Features + Saw It On Social

Saw It On Social: Olive & June Nail Kit

With the ongoing pandemic, many of us are searching for ways to get salon quality beauty services at home.  When it comes to nails, my feed was flooded with ads for the Olive & June nail kit.  But does it live up to the social media hype?

Olive & June started as an Instagram-ready nail salon in California in 2013, and quickly expanded into a line of products.  They advertise their nail kits as everything you need to get a professional-quality manicure at home.  And their polishes are free of seven of the most commonly used chemicals, vegan, and cruelty-free.

To test the Olive & June products, I ordered The Everything Box.  This box included six nail polishes selected from their color line, a top coat, nail files, clippers, cuticle oil, and polish remover.  It also included the plastic brush holder that they designed to steady your hand while painting, and a small brush used to clean polish out of tiny crevices with ease.

I decided to test out the products on myself and two of my friends — B and K, who are 8 and 10 years old — to see how good they really were.  Because if your allegedly long-lasting manicure can survive to elementary age girls, it can survive whatever my day throws at it.

The Polishes. The first thing that I noticed was how viscous, almost runny, the consistency of the nail polish is.  When painting it on, I was getting a lot more spread than usual.  The consistency combined with the extra-wide brush made more of a mess than I’m used to and resulted in more cleanup than usual.

Olive & June offers a limited number of colors in certain ranges — neutrals, darks, neon, pinks and reds, etc..  The colors were well-pigmented and the online swatches were close to what I received.  But most of the shades they offer were more pale and neutral than I would normally choose.

The Extras.  Olive & June’s claim to fame is ‘Poppy,’ a brush holder that is supposed to steady your hand for smoother, more even coverage and a faster manicure.  Personally, I found it hard to adjust to holding the large, spongy accessory.  Even after my third set of nails and toes, I still hadn’t adjusted.

I asked an adult friend to paint her nails as well, and she liked it better than I did.  She said painting with the Poppy felt more stable.  So your mileage may vary on whether the accessory is for you.

As for the other accessories, the buffing cube and nail files were nothing special.  The nail polish remover comes soaked into a large sponge, which made for less spillage.  And the small paintbrush made cleaning up small messes a breeze.  But thanks to the liquidy formula, I didn’t have small messes, I had big ones.

Durability. Other reviewers and bloggers have claimed that the Olive & June manicure will last 7+ days.  And the brand has recycled claims by The Cut and Marie Claire into its advertising so that they can market themselves as long-lasting without claiming to be long-lasting.

I followed their instructions for maximum durability — nail prep + 2-3 coats of polish + 5-10 minutes of dry time between each coat + top coat reapplication evert 2-3 days.

My pedicure lasted 8 days before the chipping began.  My manicure, however, never made it to the second top coat application.  And the girls?  The 10-year-old went to put on a pair of sneakers an hour after application and ruined a thumb nail.  The 8-year-old had better luck, her forefinger peeled off the next day in the shower.

So I cannot vouch for any claims that they Olive & June polishes will give you a manicure that lasts for a week.

Bottom Line.  The Olive & June Kit is more hype than salon-worthy help.  The colors are pretty, and the kits are perfectly branded and Instagram ready.  But I found the formula very runny and my manicure barely lasted the weekend.  I would recommend passing on this particular social media-touted product.

Instead, I would create my own manicure kit with a few inexpensive tools from Amazon.

Polish Remover. Replace the O&J nail polish remover with this Twist & Scrub formula from Cutex.  If you prefer a more natural product, this Ella + Mila remover has fewer harsh chemicals.

Remover Brush. This double-ended brush lets you remove polish from tiny spaces in a snap.

Nail Files. This buffer block and nail file set will probably last you the rest of your life.  It’s perfect for filing and shaping nails.

Cuticle Oil. OPI’s cuticle care pen is perfect for those who don’t understand why cuticle health is a big deal.  Just brush on the product and let it go to work.

Base and Top Coat. Olive and June’s polishes don’t utilize base coat, but I like a three-layer manicure for maximum adhesion.  On the pricey side, Deborah Lippmann’s Gel Lab polish kit is my favorite.  On the drugstore side, OPI Chip Skip and Seche Vite top coat will get the job done.

That is my own personal manicure kit.  Not need to spend $80 on a set that doesn’t really live up to expectations.  What are your must-have at-home nail care products?  Leave your suggestions in the comments.

As with all Saw It On Social posts, I purchased the Olive & June kit with my own money.  No gifts were requested or accepted.  No discount codes were used.  The products were tested by me over a one week period, and all opinions really are my own. 

{this post contains affiliate links that may generate commission for the author}

LEAVE A COMMENT

    21 comments

  1. Anna says:

    Spent time yesterday picking out colors for the box but didn’t push purchase – thanks for saving me the $$$.

    August 17, 2020/Reply
    • SuZie says:

      Me too! The ads have been all over my Instagram, so glad I didn’t spend the money.

      August 17, 2020/Reply
  2. E says:

    My formula:

    OPI Chip Skip
    OPI Natural Nail Base Coat
    2 coats OPI regular color
    OPI Top Coat
    OPI Drip dry drops

    My toes will last 3-4 weeks before chipping; my fingers will last typically 5-7 days with every other day application of top coat, assuming I am careful with them. I typically don’t do my fingernails because the keyboard, cooking, dishwashing, toddler wrangling and my personal general clumsiness are not conducive to lacquered nails, but I can count on one hand the number of times my toes have not been painted in the last two decades, so this routine is tried and tested.

    August 17, 2020/Reply
  3. Suzanne says:

    I have a few O&J polishes that I bought last year that I liked a lot at the time. I got a smooth application from them and my manicure lot longer than with other polishes. I did use a separate base coat but used their top coat.

