Essie Sugar Daddy vs. Mademoiselle

When taking a break from bright and bold manicures, I always turn to my natural-looking nail polishes – most precisely the sheer pink nudes.

Essie Mademoiselle has been my favorite sheer pink polish for years. However, When I found Essie Sugar Daddy, I instantly knew it also belonged to my ever-growing pink nail polish collection. 

Essie Sugar Daddy and Mademoiselle are gorgeous and look almost similar through the bottle. So I wrote this article to explain what makes them different and why they both have a space in my nail polish collection.

Essie Sugar Daddy

Essie’s Sugar Daddy is a formula designed to be sheer and never disappoint. It remains see-through, showing your nail bed and line no matter how many coats you apply. It is the perfect shade for a done but not overdone manicure look.

What Color is Essie Sugar Daddy?

Essie Sugar Daddy is a warm sheer pink nail polish with light coverage. It makes the natural pink hue of the nail bed look more vibrant without looking like you’ve applied anything to it. Even with the full three coats, this nail polish remains entirely sheer.

Essie Sugar daddy makes an excellent base for cute nail art or the sophisticated French manicure. However, you can layer it over bolder Essie colors to create pink-toned custom hues.

If you’re not a nail art or polish layering fan, apply Essie Sugar Daddy as a stand-alone color for an effortlessly natural manicure.

What Number is Essie Sugar Daddy?

Essie describes their Sugar Daddy shade either as #15 or core 15. I’ve always avoided confusing numbering as I did with other pinks like Ballet slippers or Mademoiselle.

Other Sheer Pink Nail Polishes Often Compared to Essie Sugar Daddy 

Essie Ballet Slippers

The main similarities between Essie Ballet slippers and Sugar Daddy are that they are from the same brand and are sheer pink. However, for the color, Sugar Daddy is a warm pink, while Essie ballet slippers look milkier with pink undertones.

Essie hi maintenance

Sugar Daddy looks more like a peachy pink polish when compared to hi maintenance, which is more of a candy pink. They are both sheer polishes and offer the same coverage. However, Sugar Daddy is warm sheer pink compared to hi maintenance cool tones.

OPI Bubble Bath

Essie Sugar Daddy and OPI bubble bath are both warm-toned pink nail polishes. However, OPI bubble bath is a definite peach pink, while Sugar Daddy is a little brighter.

Regarding sheerness, Sugar Daddy is a true sheer pink polish, while OPI bubble bath is more opaque. Nevertheless, you can faintly see your nail line through a 2-coat bubble bath manicure.

Essie Mademoiselle

Mademoiselle changed the game by being one of the first sheer polishes I applied without streaks. My experience applying sheer colors helped me achieve these results.

However, Essie designed this formula to self-level, so even a beginner manicurist can pull it off without the streaking.

What Color is Essie Mademoiselle?

Mademoiselle is a sheer pink nail polish like Sugar Daddy; however, it has slight white tones in comparison. In addition, It is a little more opaque than Essie Sugar Daddy, but your nail bed and nail line will still show through the polish. Compared to other Essie sheer pink polishes, this shade looks like Essie Ballet slippers but sheerer.

I often go for Mademoiselle when I want my nails to have a slight shimmer, just like when you apply clear polish over bare nails. The subtle pink tint to the nails makes the fingers look more elongated- like a mannequin hand!

Essie mademoiselle is a beauty when worn by itself or as a base for nail art and french manicures. Even though I love to wear this shade as a stand-alone color, I also love layering it over bolder-colored Essie nail polishes to create a more customized mani.

Essie Mademoiselle #112 vs. #384

The packages of Essie Mademoiselle usually come labeled either #112 or #384. When I first bought them, I thought their formulas were different, but I was wrong. Mademoiselle #112 and #384 are sheer nail polishes of the pink family and look similar through the bottle.

However, after applying them to the nail, you’ll notice a slight color distinction. Mademoiselle #112 is as pink as you see it through the bottle. It looks like a sheerer version of Essie ballet slippers.

On the other hand, Mademoiselle #384 has a slight beige undertone that makes it a slightly warmer pink than #112. It also offers more coverage than #112 though it remains see-through with three full coats.

What is the Difference Between Essie Sugar Daddy and Mademoiselle?


Essie Sugar Daddy and Mademoiselle are both pink nail polishes with a sheer finish. 

However, looking closely, Mademoiselle has slight milky tones that make it more of a pink-white sheer. Nevertheless, the whitish tones of Mademoiselle are not that obvious, especially if you compare it to Essie Ballet slippers – another classic sheer pink nail polish.

On the other hand, Sugar Daddy is the true sheer pink. It has no hidden undertones and retains color even if you build up the coats. A good dupe of this shade from the same brand is Essie Hi maintenance.

Number of Coats

You need at least three coats of polish to achieve the exact pink you see through the bottles of both Sugar Daddy and Mademoiselle. However, you can use one or two coats to tone down the intensity of the color or control the sheerness of the manicure. Let me explain.

