I don’t actually paint my nails very often. Between the extra cost of choosing safer formulated options, and the time, along with my lifestyle that’s more gardening than manicure… I tend to just to pass on nails. I’d rather just put the money elsewhere – although there are an increasing number of good options, which I love.
But this summer my sister was staying with us and using press ons – one night she had some left over and I put them on! They were kind of fun. But so long and I couldn’t use my fingers and they popped off in a couple of days. They did make me intrigued to see if there was a better slightly more eco friendly option out there that could work for some people.
Enter… Olive and June.
I read that their nails are 94% recycled content and the most inclusive size range out there so I ordered some to review. (Note: They only ship to the US and Canada but I was about to head out for work.)
I applied them with a jet-lagged baby at 3am which is why the light in these pictures is what it is. I recommend setting aside a quiet moment to do them, it wasn’t easy with a baby grabbing them!
What comes in the kit:
You get everything you need to prep your nails and apply the press ons. There’s a file, a little tool for pressing cuticles down, a prep wipe, non toxic glue and a LOT of nails.
My impressions were firstly, for nails that are recycled there was a lot of packaging! The nails come on two little trays, in a container that pops apart to be a little dish – I’m guessing for holding pieces as you do your press ons. It’s clever and nice but felt like maybe more than was needed and a lot of waste if someone sought these out for the recycled content.
Secondly, it’s a LOT of nails; 42 nails in 21 sizes! They’re all the same shape within each pack and there are 4 shapes to choose from (oval/almond etc.) Being size inclusive is one if their selling points here so I can’t fault them for it. I used the smaller end of the size range and it did mean I got a really good fit with very little filing down which made it much easier.
The Application Process
The instructions are included on paper and explained well. There are different tips depending on how long you want them to stay on for, and for if you want to reuse them which I thought was helpful. The instructions include help on choosing the right nails and a spot to lay out the ones you’ll use so they’re ready – Isla ate that paper and I ended up laying them out on the box. But I give the instructions 10/10 for ease and clarity.
You start by pushing down your cuticles and prepping the nails, then buff the nails to help with adhering, and prep with a wipe. Then use the glue to apply them.
My impressions: The website says it will take 10 minutes but for a good manicure I’d leave 20-30. You press each nail on for 30 seconds so there’s 5 minutes of just holding the nails in place. Then between choosing and matching, filing the press ons, and prepping the nails 5 minutes would be quick.
How they Wear
The website promises 7+ days of wear, but the insert says 1-2 weeks depending on how you apply them. I had multiple people comment on how good they looked and, when I said they were press ons, that they didn’t look like press ons at all. I’ll put that down to 3 things: the quality of the nails, the multiple sizes that they have giving a great fit, and taking time to apply them well and press them down to the base of the nail. Definitely leave time for application – it makes all the difference!
My impressions: For the first 24 hours I think my nails were adjusting – they were a bit uncomfortable when I pressed on them or used them for anything but after that day they were comfortable and I didn’t notice them on my hands.
Removal Process + Damage
Olive and June suggest two ways to remove the nails depending on whether you want to preserve and wear them again. In their systems they sell extras to help the process but you can remove them simply with warm soapy water. Obviously I’d rather be able to wear them again, for waste and money so I chose the soap and water method. They promise the glue is non damaging so after them holding on so well for 10 full days, I was interested to see my nails underneath.
My Impressions: With my nails fully submerged in warm soapy water it took 10 minutes for the first nail to come off. The rest took another 10 minutes to all be fully off. I did have to slide a nail between the press on and the nail to fully get the last nails off even after 20 minutes so leave enough time! All the nails look good enough to use again. My nails I would say did look slightly damaged, or at least affected by the nails. Some of the glue remained and left shiny parts and the top later of my nails in some parts were slightly flaked which you can see below if you zoom in. I used the buffer side of the file they provided and it all went away. It wasn’t enough to stop me doing it again but I wouldn’t say it was 100% non damaging.
My overall impressions
I don’t want to admit that I really loved these! They’re not “me” at all but I did kind of enjoy them. The quality and fit were definitely a part of that – they didn’t look like press ons at all and didn’t leave any nail showing at the side or at the base. I kept saying I was going to take them off because I couldn’t type, or change a diaper very well… and then I kept leaving them on. I like them.
But remember I searched them out for 94% recycled content, and this probably is just a grey area. That 94% doesn’t make me excited to use them all the time – it’s still an amount of waste I probably don’t need for a habit that I don’t embrace normally.
That said, for someone who likes their nails done, I think these could be a really good option. They’re better than others in terms of recycled content and non toxic ingredients. And one step better is always a good step. The ability to reuse them means you have to buy fewer, and the cost is great – $10 a set or $40 in a “Press on System” which I’d do if I was going to do this regularly. I could have used two different sets of nails with the range that was given, and each set can be applied twice – making them $2.50 a go. However, I used half the glue supplied in one application so if I was going to do it regularly I would definitely invest in their brush on glue to reuse them and do multiple manicures with the nails.
Find them HERE with 20% off any system!