Essie Sheer Pink Comparison : Mademoiselle, Vanity Fairest, Sugar Daddy & Tying the Knotie

Thursday, September 1, 2016 6 comments

It's been a hot minute since I have done a comparison post and I'm pretty sure readers asked me to compare Essie Sheer Pinks a looooooooong time ago. Essie is known for these barely there sheer pinks and three of these polishes are Essie Classics that have been in the core collection for 20 years or more. My enjoyment of sheer pinks has been growing over the last year and as I added these polishes to my collection, I knew I wanted to check how they compare to each other in colour and formula. 
Left to Right: Sugar Daddy, Mademoiselle, Vanity Fairest and Tying the Knotie

Sugar Daddy 

Sugar Daddy is the most sheer out of these four polishes. It deposits the least amount of colour, but it's probably the easiest to use because there's zero streaking. At one coat you'll feel like you just put clear polish on your nails. At 3 coats it gives my nails a really healthy pink glow and is really shiny. I really like this one.


Mademoiselle has been in the core Essie line since the 1990's and has won countless awards for being  the most universally flattering polish that will work on any skin tone. It's sheer like Sugar Daddy so it shows off a ton of your natural nail, but there is a bit of a pale pink colour deposit as well. It has a really different effect than Sugar Daddy. It's  easy to apply with very small minimal streaks, if any at all. This is 3 coats.

Vanity Fairest 

Vanity Fairest is another core Essie polish that came out in the early 2000's. It was recommended to me by a lot of readers because it's a pale pink full of tiny iridescent shimmer. I tried it on in Shopper's Drug Mart once and fell in love! I could easily tell why you guys would recommend it to me. I love the way this one looks, but I wish I could get it streak-free. The best way to apply it is to float the polish over your nail, but I still got a bit of streaking for these pictures. A base of Fill the Gap would help with that problem. This is 3 coats and I can still see my nail line. It's hard to see the shimmer in these pictures but it's definitely there in real life.

Tying the Knotie 

This polish came out in the 2015 Wedding Collection, but I only picked it up recently. I regret not getting it sooner because I LOVE the way this one looks!  It's a really sweet milky pink and the most opaque at 3 coats (you can still faintly see your nail line). It's easy to apply but has a bit of streaks. I tried loading up my brush and floating the polish to avoid streaks but there's still a few there. Plus the polish is a tad thick from doing that so I think it would take forever to dry. If I were to wear this and not just swatch it, I would put Fill the Gap on as my base coat and then 3 thinner coats which would alleviate the streaking issue.

Sugar Daddy vs. Mademoiselle vs. Vanity Fairest vs. Tying the Knotie

I wanted to put them all side by side and do one coat at a time so you can really see the subtle differences between them. At one coat they basically look identical, with the exception of the fine shimmer in Vanity Fairest. 

At 2 coats Sugar Daddy and Mademoiselle still look identical. Vanity Fairest is more light and creamy (and also streaky) and Tying the Knotie is the most opaque.

At 3 coats Sugar Daddy and Mademoiselle take on a slightly different look. Sugar Daddy is a bit more sheer with that healthy pink glow I was talking about earlier, while Mademoiselle is lighter, milkier and has a bit more colour payoff. Vanity Fairest is similar looking to Mademoiselle except maybe slightly more milkier/opaque and full of tiny shimmer. I love the shimmer in it. Tying the Knotie is obviously the most opaque and you can barely see my nail line. It's still squishy looking though which I like.

My favourite out of all four of these was Tying the Knotie. I LOVE the look of Tying the Knotie, it reminds me of gel nails. I used to really love Vanity Fairest because of the pretty sheer milky pink plus all that shimmer, but the formula leaves a bit to be desired because of the streaking. I still like it, but definitely don't have the same love for it. I would rather choose Tying the Knotie and then put a coat of Pure Pearlfection over the top to get that fine shimmer look.

After doing this comparison, I feel like I could do without Mademoiselle. It had a nice formula and everything, but it was the most similar to Sugar Daddy and I have a soft spot of that polish. Sugar Daddy gives me that nice healthy sheer pink look that I like without any streaking at all.

Do you have a favourite Essie sheer pink? Is there an amazing Essie sheer pink that I missed? I do love Coming Together from this year's Bridal Collection, but it has much more of a baby pink look to it that it really didn't fit in with this comparison. You can click here to see it compared to Vanity Fairest and Tying the Knotie if you are curious.



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