Taming the Seche Vite Beast

A lot of lacqueristas swear by fast-dry top coat Seche Vite. It is a miracle product that dries manicures so quickly and so thoroughly that smudging your mani is nothing but a distant nightmare, especially if you’re a natural klutz like me who tends to not be fully cognizant of where her limbs are in relation to other objects in her immediate universe.

However, as many have discovered, Seche Vite has its pitfalls. It can shrink your mani, pulling up the edges and tips. If you put it on over dry polish, it makes it curl like one of those Swedish fortune telling fish. No bueno.

Since the topic came up again today on /r/laqueristas on reddit, I decided to share my post verbatim here as well.

Here is what I’ve learned in two years of using Seche Vite:

  1. Minimize exposure to air. The longer you leave the bottle open between applications. Air is the enemy.
  2. Keep the bottle stored at room temp. Use the product only at room temp. Heat and cold both make it get gooey in the bottle.
  3. When it starts getting stringy, it’s done. Thinning it won’t help. No matter what you do, it will pull up the edges of your polish. Toss it.
  4. Use in a room that does not have a strong active air flow. If you have a fan on or are sitting near a vent, get out of the direct air flow. This will make the polish get gummy on the brush, and you’ll get shrinkage.
  5. When using polish, use multiple THIN coats, not thick gooey ones. Thick coats are more prone to shrinkage. Cream polishes are the worst offenders with this. Letting them dry some definitely does not help.
  6. One coat. ONE. COAT.
  7. Don’t put on dry polish. Ever. Use a regular top coat — I currently like Sally Hansen’s Super Shine.
  8. Wrap your tips with color AND Seche for best results.
  9. Stamping? Taping? Seche, then your design once it dries, then a non-quick dry top coat.
  10. Just to reiterate, strings = dead Seche. If it doesn’t flow like water, toss it and save yourself the headaches. It WILL shrink your mani.

In short, Seche Vite can be a game changer. You just have to treat it right. Take it out to dinner, buy it flowers. You know, seduce it a little. Then you get nothing but sweet, sweet fast-dry top coat love.

Questions? Comments? Tips for happy Seche Vite experiences I haven’t learned? Please share!