    However, less than a year later the polishes totally changed consistency. They’re so chunky they’re almost unusable. I threw out the top coat. The others I can make work if I dilute them with a bit of remover, but they’re still not great.

    August 17, 2020/Reply
  4. Kim says:

    I only wear natural nails because of my work. This summer I found the ZOYA Naked Manicure Kit. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0759MCXW1/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    It’s amazing, and only$25.

    August 17, 2020/Reply
  5. Sarah says:

    Have had awesome luck with Static Nails polish (also a social media ad purchase). The nail polish lasts at least 5 days or more and my toes are currently on week 3. Will need to redo just because they have grown.

    August 17, 2020/Reply
  6. RR says:

    I’ve really enjoyed the O+J polishes. They do run toward lighter colors, but they have some really amazing neutrals. I bought the neutral kit, and it’s the best set of neutrals ever. The polishes do lend themselves to 3 thin coats vs. 2 thicker coats. I haven’t found the formula to be runnier than other polishes. It’s not my favorite polish (Essie wins that for me), but I really enjoy their product.

    August 17, 2020/Reply
  7. Katel says:

    I bought callus remover gel, a fresh bottle of top coat and polish drying drops to do at home pedicures during quarantine. Definitely difference makers from my previous attempts. I found that a slightly metallic polish is strangely forgiving if your application isn’t exact. As is glitter polish … which is a pain in the ass to remove!

    August 17, 2020/Reply
  8. Meryl L Weisman says:

    My must have nail products: Kiss brush on nail glue, kiss acrylic DIY kit. I throw out everything in the kit Except the powder! To repair a nail break: coat with brush on nail glue, dip into powder for one minute. Brush excess powder into jar. Use buffing blocks to smooth out repair and polish. DONE. IMHO best polish available is Sally Hansen Insta Dry. My pedi is 3 weeks and perfect. My mani is good for 10 days to 2 weeks. ALLWAYS START WITH CLEAN NAIL BEDS, USE ALCOHOL WIPE!

    August 17, 2020/Reply
  9. Roons says:

    As someone who has never been able to do her own nails, I found the poppy to be really great and helped me learn how to apply the polish consistently and slowly…. maybe its better for total rookies like me.
    I’m in agreement, there are better polishes out there. I picked up the poppy at my local Target for $16 and found it worth the investment. Hope that helps.

    August 17, 2020/Reply
  10. MOnica T says:

    Thanks for the pedicure kit recommendations, mine needs a refresh as my daughter and I like to do ours together and I still have everything thrown in an old shoe box!

    August 17, 2020/Reply
  11. Nicole Stephens says:

    I just picked up two new polish colors from Pear Nova. It is owned by a women of color out of Chicago too! I’ve only used their lacquers, not the gels, and and still using my old CVS top coat; but, so far so good! I am coming up on a week with their “Thick Dip & What Not” on my fingers.

    https://www.pearnova.com

    August 17, 2020/Reply
  12. R says:

    I LOVE my O&J! It takes a little longer to dry but once it’s locked in..it lasts forever. I wipe my nails down with ZOYA polish remove, used my Nails INC basecoat, put two coats of O&J on (making sure to polish the tip of my nails too!), let dry, then slap on the O&J top coat…and am good for at least the next week!

    My OPI and Essie gels don’t last anywhere near as long, and I haven’t found a better substitute (yet). To your point about the poppy, their buff, and their brush– the tools are nothing to write home about but I can’t get enough of their polish!

    August 17, 2020/Reply
    • Joy says:

      I also love my Olivia and June set! I was gifted one for my birthday and have only had good results. I find the poppy much easier to work with and the polishes go on much smoother than Essie or OPI. It does take a while to dry though. I can also say that my mani has lasted a full week. I tend to use my hands a lot for typing, cleaning, etc, and the polish hasn’t chipped until well into 6 days.

      August 18, 2020/Reply
  13. BN says:

    I second Seche Vite’s miracle powers! Also, thank you for the remover brush recommendation. I have been wanting one for so long but I could never tell which ones were any good.

    August 17, 2020/Reply
  14. Jes says:

    I have almost bought the Olive and June kit three times – thanks for doing this one! Just bought a few of the items you posted instead.

    August 18, 2020/Reply
  15. stEPH says:

    THANK YOU for this honest review. I’ve been thinking about jumping on the O&J bandwagon for a while, and couldn’t justify the price. Will be sticking with my OPI & Seche Vite at home, and I also second the rec from another commenter to use OPI Drip Dry drops. Dramatically reduces dry time and chance of ruining your freshly-painted nails.

    August 18, 2020/Reply
  16. G says:

    I never got the hang of painting my nails so started using nail strips – Dashing Diva has been super easy to apply and remove (peels off with nail polish remover) and lasted for 2 weeks. I used to use Sally Hansen and Incoco but they have been hard to find. Even if I could find them, will likely stay with Dashing Diva for its staying power and ease of removal.

    August 19, 2020/Reply
  17. Samantha says:

    Thank you for your review! I’m a big fan of Palate Polish. Their colors are great and the names of their polishes are fun. 🙂 http://www.palatepolish.com

    August 19, 2020/Reply
  18. Anna says:

    My number one tool? A really good pair of dish washing gloves. That’s where my nail polish chips the fastest. That said, I haven’t painted my nails since before covid demanded compulsive hand washing, so not sure how well they’ll hold up now.

    August 19, 2020/Reply
  19. Jill says:

    Thank you for this. I don’t polish my fingernails but swear by Sally Hansen Insta Dry for my toes. The classic red is perfect. Goes on well and wears like iron. A bargain. Maybe I’ll try it on my fingernails sometime. 🙂

    August 19, 2020/Reply

contact the edit

For reader queries and PR inquiries, please send over an email.