Last night I decided to try a little experiment. After having horrible chipping all week with Chanel Black Pearl (which, WTF?) it occurred to me that the problem may not be my polish--it may be my topcoat. The topcoat I've been using is OPI for Sephora, and if you'll recall I completely stopped using OPI basecoat after a number of very fast-chipping manicures.
So last night I applied three coats of Essie Highly Structured to my left hand, and three coats of Essie plus one coat of OPI topcoat to my right hand. I figured it would take at least 24 hours to see any difference between the two hands, for better or for worse.
Wrong. Nine hours after application (two hours of drying time last night while I read a book and then seven asleep) I got my first chip. ON MY RIGHT HAND. I didn't do anything chip-worthy, just took a shower and got dressed for the day, and yet a significant chip popped up on my right index finger.
I'm not ready to swear off OPI topcoats after this one incident, but I'll be keeping a very close eye on both hands in the coming days to see which one fares better.