Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat Review & Pictures

Seche Vite Dry Fast Topcoat ReviewStanding in line at the bank to see a teller. Downloading a new software. Boiling water for the pasta. We play the waiting game all the time. The last thing we want to do is also wait for our manicure to dry.

This is where the Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat comes in. It knows you want to lock in the color right here and right now. But it’s not down and dirty – it’s clear and glossy like glass.

With the Seche Vite topcoat, dings or sheet marks on your manicure are a thing of the past. After discovering this gem years ago, it has completely changed (improved!) my polish routine, and I can’t imagine painting my nails without this stuff!

Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat Pictures

Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat Review

Seche Vite Top Coat

Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat Funnel

This is the funnel that comes with the Professional Kit


√ Fast-drying
√ Non-yellowing
√ Leaves nails silky, stronger & resistant to chipping & peeling
? Penetrates through the nail lacquer to the base coat & forms a single solid coating over the nail plate

Key Notes

  • Name: Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat
  • Sizes Available: Regular-size bottle of polish (14 mL) & Professional Kit (14 mL + 118 mL + funnel)
  • What I Paid: $18.15 USD for the Seche Vite Professional Kit (from Trans Design)
  • Where to Buy: Trans Design, Head2Toe, 8ty8Beauty, Sally Beauty Supply & select beauty-supply stores

Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat Ingredients

Butyl Acetate, Toluene, Cellulose Acetate Butyrate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Trimethyl Pentanyl Disobutyrate & Benzophenone-1

Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat Review

In the bottle, it looks like your Average Joe top coat – it’s clear, it promises to deliver shine, and it claims to dry nail polish stat. Well, guess what? It passes the polygraph test with flying colors!

When I read rave Seche Vite reviews on nail forums years ago, I wasn’t so quick to believe the hype. As usual, I needed to test-drive it for myself to determine how well it performed. To my pleasant surprise, the Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat quickly became my Holy Grail Product.

I’m a nocturnal polisher – I never paint my nails in the day. Normally, I’d have to wait several hours before going to bed to avoid the dreaded sheet marks that ruin your hard work. But with the Seche Vite Dry Fast topcoat, I could literally go to bed in 30 minutes and wake up to perfectly polished tips! It’s amazing! Instead of just drying the surface of the polish (which seems to be my experience with most other quick-dry top coats), the Seche Vite fast drying topcoat dries everything rock-hard!

And ohhh, the shine! It’s glossy glassy perfection that intensifies glitters, brings matte neons to life, and generally makes any lacquer look better. Plus it seems to reinforce my nails so they feel stronger. (My nails are already strong, but with this stuff, they’re ridiculously tough!)

Of course, over time, the formula gets thick. You’ll notice that by mid-bottle, the consistency gets goopy and harder to manage. Don’t throw it out! There’s another product called Seche Restore – you need just a few drops and Seche Vite springs back to its youthful hay days. Good as new!

Application is easy, although I’ve heard some people complain about how it’s tricky. The only ‘trick’ is to get a lot of Seche Vite on your brush for each nail. It self-levels very well, so don’t worry if you accidentally put a bit too much in one section of your nail. However, if you go crazy and really put a crap ton too much, it could cause your lacquer to wrinkle.

Now for the smell – it’s terrible, but did you really expect it to smell like fresh lilac blossoms? Didn’t think so. Seche Vite top coat has a strong, chemical smell that punches you in the face. When it dries, it’s gone. But when wet, watch out…and make sure you use it in a well-ventilated room to avoid getting high.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat can cause polish shrinkage. Although they recommend you apply this to wet nails, I discourage this. Every time I’ve done this, I’ve had major polish shrinkage. The key (in my experience) is to wait about 5 minutes after you’ve painted your last coat (and make sure you wrap your tips – that is, paint the free edge of your nail, too). Then use this magical stuff. You won’t get any shrinkage this way.

Some people have said that the Seche Vite topcoat makes their nail polish just chip off in sheets. That has never happened to me, so I think maybe Seche doesn’t play well with certain base coats or colored lacquer formulas. (I’ve used Nail Tek Ridge-Filling Base Coat Foundation III and Creative Nail Design (CND) Sticky Base Coat without any problems.)

Seche isn’t Big-3-free – it actually contains Toluene. There’s controversy surrounding using non-Big-3-free formulas. If this is an issue for you, don’t use this product. (I clearly don’t care because I paint my nails and know the potential risks of using polish chemicals and breathing in the nasty fumes.) Be a smart shopper, and do your research whenever you’re in doubt.

