Makeup Products » Best Brown Nail Polish for 2022

Best Brown Nail Polish for 2022

The Glowsly editors independently test and choose the best products. We may receive commissions on purchases made from the affiliate links.

Brown nail polish is too classic to ever go out of style. And people are more obsessed than ever with brown nail colors this fall. The earthy, dark-tone hue pairs well with any everyday look, from work wear to casual clothing. It’s not too loud a color to clash with your wardrobe, making it the ideal complementary shade for both daytime and evening attire. 

Several brands offer their own variations of rich brown polish, from OPI to ORLY. Here are some of our top picks for the best brown nail polish shades on the market this season.

Best brown nail polish overview:

How we chose the best brown nail polish

To compile this list, we researched manufacturer specifications, including ingredients, formula quality, and more, to create a short list of the top brown nail polish products. Then, we combed through detailed product descriptions, ratings, and reviews to find the best brown nail polish for each category.

Our picks for the best brown nail polish

Best overall
OPI Nail Lacquer in That’s What Friends Are Thor

What we love

  • Longwear formula
  • Made in the USA
  • Site offers virtual try-on feature

What we don’t love

  • Slightly more expensive than its competitors

OPI’s That’s What Friends Are Thor is an earthy, rich natural brown color with a crème finish for added shine and depth. The brown nail polish’s autumn-esque vibe feels delightfully fall glam. OPI’s long-wear formulas have great chip resistance, ensuring manicures and pedicures last up to a whole week.

The USA-made polish is just a tad bit pricier than its competitors. However, the price makes sense given the fact that it’s high-quality. Before buying, use OPI’s “Find Your Match” feature, which allows you to try on the brand’s different shades virtually, including That’s What Friends Are Thor.

Size: 0.5 fl oz | Finish: Crème

Best budget
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Cinna-Snap

What we love

  • Long lasting
  • Fast-drying formula with base and top coat
  • Available at most drugstores

What we don’t love

  • Requires multiple coats (otherwise, it streaks)
  • Not chip-resistant

Sally Hansen’s Insta-Dri formula is the most affordable option on our list. Unlike most polishes, it dries in just 60 seconds, speeding up the application process. If you’re always on the go, this polish is ideal for those last-minute manicures and pedicures. Many big-box retailers carry Insta-Dri, including Walmart, Target, Walgreens, and Rite Aid.

The Insta-Dri formula has 33% longer wear than previous formulas and features a base and top coat. Sally Hansen’s Cinna-Snap hue leaves you with a reddish-brown, shiny finish that resembles beautiful fall leave colors. The brand advertises this 3-in-1 formula as chip-resistant, but you might get a different result if you don’t follow its application instructions — Insta-Dri requires multiple coat applications in order to last longer. Otherwise, the polish could easily streak when you apply it or chip shortly after it dries.

Size: 0.31 fl oz | Finish: Glossy

Best longwear
Olive & June in CN

What we love

  • Provides excellent coverage
  • Has a gel-like finish
  • Free of 15 toxic chemicals

What we don’t love

  • Polish might chip or look streaky if applied incorrectly

Another longwear polish, Olive & June CN, is a top choice for salon-quality manicures and pedicures. Each coat provides generous coverage with its gel-like finish. The fan-shaped brush that comes with each polish makes way for easy application. This longwear formula is also easy to remove when you’re due for a fresh coat.

CN is a vegan and cruelty-free formula free of 15 well-known toxic chemicals, including acetone and formaldehyde. Just make sure to follow the application instructions, as the polish might chip or look streaky if you don’t.

Olive & June’s SN shade is advertised as a silky, sable brown. However, the color appears darker on nails than it does in advertised images. If you want this polish to last even longer, you can purchase the brand’s glossy top coat polish and manicure system separately.

Size: 0.46 fl oz | Finish: Gel-like

Best quick-dry
Essie Expressie in Take The Espresso

What we love

  • Dries in 60 seconds
  • Angled brush contributes to simple and seamless self-application
  • 1-step formula

What we don’t love

  • Formula isn’t chip-resistant

If you’re primarily concerned about a polish’s drying time, check out Essie Expressie’s Take The Espresso polish. This one-step formula dries in 60 seconds after applying it to your nails. The angled brush for this polish also speeds up the application process. On top of that, its coffee-color Take The Espresso hue makes for the perfect addition to your fall wardrobe.  

