Finding a great at-home manicure option is tricky. There are plenty of traditional nail polishes, but most of them contain dangerous ingredients and the polish doesn’t last. I found Olive & June nail polish last summer and I’ve been hooked. The long-wearing polish is safer, less time-consuming, and more affordable than a traditional manicure at a salon. See why Olive & June products are perfect for busy moms who want a salon-quality manicure without leaving the house.
This post is not sponsored however, I am an affiliate for Olive & June. Links in this post there may be affiliate links. All experiences and opinions are my own.
The Trouble with Traditional Salon Manicures
For several months I would go and get regular (not gel) manicures at a local nail salon. I loved having my cuticles taken care of and treating myself to fresh polish. I did not, however, love paying for a manicure that would only last a few days. I also refused to pay regularly for gel manicures that would damage my nails.
My regular manicures would look great for about 2 days then the chipping would begin. I noticed pretty regular chipping after day 2, big chips too. It was pretty disappointing since I paid about $15 for each mani. I knew I needed to find a better option.
When did Olive & June Start?
Olive & June began in 2013 in California. Sarah Gibson Tuttle is the founder. She created this unique polish formula and began using them in salons in California. She eventually expanded to e-commerce offerings so more people could enjoy at-home manis!
What Makes Olive & June Polish so Great?
My main reason for falling in love with Olive & June’s polish is that I’ve found the manicures to last much longer than other polishes I’ve tried in the past. I also haven’t had any nail damage from the polish (except for some minor staining when I used a super dark red color.)
Olive & June Polishes are very similar to gel polish in the way they wear. The polish can be easily removed with their handy Polish Remove Pots. One of my favorite features is the applicator brush. It is a more flat shape that makes it easy to put on even coats.
Olive & June is also known for its Poppy tool (see photo below). This little tool is handy (pardon the pun!) if you have trouble holding the nail polish brush. The shape makes it easy to hold and control the brush, especially when you are painting with your non-dominant hand.
Safer Polishes for Your At-Home Manicure
All of Olive & June’s polishes are Vegan and Cruelty-Free.
They are a more healthy polish option because they are free of 7 dangerous ingredients.
7 Potentially Dangerous Nail Polish Ingredients to Avoid
- Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) – Even though it is still legal in the US, DBP has been linked to reproductive issues and is banned in Europe. *
- Toluene – Toluene has been linked to issues affecting the nervous system with symptoms that include dizziness, headaches, nausea and eye irritation. Toluene has also been linked to birth defects and developmental problems in children whose mothers were exposed to the chemical during pregnancy. To date, toluene has also been banned by the European Union, but not by the United States. *
- Formaldehyde – Formaldehyde has been considered a carcinogen, linked to nasal and lung cancers, by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
- Formaldehyde resin * – A by-product of formaldehyde that can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions.
- Camphor, – This chemical sometimes triggers severe allergic reactions when applied. inhaled it, may cause dizziness, headache, and nausea. *
- Ethyl tosylamide – also banned in Europe due to its antibiotic properties and concern over antibiotic resistance. **
- Xylene – Allergen and possible carcinogen, according to research from the International Agency on Research For Cancer Scientific Publications Series**
My Introduction to Olive & June
I started to see rave reviews of Olive & June online in the early summer of 2021. I assumed that I was seeing all of these happy customers because they were all influencers who were earning a commission. I loved all of the creative manicures I saw and finally decided to bite the bullet and order the starter kit.
I ordered the Polish Mani System with 6 polishes. Below are the colors I picked
- CDJ – A cool neutral color
- JG – A deep berry red
- HJ – An inky navy blue
- OJBH – A shimmer gold
- SC – A deep bordeaux wine red
- OBVI – Gold sparkles – perfect for an accent nail!
Nail Care and Manicure Educational Videos
Olive & June offers several of educational videos. There are 3 levels, Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. They also host several life educational videos on their Instagram.
The first video I always recommend is the Mani 101 video. This teaches you the basics about the system and walks you through your first manicure using all of the tools in your kit.
What comes in the Olive & June Polish Mani System?
One of the best ways to get started with Olive & June is to get yourself a Mani System.
- Mani-perfecting CLEAN UP BRUSH
- Acetone-free POLISH REMOVER POT
- Dual-grit NAIL FILE
- Straight-edge NAIL CLIPPER
- Salon-quality NAIL BUFFER
- THE POPPY
- SUPER GLOSSY TOP COAT
- Award-winning CUTICLE SERUM
Plus, 1 or 6 long-lasting polish colors
Interested in saving 20% off your first set? Click HERE and use the promo code: HEYDONNA20 at checkout to save!
My Experience Applying Olive & June Polish
I’ve been painting my nails since I was a teen, so the process was pretty easy for me. One thing I noticed was how helpful it was to have a step-by-step process to actually take care of my nails and cuticles. This has made a big difference in the health and looks of my nails. I followed the nail care steps carefully to push back cuticles, file, and buff my nails so they were ready for polish.
Applying the nail polish went really smoothly. My first manicure was a red, SC, The color went on easily. I had to remember to keep my coats very thin and allow them to completely dry before doing the second coat. The nail polish brush made it easier to get even smooth coats. I topped each nail with Olive & June’s Super Glossy Top Coat. This is by far one of the best top coats I’ve ever used!
I was so impressed by how nice my nails looked. I was even more impressed with how long they looked nice.
I wore my first polish for 5 days without any chips! My dominant hand pointer and middle finger started to show normal wear first. I did reapply topcoat on day 3, which Olive & June recommends. I think this helped them to last longer, and it only took a few minutes.
Not every single Olive & June manicure I’ve done has been perfect. A few times my polish did not last as long as I had hoped.
A few times I skipped important steps or rushed my manicure. I had the most trouble when I didn’t let the coats dry for 5 minutes or I applied too thick of a first coat.
They really do recommend doing very thin layers. Once I got the hang of this the polish went on better and lasted much longer.
Another culprit for my polish chipping early was how hard I was on my nails. For months I didn’t protect my nails when I did dishes, finally I bought some nice rubber gloves and I can tell a huge difference! I try to always remember to use gloves when I’m doing dishes or cleaning around the house. It also keeps my hands from getting super dry!
Longest Lasting Olive & June Colors
There are a few specific colors that I have noticed seem to last longer than others. I’m not entirely sure why they last so long, it could be the formula or just my application process. These colors have consistently held up for at least 6 days with NO chips: Into the Trees, Social Studies, JG, Scattered Showers, Geometry, and Cozy up. I’ve heard from a few friends that they also noticed that these colors hold up exceptionally well.
Other Must-Have Olive & June Items
I have fallen in love with other Olive & June items.
- The Cuticle Serum Duo – This set of 2 little serum wands is so handy and I can see improvement in my cuticles after regularly using it for several week.
- Heel Balm – This is a new-to-me item and I’m in love! I have terribly dry heels! This balm is thick and super moisturizing. I put it on at night and my heels are so soft in the morning. I still have a long way to go to rehab my cracked heels but I really think this balm is helping. You can also get the Slumber Party Set which comes with the Heel Balm and a pair of ultra comfy socks. () –
- The Super Glossy Top Coat – I purchased several of these because I love it so much! It is the most glossy top coat I’ve ever used.
- Dry Drops – I’m impatient and these dry drops really speed up the drying time on your final coat of polish. I just put a small drop on each nail and gently rub it on.
If you love to have your nails painted but don’t want to spend the time or money to go to the salon, I hope you will give Olive & June a try. In my opinion, I think it’s well worthy of the hype!
Save 20% off your first Mani System by using my exclusive discount code: HEYDONNA20 at checkout.