On one coat, both Essie’s Sugar Daddy and Mademoiselle look like clear nail polishes. The color won’t be too obvious if your nail bed is pink; however, it will show up more clearly if your nails are paler.

At two coats is where the true differences between these nail polishes start to become clear. Essie’s Sugar Daddy retains its feminine, warm pink. On the other hand, the white tones of Essie mademoiselle are more discernible, but only if you put swatches of the polishes side by side.

Essie Sugar Daddy and Mademoiselle are designed to be sheer and remain see-through in three full coats. However, the whitish tones of Essie Mademoiselle make it look a little hazier than Sugar Daddy. From afar, Mademoiselle looks slightly white-washed pink compared to Sugar Daddy.

Skin Tone

Essie Sugar Daddy and Mademoiselle look great on all skin tones because they are pink. People with paler skin tones will appreciate them because they accentuate the pink hue of the nail bed without overwhelming the pale skin.

However, I recommend Essie Mademoiselle if you have a medium skin tone. The reason is that the white tones of Mademoiselle will give the medium tones a more balanced appearance.

On the other hand, Essie Sugar Daddy works best for darker skin tones because it is a brighter and more vibrant pink.

Occasions to Wear the Nail Polish

Essie Sugar Daddy and Mademoiselle are perfect for formal settings like job interviews and business meetings.

They are also perfect for situations where overly bright nail polishes would be undesirable – for instance, the food service industry. I always have second thoughts about eating out at a restaurant where the chef or servers have bright nail polish.

If you select nail colors based on seasons like me, you’ll love these two shades because you can wear them all year round. However, I love wearing the light pink Mademoiselle during summer, and the bright pink Sugar Daddy works well with all my spring outfits.

Ease of Application

Essie Mademoiselle is the easiest sheer polish to apply. The brand tweaked its formula to make it more self-leveling; therefore, it does not streak.

On the other hand, Essie Sugar Daddy is slightly streaky on the first coat, but you can easily correct the mess with a second coat.

If you want to apply these two nail polishes easily, start with a smoothing base coat to prime the nail. Essie has the amazing Smooth-e basecoat, perfect for prepping nails before applying sheer polish.


These nail polishes last at least one week before they show signs of wear. This duration only applies if you started with a base coat and finished with an Essie top coat.

However, you can make your manicure last up to two weeks if you seal it with Essie’s gel setter top coat instead.

Drying Time

These nail polishes take 5-10 minutes for each coat to dry. However, the duration can go up to 20 minutes, depending on the temperature and humidity of your surroundings.

After applying the last coat, the polish will be dry to the touch within one hour. However, one hour is not enough, especially if you apply three full coats.

The manicure remains tacky, and any heavy tasks could smudge or wrinkle it. I recommend sticking to light tasks for at least 3-4 hours after applying Essie Sugar Daddy or Mademoiselle.

Tips and Tricks for Wearing Essie Sugar Daddy and Mademoiselle

Sheer nail polishes don’t always have to be boring, stand-alone colors. You can switch techniques or mix them with other colors to create more artistic and creative manicures.

Here, I will show you my three favorite tricks for elevating the look of Essie Sugar Daddy and Mademoiselle.

Apply them Over White Nail Polish

Essie Sugar Daddy and Mademoiselle are true sheers – meaning that you will still see your nail line even at three coats. I love these see-through colors, but sometimes I want a slightly opaque mani without using more than three coats.

So, I usually use these sheer pinks over white Essie polishes to allow them to reach their true color with fewer coats. I love using opaque white nail polishes, but you can also use a white-toned sheer polish for a lighter effect.

Use them to Create Ombre Nails

I love an ombre manicure. However, I always struggle with the sponges, and the nail polish floods my cuticles.

So I tried creating a cute Ombre look using these pink sheers, and they turned out divine. And the best part is that you only need one polish to create the Ombre effect. Here’s how.

As you know, sheer nail polishes often get more cloudy, and their color intensifies with every coat. The trick is to apply every subsequent coat, starting a little further from the cuticle. This way, the base of the nail will look almost transparent, while the tips will have more color. 

Use Sugar Daddy and Mademoiselle together because they complement each other. However, if you like something bolder, pair either with a clashing color for a fun combination.

Note: Use a tiny amount of nail polish for each coat to apply many layers without getting it too thick.

Layer them Over Nail Art

One of the most popular ways of wearing Essie Sugar Daddy and Mademoiselle is as a base for nail art. I love nail art, but sometimes the colors turn out bright and draw too much attention to my fingers.

So a fun way to tone down the bright colors is by applying sheer pink nail polish over the art. The sheer polish will be like a veil over the nail art, giving it a more “softened” look.

Conclusion: Which One Should you Choose?

Essie Sugar Daddy and Mademoiselle are top choices for beauties who love a sophisticated, laid-back manicure. Both are true sheer nail polishes, so the best only way to choose is to make a selection based on color.

If you want a true pink that gets warmer and brighter with the coat, Essie sugar daddy is the best option. However, Essie Mademoiselle is best if you love a cool-toned pale-pink sheer manicure.

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