I’ve never replaced any nail product as much as Seche Vite. I use it so regularly that I have the refill bottle and the matching thinner. Nothing has ever matched it as a top coat for drying speed or the gorgeous shine it gives my manicures. Seche recently introduced Seche Vive, another quick drying top coat that gives an instant gel effect. So how does Vive stack up against Vite? Pretty well actually. Vive is slightly thicker and takes a tiny bit longer to dry (maybe an extra thirty seconds) but it gives off seriously shine that lasts for weeks.
I’ve used it on a bunch of different types of polishes; colours that chip quickly, ones that last a while on their own and ones that just don’t last. I’ve had major success with all of them. I wore a red polish that drives me crazy because I get so much tip wear with it and I went for two weeks with virtually zero change and a ton of shine. If I didn’t have nail growth at my nail beds, I could’ve left it on longer. The only drawback to Seche Vive that I’ve found, is even though you take it off with regular polish remover, it’s definitely more difficult to get off than Seche Vite.
If you have issues getting your polish to stay looking good and don’t want to go get a gel manicure, this is seriously the next best thing. I’m still loyal to my Seche Vite but this is my new backup.
OPI has been around for so long that I can’t remember when I started using their polishes. Some of their iconic shades are also some of my favourite polishes. Last month OPI released the first batch of their new Infinite Shine Iconic Shades which are basically the most popular OPI polishes but in an Infinite Shine formula. I don’t love the IS line (mainly the base and top coat) but I was very curious to see if these shades would hold up in this new formula. To be honest, I don’t really understand why they’re releasing older shades that are still available in the regular formula but I do know there are a lot of people who love the long-wear, gel-like Infinite Shade line. I tried ten of the thirty shades available and since these are all established shades, I’m not going to do a ton of descriptions on colour. All the photos are no base or top coat.
This cloudy white was really not a great way to start. It was extremely sheer and patchy and three coats still didn’t even it out. Luckily, most of the other shades held up much better.
I did 2 coats of this really pretty pink nude. I could’ve gone for more opacity but I actually like this type of shade a little sheer. I had a couple little formula issues but nothing that I wasn’t expecting from a shade like this.
Dulce De Leche
Somehow I’ve never used this shade before and I have no idea why. This formula was pretty great, it was the first of the one-coaters (yes there are several). I really loved this nude shade.
You Don’t Know Jacques
This taupe-brown went on perfectly in two coats and there’s a reason this shade is so popular. But it looks pretty much the same as my regular formula.
This is one of my favourite summer pinks and I have to say the shine on this one is really great. I could’ve gotten away with one coat but two just looked better.
I didn’t expect to like this orange red but I really did. Two coats were great but for some reason I found this one stained quite a bit.
Big Apple Red
One coat of this classic red was absolutely perfect. I didn’t have any staining issues and if I wore red polish on a regular basis, I’d reach for this one for sure.
This deep wine shade is so perfect for fall and again, one coat was perfect. This one stained really badly though.
I’m Not Really A Waitress
I’m Not Really A Waitress is one of the few OPI shades that I’ve replaced more than once. I’m in love with this shade. I could’ve gotten away with one coat but two was so much better. I actually think I like the Infinite Shine version better than the original. The photo is without topcoat and it’s even better if you add some.
Lincoln Park After Dark
This is the other shade that I use all the time. The photo is one coat but two would definitely make this dark purple more black. It all depends on the look you’re going for.
Considering how much I previously didn’t like the Infinite Shine collections, I’m so impressed by these shades. Maybe the base and top coats just don’t get along with me, but considering the shine on all of these without a topcoat, maybe I can get away without using one. I can’t wait to try some of the other shades they’ll be releasing but if you don’t want to spend the extra couple bucks for the IS versions, you can always buy the originals.
