning!).
This was the first time I gave myself a fun manicure after I quit the habit:
I'll probably post more when I take nicer photos of what I do with my nails, but that blog really helped me get the motivation to say "HEEECK YES I CAN DO THIS" and I wanted to share the love.