You may remember me raving about the Nubar Diamont Seal & Shine Topcoat a while ago. It was my favorite…until they changed the formula. Now it’s watery, doesn’t dry as fast, and is too thin – I tried 3 coats of the new formula over a gritty polish and it didn’t smooth it out as much as I’d like. So now I’m back to using my first love – Seche Vite! And now I’ve learned my lesson – never stray when you’ve got it good.


  • Dries nail polish in lightning speed
  • Strengthens nails
  • Non-yellowing
  • Provides high-gloss shine
  • Clear (can be used over any color)
  • Increases manicure mileage

  • Strong terrible odor
  • Not Big-3-free (contains Toluene)
  • Can cause polish to wrinkle if you apply too much
  • Formula gets super thick & hard to use at the half-bottle point (FYI: a little Seche Restore brings the consistency back to new)

Final Verdict: 10/10

The Seche Vite quick drying top coat is a must-try. Trust me – it will change the way you polish your nails. You’ll save time and your manicure!

Have you tried this top coat? What’s your Holy Grail fast-drying top coat?

This product was Mary’s winner for the 2010 Nailed It Award!


28 thoughts on “Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat Review & Pictures

  1. Stephanie

    I’ve never tried it but i would not recommend it to anyone because of the toluene it contains. See for yourself how bad it is on the Cosmetic Database. I would rate this product 0/10 because of it!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hi Stephanie! You definitely have valid concerns. I already know that it contains Toluene and the health risks involved. It’s mentioned in the post. πŸ™‚

      While I’m fine with using Seche Vite, I understand that some people don’t think the potential risk is worth glossy nails. It’s extremely important for shoppers to be smart and do their research before jumping in.

      (P.S. For those who want to avoid this ingredient, make sure you check all your older bottles of polish because it was pretty commonly used. These days, more companies are excluding Toluene, but some still put it in. My advice? Always check the ingredients!)

  2. Mrs. Moore

    Hey! I was wondering if regular nail thinner works in Seche Vite?? I am not sure if I want to purchase Seche anymore after I have tried Poshe which is just as awesome as Seche Vite to me and its 3 free. Anyway I am not sure if I want to fork out money on the restore if I can’t use it on any other polish. Also I love your animated posts. Awesome!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Mrs. Moore!

      I’m glad you enjoy my posts, even when I’m silly! πŸ˜›

      Hmm…I’ve never tried thinning out Seche Vite with a regular thinner. Seche says that Seche Restore is the only thing that can bring Seche to its original consistency. I’m very skeptical of that, though. I have a feeling that other thinners would work just fine, but Seche obviously wants people to buy their products so they make more money. If you try it, I suggest only trying it out on a small portion (not the whole bottle) just in case.

      It’s good that you enjoy using Poshe. I tried it back in 2008 and found that it was much thinner than Seche and didn’t dry as fast. I do like how it’s big-3-free, though. That’s the interesting thing about nail polish – what doesn’t work for someone works miracles for another person! πŸ˜€ I’m happy to hear that you found a good top coat that you love using!

    2. Vicki

      Anybody have any updates on whether or not regular thinner works for bringing Seche Vite back to life?

      I have not checked out the ingredients of Seche Restore but will compare to other thinners and report back!

      On a related note: how is thinner different than just regular ol’ nail polish remover?

      1. Mary Post author

        Hey Vicki!

        I still have only used Seche Restore. If any readers out there know, please let Vicki and everyone else know. πŸ™‚

        From what I understand: Thinner actually adds an ingredient that has evaporated from the polish (which is what makes the polish dry out). The thinner can bring the polish back to having a brand-new consistency…until that ingredient in the polish dries up. Then you can keep adding a bit of thinner to bring it back.

        Nail-polish remover actually breaks down the nail polish, so even if it works in a pinch, over time, it actually ruins the polish and it may not work well anymore after that. And if you keep trying to add remover, it won’t make your polish better…just worse.

        1. Nicole

          I also love SV and it has totally changed how I do my nails as well. I know it’s not big 3 free, but I’m ok with that. It does get really goopy halfway through but I do use my regular nail polish thinner and it’s worked fine. Mary’s right that some things work well for some and not others, but for me the big bottle of Beauty Secrets brand thinner (found at Sally’s) worked great. I’m about to add a little more actually cuz it’s getting goopified again. Hope this helps! πŸ™‚
          Nicole recently posted: Attempted dot ombre nail art- not quite ombre but cute! πŸ™‚

          1. Mary Post author

            Hey Nicole!

            I’m glad that you also love Seche Vite – there are lots of people who won’t touch it because it’s not big-3-free, but it doesn’t bother me. It’s a personal choice, though.

