Gel Nail Manicure Dupe

 
Say Hello to the Dream Team: The Poppy tool, top coat, and their cast of nudes are must-haves to set you up for many at-home-manicures that will last you longer than gels!

Say Hello to the Dream Team: The Poppy tool, top coat, and their cast of nudes are must-haves to set you up for many at-home-manicures that will last you longer than gels!

 

I used to LOVE gel manicures, but didn’t love the price tag, nail damage, or UV light exposure. Ok ladies, ready for the ultimate at-home manicure tip? Here is the list:

  1. Olive and June Studio Box ($50). This kit comes with EVERYTHING you need for the best at-home manicure of your life. I am not exaggerating, this polish and top coat are AWESOME, by far the best I’ve ever used AND my nails have lasted TEN DAYS SO FAR with only 2-3 top coat refreshers. The “Poppy’ (their own invention) goes on the end of all nail polish bottle and makes it way easier to paint your own nails. The color and top coat dry fast and last LONGER than gel nails for me (but don’t ruin your nail beds).

    The End. (JK… read on for more).

 
The Olive and June Studio Box is AMAZING!!! It comes with everything you need for an at-home manicure that will last a week PLUS!

The Olive and June Studio Box is AMAZING!!! It comes with everything you need for an at-home manicure that will last a week PLUS!

 

I actually purchased The Starter Set for $28, which comes with The Poppy, one polish color: E.C. (perfect pinky nude), and a top coat. I ordered 2 more of the polish colors and can’t WAIT for them to come out with more colors. I wasn’t ready to commit to the $50 set when I didn’t know anyone personally who has tried it, but let me tell you: GO FOR IT!!! The nail polish remover pot and cuticle oil are really great additions. The whole Starter Set is less than 2 trips for gel nails, but will provide MANY at-home manicures, so it’s a worthy investment. I heard Sarah Gibson Tuttle, the founder of Olive and June, on Second Life Podcast and I just LOVE supporting female owned businesses (especially ones that have awesome products/ quality/ customer service.

Speaking of cuticle oil, using that 1-2 times a day has really helped to extend the life of my mani. I have been doing the #OliveYourMani marathon challenge and am on DAY 10 (Day TEN… TEN… TEN…)!! I did all of the flowers for a friend’s wedding and reception and processed 150 bundles of eucalyptus, which always turns my hands black. I thought for sure it would be the end of my mani, but I got a bar of soap a little wet and ran my fingernails over the soap bar so that the soap went under my fingernails before I started. This helped dirt from going under my nails and really worked! It also is great tip to use for gardening.

 
Look at how black my hands get processing eucalyptus for a friend’s wedding!! I used the soap under the nails trick and my mani is still going, days after this!!!

Look at how black my hands get processing eucalyptus for a friend’s wedding!! I used the soap under the nails trick and my mani is still going, days after this!!!

 
 
Before gardening or working with dirt: get a bar of soap a tiny bit wet and run your nails over the bar.

Before gardening or working with dirt: get a bar of soap a tiny bit wet and run your nails over the bar.

 
 
Then smoosh (technical term) the soap under your nails to protect them from dirt and grime. Wash off at the end and repeat as needed!

Then smoosh (technical term) the soap under your nails to protect them from dirt and grime. Wash off at the end and repeat as needed!

 

In general, making sure your cuticles are pushed back before you paint, don’t paint down to your cuticles, and avoiding hot hot water all help to extend a mani. You can learn all of the best tips and tricks for free from “Olive University.” Check it out!

I still can’t give myself a pedi for the life of me, so when I go for pedicures every 1-2 months I ask them to shape my nails and cut my cuticles ($3-5 extra) and then I paint them myself at home. Olive and June’s polish and topcoat is way better than the salon polish and unlike salon polish, doesn’t smudge while getting into your car after waiting for it to dry for 20 minutes… who can relate?!

Has anyone else tried Olive and June?? Or even better, gone to their salon in person (my ultimate dream fantasy!!)?