Thursday, 13 June 2013

This Or That: Nails Inc Kensington Caviar Top Coat | Seche Vite

Nails Inc Kensington Caviar Top Coat has been my go-to top coat for a few years now. It does exactly what it claims to do: Makes nails touch dry in 45 seconds. Even if you have no interest in nails I'm sure at one point you will have heard about Seche Vite. It seems to be the top coat of choice on the blogosphere but after trying my mates a while back and not being impressed I turned a blind eye and swore never to buy it. Fast forward a year or so and I ordered a bottle thinking that maybe my mates was a dud or had just gone bad but had it?

Price: Kensington Caviar is more expensive at £12 for a full sized bottle but you can buy the set containg the Kensington Caviar Base & Top Coat 8ml each for around £12. Seche Vite is just under £10 (depending on where you purchase it from) for 14ml.

Finish: They are both fast drying top coats. On my nails they are both touch dry in the same amount of time. Kensington Caviar has a slight pink tinge to it but has never altered the colour of any polish I'm wearing. If anything it makes the colour more intense. Seche Vite is clear and also makes the colour more intense. They both leave the nails seriously glossy but Seche Vite has the edge as the formula is thicker.

Formula: Seche Vite is very thick and gloopy, even when you've just opened a brand new bottle. After the first few uses I noticed the formula started to dry out and get even thicker. I've read reviews saying that even when the bottle is half full it's almost unusable and you will need to use a product like Seche Restore. From what I've read, Seche Vite can be used on wet polish. I've tried this and ended up with streaks, smears and the brush was covered in whatever colour I'd used. If you don't apply enough, it drags across the nail leaving an uneven finish but if you use too much it pools in certain areas and leaves the sides of the nails looking crusty. It also caused major shrinkage at the tips on certain shades. Kensington Caviar is only slightly thicker than a regular top coat, spreads across the nail with ease and doesn't get gloopy untill the bottle is almost finished (even when it is gloopy it can still be used)

Longevity: Seche Vite cracked on my nails, peeled off like a sticker and didn't make my mani last any longer than if I didn't use a topcoat. Kensington Caviar does prolong the life of my mani but certainly isn't a game changer when it comes to wear time. This doesn't bother me in the slightest though as more often than not I'll change my nail colour before any chips or tip wear appear.

For me, Seche Vite isn't worth the hype. I can see why a lot of people love it as it leaves a really gorgeous, glossy almost gel like finish on the nails but the problems with application make it more hassle than its worth plus the smell is horrendous. It even comes with health warnings!

Nails Inc Kensington Caviar Top Coat still remains in my Holy Grail section and I can't see that changing any time soon but another great fast drying top coat is Sally Hansen Insta-Dri. It works in the same way and is a more purse friendly option.

Whats your Holy Grail top coat?
Have you tried either of these?

Follow me: Twitter | Bloglovin' | SheSaidBeauty


  1. This is really interesting. I have been wondering about Seche Vite a lot recently. I've used a few Nails Inc top coats (not this one though) and always been impressed, but I always seem to go back to Sally Hansen MegaShine! xx

    1. Are the other Nails Inc top coats fast drying like Kensington Caviar? Don't think I've tried any of them.

      I would skip Seche Vite if I was you but maybe you'll love it like everyone else seems to.

  2. I'm not a fan of Nails Inc. varnishes so I would have given the top coat a miss and gone with the Seche Vite. But the latter gets so much more press, doesn't it. Great comparative review Fran.


    1. Nsils Inc formulas can be really hit and miss but I would recommend Kensington Caviar Top Coat over all the other fast dry top coats I've tried. The only thing I wish they would change is the brush size, it's quite thin. I think it's being repackaged in a black bottle.