I’m all over fall nail polish right now, it’s my favourite nail polish season after all but this year Ceramic Glaze isn’t releasing new shades for their fall and holiday collections. Instead, they’ve added a bunch of new core shades and we have a couple that fit right into fall anyways. Ceramic Glaze is only available at Shopper’s Drug Mart in Canada but if you’re stateside you might be able able to find similar shades with another similar brand. Those are all the clues you get.
I was honestly convinced that I had already tried this bright, hot pink shade but after a search through my archives, I couldn’t find it. I love this pink as a transitional shade, since Toronto still feels like it’s summer and not fall and some of us aren’t quite ready for cooler weather (I’m so ready though). Island Getaway was extremely runny, which led to pooling, which really wasn’t fun. But two coats were good for opacity, just be prepared for a ton of cleanup.
The formula for this dark berry was much better and there was a lot less cleanup involved. Two coats of this super pretty pink was perfect. It’s a really nice year round shade.
If this dark plum shade looks familiar to you, it’s because it’s very similar to OPI’s Lincoln Park After Dark. Like, almost exact. But I wore this one for a week with basically no chips or tip wear and it’s definitely on my favourites list for fall. That said, this one needs a top coat, it really needs that glossy finish. The first coat of this one was very patchy but the second was perfect.
Forever In Love
This was the last of the four polishes I tried and I really didn’t think anything could top Raisin Biscotti for me in terms of favourites. This gorgeous burgundy just screams ‘fall shade’ and I could’ve gotten away with one coat but did two for depth. I still can’t decide if Raisin Biscotti or Forever In Love won as my favourite but I’m already trying to decide how I can wear both at once.
I’m always a little hesitant when nail polish companies release ‘healthy’ collections. Let’s be honest, nails don’t really breathe and if you’re using acetone to remove your polish then you’re basically reversing any good effects you might get. But it’s a healthy nail polish is a trend right now and tons of lines are popping up everywhere. Also, I love base and top coats probably more than I love nail polish and I haven’t found a one-step polish that made me willing to give them up for a while. Until I tried Quo By Orly’s Breathable Nail Treatment + Color. If you’re not in Canada, Orly’s Breathable is exactly the same stateside but the bottles look a tiny bit different.
The Breathable treatment is filled with Argan Oil, Vitamin B5 and Vitamin C; all to promote hydration, heal damaged nails and let oxygen into them while you’re wearing polish. I’m lucky enough to have really strong, healthy nails that don’t peel or chip often, so I’m the wrong person to ask about if this polish makes nails stronger. I will say that none of them broke while I was wearing the polish though. This is a one-step polish, you don’t use base or top coats and I had similar experiences will nearly all the shades I tried. They went on like a dream and while the brush is fairly massive, there was a slight angle on it that made it easier to apply to my narrow nail beds. Also, this polish dries fast and shiny. I was probably most surprised by the amount of shine I got without a top coat. Also, a lack of top coat made these super easy to take off with regular polish remover and not one stained. Now that all the information is out of the way, let’s take a look at the shades I tried. All of the photos are two coats without base or top coat. I’m using the shade descriptions from the Orly version.
Peach Nude Crème
I’m not a fan of nudes but this formula really impressed me considering it was an all-in-one. I did have slight bubbling but Toronto was crazy humid when I was swatching these, so I’m blaming weather.
This one seemed thicker than the others, almost chunky but it dried down fine and was really pretty. I’m blaming weather again for the slight bubbling on my pinky.
Happy And Healthy
Pastel Coral Creme
Orly calls this coral, I call it bubblegum so we can agree to disagree. This was the only one that had slight patchiness but it evened out while it was drying.
Pastel Mint Creme
Fresh Start was basically perfect. Everything about it worked and I wore it for a week straight with zero tip wear and it stayed shiny! Plus I’m used to mint greens being a little chalky and this one isn’t.
Stronger Than Ever
Ruby Red/Gold Shimmer
When I applied the first coat of Stronger Than Ever it was so sheer that I was worried about how many coats I’d have to do for opacity. Turns out the second coat did the job. This is going to be stunning for the holiday season. It was also much easier to take off than a lot of other microglitters.
