Olive & June's Poppy Review
A weak grip makes at-home manicures tough—but this product helps
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Getting my nails done is one of my favorite activities. On days when I feel like I need it — or when preparing for special occasions, like weddings or first days of school — I can always count on a few coats of bold nail polish to make me feel like I’m on top of the world. So, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and it became clear that nail salons wouldn’t be back for a long while, I wondered how (or if) I’d be able to recreate the manicure experience at home.
As I searched the web for potential solutions, I was extremely cognizant of the fact that my physical disability would play a huge role in any potential at home spa experience I would be able to create. See, there’s a reason why I frequented nail salons instead of painting them myself: My weak grip mixed with intense tightness in the other parts of my hand (with a healthy dose of “limited dexterity” thrown in) made painting my own nails impossible.
About the Poppy
The Poppy is a unique nail polish bottle handle designed to ease grip issues, improve control, and make painting nails a breeze. Its universal design can replace any standard polish handle. Its lightbulb-like shape dents in on one side (for your thumb to rest in) and it’s bulbous on the other to make the feel of holding the Poppy natural and comfortable. It’s a total game-changer for disabled people like me.
What I like
It’s easy—and lets me get back to the fun of painting my nails
Nail painting above all else is meant to be a fun experience (much more fun than math homework, trust me!). With the remarkable innovation of the Poppy, painting nails doesn’t require me to expend extra energy to adapt the activity—the tool does it for me.
Utilizing the Poppy is a three-step process: Pop off the regular nail polish bottle top, replace it with the Poppy (the silicone sides of the Poppy can easily attach to the bottle), and tighten the Poppy so that it won’t slide off. And that’s it! You’re ready to start painting.
Even before I started on my nails, I noticed a major difference when using the Poppy: It was far easier to grip than the tiny nail polish brush handles of painting sessions past. Plus, when using the Poppy, I was finally able to control the strokes with relative ease. Gone are the days when I got paint everywhere but my nails!
The brand embraces access as routine
For far too long, disabled people have had to search and rummage through a multitude of products to find solutions that could potentially be made accessible—and once that accessibility is discovered, too often brands ignore or refuse to acknowledge the assets of accessibility. Not so with the Poppy.
With this product, access is normalized instead of being gatekept. What do I mean? Instead of being marketed as an “accessible” product, the Poppy just exists as a main part of the Olive & June product rosters—and is a “crown jewel” of Olive & June’s curated product sets. As a disabled consumer, it means a lot that Olive & June is leading a charge of what access could look like in the future—where products could have access ingrained in them, rather than having to extract morsels of accessibility out of them.
As a warm-blooded teenage human, the way I look is important to me. That doesn’t change because I’m disabled, and with the Poppy, I don’t have to sacrifice chicness for accessibility. Since the Poppy is designed to fit onto any Olive & June polish, I have a whole range of colors at my disposal, and I don’t have to give up being on trend to be able to use their products effectively.
What I don’t like
The carrying case is fragile
Even with the Poppy’s numerous benefits, it’s not a perfect product. My main issue with the Poppy comes not with the apparatus itself but with the included carrying case. When I first received the Poppy, it came with a slide open case. Unfortunately, this case wasn’t at all durable, as the slider came off after just the first use. While I personally don’t consider this a dealbreaker for a product, I would recommend chucking the carrying case, as the Poppy can easily fit into standard makeup bags.
Should you buy the Poppy?
Yes. It’s great for beginners and those with dexterity limitations.
With its uniqueness in the product space and ergonomic design, the Poppy is a great product for novice and experienced nail polished painters. Whether disabled or not, the Poppy is an invaluable addition to the toolbox of nail polish aficionados everywhere.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.