            Good to know that the Beauty Secrets thinner works to thin this and that you don’t necessarily need Seche Restore (which is what I use). Thank you for chiming in! πŸ™‚ I’m sure that my readers find this information very useful! πŸ™‚

        2. Sim

          The reason why Seche Restore is recommended to restore the Seche Vite top coat is because of the ingredients in Seche Restore. Ingredients in Seche Restore are Butyl Acetate, Toluene, Isopropyl Alcohol. Since the Seche Vite top coat contains Toluene, using Seche Restore will help add back the Toluene that evaporates. Other brands of thinner will work too if it contains Toluene.

  3. Erica

    I saw a comment on one of your posts but can’t remember which one it was, so I figured I would come here to comment about this because people seem concerned that it’s not big-3-free. I myself use Essie’s “Good to Go” quick dry top coat. I too paint my nails before bed and always wondered how to stop the sheet marks from being on my nails in the morning. Ever since I started using Essie’s top coat I have not had the problem with the sheet marks. I have never used Seche Vite so I don’t know how it compares application/consistancy-wise, but if you’re concerned about the ingredients, definitely try Essie’s top coat! I love it and will probably use it forever πŸ™‚ It does take a couple minutes, depending on the coat thickness, to fully dry but after the time spent painting my nails in the first place, I don’t mind waiting an extra couple minutes to let the top coat work its magic πŸ™‚

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Erica!

      Good to know that the Essie top coat is working out well for you. πŸ™‚ I’m sure that you’ve helped a lot of my readers. As for myself, I’m a die-hard Seche Vite fan! πŸ™‚

  4. Rita

    your post is very useful for me. In fact, I brought the 118ml bottle with a funnel, but I did not find the whole on the top. How to refill the regular bottle with this funnel? make a whole by myself ?

    1. Rita

      In addition, I did try OPI thinner for Seche, no use at all… the Seche Restore is on the way to my home, haha.

      1. Mary Post author

        Oh, interesting! I’ve only ever tried thinning Seche Vite with Seche Restore. Seche Restore works brilliantly – brings it back to life and it’s as good as new!

    2. Mary Post author

      Hey Rita!

      So happy to hear that you found it helpful! πŸ™‚ Comments like that make my day and motivate me to continue blogging.

      Oh, I don’t even use the funny anymore because the spout of mine got clogged and I was tired of clearing it out each time. Now, I just open up the large professional refill bottle and pour the contents carefully into the small bottle. It’s actually pretty easy doing it this way because the Seche is so thick, it doesn’t drip everywhere. I would suggest not even bothering with the funnel, actually!

        1. Mary Post author

          Oh, I didn’t even know that they sell the refill bottle without the funnel! The Professional Kit I buy always comes with everything, but I just stopped using the funnel.

  5. Rachel

    Ick, I used this stuff awhile ago and I don’t understand all the hype. It may provide a glossy shine, but the shine only lasts for a maximum of two days. Then if you apply another coat to bring back the shine, your polish starts falling off in “sheets” like your post said!

    Sure, it’s fast-drying. …but it still takes up to an hour for your polish to completely dry. So forget about using the bathroom or anything important you need to do with your hands for about an hour (and sometimes up to TWO hours!) after you brush this stuff on.

    The shrinkage is REALLY bad with Seche Vite, even when you wait for your polish to completely dry and wrap the tips.

    Finally, whenever I used Seche Vite, I used to get white crusty edges around my polish, effectively ruining my carefully-applied manicure. That’s when I finally threw away my bottle and vowed never to buy it again.

    There are better top coat products. I’ve tried them all — expensive ones and cheap ones; OPI, Essie, CMD, Nicole, China Glaze, etc etc. Out of all the ones I’ve tried, I really love Sally Hansen Insta-Dri, in the red bottle. You can find it at mass retailers (like Walgreens and Walmart!), and it’s cheap, and it works GREAT. It dries to the soft touch in about a minute and dries completely in about 20. It’s amazing!
    I also like Poshe topcoat. It shrinks polish almost as bad as the Seche Vite but it provides an unbeatable shine that lasts for a full week. It’s also extremely chip-resistant. I stopped using it and switched to the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri when it became really thick and kept shrinking my polish. But it’s still a definite second-place winner.

    By the way…the word is “heyday”…just sayin.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Rachel!

      It’s always interesting to learn that what works miracles for one person is another person’s nightmare, isn’t it?

