An honest review on Olive & June...

Posted by Courtney Frye on

I recently caved on trying Olive & June nail polish, mostly because my bestie, Heather, has been using it for a while and her nails always looked super profesh from her at-home mani. 

Younger me used to paint my nails on the daily but once I "grew up" and had kids, who has time to wait on nails to dry?!? {PS I'm totally typing this post as I wait for my O&J mani to self-cure.}

The current me still loves a good polished nail but I'm one that hates to pay someone to do something I know I can do myself so I rarely go to a salon to get my nails done. And when I do, I fall in line with the popular acrylic nails and even the SNS dip but both leave my nails damaged and bruised because again, I hate paying the salon $10 to do something I can do at home...kinda!

Enter Olive & June! I've been following them for a few months, watching their tutorials (which are super helpful, btw) and analyzing their polish colors but never wanted to justify the price. Until I finally said WTH - why not!

I'm three manicures in and after posting a quick snippet in my insta-stories, several people messaged me for my thoughts as they, too, have debated trying it out.

So here's what I purchased and my honest opinion on the brand. You ready?!?

First, I'm an all or nothing kinda girl so I went with The Everything Box that included all the tools + gave me the option to choose my six colors. 

So let's talk about the tools...

They've literally thought of everything you'll need to perfect your at-home mani with this 14-piece set...

* The Nail Polish Remover Pot - Their polish comes off with such ease in this remover pot and do I dare say it gave me a sense of nostalgia thinking back to similar polish remover pots my mom had in the 90's! Pro: Works like a charm + it's acetone free!
* A Clean Up Brush - a great tool for wiping away polish outside of the nail for those of us who have a hard time of painting "in the lines." Pro: it comes in a slender tube and I stored mine in there to keep the bristles from bending. Con: The bristles still bent which made touching up my last manicure a little tricky. Easy Fix: Just buy a similar brush in the make-up isle at any store when you need to replace.
* Flat-edge Nail Clippers - something signature for O&J as they're firm believers in the straight edge trim. Their suggestion is cut 90%, file 10%. The straight edge clippers allow you to shape your nails as desired before you smooth the edges with the file. Pro: I've always used curved clippers but I'll admit I do like their method using the straight-edge ones.
* Dual Grit Nail File & Buffer Cube - two essentials for any at-home mani for shaping and smoothing! 
* The Poppy - Their signature polish bottle handle that is supposed to make painting your nails "easier & faster while giving you better control for even & steady strokes." Pro: They offer many short tutorials on their site on how to use the Poppy because it is a new and slightly foreign feel from just your regular ole bottle topper. Con: I cannot for the life of me get used to using this thing! I can't determine which side of the brush is the straight edge and for me, it's easier to use the regular bottle topper.
* Polish - The Everything Box allows you to choose 6 polishes. Pro: They have them organized by shade and level of "difficulty." By difficulty, I mean they separate them out as beginner, intermediate and advanced shades. If you're an avid at-home manicurist or consider yourself a pretty decent polisher, then pick and choose whatever colors you like regardless of if they are light or dark. For those that tend to be a little messier when painting, start with the lighter shades. Con: The polish itself can be very sheer and I, personally, find that three coats gets me that finished looked. It seems a little more tacky/sticky than some other brands but that could be that O&J uses a special 7-free formula that eliminates some chemicals found in other brands on the shelves so that's another Pro
* Top Coat - An essential for any at-home mani for that glossy look. They suggest that you re-apply this top coat every 2-3 days to keep your manicure looking fresh and longer lasting. Pro/Con: My first manicure lasted 2 days before a chip appeared and I followed their step-by-step guide to ensure my nails were free of any oils. My second manicure lasted a full 6 days before showing any wear and tear and I was much happier with those results!
* Nourishing Cuticle Serum w/ Cactus Flower - The one tool I didn't know I needed but absolutely love! I'm a horrible cuticle biter and hang-nail picker. But this little cuticle serum pen nourishes the skin around your nails to keep them looking healthy! Pro: When my nails are painted, I'm less likely to bite the skin around them. Adding this cuticle serum a few nights a week has really made a difference in the overall healthy look of my finger tips! Another Pro: It's not greasy and fragrance free. You can literally use it any time of day or night to show your cuticles some TLC. 

 Whew - that's a lot to digest so if you're still with me, you're a total ROCKSTAR and clearly a fan of posh polished nails like me!! 


 So let's wrap this up because by now, my nails have dried and I've got stuff to do.

Since The Everything Box let's you choose your own six colors, here's what I got and the names to go with each...

EC will for sure be my regular go-to with GH a close second. If you're looking for just a little something on your nails that can withstand the occasional wear and tear without screaming "there's a chip," these will be your bffs! JM is a bit bright for my fingertips but I love it on my toes! KMC was most definitely my most out-of-the-box shade but I specifically wanted at least one color that got me out of my comfort zone. Davis just picked out my current colors and chose JM + KMC in an alternating pattern. Talk about out of the box! But I did it and now I feel the need to offer a disclaimer to anyone who passes by that my 8 year old son chose my colors! JG is more pink than red but I wanted at least one classic bold color and this one did not disappoint! Finally, I've always loved a "greige" shade for fall and winter and AW was about as close as I could get to my favorite OPI, circa 2008, titled Commander in Chic. 

All in all I'm a fan. Not a super fan, but a fan! My biggest wish is that I could find this polish somewhere local instead of it being mail-order only. But if you ever find yourself out in California and in need of manicure, they have three salons where you can book an appointment with an O&J specialist!

So, did I nail it? My review, that is? For those who have seen this brand and been curious about it, I hope this helps. 

This post is in no way affiliated with the Olive & June brand. It's simply just something I purchased, used and liked! 

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  • Very thorough and honest. I’ve been tempted a few times but own probably 20 bottles of polish so can never convince myself. My nails hold polish well so I’m lucky. And I laughed about justifying your alternate manicure, you did with me lol 🧡

    Beverly on

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