An Updated Reason On Why Brown Nail Polish Is Amazing

essie neutrals nail color, chocolate cakes 0.46 fl oz (13.04 g)
Essie nail polish in “Chocolate Cakes.”

For a Fall fashion piece on the “Connection Generation” website Mashable, one of their interns, Hayley Wilbur, viewed and included the color brown as one of the “ugliest nail colors” this season; accompanied by her suggestions on how to conquer “boring autumn shades.” “Boring?” Instagram will have you believing fall shades are otherwise as a lot of IG’s users have posted the collage image below of burgundy varnished nails and red wine lipsticks.

Joining the color of one the world’s most treasured things ever (known to you and I as chocolate) were “Rotten pumpkin orange”, “50 shades of ash gray”, “Sea sick green” and “Dirty penny bronze.” The first two shades I can see as being kind of too-too or lackluster, but what Wilbur described as “sea sick” (rightfully, it should be referred to as “seafoam”) and “dirty penny” I find to be really cool colors. I’ve actually bought “dirty penny” before, and I personally suggest American Apparel’s Mettalic Nail Lacquer in “Bronze Dust.” And look at the photo below of four, according to Mashable, tolerable “dirty penny” colors. Aren’t they regal, but in a fun way!

courtesy of

And concerning “sea sick green?” The following color is no longer available from OPI, but as part of Nicki Minaj‘s limited edition collection with the brand, she had one color called “Did It On ‘Em” that was a no-chaser icky, chartreuse. How about for a reminder of motion sickness?

“Did It On ‘Em.”

Wilbur’s post gained minor controversy on “Black” Twitter because she included the brown family, and for the hues within, many women of color use as their version of nudes for nails. As we know, a lot of fashion labels and beauty companies love to regulate the concept of “nude” to paler colors like taupe, beige or ambiguous mixes like cream and buff. But nude is also “mocha”, “chestnut” and “espresso.” It’s any color that’s akin to human skin tones! For some on Twitter, they found the inclusion of brown as an “ugly color” offensive and a larger take on how the media continuously practices micro-aggressive behavior on Black people or “non-White” features, while all the same appropriating attributes derived from  ethnic cultures.

And the brown polish section itself was immature. Reportedly, the writer went as far as describing as “poopy.” Really? That’s like pointing the finger at a tangerine creamsicle shade as “food poisoning.” Not responsible beauty journalism at all.

Original blurb from

Mashable has since omitted that section of the piece and issued a quick note at the bottom of the post. AND SIDENOTE: That limited Marc Jacobs polish in “Bark!” was beautiful. It literally looked like Devil’s Food Cake.

I found this Mashable faux pas interesting to look at like deeper because I for one, love the shade of brown when it comes to nail polishes. How could it be on that list! I wrote about brown nail polish on Lavish Rebellion before and credited Janet from The Real World’s Seattle for putting me on it. She always wore a deep brown meets burgundy shade in her episodes. And brown nail polish was huge in the mid ’90s, and especially for Black women. Aaliyah always wore black or brown and Nia Long wore it in the movie Soul Food. In 2014, posted that it was the “nail color prescription of the moment.”

So it is a choice nude for those who are of color, and for me, brown nail polish is a personal favorite. It’s an unexpected alternative to black and I feelit  naturally compliments an array of brown and darker skin tones. HITHERTO. Some brown shades are in fact very flat. I am particular about the shades I wear because I want my brown polishes to be a true brown, equivalent to a Hersey’s bar. Slivers of gold, silver and red are fine, but not too much. Floss Gloss has one brown shade called “Blood, Suede & Tears” but it’s a heavily rust-red based. And Christian Louboutin’s $50 “Kheops” is too gray. But two new go-to’s are OCC Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics’ Nail Laquer Mettalic in “Isherwood” and ELF’s Nail Polish in “Chocolate.” Black-Up Cosmetics, a luxury line for Black women, new nail polish line is also entirely “nude” inspired.

So nail polish geeks, whether “You’re black, white, beige, chola descent, Lebanese, you’re orient” sashay, Shante your nails away to a cocoa fabulous hue, STAT. It will look awesome, different and is primed for the fall.

Clutch Magazine also has six great selections too over here:

One response to “An Updated Reason On Why Brown Nail Polish Is Amazing”

  1. […] as lip gloss took over and the returned love for pure red lipstick. Even purple had a moment. Now, brown is it again and probably better than when it was when Bonne Bell was hawking it. Formulas are richer, the […]

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