      Wow, I’ve never had to wait so long for Seche Vite to dry my nails. It seriously dries everything rock hard for me in only 10 minutes! And that’s why it really is my holy-grail product that I love so much. πŸ™‚ But I can understand that if it takes so long to dry on you…yeah, there’s no point using it because it’s meant to be a quick-dry top coat, after all!

      When I first got into nail polish, the first quick-dry top coat I used was Sally Hansen Insta-Dri. Loved it, but then I found Seche Vite and couldn’t go back. On me, Insta-Dri didn’t dry nearly as fast as Seche Vite, and it had a really thin consistency. I like the thickness of Seche Vite because it can smooth out rough polish.

      I’ve also tried Poshe – it was okay, but again, I didn’t like the thin, watery consistency, and it didn’t seem to dry my polish as quickly as Seche.

      Thanks for correcting my spelling. Haha, I barely use the expression “heyday”…Hehe, funny how I wrote it as hay day. Maybe I was channelling my inner farmer. πŸ˜‰

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey shan!

      If you’re looking for a fast-dry top coat that doesn’t contain Formaldehyde, Toluene, or DBP (which may or may not cause birth defects), you could look into Nubar Foundation Base Coat. It’s Big-3 free. If you’re not comfortable using Seche Vite, don’t use it. It’s a personal decision. As for myself, I have no problem using polishes that have the Big-3 chemicals. But it’s not like I’d want to slather my body with the chemicals…haha!

  6. Melissa

    OMGOSH!! You have rocked my world Miss Mary!! I posted that I picked up my first bottle of Seche Vite on your post about China Glaze Unpredictable, (My first bottle of either brand).

    My life is CHANGED!! I rolled my eyes & thought it was too good to be true when you said once you painted your last nail on your hand, the first one was dry. IT’s TRUE!!!!!!!

    OMGOSH!!! I waited five minutes after putting my 2nd coat of CG on & it’s DRY, like I can already crochet DRY!!!!! I know, I’m acting crazy, but I’m sooooo happy!! I can actually crochet tonight instead of sitting around & waiting for my nails to dry. I am SO thrilled!! Thank you so much!!!

    Just an FYI though, I live in Missouri, I got the Seche @ a Sally Beauty Supply for $6.99. 20 or so min later hubby & I were @ Target, they had it there (never saw it before), for $10.10. Seems like a big price difference, I’d shop around for the cheapest price.

    Again, thank you so much!! You are a life saver!!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Melissa!

      And you just made my day! (THANK YOU!) πŸ˜€

      Yes, I completely understand what you mean when you say that this top coat changed your polishing life. It did the same to me. No more waiting a long time for polish to dry. You can paint and then get on with your life. Hehe, and I’ve also used this and then went to knit something. Without this top coat, there’s no way I’d even touch yarn (for fear of it ruining my manicure).

      You’re not acting crazy at all. I had the same reaction the first time I tried it. And now, well, there’s no looking back. I can’t even recall what it was like to have to wait so long for polish to dry. πŸ˜‰

  7. RenΓ©e

    Hi Mary,

    I recently received a free little bottle of Seche Vite along with an order i placed at some shop (in The Netherlands). I’ve tried it on yesterday, it looks sooo shiny but I allready have some chipping on both my index nails. πŸ™ Could very well be just the texture of my nails; their not that strong, I literally chewed them of my hands until the age of 18 haha!

    PS. nice webpage!

    Regards, RenΓ©e

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Renee!

      That’s so awesome you got a free bottle of Seche Vite!

      Hmm…unfortunately, top coats wear differently on different people. There could also be an interaction happening between your top coat, base coat, and coloured polish. I find that thicker polishes (especially glitter polishes) have a higher chance of chipping with Seche Vite on top.

      Which base coat are you using? You may want to switch up your base coat and see if it makes a difference.

      Glad you’re enjoying Swatch And Learn! πŸ™‚ Hope that you’ll leave another comment again. I love interacting with my readers!

  8. Carly

    Hi Mary,
    I love your blog, it’s become part of my morning routine. I saw sec he bite yesterday at London drugs…. it’s amazing!!!!! I normally use opi rapid dry. The shine in amazing and it dried so quick! Love it!
    Thanks for the recommendation!!!!! I also bought a sinful colors polish for 2 bucks love it too! Have a great day, love your blog!

    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Carly!

      Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me a comment. I’m honoured that you visit my blog on a regular basis. I feel very lucky and blessed to have loyal readers such as yourself! πŸ™‚

      Yes, Seche Vite is my favourite top coat. Nubar Diamont is also amazing, but it’s harder to get hold of here in Canada.

      Which colour was the polish you got?


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