On a dreadfully dreary, rainy Saturday evening, Olive & June nail salon looks like a sparkling gem on an otherwise gray Cañon Drive in Beverly Hills. The shop’s warm interior is like a siren song calling to me as I hurry towards it – or perhaps, more accurately, like a friendly hug that I cannot wait to be enveloped in.
Despite the rain, the salon is busy; a shock to me considering in California, we consider rain a plausible excuse to lock ourselves in our homes and forget the world. There is a group of giggly pre-teens in the waiting area, women of all ages enjoying pedicures, an older mother-daughter duo catching up over manicures. The shop is full of life in every sense of the phrase – a stark contrast to the sterility I am accustomed to at other nail salons.
Olive & June prides itself on its uber-chic décor, a noteworthy difference between it and your run-of-the-mill nail salon. The space is long and narrow, but not uncomfortably so. The shop feels like a breath of fresh air, washed in white with pops of muted color, like the plush coral sofa placed invitingly at the front of the store.
Speaking of fresh air, another appreciated upgrade: the lack of chemical odor. When Olive & June founder Sarah Gibson Tuttle came up with her neo nail salon concept, this was a must. The shop’s tall ceilings, ventilation system and ceiling fans all do their part in keeping any offensive odors at bay.
The menu of services includes a variety of pedicures and manicures named for women in Gibson Tuttle’s life. Among the options are traditional manis and pedis, organic versions, variations for expectant mothers, nail art and gel treatments. You can also add a ten-minute massage to any service for an extra $12. Another plus: late hours make it easy to stop in after work. The shop is open from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and until 8 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Be sure to let them know if you are in a hurry and they will do their best to work with your timeframe.
With its heavy tilt toward customization, the salon is happy to adjust services to fit clients’ specifications. New customers fill out a short survey which includes questions about allergies, nail shape and color preferences, desired massage pressure, even foot ticklishness! Olive & June also accepts requests if your favorite polish is missing from its 350+ collection.
Along with the traditional OPI/Essie fare, the shop features several high-end and semi-organic polishes, including Kure Bazaar, a new-ish brand that boasts 85% organic ingredients – one of the greenest options on the market today. The Treat Collection polish I chose for my June manicure was “4 free”, meaning no phthalates, toluene, formaldehyde, or synthetic camphor – the four most harmful common polish ingredients. The color, a deep burgundy-purple, is GORGEOUS, and at the end of day two, is still chip-free.
After browsing all of the beautiful nail art designs on the Olive & June website, I could not resist adding a fun accent nail. My fab manicurist Denise was happy to oblige and painted an adorable gold triangle design on my ring fingernail. Nail art is available at $5-10 per nail, and whether you are a full-fledged nail art junkie or looking for a subtle way to try the trend, I highly recommend the collaborative process at Olive & June. Here you will find talented nail artists willing to work with you to find that perfect design.
Even with the plethora of high-end polishes lined up on its iconic polish wall, Olive & June is more boutique than luxury. It does not feel stuffy in the least, but caters toward an aesthetically-driven, eco-conscious crowd – a niche that is the overwhelming majority in LA. A New Yorker originally, Ms. Gibson Tuttle knew her target market well when she chose la-la-land for her baby’s birthplace.
I hope you will stop by and enjoy the experience as much as I did! Oh and a word to the wise: there is a parking structure directly across Cañon from Olive & June with free two-hour parking. There, now you have no excuses. Have fun!
For appointments and a full list of services, visit the website at www.olivejune.com or call 310-247-0500.
(While on the site, be sure to check out the charming manicures in the blog section!)