Deep Wine Creme
I love love love this shade for fall. I could’ve gotten away with one coat of this but two just looked a little better. One coat also had tip wear fairly quickly while two didn’t have any. My brush was faulty for this one but I was able to work around it for the most part.
Deep Plum Creme
We don’t get a ton of purple polish around here but I do generally like them and I love this one. It went on perfectly and it’s a great shade for fall.
Iris Purple Creme
I didn’t fully realize how much I love this shade until I saw how the photo of it turned out. Do you see all the shine? You get all with all the shades but it really stands out with Feeling Free. The first coat went on very sheer but the second turned it into this perfect, gorgeous purple. By far my favourite shade of the eight I tried.
I can’t stress enough how impressed I am by this collection. There are still a couple shades I wouldn’t mind trying but I really hope they add a ton of shades to this line because this is the only one-step polish I’ve tried that I’d actually wear on a regular basis. It takes a lot for me to get obsessed with a new kind of polish but I literally didn’t want to stop wearing this line.
Fall is my happy place as far as nail polish goes and I’m so happy that we receive fall collections when it’s still summer. First up is OPI’s Washington DC fall/winter collection. There are twelve shades in this collection plus three more ‘limited edition’ Kerry Washington shades. The Scandal star is OPI’s creative ambassador this year and her shades are pretty great. We have a lot of colours to get through, so let’s get started.
Pale To The Chief
So nearly nude, it’s almost scandalous.
I’m not a huge fan of nude polish but I actually like this one quite a bit. The formula is a little tricky though, I did two coats but I waited a good couple minutes between each one. If you don’t, you risk squishiness and patchiness and settling issues. Be patient with this one and it’ll pay off.
Never A Dulles Moment
A curry yellow seen on airport and fashion week runways.
I’m not a fan of yellow in pretty much anything so yellow polish isn’t my thing. As far as tricky yellow formulas go, this one wasn’t too bad. It was actually pretty similar to Pale To The Chief. This was two coats with a little patchiness and slight settling issues. I felt like I had painted my nails with mustard but the few people who saw me wearing it, loved it on me.
Yank My Doodle
Get a tawny copper mani and call it macaroni
This terracotta shade was relatively easy to work with, the first shade went on very sheer but the second made it perfect. This one is just ok for me. I don’t hate it but I probably won’t wear it again either.
Freedom Of Peach
Wearing this creamy peach is your fashion right
This dusty peach was a one-coater! I had zero issues with it and I actually ended up loving it when I was expecting to hate it. I might be completely over orange nail polish but this one just felt a bit different.
Squeaker Of The House
A chocolate brown so yummy, it crosses party lines
Squeaker Of The House went on perfectly in two coats and looks like milk chocolate. It’s pretty much everything I want in a brown polish.
Shh…It’s Top Secret
A deep, deep brown so dark, it’s incognito
OPI is calling this one brown, so there must be some in there but all I see is black. And I’m ok with that. I coat of this one was good, two was better and a top coat makes it stunning. I love Lincoln Park After Dark for an almost black and this one might be even better.
A commanding red with real Oval Office power
1 coat of this pink learning red was great but two is gorgeous. It’s such a great transitional shade between summer and fall and I wore this one for a week without much tip wear. It does stain though. Badly.
OPI By Popular Vote
It’s a landslide victory! This cool apple red is a real winner.
Does this look a little similar to Madam President? Yes, yes it does. This one was a one-coater though and a touch more of a traditional red.
We The Female
You’re hereby authorized to wear this empowering garnet
Two coats of this oxblood red is just perfect. I love this shade for fall.
CIA = Color Is Awesome
A smart, dusky blue for secret agent fashionistas
I was expecting to love this deep teal blue but I really didn’t think I would love it this much. It doesn’t hurt that the formula was flawless and this is a one-coater. Staining was minimal. This is one of my favourites from the collection, if not my actual favourite.
