✿Sally Hansen Insta-Dri verus Seche Vite✿

If you've been following my nail tutorials, you know I have been using Seche Vite from Day 1! I adore it, best top coat I've ever used.... until recently.

I'm not sure if it's just a bad batch, as I did buy it from Amazon (old stock), or if it just doesn't mix well with certain Sinful Colors, but it's been having major shrinkage issues! MAJOR shrinkage. At first, it's not that noticeable, but then it starts cracking and peeling and then it becomes an ugly mess.

My first bottle of Seche Vite didn't do that, but then again, I wasn't using Sinful Colors all that much. I'm not sure what it is, but I wanted to try something out. I read a few blogs, did a ton of Google searches, even got some tips on Instagram and Facebook.

There are 4 different top coats I want to try out, but the easiest one to find and the cheapest was Sally Hansen Insta-Dri. I bought it from Walgreens and took it home and immediately tried it out on the exact same polish, applied it the exact same way as I did with Seche Vite to test them out, even did one nail in SV to compare the two side-by-side (did not take a pic and I regret that now).

So, here goes....

Sally Hansen Insta-Dry verus Seche Vite

Even though this specific batch of Seche Vite has shrinkage issues, it is still better than Sally Hansen Insta-Dri.

CAVEAT: I've only gotten shrinkage with Sinful Colors and nothing else. Everything else has been perfectly fine.
Touch Test
30 seconds
30 seconds
Smudge Test
2 minutes
2 minutes
Bedsheet (Imprint) Test
FAIL after 2 hours of being 'dry'
2 minutes
Harden Test
12 hours+
2 hours at most
(didn't actually time this, just tested it after a couple of hours)



Touch Test

The touch test is when your top coat is no longer tacky, where you can lightly tap with your index finger to 'test' if it is dry.

Smudge Test

This is slightly more pressure than the 'touch test' where you press down and swipe your nail to see if the polish smudges.

Bed Sheet Test

This is essentially testing the ability to imprint onto the nail. Have you ever painted your nails in the evening, it's been a few hours since you've painted them, they are dry and seem great, but you go to bed and wake up and you have little imprints of your bed sheets all over your nails?! This is the bed sheet test.

Harden Test

This is the true test of how good a nail polish or top coat is, at least for me... this is when you take the tip of your thumb nail or the corner of a desk and press straight down into the center of the nail to see if it imprints, dents, smudges, scratches or chips. This test has always proven why high end nail polishes can justify costing so much, because some of these polishes don't need a top coat and can resist this type of defiling!

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Recap

The Sally Hansen dried to the touch in 30 seconds as it states on the bottle. I was pretty impressed with that. I didn't get any bubbling or streaks. It did fill some of the 'imprefections' of the polish, but it wasn't as 'smooth' as Seche Vite. *Note: Seche Vite is very thick, but the thickness allows it to fill in ridges and bumps and helps provide a nice smooth top coat, which can make the worst manicures look amazing!

I had put Sally Hansen on a few hours before bed. It held up through the evening, but in the morning, I definitely had imprints on my nails. I chose NOT to fix it and go the day with it. It did eventually harden as the day wore on, and I was able to try the harden test (even though it failed the bed sheet test), and it held up, but it was more than 12 hours after the fact, and I had already had many other imperfections, so this test really didn't matter at that point.


Sally Hansen Insta-Dri is a good top coat if you are looking for fast drying. However, it is not as durable as Seche Vite. Although my Seche Vite has broken my heart by causing shrinkage (for some polishes), I would still rather use my Seche Vite. I returned the Sally Hansen and will be looking at new top coats this upcoming weekend. I may have just been spoiled having Seche Vite for so long, but this is my honest opinion. I hope this comparison review has been helpful!

If you want to see comparison reviews, have any suggestions or recommendations, please send me a message, send me a tweet, post on my Facebook or comment below! Thanks for reading!

Labels: , , , ,