Does Olive & June Nail Polish Live Up to the Hype?

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Over the past few months I’ve been hearing a lot about Olive & June nail polish. The company was established in 2013, but I only just heard about it this year. And, for some reason, I heard about it a lot. Women kept raving about it and saying that it’s the best nail polish they’ve ever used, and that it lasted a long time. So I decided to see what all the fuss was about.

Here is my experience with Olive & June nail polish:

Olive & June’s claim is that, “We believe no matter who you are, where you live, what you do, or what you wear, you can have a perfect manicure that makes you feel like your best self.” Essentially, they want you to have that salon manicure feeling at home. How do they do that? 

First, they offer a full “Mani System” for purchase.

This system includes a “Poppy” (used to make it easier to hold the brush), cuticle serum, nail polish remover, cleanup brush, nail buffer, clippers and file, super glossy top coat, and their (no-chip) nail polish. If you get the kit with one color polish it costs $50. If you get it with six colors it costs $80. (Olive & June also offers a Pedi System, and a Complete System, which has both mani and pedi items).)

I don’t know about you, but as a busy mom working a full-time job, when I manage to find time to paint my nails, it’s usually just enough time to file them a bit and paint them. I wouldn’t use cuticle serum or a buffer, and I already own clippers, file, and remover. So for me, it made no sense to buy the whole system. So I just purchased a few individual colors. And was hoping that my $8.00 a bottle was going to be worth it. When I purchased my polish, they were having a special, so I was sent a Poppy for free. 

That pink thing is the Poppy. You take the large white cap off the polish, put the Poppy on the smaller top, and hold that to paint your nails.

Second, Olive & June offer online tutorials. 

If you look at their website, you will see that they offer “Olive University,” “Bootcamp,” and a “Masterclass.” Seeing how I’ve been doing my own nails since I was in Middle School, I opted not to participate in any of those. And again, I also don’t really have time for that. So I just looked over their general tips/directions and maintenance guidelines on their website. 

Here’s how my manicure went:

1. I followed their directions on how to do your manicure.

The only steps I did not follow were using the buffer and cuticle serum. Otherwise I followed these steps outlined on their website. I will say that I did like the brush a lot. It’s wider than other brands I’ve used, so it was easier to spread the polish onto my nail. As for the Poppy, I didn’t think it necessarily helped anything. I applied my polish both with and without it, and it really didn’t make much difference to me. 

2. I went about my normal routine each day.

This includes doing laundry, washing dishes, etc. All the things I’d do with my regular $4.00 a bottle brand of nail polish. For the first three days, my manicure was perfect. Then on day four, it looked like this: 

See that chip/wearing away on my middle finger?

Now, they do say on their site that the manicure should last about five days. However, they also say, “Aside from top coating every other day, try protecting your polish whenever your hands have do dirty – or not so dirty – work. Polish can chip from banging on your keyboard or while you’re doing the dishes. Take precautions if you know you’re going to put your polish in harm’s way.” So I feel like they are saying I need to wear gloves when washing dishes, or type on my keyboard extra carefully. Ummm…not gonna happen. But I was disappointed that my nails started to chip on day four. Especially because all the people who I’ve heard raving about Olive and June say that the polish lasts a long time. 

Below is what my nails looked like on day five.

Now, keep in mind, I did use top coat on days one and three, so I had been hoping it would last a bit longer than this.

Obviously not in good shape here.

To give you some perspective in comparing Olive & June ($8.00 a bottle) to my normal nail polish ($4.00 a bottle), here is a picture of my nails on day five with my normal polish:

As you can see, my nails looked better on day five with my cheaper polish than with Olive & June on day four. The only reason there is missing polish on my first finger is because I accidentally swiped a knife across it while cleaning shrimp for dinner.

My overall thoughts:

While Olive & June has some nice colors (and even nail art), and they offer a lot of information on how to get a great manicure at home, I don’t feel it’s worth the price. Yeah, the wide brush is nice, and makes it easier to apply, but why would I pay twice as much money for a polish that didn’t last any longer than my less expensive one? In fact, my manicure lasted longer with my normal polish that I get off the shelf at Walmart. 

So, for me, Olive & June nail polish just wasn’t worth the hype. 

Have you tried Olive & June? What do you think?

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Leah grew up in Western New York, lived in Chicago for 11 years, and now resides in South Carolina. She's very happy for the change in weather! Leah is happily married, and is a proud boy mom. She is a full time Middle School Theatre teacher. When she's not spending time with her family or working, Leah enjoys baking and reading. She is the creator and host of the podcast YA Book Chat, where she and her guests have fun chatting about their favorite book. Leah loves being a part of the Columbia Mom team, both as a contributing writer and Editor. Photo credit: Emily Ann Photography.

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