Brown is the must-have nail shade this season - and these are 15 of the chicest designs to wear

Brown nail designs are trending for autum/winter and we've found the most sophisticated shades to adorn your fingertips...

A person wearing a brown coat, with their hands featuring brown nail designs
(Image credit: Getty Images/ Kseniia Kapris)

We've handpicked 15 of the most stylish brown nail designs to wear this autumn/winter season, from warm and rich hues to intricate tortoiseshell effects. These are the manicures that truly deserve your attention.

When it comes to refreshing your manicure for the season ahead, the sheer amount of choice can be very overwhelming. Indeed, even your nail shape is something to consider, not to mention whether you opt for a minimal, block shade or an all-out, eye-catching pattern.

The shade to opt for this season, however, is one area that is mercifully straightforward. Bright and pastel colours are out and chic, autumn-ready browns are in. Of course, there's still the question of what exact hue and design you want to have accompanying your autumn/winter capsule wardrobe and that's where these 15 brown nail ideas come in...

The 15 best brown nail designs to wear this season

As mentioned, brown isn't just dominating this season's fashion colour trends but also the manicure trends, with everyone seemingly sporting a variation of rich chocolate or warm copper.

Of course, the timing makes sense as these colours are synonymous with autumn but regardless, no look is quite as chic or as timeless as a brown 'squoval' monochromatic manicure or that of a rich, cabernet-like French tip. So, if you're looking to elevate your look with this season's most in-demand nail shade, here's all the inspiration you require...

1. Chocolate brown nails

Beginning with a classic, you simply can't go wrong with a deep, chocolate brown shade, especially if you have short or squared nails. This colour really invokes autumnal feelings and is guaranteed to leave the wearer looking effortlessly elegant. To get the most out of a block, glossy shade like this one, we'd recommend investing in one of the best nail strengtheners

2. Cabernet nails

Much like dark red, which is a popular winter nail colour, red-brown polishes have also experienced an uptick in popularity. This wine-like shade is perfect for those who already favour red shades when it comes to their manicure but are perhaps looking for a subtle change. Again, we would recommend those with shorter or more squared nails to opt for this shade, as it offers such an expensive-looking nail look.

3. Tortoiseshell nails

If you're a lover of tortoiseshell accessories - perhaps you even wear a pair of tortoiseshell glasses - why not bring the design down to your fingertips? It's such a unique way to incorporate autumnal shades into your style and will no doubt earn you a number of compliments. 

4. Cinnamon nails

If you're looking to channel the scents and flavours of autumn/winter into your nail game, look no further than a warm cinnamon-like shade. This is the perfect option for those who prefer lighter shades on their nails but still want to embrace the brown nail trend.

5. Chocolate French tips

For a more minimal, subtle look, why not try a brown French tip manicure? This style is perfect for every day and suits both square and oval nail shapes. They're also easy to replicate at home with the aid of a thin nail brush, or a nail stamper (both of which are available at Amazon).

6. 'Cowgirl' copper nails

If you're looking for something a little more glamorous, try a shiny copper. While 'Cowboy Copper' is a huge TikTok hair trend right now, the rich, shiny shade is also perfect for your nails. This is especially true for the festive period - if you want to steer clear of Christmassy red. 

7. Salted Caramel nails

A caramel shade is a great option if you prefer more of a muted nail style. This colour is also ideal for recreating a tortoiseshell design or you could opt for a simple, monochromatic look. 

8. Chocolate chrome nails

Chrome nails have been a big hit since 2022, so combining the two trends makes perfect sense. This chocolate chrome is easy to recreate at home, all you need is your chosen brown shade and either a pearly top coat or a chrome powder. Alternatively, you can request a chrome finish from your nail artist. 

9. Tortoiseshell French Tips

If you love the look of the tortoiseshell nail trend but don't want to make too much of a statement, this French tip design is the perfect way to incorporate it. It looks great on both oval and stiletto-shaped nails, though we will admit, it might be a tad difficult to recreate. You might want to leave this one to the professionals!

10. Molten copper

If you're a fan of shimmers this look is the perfect way to combine the brown nail trend and your love of sparkly nail polish. OPI's Hot Toddy Naughty shade (from John Lewis) is very similar and will take just two to three coats to replicate this molten look. 

11. Brown Gradient French Tips

If you can't pick between shades, this neutral gradient look is the perfect way to wear multiple colours - while still maintaining a subtle and chic manicure. To recreate this look, select five shades, from a cream to a dark brown and apply each colour to a different nail.

12. Cappuccino nails

Shot of espresso anyone? If you're a coffee lover, these marbled espresso nails are perfect. For this look, you'll need a white or cream polish, as well as two shades of brown. To recreate the marbling, apply a base coat of cream or light brown and before it dries, work in your white and dark brown polish with a thin detailing brush.

13. Dark brown nails

Dark brown is another chic shade that has been gaining traction in recent weeks. It's simple but bold and never fails to leave the wearer looking sophisticated. For the best colour payoff and an even, streak-free finish, we'd recommend applying two to three layers of your chosen colour, before adding a glossy top coat.

14. Brown abstract nails

If you're looking for something a bit more fun but that still meets the 'expensive' and 'chic' requirements, an abstract, negative space manicure is a good way to go. With this nail style, you can utilize all your favourite brown hues and can play with both block colours and more intricate designs.

15. Brown Chevron nails

Brought to us by celebrity nail artist, Tom Bachik - who created Heidi Klum's 'Milk Bath' nails - these brown chevron nails are a twist on classic French tips. This look is one of the easiest to recreate, as you just need to paint the left and right edge of your nail tip, for that geometric look.

Naomi Jamieson
Beauty Writer

Naomi is a Beauty Writer from Woman&Home, where she covers everything from skincare to beauty trends, as well as reviewing products and sharing her personal shopping recommendations. She specialises in feature and e-commerce writing and has previously worked as a Lifestyle News Writer for My Imperfect Life magazine, where she used her savvy for TikTok trends to bring readers the latest beauty buzzwords, fashion movements and must-have products. During her time on this title, she also reviewed beauty and skincare products and was commissioned to design some illustrations for one of the team's relationship features.

Before that, Naomi also worked across both GoodTo and My Imperfect Life, whilst training for her Gold Standard diploma in Journalism with the NCTJ, for which she earned a Distinction. Interestingly though, Naomi actually has a background in design, having studied illustration at Plymouth University but leapt into the media world in 2021, after always having a passion for writing.

Before working for Future Publishing’s Lifestyle News team, she worked in the Ad production team. Here she wrote and designed adverts on all sorts of things, which then went into print magazines across all genres. Now, when she isn’t writing articles on the best perfumes and must-have beauty buys, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping.