Top coat is an essential for anyone who enjoys painted nails at home. A good top coat can protect and prolong nail colour, and leave a beautiful glossy finish. The thing is I have quite a few little pots of top coat – it’s definitely something that I’m not short of. I do have a favourite that I use all the time from Revlon ‘Colorstay Gel Envy Diamond Top Coat’, and I like is because it dries quickly, it’s a great consistency and my nails look shiny and last for ages afterwards. This is the standard that I’ll be comparing the Seche Vite top coat from April’s Birchbox to! My Birchbox card says:
“Perfect your at-home mani – fast! – with the ultimate top coat. This patented formula locks in co,our for the long haul with its durable, yet gorgeously glossy finish. PLUS, it leaves nails touch dry in minutes!”
The polish is bottled in a clear glass bottle, with glossy black applicator handle which is embossed with the Seche Vite logo. The brand and product names are on the front of the bottle in black text. The text is quite hard to read on the bottle as you can also see the text on the other side, but I can make out flammable warnings on the back of the bottle, repeated in various languages, and the company contact details and place of manufacture (USA). There is a peelable white sticker on the bottom of the bottle which is much easier to read and repeats some of this information.
Ingredients: Butyl acetate, toluene, cellulose acetate butyrate, isopropyl, alcohol, trimethyl pentanyl diisobutyrate, butoxyethanol dimethicone, benzophenone-1.
Directions: Apply a generous coat (no thin layers here!) over freshly painted nails. Reapply after three days to extend the longevity of your manicure.
I decided to test this out on my toes last night after using the Pedicure Pack. The first thing I noticed about this top coat is the smell when I unscrewed the lid – use in a well ventilated area because it is one of the strongest, and worst smelling nail polishes I’ve used for a long time. The formula is quite thin but it applied evenly and didn’t disturb the colour I had put on my nails. The top coat dried quickly and left a high shine finish on my toes, they look really glossy.
I wanted to see if I could find some areas where my current top coat and the Seche Vite top coat differed, which is hard to do on nails over colour, so I cut some strips of Sellotape. I painted one strip in Revlon top coat, and one strip in Seche Vite and left them both overnight to dry. My plan was to compare the finish, thickness and strength of each top coat.
Finish: Both top coats dried into an even finish, which was smooth, glossy and like glass.
Thickness: The Revlon formula was thicker, and has dried to a thicker coating of top coat. If you like it thicker go for Revlon, if you prefer it thinner go for Seche Vite.
Strength: I wasn’t able to test this as the Seche Vite wouldn’t adhere to the Sellotape, and peeled off. The Revlon top coat wouldn’t budge, I folded the Sellotape and pressed it between my nails to try and shift it but it was staying put. Revlon has better staying power.
I do like the finish is have in my toe nails, but I won’t be switching to this top coat. Even if the Revlon hadn’t outperformed the Seche Vite in terms of staying power, I don’t think I can tolerate the smell of it! This is the last item from my April Birchbox to try, I’ll return to the Birchbox Unboxing article and update my final thoughts on the box, whether I had value for money and what my favourite items were.