This honest review of the Olive & June Mani System is for those who are struggling to achieve the perfect at-home manicure and/or want to gift the perfect at-home manicure (because sharing is caring!)
First, I answer frequently asked questions about Olive & June, then I provide a review of the Olive & June Mani System and its component parts, and finally, I discuss a few “add on” products I have been using to get the perfect at-home manicure.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. Olive & June nail polish is cruelty free.
Yes. Olive & June nail polish is vegan.
Olive & June nail polish is “7 free,” meaning it is formulated without Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde resin, Camphor, Ethyl tosylamide and Xylene.
Yes. Olive & June is woman-owned. Olive & June was founded in 2013 by Sarah Gibson Tuttle in Beverly Hills, California. Her goal is to elevate the salon experience, giving women personal attention and luxury service, but at an approachable price.
From a cost perspective, the Olive & June Mani System gives you several times the number of manicures you can get in a salon.
From a value perspective, in my opinion, the Olive & June Mani System delivers on its promises and has given me the best products I have ever used for creating an at-home manicure.
Review of Olive & June Mani System
The Olive & June Mani System promises:
All the tools you need for salon-perfect nails at home.
And it made my list of Favorite Things of 2020!
Priced at just $50 (with one nail polish) or $80 (with 6 nail polishes) at the time of posting, the Olive & June Mani System also includes:
- cuticle serum
- super glossy top coat
- nail polish remover pot
- clean up brush
- nail buffer
- nail clippers and
- nail file.
I review all of these products below!
Olive & June vs. Competitors
Before I review in-depth my thoughts on each component part, though, I would like to note other products I have unsuccessfully tried over the years in my attempt to attain the perfect at-home manicure:
- Salon brand products (my mom is in the business)
- At-home gel manicure kit with UV light
- So-called “holy grail” topcoats
- Press on nails
- Nail “wraps”
- Clear nail “glow” (Note: I do love this particular product, but I dislike that it’s not part of a system, as I now believe quality polish is only one part of the perfect manicure. I still use it occasionally with the Olive & June Mani System.)
I’ve always been a person who did my nails once a week and, until I got engaged in 2018, I just accepted that my nails would quickly chip and worsen as each week went on.
However, my now-husband proposed with his grandmother’s diamond ring and I felt like I owed it to her to make the ring look its best on my hand. I bit the bullet and began getting regular gel manicures at the salon … until the Coronavirus pandemic hit.
Never one to shy away from trying new things I purchased the Olive & June Mani System and have been thrilled with the results! I have no plans to return to the salon based on the quality of this system as well as my newfound joy for performing the steps recommended to create the perfect manicure.
Yes, it’s important to note that the perfect at-home manicure is a mixture of both quality ingredients and taking the time to “self-care” the right way. The Olive & June Mani System comes with instructions, and Olive & June’s website and social media have several learning tools as well.
Pedicure Kit: And if you are interested in the Olive & June Pedicure Kit too, you can check out my full review of the Olive & June Pedicure Kit.
With all that being said, let’s dive into a review of the Olive & June Mani System and its component parts.
Review of Component Parts of the Olive & June Mani System
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Cost: With the Olive & June Mani System, you can choose one nail polish ($50 for the whole kit) or six nail polishes ($80 for the whole kit). You can also let Olive & June select six colors for you with their seasonal themed kits ($80).
As noted earlier, Olive & June nail polish is vegan, cruelty-free and “7 free” (free from 7 toxic ingredients). The formula is advertised as a salon-quality, long-lasting proprietary one.
To date, I have the following shades:
- CDJ: creamy greige (My top pick)
- GH: baby pink (My top pick)
- HZ: dusty rose
- JG: rich berry
- JJ: cinnamon brown
- SC: deep bordeaux
- TT: pastel lavender
I have been most impressed by the “creamy” lighter shades (i.e., CDJ, GH) to date. I’ve always loved these neutral shades but struggled to find ones that were opaque and non-streaky, and that didn’t require several coats to achieve the right look. Olive & June’s versions are naturally thick, glossy and opaque without the added work, and they appear the most professional in my opinion.
I noticed the brush has a very natural, wide, fan-like shape. Olive & June really excels at these small details. Our nails are rounded at the base, so why aren’t most polish brushes? The large fan also helps you cover more area in fewer strokes, which helps maintain the longevity of your manicure.
I have found a few of the other shades, such as the red “SC” shade, to be “just ok.” It’s not as thick, opaque or glossy, which, in my opinion, is what really gives the salon look.
So, I personally recommend the creamy neutrals most highly.
I also note that Olive & June’s nail polish chips less than ANY brand I have used, and when it does chip, it’s usually very minimal at the edges, where I struggle to “cap” the edges of my short nails with nail polish, as recommended.
I start to notice small chips around days 3-5, but I do think if I was capable of “capping” it would last longer. Regardless, I do still get about a week of a “passable” manicure out of this nail polish, meaning that only I can really notice the small imperfections.
I have NEVER experienced that type of longevity or minor imperfections from an at-home manicure before. Usually, I notice chips on days 1-2 and they become pretty major by days 4-5.
So, all in all, I am VERY happy with Olive & June nail polish.
Allure Best of Beauty Award Winner
Cuticle serum is the real star of the Olive & June Mani System. It has officially cured my life long dry, cracked, painful cuticles. I would easily describe the cuticle serum as a “holy grail” product — a title I would give to only about a handful of products I use. To me, “holy grail” means absolutely nothing else compares, and I am not willing to use something else in its place.
