Turns out there is. I did use my right hand for the experiment and because it's my dominant hand my nails did cop it more but by mid-week I had a few chips.
So today 12 days after the mani was done my nails looked like this:
My other hand was barely touched.
So the base coat definitely made a difference in the polish's longevity.
The other thing I wanted to know was how easier it would make removal.
For my left hand I kept the nails wrapped up for a good 15 minutes and still had to scrape.
You can see where I had to scrape - tiny white peely bits. In a few hours the scrapes seem to buff off naturally but I am worried about my nails' health.
On the other hand, literally, I didn't have to do anything. I peeled off the wrap and the polish fell off.
So,,, what does this mean for me?
To be honest I love the easier clean up. I got less mileage out of the manicure but still it was over a week - longer than my normal polishes.
I think I'll only use the Optional Base Coat when I really need my nails to last the full fortnight.