It may still feel like a zillion degrees outside, but autumn is certainly in the air, and blowing in with the falling leaves is Olive & June’s Fall 2021 Collection. Dropping on Thursday, Aug. 19, the new nail polish line plays on two of the most quintessential aspects of fall: plaid and back to school season. But you’ll be adding another class to your schedule this semester: Mani 101. And with the new collection, you’ll have all the supplies you need to ace every single nail trend this course throws your way — plus, some really cute nail art ideas to last you the whole year.
The Olive & June Fall 2021 Collection features six colors in both classic and new fall shades: hunter green, navy, eggplant, mauve, rosy pink, and light nude. According to Olivia Van Iderstine, Olive & June’s vice president of content and creative and resident nail trend expert, these colors were carefully selected to speak to fall’s biggest nail trends and bring some of your seasonal favorites to life. “This fall, we're all about cool-toned darker shades and the coziest neutrals possible — a total 180 from our summer of really bright neons,” she tells Elite Daily in an email. “We're always into wearing darker shades as the weather crisps up, but this year, we've put a little bit of a vintage spin on them. The neutrals are all inspired by the chunky knits we always bring out this time of year. [The shades] give us really nostalgic, back-to-school vibes that we're obsessed with.”
Each shade, retailing for $8 separately, is cleverly named after some of your favorite school subjects — “geometry,” the deep green; “social studies,” the navy; “art class,” the purple; “world lit,” the mauve; “study hall,” the light pink; and “chemistry,” the nude. And, if you’re not a fan of those subjects... doing your homework with the corresponding cute nail color makes it a little better, right?
If all these subjects are calling your name (and let me tell you, they are yelling mine), you can snag the Olive & June Fall 2021 Mani System ($80, Olive & June). Beyond including all the nail polishes, the Fall 2021 Collection set also features everything you need for a salon-quality manicure right in your dorm: a nail file, clippers, nail polish remover, an ultra-glossy top coat, and more. The brand even added a nail notebook with manicure tips and tricks, as well as lined paper for your own note-taking. Not to mention, it all comes in an adorable green-and-navy plaid box.
The variation in darker fall shades with lighter neutrals leaves loads of room for nail art looks, which Van Iderstine says are getting bolder and more geometric over the next few months. Think: swirls, color-blocking, and more. Your first nail art assignment in Mani 101 to ease you in? Van Iderstine’s take on the ever-so classic French Manicure. “The French mani is only going to get bigger for fall,” she says. “Try choosing two contrasting colors for a bolder take on the classic.” She suggests a color pairing like Social Studies and World Lit or Study Hall, which offer a solid contrast that’s still aesthetically pleasing given the cool tones.
To copy the look above, Van Iderstine suggest you start with a solid nail prep session, which she says is crucial to a long-lasting, no-chip manicure. “Avoid washing your hands right before or during a manicure — no need to soak your cuticles,” she says. “Dip your fingers in the Remover Pot before your first coat of polish to really dehydrate that nail plate and make the polish adhere well to your nail. [Olive & June’s] Nail Primer and Nail Strengthener help create the ideal surface for polish to stick to.”
After prepping your nails and cuticles, pick your two favorite contrasting shades and decide on your base and your tip color. Next, Van Iderstine says to apply two coats of the base color and let them dry. Then, she says to take the side of your tip color’s brush and “gently tap on a narrow French tip.” As you do that, ensure you have one hand “anchored to the table” while your other paints on the polish to ensure there’s minimal movement. Once that’s dry, set it all with the Super Glossy Top Coat and boom: You just aced your first Mani 101 test.
That is... until you inevitably bump your hand into something two minutes after finishing, leaving a big, gooey dent in your mani. (Although, maybe this is just me.) But while my clumsiness may be inevitable, messing up my manicure doesn’t have to be. “The trick is to paint really thin coats, and to wait at least five to 10 minutes between each coat. This will cut down on your overall dry time and avoid the dreaded post-mani polish dent,” says Van Iderstine. “We also recommend using Olive & June’s Dry Drops ($10, Olive & June) — they help dry your polish to the touch in just 80 seconds. Try to time your manis to a TV show or even a conference call to force yourself to stay still. Or, go for a walk and move your hands as you stroll.” Please know this is not a sign to paint your nails every night for five hours so you can rewatch New Girl instead of doing homework.
If you’re trying your hand at nail art at home, but you can’t seem to get that “just left the nail salon” look, Van Iderstine says it’s not always about the nails themselves. Sometimes, it’s as simple as “keeping your cuticles as hydrated as possible.” Other times, it’s just about taking the time to focus on “all the little details,” like cleaning up any stray polish. This is especially useful if your nails are on the smaller side. “We love to use our Clean Up Brush to get a really nice and neat line at the cuticle — that's what makes it really look like you just stepped out of the salon,” she says. “All the tools you need are in the Mani System.” She also suggests reapplying a top coat every few days post-manicure “to add shine and protect your nails against chips.”
There are no textbooks required for Mani 101, but you will want to head to the Olive & June website on Aug. 19 to snag the collection. And be quick: the plaid box, navy poppy, and notebook are limited edition, so they won’t stick around forever. Shop the entire Olive & June Fall 2021 Collection below:
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