nail biting be gone

Name a remedy, any remedy—I’ve tried it. Nothing can curtail my nearly 16-year nail-biting/-peeling habit.

Those foul-tasting polishes that promise to repel? Not so bad.

Nails slathered in Tabasco sauce? A success until I rubbed my eye.

Gum can be spit out after the flavor expires, and gloves—especially in unseasonable temps—are hastily removed. I've worn bright coral lipstick on the premise that its smearability will keep my fingers away from my lips. Alas, Clown Mouth is no deterrent.

I’m admittedly germaphobic, but the anxiety of contracting a long-dormant virus on public transportation has only amped up the routine.

I once asked my dentist how damaging my chronic chomping was. "Why, just this morning, I worked on someone who broke off a front tooth because of nail biting," he said. Scare tactic well played, sir, but this cautionary tale seemed a little too convenient.

Tricking possible paramours into hand holding (“You're doing me a huge favor; this habit has got to go”) and taking up cigarettes seem to be my remaining strategies. But in the name of self- and lung preservation, I've been on the hunt for more viable solutions. And I found a promising option.


DIY Technicolor Hair

I’ve never taken risks with my hair. I had the same bob for my first 18 years, and other than a few summertime spritzes of lemon juice, no color has touched my head.

A recent decision to get blunt bangs came after 18 months of frantically polling friends, a few canceled appointments, and more methodical research than I ever employed in any of my collegiate endeavors.

And, in a very Steel Magnolias parenthetical to my autobiography, my mother, my great aunt, and I all see the same trusted hairstylist, Miss Elizabeth (she attended my high school graduation and we exchange Christmas presents). So yeah, I’m a little wary of anything unfamiliar, and my threshold for change is limbo-to-the-ground low.

Before Technicolor strands hit the runway at New York Fashion Week, I had already been secretly stewing over livening up my coif with a brush or two of vibrant color. Some trusted friends insisted this look was best left to belligerent pop stars who are in expert hands and inquired if I was having an emotional crisis. But evidence was mounting—Chris Benz! Isaac Mizrahi’s poodles!—that I could pull off bright hues and not seem unreasonably outlandish.

Marc by Marc Jacobs Spring 2011 frizzy hair

Like unruly brows or an oily T zone, frizzy hair has a long-held place on beauty’s least wanted list. It doesn’t read sexy. It doesn’t seem chic. Instead, it’s at best offbeat and at worst unfashionable.

And given the above, I find it funny that the ever-irreverent Marc Jacobs didn’t adopt the look earlier.

Now, as I'm debating what to do with my hair for spring, I can't help but recall the outrageous, well-intended frizz on the girls at Marc by Marc Jacobs's Spring 2011 show.

The look was big, lush, and very Studio 54. And because the designer stood behind it, stylish types naturally reconsidered it.

For my generation of women who were weaned on John Frieda Frizz-Ease, the Marc Jacobs look is actually quite a scary concept. You see, for so long and for so many, frizzy hair was something meant to be tamed—specifically, burned, pulled and brushed into submission.

So to go the complete other extreme and have this big wreath of fuzzy, cotton candy–like hair … Well, there’s something about it that’s actually quite freeing.


Fresh Sugar Lip Polish

After watching films 10 hours a day for four days, I hadn't spent much time in the lounges on Main St. I finally had a few hours today to wander around but didn't really find much to excite me or add to my beauty ritual. Just as I was losing all hope, thinking there was nothing new to fawn over, I stumbled upon the Fresh Beauty Lounge.

It had a ton of great products and treatments, including one customized to winterize your skin. But the treatment I tried and loved was the Sugar Lip Experience featuring Fresh's new Sugar Lip Polish. It's only appropriate that the young woman running the lounge and helping me was named Rose.

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