I’ve tried several other balms and oils over the years (including argan oil directly from my father-in-law’s trip to Morocco). They have all only provided about 1-2 days of relief, whereas Olive & June’s cuticle serum provides up to about a week, when I re-do my manicure, and it also really helps my skin maintain that manicured, salon look.
Like Olive & June nail polish, it’s vegan and cruelty-free. It’s quick and easy to apply, lightweight and not greasy at all. It’s truly hard to believe how well it works!
The cuticle serum is formulated with several natural oils (avocado, apricot, jojoba) and cactus flower extract, but if you ask me, it may as well be formulated with liquid gold. This product is a STAR.
My only complaint is that it’s really hard to tell how much you have left in the twist-up applicator. I would love a see-through applicator.
Super Glossy Top Coat
Olive & June’s super glossy topcoat is easy to use and definitely helps maintain the longevity of your manicure more than other top coats I have used, especially if you use it every few days, as recommended.
I don’t have much else to say about it, but it’s a crucial step in the perfect at-home mani with the Olive & June Mani System.
Nail Polish Remover Pot
Allure Best of Beauty Award Winner
I’m a huge fan of the nail polish remover pot in the Olive & June Mani System. It makes the nail polish removal process an absolute breeze. I have been so used to rubbing away forever with cotton balls, which also often leaves behind a residue that sticks to your nails and weakens the longevity of your manicure (as well as making it look less professional).
The nail polish remover pot has a soft foam sponge center and an odorless, gentle and effective non-acetone formula. This is one more product that Olive & June just gets right.
Stick your finger in the pot, swirl it around 3-5 times, and when you pull it out, it’s completely clean and doesn’t look or feel stripped (I do notice a difference). The entire process of removing polish from all nails takes about 30 seconds to one minute. EASY PEASY.
Clean Up Brush
The clean-up brush is the one component of the Olive & June Mani System that I could live with or without. It’s definitely well designed to really get into the edges of your nail and create perfectly straight lines and/or touch up loose ends, but I don’t see it as essential to the system and, for real blunders, I still prefer a Q tip that’s been dipped into nail polish remover.
The poppy is such a unique addition to the kit, and a review of the Olive & June Mani System wouldn’t be complete without talking about it!
It’s a patented disc that slides rights on top of any nail polish bottle that has an inner cap like Olive & June’s, and it simply gives you a better grip for applying nail polish, especially with your non-dominant hand.
Why didn’t anyone think of this sooner?! The quality of the material and design exceeded my expectations, and the Poppy definitely helps amateurs like me paint more smoothly.
While a nail buffer is not a novel product, I will note that I was extremely happy with the one in the Olive & June Mani System. It was of a much higher quality than the name brand one I had been using, and it gave better results. Prepping your nails is the heart of creating a long-lasting manicure, so the value of this nail buffer is not lost on me and an integral part of this review of the Olive & June Mani System.
Again, nail clippers are just another essential product we are all accustomed to using. However, I do note that the one that is part of the Olive & June Mani System felt especially sharp and sturdy compared to others I have used, and I appreciate that the straight edge allows you to create any shape. It’s all about the little details with Olive & June, and I definitely notice it!
Another simple product, but I absolutely love the nail file that comes in the Olive & June Mani System. It’s so much more sturdy and effective than others I have used. I can’t imagine using any other nail file now.
Lastly, the Olive & June Mani System comes with a pouch to hold all of the supplies. It’s not the best or the worst quality. It’s nice to have, although I personally already have a bin for holding my supplies. I may use it for travel or something else, but you may find it to be a nice added bonus!
Add Ons to the Olive & June Mani System
While my review of the Olive & June Mani System is now complete, I wanted to highlight a few add-on products I purchased and have been using along with the system.
Dry drops are the newest product in Olive & June’s arsenal, and I purchased them because, quite frankly, I stink at waiting for my manicure to fully dry! I’m always multitasking and moving from task to task, so I thought it was worthwhile to take this extra step to protect my work.
Dry drops are vegan and cruelty-free, and they work in conjunction with the super-glossy top coat. Squeeze 1-2 drops and your polish is dry to the touch in 80 seconds and completely dry in half the time. I found the bottle to be difficult to squeeze just 1-2 drops, but my nails dried almost immediately. That’s a “win” if you ask me!
I purchased Olive & June’s hand serum because it didn’t make sense to me to work so hard each week on my nails and the skin adjacent to them, but not the rest of my hands.
The hand serum is vegan and cruelty-free, with cactus flower (like the popular, award-winning cuticle serum), fruit extracts with AHAs (exfoliating acids) to gently exfoliate and brighten, and hyaluronic acid to help lock in moisture and plump the skin. Fruit extracts and hyaluronic acid are some of my favorite skin boosters that really deliver results, so I felt confident purchasing this product.
It’s also fast-absorbing, lightweight, fragrance-free and not greasy. I LOVE the lightweight and non-greasy feel of this particular product It’s the first-hand cream that has ever felt “not icky” to me.
Buy the Olive & June Mani System
P.S. – If it’s your first purchase, you can usually get a discount code when you sign up for emails! They also sometimes run seasonal promos. If you get any type of discount, THAT is a good deal. Click here to check for current deals.