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Top Coat Challenge – Seche Vite

By on July 20, 2007
in Top Coat Challenge

I apologize for getting so behind with my Top Coat Challenge reviews. It’s more work than I expected so I’ll be extending the challenge into August. I’m going to try and cover all the favorites from the drugstore and salon brands.

Next up Seche Vite. Seche, pronounced “Se-Shay”, Vite is a unique top coat in that is thicker than most yet it dries in 5 minutes. It leaves a glossy finish but can be tricky to apply. There is a technique to applying Seche Vite and if you don’t do it correctly, you’ll end up with mixed results.

From the Seche website:
“Seche Viteâ„¢ is unique in its application over wet nail polish. Make sure there is a nice bead at the end of the brush before application over wet nail polish as it must be applied thick, but not too thick.

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. Seche Vite will naturally thicken so make sure to keep the neck of the bottle clean and tight at all times and if it gets stringy add a few drops of Seche Restore and roll the bottle slowly adding additional drops until consistency is fully restored.”

I tested Seche Vite in four different trials. I used different combinations of Zoya Anchor (Big 3 Free) and Creative Stickey base coats with Nocti (Big 3 Free) and China Glaze polishes. I wanted to see if having toluene in the base coat or nail color made a difference in Seche Vite’s performance.

The before and after pictures were taken in different lighting so please ignore the color differences. These photos should not be considered color accurate.

The results: Overall Seche Vite performed best when used with Stickey as a base coat. There was no chipping and less tip wear. I just wish that Seche Vite was easier to apply. You have to brush it on so quick and accurate that it’s easy to have missed spots on the sides of your nail. And if you apply too much, you end up with it on your cuticles and crusted up in the crevice next to your nail. For me, I only use Seche Vite when I’m in a hurry. I feel there are better top coats if you have the time to wait.

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There Are 28 Brilliant Comments

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  1. caravansarai says:


    Thanks for the top coat series!! I’m sure many many many folks will be finding it useful for a very long time to come. I just wanted to ask you or the other lovely people who see this what websites or other sources they recommend for china glaze polishes? They’re so hard to find (and I live in LA, go figure!) Some websites carry the line, but I’m not sure how reputable they are.

    Thanks so much!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    caravansarai: try Lapeer Beauty Supply in Beverly Hills. They are the best of the best…
    Love the series, but I agree, this top coat sounds very tricky. I go to those $15.00 manicurists and there is no way they are going to learn how to apply this polish.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Is Seche Vite BIG 3 Free?

  4. Ladylipstick says:

    When I was in the salon doing nails, one thing I learned about Seche Vite is that you MUST MUST MUST keep it tightly closed. That means cleaning the neck each time. Otherwise it gets gluely and will ruin your manicure!

  5. Teri says:

    Gosh – your photo stories are amazing! And that color…amazing!

    I hope to find a favorite top coat too. And I believe that they do work better with certain products – that is why I tend to stay with one brand across the board, most of the time. Not that this is right – but it just seems like the products were made to work together.

  6. RIBARB says:

    Great series..can’t wait for final results. HAve been using Stickey base wtih OPI rapid dry top coat with good results, but haven’t other topcoats.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I just hate the shrinkage I get from Seche! My tip wear is noticeable from it on day 1


  8. Kira says:

    The only time I’ve gotten Seche to last longer than a day, I was using a Revlon base and polish, both big 3 free.

    I had to toss my Seche bottle after 25 uses or so (still had 3/4 of a bottle) because it had gotten so thick.

    I’ve started using CND “Air Dry,” and I get some tip wear but no chipping like I got with Seche.

    Seche has both Toluene and Phthalate, so it is big 2 full … “Air Dry” is big 3 free.

    Zoya’s line and Qtica’s 1/2 time dry is also big 3 free.

    • Sam says:

      You can buy seche restore which is a special thinner for seche vite.. No other thinner should be used with seche though =s whoops =s

      • Saskia says:

        this is not true; any thinner can be used without damaging the seche vite. As long as you don’t use nail polish remover as a thinner!

  9. yummy411 says:

    great review! do you know how long it typically keeps its shine? if you know, can you leave the answer in my cbox on my page? ;)

  10. Anonymous says:

    seche is the worlds best top coat when used correctely it beats all others !!!!

