Brown Nail Polish Is the Season’s New Neutral

A rich range of hues make brown the perfect shade for fall.

Look of the Month - November - Hot Chocolate
Photograph by Thomas Lagrange, Manicure by Typhaine Kersual; Makeup by Damian Garozzo at Jed Root; Photography Assistants: Arnaud Le Brazidec, Raffaele Cariou; Digital Technician: Gregoire Machavoine; Model: Amandine Choquet at Sport Models; Makeup Assistant: Aya Murai.

In a season where the fashion is strong on jewel-toned velvets and ornate patterns, you’ll want to up the intensity of eyes, lips, and nails. So while camel may have been the color on chic fingertips throughout the summer, prepare to go darker for fall. “When the clothing is colorful, a neutral nail suits it,” manicurist Typhaine Kersual says. “And right now, that neutral is brown.”

Fall always signals a shift in nails from the aforementioned camel to red, burgundy or the increasingly prevalent grape, but a chocolate nail is a refreshing change. In the land of neutrals, Kersual points out that, like its neighbors gray and black, brown gets along with every skin tone. “It’s a perfect color if you want to change from all the usual basics.”

Here, Kersual opted for Zoya’s Louise, a warm cocoa, but she is quick to point out that the range of hues out there is exceedingly rich. “Of course, deep shades give more attitude. But with brown, it’s hard to go wrong. Like greige, it has so many nuances.”

Unlike greige, which has been riding polish popularity wave for ages thanks to its safe yet sophisticated characteristics, brown has patiently been waiting for its moment to shine. (Or not, we also like a matte topcoat.) “This is the perfect time for brown,” says Kersual. “And with all the options out there, it’s like an updated version of 50 Shades of Grey.

10 Must-Have Shades of Brown Nail Polish

A cool stone-colored shade that lies somewhere between brown, gray and black.

Tenoverten Broad, $18,

Perfect, 100% chocolate-colored polish.

Deborah Lippmann Out of the Woods, $20,

This shade is just begging to be worn with a ladies-who-lunch suit, complete with a silver-toned Lady Dior bag.

Dior Palais Royal, $27,

If you prefer your browns really warm, try this bricky shade.

Essie Chocolate Cakes, $9,

Like chocolate ice cream, for your fingernails.

Gucci Bold High Gloss Lacquer in Dark Anemone, $30,

This creamy shade of brown contains a hint of aubergine.

Lakur True to Form, $16,

With all due respect to its shade name, we beg to believe that this one’s a bit more like a cappuccino.

Morgan Taylor Latte Please, $9,

This shade is more like a double espresso.

Smith + Cult Lo-Fi, $18,

The teeniest hint of shimmer lives within this granite brown polish.

Tom Ford Black Sugar, $36,

This deep shade comes with a pebbled texture.

Yves Saint Laurent nail lacquer in Taupe Graine, $28,