Essie Expressie’s formula might not be chip-resistant, but the vegan and eight-free formula contains no animal-derived ingredients or formaldehyde. If you use your hands a lot for work or daily activities, this might not be the polish for you since it chips easily. However, it is ideal for those on the go as it’s quick-drying.

Size: 0.33 fl oz | Finish: Glossy

Best nontoxic
ORLY in Prince Charming

What we love

  • Rich, brown hue
  • Glides smoothly onto your nails
  • A 13-free, vegan formula

What we don’t love

  • Might chip without a top coat
  • Polish is slow-drying

Your nails are sensitive to toxic chemicals and ingredients, but ORLY’s 13-free, vegan formula excludes 13 nasty chemicals from the ingredient list. As the self-proclaimed originators of the French Manicure, ORLY continues to birth innovative collections with cutting-edge colors. Its Prince Charming hue has a royal brown, glossy finish that applies smoothly to your nails. 

Note that Prince Charming might chip without a top coat. ORLY’s nontoxic formula is also slow-drying, so it warrants additional patience when self-applying.

Size: 0.6 fl oz | Finish: Crème

Best vegan
Ella + Mila in London Fog

What we love

  • Vegan and animal cruelty-free
  • 17-free formula (free of 17 toxic ingredients)
  • Quick-dry polish with chip-resistance

What we don’t love

  • Inaccurate color description

Finding vegan nail polish products used to be a challenge, but not anymore. Ella + Mila is a 17-free, vegan, and animal cruelty-free formula. Parabens and acetone are among the 17 ingredients that the formula omits. This polish is also both quick-drying and chip-resistant.

Although Ella + Mila advertises its London Fog hue as a chocolate brown, it comes out more like a greyish brown. You might not have this color-matching issue with this brand’s competitors, but if you’re looking for a true vegan formula, Ella + Mila is the one.

Size: 0.45 fl oz | Finish: Glossy

Best splurge
Chanel LE VERNIS in Clair De Lune

What we love

  • Designer brand
  • Longwear formula
  • Chip-resistant polish

What we don’t love

  • Designer price tag (expensive)

Chanel’s nail-strengthening LE VERNIS polish makes for a sound investment if you care more about quality and less about price. The carefully selected golden brown pigment, Claire De Lune, offers stellar coverage with a beautiful metallic finish.

LE VERNISH is a long-lasting formula. Since it’s highly chip-resistant, you can get away with wearing a manicure or pedicure for more extended periods. However, this polish is expensive, which is no surprise given the weight of the Chanel name.

Size: 0.4 fl oz | Finish: Metallic

Nailing down our number one brown

Different nail polish products offer great versatility within formula and color variety. Some polishes dry faster, while others last longer. Brown colors range from light to dark on the color spectrum. The OPI That’s What Friends Are Thor polish impressed us with its longwear formula and rich brown hue.

How to pick the right brown nail polish for you

Finding the ideal nail polish requires a deeper look into the product’s ingredients and formula quality. Make a note of these important factors when you’re deciding on a brown polish.


  • Toxic chemicals. Brands indicate which ingredients they don’t use in their products. Seeing “10-free” means that that brand’s products are free of 10 well-known toxic chemicals.
  • Finish. Typical polish finishes include glossy, matte, and metallic. Choose a glossy finish for shinier nails. Matte finishes result in a more classic, minimal look. If you really want to stand out, go for a metallic finish. 

Formula Quality 

  • Longwear. If a polish is chip-resistant or lasts for a minimum of one week, the polish most likely has a longwear formula. This means that you’ll enjoy longer wear with your manicures and pedicures.
  • Quick-dry formula. These formulas typically dry within a matter of seconds after application.
  • Color quality. Brown hues range from light to dark. Higher-quality polish formulas tend to have richer color hues that closely match what you see in advertisements when applied to your nails.


What’s the most popular nail color of 2022? 

We chose the OPI That’s What Friends Are Thor polish as the 2022 winner with its rich brown hue and longwear formula. 

When can you wear brown nail polish?

Brown nail polish is a classic color that never really goes out of style. You can wear it year-round in various shades.

Are brown nails in style?

Yes. Brown nails are a classic look that never goes out of style, but brown nails are especially trendy for fall 2022.