The Nail Polish Kit You Need for A Perfect At-Home Manicure

Hello beautiful nails any time you want them.

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Olive & June Ridge Filler Nail Polish Kit
Photo: Olive & June

When I was in middle school, I religiously changed my nail polish color every week. Wild sparkles, ruby reds, cool blues, I. Did. It. All. Which means that I also spent a lot of time rubbing my nails with acetone to create that blank canvas…and it did not end well.

It was so bad, actually, that I quit nail polish all together for years. Memories of peeling nails and the sting of nail polish remover had me swearing off any nail polish for a good long while. But it seems that while I was on hiatus, the industry had done quite a bit of reforming, and then I stumbled on this Olive & June nail kit that promised me salon-worthy nails without having to leave my house.

I was instantly intrigued because I'm not a frequent salon visitor, and one of my main challenges is painting my dominant hand. We all know the struggle. The non-dominant hand looks ready for a debutante ball, and the dominant hand looks like Jackson Pollock or Georges Braque got a hold of the brush. Lovely, just not ideal for my fingertips.

That's why this nail polish kit intrigued me. The patented bottle handle was going to grant my left hand magical steadying powers. I was game.

Olive & June Mani System Nail Polish Kit
Olive & June

BUY IT: From $50;

The Olive & June nail kit comes in three variations: the mani system, the pedi system, and the complete system. I opted to build my own kit, since there were some things I was more interested in than others.

I made sure to add the patented bottle handle, top coat, nail files, and cuticle serum, while also adding the nail primer into my kit. I'm a person of extremes, meaning it's all or nothing around here, and since I was making the effort to do my nails, I wanted them to last as long as possible. The nail primer is poised to do that.

Since my nails were already short, I opted to just shape them with the nail file. If you're like me, write this down, y'all: I had no idea how much of a difference the nail file can make. Use it.

The primer went on first, and I was surprised at how quickly it dried. I then applied two coats of Olive & June nail polish in a summer shade of blue named Honest & True. Thanks to the primer, the first layer dried in no time. That was a relief because I'm impatient!

Olive & June The Poppy nail polish bottle handle
Olive & June

BUY IT: $16;

All the Olive & June nail polish bottles have modified caps to accommodate The Poppy, Olive & June's patented polish bottle handle. Just remove the cap (pull up; don't twist), pop The Poppy on, and you're set. (Editor's note: While they say the tool works for all nail polish bottles, that might not be the case. Not all of my polishes have shafts that can be removed and some are too wide to accommodate The Poppy.)

Regarding its efficacy, I must say I am pleased and impressed. The rounded rubber grip does provide a lot more control than trying to grasp at a narrow polish cap, and resulted in a much steadier left hand for me. Because the surface area is so much larger, it was also fairly easy to hold without smudging the drying polish on the hand that was holding it. Verdict? The neatest manicure I've had in a while.

After brushing on the topcoat, it was dry to the touch in about two minutes, and I had a whole manicure in about 30. For someone who likes to be on the move, this was a relief.

For the price of one trip to the salon, I now have all the tools I need for more manicures than I could ever dream of (or have time for). Safe to say I'm pretty sold on this Olive & June manicure kit, and that says a lot, since I'm usually a no-frills gal. (I don't even wear makeup!) But, you can bet that I'll be sporting some fun nails this summer. Now, I just need to decide what color it'll be.

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