Battle of the Topcoats: Seche Vite vs Butter London


I am an avid nail polisher.  I change my polish when the mood strikes, and sometimes it even strikes twice a week.  But when I do a really good job at painting my nails I want it to stay for more than a few days. This is where the topcoat comes in.  I believe a topcoat can make or break your manicure.  It's the last step to seal everything in, and if the topcoat isn't up to snuff then you're manicure will turn out less than fabulous.  I tested out two very popular topcoats to see which is better.

Seche Vite Dry Fast Topcoat ($10)

This topcoat is seen as the holy grail of topcoats among the beauty internet experience and I can see why.  A brand new bottle will give your nails a super shiny coat, and it has a good staying power, lasting a week with minor chips.  Though a new bottle of Seche Vite will offer a really good finish to a manicure, a month old bottle is less than stellar.  Seche Vite gets gloopy and really thick in a matter of weeks.  The gloopiness makes it hard to dry, and gets a lot of scuff marks if you aren't careful. Seche Vite does sell a thinner, but the extra step can be annoying, and it doesn't fully change the polish to what it was like in the beginning. Another problem I have with it is the toxic toluene warning label it has printed on the bottle.  Toluene is a chemical used in paint thinner, nail glue, and some nail polishes. It can be very harmful and cause birth defects if you are exposed to it for a long time, or if you consume it.  I read somewhere that the amount of toluene in nail polish is small, and causes no real side effects, but knowing that it has some toxic chemicals in it is a big turn off for me. 


Butter London Hardwear P. D. Quick Topcoat ($19)

The Butter London Topcoat is the priciest top coat I have ever purchased, so I was expecting for it to be good.  It is not formulated with formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, and it is not animal tested.  The topcoat does offer a thin shiny coat that is a little less sparkling than the Seche Vite.  Though not as shiny, the Butter London topcoat does protect the nails from chips for at least a week.  Also, I've had this polish for over a month, and it hasn't gotten gloopy or thick.  Every coat is thin and fast drying. 

Since I paint my nails so often I prefer using the Butter London topcoat because it gives me a peace of mind knowing that there are no toxic chemicals on my hands.  It may be more expensive, but it lasts longer than the Seche Vite, and provides the same thin shiny coats each time.

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