A few months ago, my co-worker Andy stopped by my desk to chat. I can’t remember what we talked about, however, because I found myself transfixed by her nails. They were so shiny. So perfect. Like little red mirrors, all reflecting the light. It looked as if she’d gotten a gel manicure about three seconds ago. I couldn’t stop staring.
“Ooh, nice nails!” I said. “When did you get them done?”
Andy held up her nails for me, just-got-engaged-style, and laughed the smug, wise laugh of a woman who knew one of the secrets to life. “I did them myself, can you believe it?” she said. “Usually when I do them, it looks like a little kid did it, but I’ve been using this top coat called Seche Vite and it makes them look perfect.”
WHAT. I’m terrible at doing my nails. Terrible. I immediately made Andy spell out the name of this magical product and stand there as I googled it, and I bought a bottle then and there. I’m easily influenced.
It turns out that Andy was right. Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat is easily the best top coat I’ve ever used. Sold for $4.95 here on Beautylish, it dries fast and really fuses your nail polish to your base coat, creating hard, shiny, and professional-looking nails. Somehow it blends away little mistakes—streaks, missed spots along the edges—so that you’ll look fresh from the salon. One minute after applying Seche Vite over still-damp color, your nails are dry, yet appear wet and gel-like. And they stay that way for days.
Besides me, Seche Vite has a huge group of hard-core fans. On Beautylish, it’s earned an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars over the course of some 250 reviews! Member Jacqueline M.’s statement that she “now refuse[s] to use anything else” is a common refrain.
But, amid all the praise, there are a few things that some people don’t like about this top coat. Our resident superstar nail artist friend Chelsea K. gave Seche Vite a shout-out in this story but offered the following caveat: “It’s really shiny and goes on well, although it can get a little thick towards the end of the bottle.” This though, is common among top coats and nail polish in general.
Others say it smells very strong, in that make-you-dizzy sort of way. I sort of like that (is that weird?), but checked out EWG’s Skin Deep analysis of the product to learn more. It does contain toulene (an ingredient banished from 3-, 4-, and 5-free polishes), but still rates a relatively low 4 out of 10 on the organization’s hazard scale. And some say Seche Vite flakes off. I haven’t experienced this, but it may, depending on what type of polish you’re using.
Regardless, I love this top coat. It’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened to my nails, and that includes “learning not to bite them.”