Stay Off The Lawn!!
Don’t trespass on this deep, lush green
Clearly blue and green polishes are my favourites because there’s going to be a lot of gushing going on between this one and CIA = Color is Awesome. Like CIA, this one was a perfect one-coater only in forest green this time. It’s just perfect.
Suzi – The First Lady Of Nails
Command the political scene in this chic olive green.
This olive green was unexpected for me until I realized it could also be considered military green, in which case it makes perfect sense. The first coat of this one was very sheer but two was perfect. I really like this shade and don’t have a lot like it in my collection.
Kerry Washington Shades
Inside The ISABALLETway
Washington’s movers-andshakers vie for this caramel crème
Named for Kerry Washington’s daughter, this light brown had a great formula. Two coats were perfect but you can get away with one if you really have to.
Accomplished stateswomen love this plum with capital flair
This plum shade is so, so pretty. Unfortunately, it’s also patchy. Two coats mostly evened it out and if I was patient enough I might’ve done a third to even it out even more. But I love this shade enough that I didn’t need it completely perfect.
“Liv” In The Gray
This edgy, sophisticated dark gray makes a strong federal case.
This one-coater gray is another one of my favourites. It’s so gorgeous and a nice little change from black and brown.
Obviously I’m not going to like every shade in a collection this big but this is hands down my favourite OPI collection in a very long time.
Last week we started our Sally Hansen Color Therapy posts with the pink and nude shades and today we’re finishing it off with the rich tones. Most of my personal favourites of the line fall into this category. Like the other shades, these are simple to apply. You apply to clean, bare nails and choose whether you want to use the top coat or not. And like the other shades, these polishes dry shockingly fast. I don’t know if it’s just these shades or it’s just more noticeable because they’re darker but I found that all of them shrunk up a bit when they dried, leaving me with at times, pretty significant tip wear before I even had a chance to use my hands. These are super easy to touch up however but I’m wondering if there would’ve been a difference had I used my regular top coat with them.
Ohm My Magenta
Say “namaste” to this magnificent reddish-purple
Right off the bat this one was a star. A one-coater, it went on flawlessly and was really gorgeous. This is the kind of shade you can wear all year round.
Clear your head with a restorative red
This dark red was pretty similar to Ohm My Magenta but two coats looked better with this one. It also stained, so if I had to choose, I’d pick OMM.
A deep refreshing garden green
I love dark green polish and when I can find one that gives this kind of coverage in one coat? Sold. It actually looks like the skin of a cucumber. But this one stains as well and since you don’t use a base coat with Color Therapy, it’s a little bit of a problem.
Slicks And Stones
A lustrous crystalized purple
This one coater is pretty in the photo but stunning in the sunlight. It’s so sparkly. It also desperately needs top coat or it’ll look a little dull when it dries. There’s a ton of microglitter in here, so it’s a little harder to take off.
Shimmer with an electric metallic violet
Indiglow is one of my favourites and I wish more companies would release this kind of purple more often. The formula was a little runnier than the others, so there was some pooling. The photo is two coats. This first coat was so sheer that I was actually concerned with how many I would need but two was perfect.
Reflect and restore in a saturated blue jewel tone
Soothing Sapphire is hands down my pick of the shades I tried. It’s almost like a sister shade to Indiglow and the deep blue is just gorgeous. Again, I used two coats with this one but it was less runny than Indiglow. There was a tiny bit of staining but nowhere near as bad as Cool Cucumber.
There are still quite a few shades of Color Therapy that I haven’t tried (I need to get my hands on Reflection Pool) but overall I’m pretty happy with this line. Do I wish the brushes were smaller? Always. I find the top coat fairly useless so I’m going to see how some others react to the polishes and the cuticle oil is fine but nothing super special.
