Tuesday, July 24, 2012

For the Newbies in the Room

When I started nail blogging (I know, all of a month ago) I really had no idea what I was doing. I didn't know anything about the new nail products that have been released in the past ten years. I'd never even heard of stamping. It never occurred to me to use a tiny paintbrush to freehand stuff on your nails, rather than the brush the polish came with. I thought I was getting fancy when I layered a glitter polish over a creme, and I still don't have a clearly defined image in my head when someone mentions "jelly" polish.

So while this is old news to most of you, today I want to say a couple of things about Seche Vite that I wish someone had told me when I first got started. It would have saved me a lot of grief and a few bucks on inferior topcoats. If you already knew this, then feel free to skip this post. If you're asking "Seche who?" then please keep reading.

Seche Vite is awesome.

If you've been reading nail blogs, then you've probably gathered at least that much by now. Everyone talks about it, but very few people actually say what it is:

Seche Vite is a quick-dry topcoat. Depending on where you find it, it ranged between $5-7, and it is worth every penny. It can be found at some drug stores (so I've heard), and I've also seen it at Giant Eagle and Target (that's where I've found it the cheapest).

Why is it different from other topcoats? To be honest, I'm not sure. There's something in the formula that is way above my pay grade to figure out (I'm an artist, not a chemist). But as soon as you open the bottle, you know that there is something different in this one. It doesn't smell like polish. It smells...more like spray paint. I think it's a true lacquer, rather than a polish, but since most of my bottles are missing their ingredient lists, I can't tell you what the magic ingredient is. But know that it is there, it works, and that this is chemically different from every other topcoat on your shelf. Sally Hansen can't hold a candle--trust me.

SV is a topcoat that is meant to be applied thick. It makes me think of clear resin when I put it on, and just like it says on the box, it dries super fast--under a minute.

I've tried other quick dry top coats. Usually they peel off, or they smear the fancy designs I've worked so hard to produce, or, sometimes, they take longer to dry than the polish I put them over.

Not SV. It added 1-2 days of wear to my manicure, meaning that instead of chipping, flaking, and peeling off within 24-48 hours, even my most elaborate paint jobs lasted at least 2-3 days with minimal tip wear, and I'm pretty hard on my nails. As soon as it starts to chip, I have to pick at it. It's a compulsion. But not only did it hardly chip, even with a little--ahem--help, my polish wouldn't go anywhere. Tough as nails, indeed.

And even on newly applied polish, it doesn't smear patterns or designs.

So there you have it. Something that I wish someone had told me when I got started in nail art. Save yourself some trouble, spend the extra $2 on the good stuff, and watch the results improve.

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