A couple years ago, I started getting gel manicures around once a month. I loved that my polish would stay chip-free for weeks, and more importantly, that I didn't have to go through the hassle of painting my own nails. But when the pandemic hit last March, going to the nail salon was no longer an option. If I wanted polished nails, I'd have to figure out how to do them myself.
After attempting (and failing) to paint my nails with the miscellaneous polishes I'd collected over the years, I started looking for other options. A quick Google search and a few minutes on Instagram pointed me toward Olive & June, a line of nail polish and tools that helps everyday people achieve salon-quality manis and pedis at home. It sounded like exactly what I needed.
I ordered the mani system, which comes with straight-edge nail clippers, a file, a buffer, a clean-up brush, a nail polish-remover pot, cuticle serum, up to six nail polishes, and the Poppy, a.k.a. the brand's signature polish handle that makes it easier to paint with your non-dominant hand. I must admit, receiving all these tools felt quite intimidating; but once I got the hang of it, I never looked back.
Shop now: $80; oliveandjune.com
My first manicure was not great. I applied too much polish, didn't let it dry in between coats, and just generally made a mess of my hands. But that's the beauty of Olive & June. It's not just a brand that wants to sell products. There are actual team members behind it who take the time every day to teach people like me how to paint correctly. I watched tons of mani 101 videos on the Olive & June Instagram page, and after months of practice, I'm not half bad.
Now, you're probably wondering what makes the polish and the tools so special. The long-lasting nail polish is made from a 7-free, vegan, and cruelty-free formula, and it has a wide brush that lets you cover your entire nail in only a couple strokes. Plus, the Poppy brush handle makes it way easier to stabilize your hand. And when you inevitably get polish on your skin, all you have to do is dip the clean-up brush into your remover pot and gently drag it along the edges of your nails to remove excess polish and get those salon-quality straight lines.
The Olive & June polish family now consists of over 60 colors thanks to the recent addition of the spring collection. Just last week, the brand launched six new shades — three bold and three neutral — to (hopefully) welcome in a new season.
Shop now: $56; oliveandjune.com
"The theme for this collection really started with us daydreaming about vacationing," Olive & June Founder and CEO Sarah Gibson Tuttle tells InStyle. "And feeling like, 'What would your nails look like in paradise?'"
In true O&J fashion, Gibson Tuttle wanted to make sure there was something for everyone in the collection, so there are also three understated tones. "Neutrals, for us, take on a different meaning than the standard baby pink," she explains. You'll find Cockatoo, a light purple with a hint of pink that Gibson Tuttle calls "lavender perfection," Angelfish, a pale sky blue, and Pink Sands, a glowy light pink.
If you, like me, become obsessed with everything Olive & June, there's one more thing you need to know about: the Olive You Club. For $30 a year, you get free shipping and 10 percent off on every order, early access to launches, membership in an (honestly popping) Facebook group, and surprise gifts.
One of my best friends and I joined the club together a few months ago, and it has undoubtedly become a source of happiness for us. We love the perks that come with it, but even more, we love the community of positive, nail-obsessed women that we're now a part of.
"Everyone who thought they could never paint their nails knows they can and is so excited and is able to have this joy every week," Gibson Tuttle says. And that's exactly how I feel. Olive & June has turned a seemingly impossible beauty routine into a weekly form of self-care. Shop the Olive & June spring collection now to experience your own nail paradise.