I have a longstanding love-hate relationship with nail polish. On one hand (ha), I enjoy the thrill of being able to change the color whenever I please. On the other hand, I loathe the globs of paint, uneven lines and pillow smooshing that inevitably happens. I should note here that I am extremely particular about my nails. I am rarely without a mani, but I’d rather have bare tips than streaky polish.
So when I met with Sarah Tuttle, the founder of Olive and June (aka nail royalty on the West Coast), and she told me they were getting ready to launch polishes, I was excited (have you seen their stickers?) but still a bit skeptical.
I mean, haven’t I tried them all at this point? Five-dollar bottles, (gulp) $50 bottles, short and wide brushes, long and slender ones, nontoxic and even spray-on formulas—I don’t claim to know everything, but this is one topic I am well-versed in. I started painting my nails as soon as I could get my mom to buy me polish (around age eight), so my research spans decades.
A set of six polishes arrived last week. The packaging was clean and minimalist; the colors, a range of muted neutrals. I sat down at the kitchen table, looked through the shades once more and decided on "Mandy," a pleasant peachy-pink that’s named after Mandy Moore. (Btw, who else wants a polish named after them? Dreams.)
I hit play on a podcast (almost always Oprah’s Super Soul Sundays) and began to paint my thumbnail first. One stroke. Hey, I like the curve of the bristles. Two strokes. Wow, this is really pigmented. Three strokes. Am I actually done here?
Nine more nails and six minutes later, I sat, stunned in silence. Between the polish itself (which was extremely smooth and creamy) and the way the handle fit comfortably in my palm—oh, and the bristles—dear me, they hug the base of your nails just so and spread the color on like softened butter on toast, this was the easiest nail painting experience I’ve ever had.
And you’d think this beautiful polish would cost more than it does, but it’s actually only $8 a bottle (on par with most brands you’d find at drugstores). Plus, it's seven-free (so no dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, or xylene), vegan and cruelty-free.
Fellow nail lovers and novices alike: If you, like me, have been frustrated by gloopy polish and streaky lines in the past, give this a whirl. Go ahead and @ me (I’m jyjin on Instagram) if it doesn’t work for you. Or even better (and more likely), if you fall in love with it.