Olive & June's The Winter Box Is What You Need For Fabulous Holiday Nails

I've had a nail polish obsession for most of my life. I currently have an entire spice rack in my apartment full of polish, organized by color—but the brand that reigns supreme on my shelf is Olive & June.

I discovered the company last year after a friend (hi, Jenna) went to one of their Los Angeles salons for one of their famous ombre manicures. It's more than just the brand's unique colors that make it a great choice: Their polish is seriously long-lasting, to the point where it gives your gel manicure a run for its money. It's also "7 free," aka free of the seven toxic chemicals common in nail polishes, as well as vegan and cruelty-free.

There are a lot of reasons to scoop up Olive & June polishes, but even as a tried-and-true fan, the brand's just-dropped Winter Collection really caught my eye. Naturally, I had to try it myself.

The Products

Olive & June sent me their Winter Box for 2020 for free, which is currently $94 and comes with eight polishes, nail care tools, and the brand's famous Poppy in Emerald. For the uninitiated, the Poppy is a tool you pop on your nail polish brush to make it easier to maneuver—perfect if you have not-so-steady hands.

The tools included in the box are cuticle serum, a nail polish remover pot, a clean up brush, a nail buffer, clippers and a file. In order to get the most out of your mani, it's important to start with a clean base. Olive & June even has tutorials on how to do your own manicure from start to finish, for anyone totally lost as to how to use that buffer.

I also received the signature glossy topcoat and the brand's newest nail product, the Dry Drops, which supposedly cut drying time in half.

And then there's the really fun part of the box: the polishes!


(via Olive & June)


The Polishes

What surprised me most about Olive & June's Winter Collection—which includes eight new colors—is the spectrum of shades. For most nail polish brands, a winter collection means moodier, darker choices, or colors reminiscent of the holiday season like bright red and green. Olive & June, however, throws a few surprises in with the more common tones.

While "OMG" is a deep navy, "Besties" a deep emerald, and "Obsessed" a dark ruby, other colors in the collection give off a far more summery vibe. "XOXO" is a hot pink, while "Yes Please" is described as a true turquoise. "Nailfie Time" is one polish that straddles the seasons as a bright (but not Santa Claus' suit bright!) "true ruby" in the collection.

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It's a nail party in a box. ????

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The polishes I was most excited about were Olive & June's two new glitter colors. The company has never before launched glitter polish, which made the silvery "Exclamation Point" and the gold-flecked "Obvi" fun new options to add to the rotation.


How Did the Polishes Stack Up?

The darker colors were big wins, but patience is a virtue. The initial coat of "Obsessed" and "Besties" came out thin and translucent, and definitely not the gel-like finish you expect from Olive & June. Fortunately, after three thin coats, that was a thing of the past, and my nails truly looked like they just received a salon manicure, minus the cost.

"XOXO," the hot pink, and "Yes Please," the turquoise color, were bright—definitely not the colors you would normally expect to see on a hand holding a peppermint mocha. That's not to say the colors weren't awesome—just unexpected. I would wear both on my toes in the winter for a pop of color, then break out the bottles again when beach season rolled around.

Since Olive & June is big on creating nail polish colors that can be combined for a unique look (the company sells collections like "The Blue Jeans Set" that allow you to create a unique ombre design) that's what I did with "Nailfie Time," the true ruby, and "Obsessed," the dark ruby. I painted "Nailfie Time" on my ring fingers, and then "Obsessed" on the rest of my nails. Combining the two colors definitely made me feel like my nails were getting into the holiday spirit more than either of the polishes would have alone.

Though the Dry Drops don't come with the Winter Box (they can be added on for $8) they are a good investment for the impatient manicurist out there. A word of warning, though: Apply the drops sparingly, and only after your final coat of polish. (Yes, that includes top coat.) Otherwise, you'll streak your manicure by attempting to put polish over the oily surface.


All About the Glitter

I couldn't wait to try out "Exclamation Point" and "Obvi," and I am proud to report that they are even better on your nails than in the bottle—and they're very pretty bottles! Both polishes go on thick, and need just two layers for full coverage. Since glitter is a bit more forgiving with mistakes than, say, a dark color like "Obsessed," these are great options for the not-so-skilled manicurist.

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Y'all want glitters, right? ✨

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If you hate the gritty texture of glitter polish, you won't love the sandpaper feel of "Exclamation Point" and "Obvi." A coat or two of topcoat definitely smooths out the texture, but because glitter is so thick as is, adding too many layers makes it way more likely to chip. Given that Olive & June rarely chips, I was a little disappointed to find a chunk of glitter had popped off my nail midway through my workday.


Bottom Line?

Olive & June's Winter Collection is yet another winner for the brand. While not all the colors feel appropriate for the season, every single one earned its place on my nail polish rack.


Want more nail polish reviews? Click HERE to read about bold neon polish.