  11. Anonymous says:


    I’ve been reading your blog for about a year now, and I love it. I check it almost everyday, ha!

    Anyways, I use Seche Vite top coat and CND stickey as a base. However, my nail polish always seems to peel off around the edges. I even paint the tips and undersides of my nails to help avoid chipping, but nothing works. Any help?!

    Thanks! – Caitlin

    • Katie says:

      Hi Anon.,

      Maybe your nail produces a lot of oil, therefore resulting in a lot of peeling. Also, it could be the opposite where you nail polish gets hard and it results in cracks, leading to chipping and peeling.

      What you can do is monitor your nails, and see if you can identify the problem, as there can be a lot of contributing factors in this situation.


  12. Anonymous says:

    I allways thought that seche vite was good for acrylic nail not natural nails is that true. Because i found it works great on acrylics when you paint the tips witch i think is very important.

    • Sassyjeni says:

      I use it on my natural nails and it works soooo well! It gives my super weak nails rock hard strength, fully dries my mani in 5 min (no dents even!) and it lasts for days. I get all my polishes from their prices are soo low – less than $3 for opi and they ship super fast, safe and provide a tracking number.

      • Helen says:

        Hmm… Sassyjeni

        Looks like is an Australian brothel site!

        Did you make a typo?!

        • All Lacquered Up says:

          It’s actually but a lot of people refer to it as 8ty8. It was considered a rite of passage on the Makeup Alley nail board to end up at the brothel site. Congrats!

  13. Aliya says:

    Just as a note, Seche is actually pronounced “SESH” not “SE-SHAY”. As a semi-French speaker, just wanted to clarify. Seche = dry and Vite = fast.

  14. smt says:

    Great review, though it’s not actually pronounced se-shay. It’s just “sesh.” French for “fast dry.” (Seche = dry, vite = fast. Se-sahy would be written sech

  15. Amber says:

    I triple on the pronunciation: it’s “sesh.” It’s funny, though, because I’ve heard people say it so many different ways. lol My favorite is “setchay veetay.” :D

  16. Claudia says:

    A third that, also a French person, it is seche… Dry. I just used this product for the first time and am loving it, chipping way less than other products have for me, I used it with opi matte base and two coats or Saphora nail varnish by OPI, also I work as a waitress and wash my hands often. It’s all in the application for this one. A great way to speed up your mani without the chips and dents that come with rushing out the door with wet nails !

  17. Other than the shrinkage, which I notice is greater with some cheaper brands of polish than better brands, and can be slightly prevented by bringing it farther back & on the sides of the nails, I do like Seche Vite. I’ve been able to get it at Sally’s for around $6, so it’s not as expensive as some places.

  18. Linda says:

    i just tried seche vite for the first time and I LOVE IT!!!! i usually use a clear coat daily to extend the shine on my mani…..sometimes lasts up to 12 days!!!!! i noticed immediately how smooth the seche vite made my nails….. so far i’m impressed…..and i found a great buy on ebay that equals out to about $2.21 a bottle…..i have *happy nails* :)

  19. Saskia says:

    The way to pronounce it, isn’t se-shay veet (if it was, it would be written as Sech

  20. E says:

    I tried this top coat. If you wait just a minute after polish it goes on with no problems. Another minute later I was able to touch polish.

  21. Marion says:

    OK please help. I’ve always had long natural nails and clearly know how to care for them. I started using Seche Clear on my nails and in a couple of months my nails got soft and peeled and with visible vertical ridges. I was horrified! I’m healthy and don’t take any meds and haven’t changed my diet! I’ve not changed anything. I stopped wearing their polish altogether. My nails continued to peel and break as they were paper-thin. It’s been about 6 or 7 months now and they’re starting to grow again however the vertical ridges are still apparent. No I don’t want to buff down the ridges because my nails are still thin as it is. Any ideas as to what happened and what base coat I should now start with? I hesitant to use seche clear and am thinking of going back to my old stand by Sally Hanson hard as nails.

    • Hi Marion! Wow, that is so odd. I’m not sure why that would happen to your nails. You might want to speak with a doctor if the situation doesn’t improve. I’m a fan of Sally Hansen Nailgrowth Miracle and Miracle Cure. I layer them when I need some treatment. I hope you can find a solution.