Seche Vive Instant Gel Effect Top Coat Review + My Polish Picks For Winter

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When your polish matches your sweater perfectly + that shine!

When your polish matches your sweater perfectly + that shine!

Just like our skin, our nails also suffer in the cold winter months.  In the spring and summer, I am able to grow my natural nails long and strong but it seems like as soon as the temperature drops, my nails start to fizzle.  They turn brittle, dry, and are easy to break and to quote Mean Girls, my nail beds suck.  I much prefer long nails vs. short so I am constantly trying to find new ways to keep them strong and healthy throughout fall and winter.  As a person, who usually doesn't go polish-free for longer than a day, it's vital to find quality nail products that work with my active lifestyle and seasonal changes.

Well, thank you, Nail Polish Canada for gifting me this Seche Vive Instant Gel Effect Top Coat to test & review, because I am shook!  If you're not familiar with the Seche brand, let me bring you up to speed.  Their most popular product is known for exactly that, speed.  The Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat is an absolute cult classic, especially if you are like me, impatient and need to dip your hands into a bag of Smartfood popcorn 2 minutes after putting nail polish on.  

Move over Seche Vite, and say hello to Seche Vive Instant Effect Top Coat, the gel version that drys just as fast, no UV lamp required.  I have been using this top coat for about a month now and it is hands down the best top coat I have ever used and here is why:

The shine is unbeatable.  You really get that "just left the salon" gel manicure shine with Seche Vive.  Prior to testing this product, I had been getting UV gel manicures every three weeks and I honestly do not see a big difference in shine or finish between UV and this topcoat. Win!  

Fast-drying. Just like Seche Vite, Seche Vive is extremely fast drying which is the most important thing for me personally, because I don't want to wait 15 minutes for my nails to dry.  I swear it only takes like 30 seconds for a thick coat to set, it's mindblowing.    

Long lasting. My nails lasted a solid 6 days without any chips, which is the longest amount of time out of any topcoat products I've used.  I am rough on my nails, so I was extremely happy with these results.  

No shrinkage.  I have not experienced any shrinkage with Seche Vive which is why I would choose this top coat over the OG,  which is known for causing shrinkage.  This is when your polish will literally shrink and you might see a line along the tip of the nail without polish, right after applying (super annoying). 

Stronger Nails.  This is a thicker polish, which leaves a nice coating over the nail to keep your polish strong and protected.

The only con, which I didn't mind personally is that it has a strong chemical smell.  Which clearly is why it works so well (the chemicals).  If you're into all-natural beauty this polish might not be for you, but if you like products that work then I highly recommend the Seche Vive Instant Gel Effect Top Coat.  Overall, this is a quality top coat and I am officially hooked, ringing in at $13.95 CAD on, it's a lot cheaper than spending $35 every three weeks at the salon.  

One thing I've noticed since moving to Kitchener-Waterloo is higher end nail polish brands such as Zoya or O.P.I. are not easy to find, so if you're in the market for some quality polish or indie brands I would checkout Nail Polish Canada as they have an awesome selection!  

From right to left: 2 Of A Kind, Mightnight Mod, Wrap Party, Sage You Love Me

From right to left: 2 Of A Kind, Mightnight Mod, Wrap Party, Sage You Love Me


I also wanted to share some of my favourite polishes for winter!  Being Canadian and all, I have been inspired by the colours we see in nature such as lush greens, blues and browns.  Sage You Love Me by Essie, is my favourite at the moment, it's such a pretty neutral green!  

  • Sage You Love Me, Essie Gel Couture, a beautiful pale neutral sage
  • Wrap Party, Essie Gel Couture, an ultra-dark green, almost black
  • 2 Of A Kind Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy
  • Midnight Mod, Sally Hansen Miracle Gel

What do you think about my picks!  Let me know in the comment section below.  

Disclaimer: The Seche Vive Instant Gel Effect Top Coat was generously gifted to me by Nail Polish Canada for testing purposes.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.