My obsession with nail polishes means I read a lot of blogs and websites devoted to nails, and the one product that comes up again and again is Seche Vite top coat. I decided I had to get some to try for myself, which turned out to be not as easy as it sounds because I can't find any places here in New Zealand that sell it. I did track down some American e-tailers that stock it AND ship to this side of the world and ordered myself a couple of bottles (oh and some China Glaze polishes while I was at it because seriously if you're going to go to the trouble of ordering products from all the way over in America it seems pointless to just order a couple of things!).
My package arrived a couple of weeks ago and I've been giving the Seche Vite a thorough trial since then, not just on my nails but on my daughter's nails and her friends' nails and my friends' nails, and we even ordered a bottle for the Eccentric English Boyfriend's mother in England when he was on Amazon the other day buying her birthday present. And the verdict? This stuff is feckin' brilliant!
Let's start with the application. This is what the Seche Vite website says about applying it:
"Apply thickly, get a nice bead on the end of the brush, then set softly down on the first nail painted and watch how Seche Vite flows over the wet nail polish self levels and will not drag or streak the underlying manicure. It takes time to master the application and when perfected it is possible to apply in only three strokes...keep trying."
As they say it is necessary to have a large-ish bead on the end of the brush, which takes a bit of time to get used to if, like me, you tend to use less rather than more nail polish on your brush (I prefer to apply my nail polish as 2-3 and sometimes even 4 thinner coats). With enough on the brush the Seche Vite does flow smoothly onto the nail and application requires a minimum of brush strokes. However, it is quite thick and does dry very quickly and because of this I occasionally find that I will miss a thin stripe down the side of my nail. Probably something only I will notice, but it does rather bug me.
And what about the wear. Well as I said, brilliant! Seche Vite dries incredibly quickly, to a beautiful diamond-like shine, and unlike other quick dry top coats I've tried which have often muddied the underlying polish colour the colour stays absolutely true and in some cases I find it even intensifies it slightly, which I love. And the best part is, this stuff absolutely does what it says - it makes your polish last and last. I have the most appalling soft nails and normally my polish starts to flake off within hours of putting it on, but not any more. My daughter's nails are better than mine but still very flexible plus she doesn't have the patience to wait for a manicure to dry so her polish very quickly becomes smudged and chipped. She was delighted to find that the Seche Vite dried quickly enough that she didn't smudge her polish, and after several days worth of wear her manicure was still intact with only a little tip wear. And the Eccentric English Boyfriend's mother reports from England that her polish too is lasting much longer than she would normally expect.
I have heard that after a while Seche Vite does thicken in the bottle, which makes application harder. Seche manufacture a thinner (Seche Restore) which can also be used to thin nail polishes too.
All in all this is one product I highly recommend. Admittedly not cheap, but shop around the online suppliers for a good price. I get mine from TransDesign, who are quite reasonably priced (even if shipping to New Zealand isn't cheap), and also stock a huge range of nail related products including OPI and China Glaze polishes.