After wearing this line pretty exclusively for about two weeks, I really didn’t notice a change in my nails. But I didn’t have a lot of issues to start with either. I’m also pretty sure that using acetone daily probably counteracted some of the oils effects. So for me all it comes down to was how much I liked the actual polish and I like it quite a bit.
The latest thing in nail polish is using products that are good for your nails and Sally Hansen’s new Color Therapy line is definitely in that category. The 33 colour collection (all picked by Madeline Poole) is packed with good for your nails ingredients like argan oil, acai berry and evening primrose oil. The line also has a top coat and cuticle oil to go along with it. The shades are split up in to three categories; pinks and corals, nudes and rich tones and they all have spa inspired names.
The Color Therapy line is really easy to use. You don’t use a base coat and you can use the top coat but don’t have to. I found they all dried really quickly but they still have that massive Sally Hansen brush that’s way too big for my nail beds, so I had lots of cleanup to do. All of these come off easily with regular nail polish remover. For this post I’m showing you the shades I had in the nude and pink categories.
Pinks and Corals
Unwind with this shimmery pastel peach
I did 2 coats and still found Couple’s Massage too sheer for me but it’d be really pretty as a french manicure.
A crystallized classic pale pink
This was three coats. Three! I really don’t love polishes this sheer but I would wear this one if I didn’t want polish on but wanted something on my nails (I hate having nothing on them).
Pampered In Pink
Revitalize with this punchy pink
After two coats, this bright strawberry pink still had some slight visible nail line but I really love this shade for summer. It was my favourite of the three.
A ladylike pearlescent blushed nude
This one was a little runnier than the others and ended up pooling in my cuticles a bit but I think it’s a really nice polish.
Meditate in a deep charcoal metallic
Two coats of Therapewter was stunning, especially in direct sunlight. I would never have put this in the nude category but I can see how that thought process went. Because this one has microglitter, it was a little harder to get off.
Breathe it out in a botanical blush tone
I love this shade so much that I didn’t mind that three coats still left me with a little VNL. This was probably my favourite of the bunch.
Get centered in a gorgeous greige
I had no notes on this one except that it was two coats, so I’m taking that as a sign that I liked it.
Chai On Life
A warm calming taupe
This was the closest any of these shades got to a one-coater but I went for two for more even coverage. While I loved it in person, I couldn’t get it to photograph well for the life of me. I would wear this one again though.
The rich tone shades are coming soon.
The polish shade choices this summer have been kind of odd to me. I’m not seeing a ton of neon and there have been some very unexpected releases but OPI’s Retro Summer collection has us definitely in a summer kind of mood. Almost all the shades took a couple minutes to settle properly and some didn’t quite get there but there are some really pretty colours in here.
What’s The Double Scoop?
Rumor has it this summer-fun pink is taken…by me!
This super pretty pink was perfect in two coats. And while this one didn’t have settling issues, it pooled a lot, so be careful around your cuticles. Luckily, it doesn’t stain.
Flip Flops & Crop Tops
The perfect bright pink to go with all your summer
I’m kind of obsessed with this bright pink shade. I mean, I’ve seen it before, but I still love it. This one was perfect in one coat and it did take a minute to settle properly. I’m going to be using this one a lot.
Towel Me About It
This flirty, sunny yellow speaks volumes on style.
At first glance, this polish really reminds me of that banana penicillin I had as a kid, and I kind of can’t get past that. But this is actually a really good yellow polish. Or it would’ve been if I could’ve gotten it to settle and dry properly. I’d might try this one again when it’s less humid because it’s the first yellow I haven’t instantly hated in a long time.
I’m Getting A Tan-gerine
Warm up to this a-peeling, citrusy orange.
It’s too bad this shade is a tad too yellow for me because the formula was pretty good. It was patchy on the first coat but that evened out on the second. Definitely not for me.
An orange-red so hot, it’s off the charts.
I would just like to say, I’m so sick of orange nail polish I’d be happy to never see one again. That said SPF XXX went on in two coats like a dream. Zero issues, it settled perfectly and it’s actually a great shade.
