Thursday, May 27, 2010

Nail Science Throwdown-- Seche Vite v Essie Topcoat

Seche & Essie To Dry For, originally uploaded by

As I'm sure you all know by now, I am an Essie fanatic. However, up until recently I have been a Seche Vite loyalist. After all, the stuff is quick-drying, can take some serious wear-and-tear, and it's just downright glossy. HOWEVER,

Given that Zoya is having their Earth Day promo, I went out and ordered a boatload of Zoyas (those coming soon). Much to my dismay, I found that my Seche had serious wear problems. The culprit? Cellulose Acetate Butyrate.

See, Cellulose Acetate Butyrate is known for being a quick-drying, glossy, tough substance. It's denser than water and used for the glossy finish on a lot of stuff. And I mean a lot of stuff.

But for whatever reason, Zoya doesn't work with it. So I found this Essie quick-dry topcoat. And friend, this stuff is the bomb!

Instead of using CAB, it uses Nitrocellulose. Fun science lesson: Nitrocellulose is a super-flexible, super glossy material. Because solvents evaporate completely in nitrocellulose, it means it dries fast. And because of it's rigid molecule structure, it's hard-yet-flexible. OPTIMAL.

And I don't just mean ideal. That was poor word-choice. I mean optimal. This stuff is used to varnish wood floors to "bring out the grain" (don't believe me? click the link!). I mean, I'm practically dancing at this revelation.

So, sorry Seche, but I think I'm a full convert now. Essie just gets the job D-O-N-E.

Only downside-- Nitrocellulose is sort of explosive. No, really. It blows up. But have no fear, the nitrogen content in this topcoat is low enough that it doesn't constitute explosive.


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