The Ninja recently shared info on top coats and base coats, and promised to discuss a specific cult classic more in-depth. Here, we'll talk about Seche Vite!
First, some background...
The brand is Seche, the product we're discussing is Vite. Most people call it by its "full name", Seche Vite. It is pronounced "sesh-veet", or so The Ninja has been advised. She is not fluent in The French. She is quite fluent in The French Toast, though, but that's a whole 'nother story.
Seche makes a buncha other products, but this is the one that made them famous. The Ninja uses a few of the Seche base coats, and recently started using Recondition to strengthen her nails (review pending).
About the Vite...
This product is unique, and well ahead of the curve on the "quick dry" scene. It's meant to protect your manicure and provides exemplary shine. And then there's the dry time: Über-fast.
Seche Vite was the first patented single procedure non-yellowing dry fast top coat for nail polish that dried and protected the underlying nail polish much faster and created a more durable shield than anything else on the market and even to this day.
- Quick dry
- UV protection (non-yellowing)
- Chip- and peel-resistant
- No streaking or dragging over nail art
With Seche Vite, though, busy ninjas can sail out of the salon in record time or even quickly do their own nails without worrying about sitting still for hours. Shortly after applying this miracle product, The Ninja can reach for her keys and escape in her Ninjamobile. A zippy polish change can be done before bed with no sheet marks the next morning (tacky!). No longer must ninjas fear being caught duck-walking around The Ninja Abode, waiting the interminable length of time it used to take to dry a pedicure.
Additionally, this top coat self-levels. This means ridges, small polishing gaffes, and shaky application is remedied by the product itself, as it creeps across the surface of the nail and settles evenly, every time.
The Ninja credits Seche Vite for the upsurge in interest in polish, especially for those Addicts who change their polish daily or multiple times a week. In a word: easy-peasy.
The genius of Seche Vite...
Here's the deal. This product is unique. It is meant to penetrate the layers underneath it, drying them all at once. In fact, the product bonds with the base and color layers, creating one strong coating. Hence its durable nature.
- Seche Vite is only for on top of polishes
- It must go on wet polishes
- Do not use it to touch-up polishes once they are dry, even on top of itself! Don't believe The Ninja? You will when your polish peels up in crazy sheets!
Using Seche Vite:
- Polish nails
- Get a decent bead of Seche Vite on the end of the brush (you'll have to experiment to find the right amount)
- Place the bead in the middle of the first nail you polished WHILE IT IS STILL WET-ish
- Use the tip of the brush to drag or comb through the bead, helping the polish spread but not letting the brush bristles touch the nail polish below
- Seche Vite will spread across the nail bed and self-level
In the thick of it!
The Seche Vite formula is unique, as is its consistency. It's very thick. If your polish were this thick, you'd hate it, but since this top coat does what it does, it's easy to deal with.HOWEVER... as you open and close your bottle, vital ingredients evaporate. It becomes necessary to replace those ingredients periodically (you'll know when; for The Ninja it's usually at about 1/2 a bottle). Once the formula becomes too viscous to use properly, add Seche Restore (follow instructions on the product) and your Seche Vite will be like new!
Is the added step a pain? Yes. Is it worth it? Definitely.
There is a bit of a downside...
Seche Vite is not "Big 3-Free". It is free of formaldehyde and dibutyl phthalate (DBP), but does contain toluene, a common solvent.
Seche Vite ingredients include: Butyl Acetate, Toluene, Cellulose Acetate Butyrate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Trimethyl Pentanyl Diisobutyrate, Benzophenone-1.
Seche Vite haters (attention: chemistry ahead!)Aside from the concerns about the impact of Big 3-Free on humans and environment, there are further issues at work. Complaints about the efficacy of Seche Vite seem to come most often when folks use the top coat with non Big 3-Free products (these days that's many, if not most, polishes).
It seems that some solvents and plasticizers used in Big 3-Free products are not compatible with the ingredients in / formulation of Seche Vite.
The Ninja was talking about this issue with Nonie Creme, Founding Creative Director of butterLONDON (a 3-Free line), and we were both so curious about this apparent lack of compatibility that she talked to someone in the butterLONDON lab to find out more! Here's what he said:
Appears they are not waiting sufficient time for solvents in lacquer color to evaporate. Seche Vite has a high solvent (Toluene) content which flashes (evaporates) off quickly and hardens over, thus trapping the lacquer color solvents beneath and not allowing colour to dry.
I would recommend that they apply the lacquer color and allow it to dry completely. This will allow the solvent from the nail lacquer to flash (evaporate) off, and topcoat can then be applied with desired results. However, we never recommend using any product with Toluene, DBP, or Formaldehyde.
The richer tone pigments and/or load creates your rich vivid hues extensive color palette. This wide range of colors is achieved without the use of Toluene, Formaldehyde or DBP.
In English, this theory basically suggests that butterLONDON polishes have a lot of pigments in them to make them so colorful, and Seche Vite's drying mechanism doesn't completely dry them before hardening on top of them. This creates pockets or bubbles (visible or not) underneath the top coat where the pigments and related polish-solvents are trying to evaporate, which then leads to peeling or chipping.
Essentially, this is what The Ninja said before:
Seche Vite may not play nice with the chemicals in some Big 3-Free polishes.
*Get your mind out of the gutter. Polish shrinkage isn't
about a cold guy from Poland. It's when nail
polish seems to be uneven on the edges once dry,
even though it was applied evenly, wet.
Almost all polishes are 3-Free these days. Check your labels!
Fun and games with Seche!