Let’s be honest: Doing your own nails can feel impossible sometimes. From painting with your non-dominant hand to the inevitable next-day chips, most of us are ready to shell out the cash for a professional manicure about five minutes in. However, I’ve found a solution!
Olive & June’s Mani System is an all-in-one, at-home manicure kit that not only prevents your nails from chipping, but also makes doing them yourself a breeze. The kit includes nine products, all designed to help you give yourself a salon-quality manicure at home. And, at this writing, you can get it for just $50. There’s even a tutorial that walks you through the process.
Let’s run down the entire system, how to use it, and my experience with it.
One of the things that makes Olive & June’s Manicure System so special is how extensive it is. You get all of the following items in your manicure kit:
- A straight-edge nail clipper
- Dual-grit nail file
- Nail buffer
- Nail polish remover pot
- Cleanup brush
- Cuticle serum
- Top coat
- Nail polish
While items like the clippers, nail file, buffer, remover, polish, and top coat are all pretty self-explanatory, there are some standout items that are unique to Olive & June.
The Poppy: This exclusive tool was created by Olive & June to make painting your own nails much easier. Made from flexible, but sturdy, rubber, the Poppy slips onto the top of your polish to give you a better, steadier grip while painting. This allows you to make cleaner strokes, even with your non-dominant hand.
Cuticle serum: Olive & June’s award-winning (it took home one of Allure‘s 2019 Best of Beauty labels) formula comes in a handy, twist-up pen with a foam tip for quick and easy application. While some cuticle oils can be greasy, Olive & June’s hydrating formula is a serum, so it never leaves behind an icky residue.
Cleanup brush: Maybe you’ve never used one of these, but there’s a reason it’s in this kit: It’s a game-changer. One of the biggest hurdles of doing your own nails is the mess you usually create trying to paint with your non-dominant hand. Just soak this teeny-tiny angled brush in the remover, and then gently sweep away your mistakes without getting excess remover on your nails.
Now that you know what comes in The Mani System, let’s walk through how to use everything, and why I find it so much better than other manicure kits.
Olive & June has a video tutorial, in which Sarah Gibson Tuttle, the founder of the company, shows you how to do each step.
First, you clip and shape your nails. If your nails are like mine, they might not grow fast enough to require clipping during each manicure. If so, the file in the kit is strong enough to eliminate the small bit of length you want to remove.
Next, simply remove your old polish. This is easily one of my favorite parts of the process. This polish remover is somehow both stronger and gentler than any I’ve ever used before.
Simply insert your finger into the pot, swirl it for a few seconds, and all of your polish will be gone—even stubborn glitter. Yet, while other removers dry out your cuticles, this formula won’t strip your skin.
After your polish is removed, it’s time to buff your nails. If you normally skip this step (like I have been), you might have noticed ridges and bumps in your nails—these are what you want to buff out. Buffing makes your nails smooth and flat, so they’ll look perfect after they’re painted.
When you buff, however, there’s likely to be a bit of dust and debris left behind. You can use the remover again to get rid of any debris, as well as any oil or water. This step will allow your polish to adhere much better to the nail bed and prevent chipping.
Once your nails are clean, it’s time to paint, and that’s where The Poppy comes in! Just slip the tool onto the top of your nail polish’s cap for a larger, easier-to-grip handle. Again, this makes the brush much easier to control while painting with your non-dominant hand. Sure, you might still make a mistake or two, but it’s markedly easier.
Once you’re done painting, dip the cleanup brush in the remover to correct any mistakes, apply your top coat, and then your mani is complete!
For the cost of a salon manicure (and maybe less, depending on your location and where you go), you can get an entire kit that’ll keep your nails in tip-top condition for up to two weeks. When they do eventually start to chip, you’ll have everything at your disposal to fix them.
Over time, you can also keep adding to your Olive & June nail polish collection. They’re really affordable ($8 each, at this writing). Plus, if you like to switch up your nail colors seasonally, the brand releases a new polish kit for each, so you’ll always be wearing the trendiest colors, no matter the time of year.
Giving yourself a manicure has never been this easy! Whether you’re looking to save some cash on those salon appointments or just need a sweet gift for a friend, Olive & June’s Manicure System is a real winner!