Sailing & Nailing
A light, breezy blue to charm your first mate.
And here we have love at first sight in a nail polish. This is everything I want in a summer polish. It’s bright and pretty and two coats went on flawlessly.
We’re mostly used to seeing neon polishes for summer and this year Essie has turned our expectations around. With no neons in sight, this Antigua inspired collection is strangely perfect for summer. I used Essie All In One base coat and Seche Vite top coat for all the swatches.
Sweet Cream White
I almost got away with one coat for this one. A WHITE. But it was a touch patchy so I went with two. Essie’s Blanc has been my go to white for years but Coconut Cove might actually replace it for me. It’s not a true white, but the formula is flawless and it looks so great on.
Bright Ruby Berry
This bright pink was one perfect coat. I don’t really have much more to say about it, other than I wish it was just a tiny bit more pink and less red. Other than that, gorgeous.
Scorching Hot Lava Red
This red has a ton of orange in it, making it perfect for summer. This formula was kind of interesting. It went on really well but opacity kind of hovered somewhere between two and three coats depending on the thickness of the coat and each nail was somewhere between the two. I loved this one way more than I expected to.
Iridescent crystalline turquoise
Lately I feel like there’s always a shade in each collection that I want to love but something goes very wrong. With this collection it’s Viva Antigua!. It’s gorgeous, it’s a one-coater and it has a nice, thin formula. But something went a little crazy when a couple of my nails were drying. Some were perfect (top two) but the bottom two, well…they never really settled. Maybe it was the humidity, but something just didn’t go right. I love this mermaid-y shade enough that I’ll definitely be trying again.
Loot The Booty
Blue sapphire pavé
One medium-thick coat of this blue was enough for full opacity and a lot of depth. And it’s stunning in the sunlight. I don’t generally expect a shade like this for summer but I’m completely in love with it.
Black gold and crushed onyx
I can’t get over how gorgeous this shade is. Black gold and crushed onyx is a perfect description and it just sparkles like you have actual jewels on your nails. So great for a summer night out. One coat is fine for this one but you’ll be amazed at what you get if you do two.
I feel like just yesterday I was swatching fall nail polish and now I’m in the thick of summer shades. Where has the time gone? I’m a huge fan of Ceramic Glaze and they have some of my favourite summer shades. This summer’s Botanical Gardens isn’t my favourite of Ceramic Glaze’s collections but there are definitely some pretty garden inspired shades. You can only buy Ceramic Glaze at Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada, so grab these while you can.
This peachy nude was the first shade I tried and right out of the gate I got a one-coater. Urbane is pretty but not my favourite kind of colour. It’s a great alternative to a beige-y nude though.
Heavenly is a sheer opalescent shade and even with two coats, you’re not getting a ton of opacity. I’m totally fine with that because the huge amount of pink pearl is really gorgeous and this would make a great french manicure.
I really wanted to love this dark berry shade. Impulsive has a ton of blue shimmer in it to give it dimension and two coats were perfect. Unfortunately while I love the shade, the texture seemed kind of weird to me and I couldn’t get it completely smooth with top coat.
Petal Pusher is a gorgeous periwinkle that almost could’ve gotten away with one coat. This one chipped really fast though. I’m definitely going to try wearing it again though because I live this colour so much.
Seize The Day
Seize The Day is one of those two coats to perfect shades. This hot pink is a great pedicure shade.
Perfect Peony is another great pink summer shade, only it hints a little more coral than Seize The Day. Two coats were perfect but the tip wear started almost immediately.
Surf’s Up is my kind of minty turquoise that’s so perfect for summer. Two coats were perfect and I’ve already reached for this one again.
I’m completely in love with this bright cerulean blue and it was a one-coater. And it didn’t stain and I completely expected staining. I honestly can’t get over how gorgeous this shade is and it looks even better in person.