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!
Happy New Year! This beautiful, bright blue polish is Pookie from the Pretty Serious Well Meaning But Ultimately Quite Awkward Pet Names collection!
Two coats plus top coat, great formula! Love this unique shade of turquoise blue!
Now, Pookie is one of the nicknames of my cat Possum – actually, The Lady-Pookie is her full nickname. Because Pookie was a nickname of one of my parents’ cats (may he rest in peace) who was an orange tabby, and Possum is also an orange tabby but a female orange tabby. I tried to take a “my nails and my cat” pic here but she wasn’t too thrilled with the flash!
I stamped over Pookie using Kleancolor Metallic Orange and these cute little roly-poly cats that remind me of Possum, from Hehe plate Hehe-023!
Here’s Possum still at the top of that cat tree, still not looking too thrilled!
Sometimes she likes to roll around on the floor and show off her super fluffy belly!
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
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! ❤
Here’s a subtle single-dotted mani I did with China Glaze Sun Upon My Skin and Be More Pacific, using a dotting tool to add one dot of the other colour on each nail near the cuticle.
I used three coats plus top coat for both of these. The formula wasn’t my favourite; I found them a bit runny and not very self-leveling, and got some small bubbles in a few nails. But the colours are pretty.
Here’s Thor hanging out in the background!
I wanted to compare these pastels to a couple of similar Ellagee pastels from their Beach Bum collection – She Sells Seashells (yellow) and Seaside Cottage (green).
Unfortunately I didn’t write down how many coats I used of the Ellagee polishes, but I’m pretty sure it was also three coats plus top coat for them. They did have a significantly nicer formula than these China Glazes in my opinion!
Left to right/top to bottom: Ellagee She Sells Seashells, China Glaze Sun Upon My Skin, Ellagee Seaside Cottage, China Glaze Be More Pacific. As you can see the Ellagee yellow is lighter and brighter, and while the greens are more similar to each other than the yellows, again the Ellagee is a little bit lighter and brighter.
I then added a matte neon circle glitter topper, Ellagee Gumballs, over my comparison to try it out.
While I love the colour and shape of the glitters, overall I was disappointed by this polish. I had only had it a few weeks before trying it, but the base had already developed a bit of a pink tint from bleeding glitters. As you can see in the photos it’s muddied the colours of the base polishes.
I also found it pretty thick and ended up with some bubbles trying to get a good amount of glitter onto the nail and distributed. Ah well. I do really like the circle shape and the neon pastel colours. Placing the glitters individually with a dotting tool or orange stick would probably work out better!
Two polishes named Jasmine! And they happen to go together very well.
This is Misa Jasmine, a wonderfully dusty light purple creme, with an accent nail of Picture Polish Jasmine, which has green, silver and blue medium hex glitter and similar-sized purple square glitter in a lavender crelly base.
I used two coats plus top coat for Misa Jasmine. It had a great, smooth and creamy formula.
For Picture Polish Jasmine, I used three coats plus top coat for even glitter coverage. With flash:
And here’s a little crossed-paws, head tilting (to follow the fingers I was wiggling at her!) Jasmine collage: