I received a bottle of Seche Vive “Instant Gel Effect” top coat to review from the folks at Nail Polish Canada. 🙂 I thought I’d do a post on my favourite use for Seche Vive: smoothing out texture polishes to make them glossy! Here it is over Zoya’s new pixie dust, Juniper!
I find it works best when you let the texture polish dry (or mostly dry), then add a layer of Gelous (from Sally Beauty), followed by the Sèche Vive. (Maybe two layers of Gelous for a really stubborn textured polish!)
Unlike Seche Vite which needs to go over wet polish, Vive is supposed to be used over dry(er) polish. So I let the Gelous dry for a couple minutes before adding the Seche Vive.
And here is an older mani ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼with Zoya Saint and Alice, where Alice has been topcoated using the Gelous/Sèche Vive combo.
Thor in the next pic!
One caveat, the instructions say to put Sèche Vive over dry polish, but the reason I said dry(er) above is that I find it works best over semi-dry, but not fully dry polish. At least, when I tried to put a second layer of it over itself on Zoya Saint, this wrinkling happened:
So, I’m not positive if that was because it was dry before I applied more, or if Sèche Vive just doesn’t like going on top of itself!
One last pic, this is Zoya Roxy with Kissy on the tips, all smoothed with Sèche Vive. In addition to texture polishes, it does a great job on regular glitters that tend to be a bit gritty!
All that to say, although I don’t use it with every mani, I really like the Sèche Vive gel effect and it’s my go-to for smoothing glitters and textures!
Someone on Makeup Alley’s nail board was asking about dupes for Zoya Natalie so I did some comparisons. First, here’s Natalie.
Here are the bottles I compared:
OPI Ginger Bells, Zoya Natalie, Kleancolor Brown, SpaRitual Clay.
SpaRitual Quartz, Zoya Natalie, Joe Fresh Terracotta, OPI Schnapps Out of It.
First set under Ott lite:
First set with flash:
Second set under Ott lite:
Second set with flash:
No exact dupes but some similarities here!
A few old manis and swatches… I couldn’t find info on the number of coats written down.
Zoya Blu and Indigo Bananas Storm Drops.
Sparitual Mirage and Zoya Daul. Mirage’s satin finish:
With topcoat added:
Zoya Arizona. Pretty sure this one is two coats.
Here are a few Zoyas that I swatched recently!
Zoya Nevaeh, two coats.
I was curious how this compared to the base shade of a couple of the Zoya satins. Comparison: Zoya Nevaeh, Zoya Ana (2 coats), Zoya Brittany (2 coats), Zoya Nevaeh.
Left to right: Zoya Nevaeh, Zoya Ana (2 coats plus top coat), Zoya Brittany (2 coats plus top coat), Zoya Nevaeh, with flash.
Zoya Clover, 3 coats. Some of the photos have top coat and some don’t. This yellow-beige toned off-white has a very subtle shimmer that only shows in bright light.
And finally, one that is a very old Zoya: Phyllis. I have no idea when this actually came out; I can’t find any info online. I bought this online from Nail Polish Canada probably about 5 years ago when it must have been already discontinued for some time. Well, it’s not so old that it has the really old original Zoya logo on the bottle, but that’s about all I can say…
Three coats of Phyllis shown here.
It’s a sheer peachy shimmer with a slight pink-to-gold duochrome… pretty!
Zoya Isa is a great blue-toned purple with blue-to-pink duochrome glass flecks. Zoya Aphrodite is a red jelly with pink-to-gold glass flecks. I used two coats of Isa and three of Aphrodite.
Under Ott lite:
I added stamping on Aphrodite using LA Girl Millennium and an image from Pueen Fancy Lover 01.
Zoya Gretchen is a nude-ish brownish dusty rose kind of colour that I applied here in two coats (plus top coat). The accent nail is two coats of Femme Fatale Heart’s Desires, a very unique mauve-ish dusty rose base filled with red-gold-green flakies and tiny red holo microglitter sparks. Photos with flash.
The next day I added two coats of Heart’s Desires overtop of Gretchen and stamped on the accent nail using Kleancolor Metallic Green and an image from Hehe-024. The combo of Heart’s Desires plus green made the accent nail look kind of orange overall!
Here’s the reason I bought Zoya Gretchen – former feral kitty Gretchen! She’s a torbie (brown tabby with some orange tabby patches), although it doesn’t really show in these photos.
Gretchen actually doesn’t really get along very well with a lot of the cats, but there are a few she likes. Here she is cuddled up and spooning with Tex! <3<3<3
Different Dimension Pluto is Still a Planet to Me is a denim-blue polish with gold fleck shimmer. I used three coats plus top coat.
On my ring finger is Pretty and Polished Weather the Storm, a greyed blue dusty creme. Two coats plus top coat for this one.
I wanted to compare these two blues to Zoya Skylar.
Skylar is on my thumb below. Three coats plus top coat; the formula was a little thin. The photo is unfortunately a little overexposed.
As you can see the base of Skylar is similar to Weather the Storm but it’s even more of a greyed, faded shade of blue. The shimmer particles are smaller glass fleck than those in Pluto, and are silvery/multicolour in tone. Pluto is the brightest blue of the three.
Here is a photo of Skylar on my thumb, better showing the tiny multicoloured glass fleck.
The Emperor by Black Cat Lacquer is from their Tarot collection. The name is also one of the (many, many) nicknames of one of my cats – SP, aka Emperor Spee. 😀
The Emperor is a dark brown creme-based holo with additional irregular-shaped micro holo shards. I had seen them described as both ‘flakes’ and ‘shreds’ so I wasn’t sure if they were flakes of true holo particles (smooth) or if they were more like glitter shards (slight texture that needs a topcoat to smooth), so I wanted to mention that it’s the latter, in case anyone is uncertain like I was. Here is the Emperor under Ottlite:
I used two coats plus top coat. The accent nail has a base of Zoya Codie with a half moon in Zoya Nina. Under halogen light:
Love this deep brown combo, even if in most lighting the contrast between the two colours on the accent nail wasn’t as strong as I’d thought it would be.
And here are some pics of my feline Emperor Spee; he’s a little black cat and with the bright sunlight bringing out the brown highlights in his fur, The Emperor polish matches him well! ❤
Zoya Rowan is a greyish taupe in Zoya’s satin matte finish. I used two coats without top coat here.
The formula was great, although the ridges in my nails tend to show through this finish!
After the swatch I added a couple of accent nails in Different Dimension Solar Flares, a slightly browner taupe creme with colour-shifting magenta/pink to gold flakes.
I used three coats of Solar Flares, no top coat, for these photos.
I then added top coat to both polishes, using my new favourite top coat HK Girl by Glisten & Glow. Dries fast and works great over nail art, though it isn’t big-3 free for those who are concerned about that.
I also wanted to compare Rowan to Orly Faint of Heart. Here is the comparison – Zoya on my index finger, Orly on my middle finger. I used two coats plus top coat of Faint of Heart.
Faint of Heart is greyer, slightly darker, and when you look at it very close up, it has a ton of tiny specks of pigment in it, kind of like a much more subtle version of the Pretty and Polished Dusty Cremes finish. Again, left to right, Zoya Rowan and Orly Faint of Heart:
Reverse order, left to right, Orly Faint of Heart and Zoya Rowan: