My nail polish collection is large. Polishes kept in good condition (away from heat or light) can last a long time, longer than the two years many people quote. A good thinner (I use Seche Vite) can also revive them. I have tossed polishes when thinner cannot save them or they have obviously gone bad, but it is rare. When I started collecting polishes again, I tossed all polishes older than the summer of 2013. To avoid ordering duplicates, I created a spreadsheet. Swatching them with these spoons I purchased from Amazon will help me compare the colors, finishes, and overall quality. All polishes only have one coat, because I wanted to spot the difference between my sheer and opaque polishes. We’ve all seen polishes that look dark in the bottle only to need 3-4 coats for opaqueness. No polishes have base or top coats either, because that can change the way the polish looks.
This will cover browns and blacks. These polishes look brown or black in the bottle or have brown or black in the polish name. They are not necessarily labeled brown or black by the polish manufacturer and do not always look brown or black once they’re swatched. Every time I get a new brown or black polish, I will edit this to add the new one in. Of course, the polish will also be featured in the article reviewing the purchase. If you’d like to see any of my other nail polish colors, I also have articles for Corals & Oranges, Yellows & Golds, Blues, Greens, Beiges & Nudes, Coppers and Bronzes, Reds, Sheers & Whites, Salmon & Wines, Purples, Pinks, Grays & Silvers, and Nail Treatments, Base Coats, & Top Coats.
I photographed the browns and blacks in order from lightest to darkest and used a flash. The flash is wonderful at picking up detail and finish. The individual pictures below use natural daylight for a more exact color. When I add new polishes, I will not take group pictures again, but I will place the new individual picture in order of where it lies within the shade meaning every article will have the lightest shade first and the darkest last.
Deborah Lippmann Moon Dance is a clear polish with brownish gold glitter. The finish is semi glossy and smooth.
Nails Inc Sugar House Lane is a sheer, light brown polish with silver and dark blue glitter. The finish is semi matte and slightly rough. A top coat can smooth it out.
Julep Rooney is a chocolate-brown. The finish is semi glossy and smooth.
The Elf on the Shelf Chocolate Scented is a chocolate wine. It almost looks more purple than brown. The finish is glossy and slightly rough. Smoothing it out without a top coat is possible, but it would take a lot of work. This was a Christmas Gift from my son. I am not doing a separate article on this, so it is only mentioned here.
Urban Decay Naked Creep is a sheer black polish with a fine silver micro glitter. The finish is semi matte and slightly rough. A top coat can smooth it out.
Ulta Pro Black Diamond is a semi sheer black polish with silver specks. The finish is semi glossy and smooth.
Julep Bernadette is a light black polish with silver micro glitter. The finish is semi matte and slightly rough. A top coat can smooth it out.
Julep Jet is a jet black crème. It is not as dark as the polish below. The finish is semi matte and smooth.
elf Black is from the Holiday 2017 set. It is a little streaky with one coat but gets fully opaque with two. The finish is semi matte and smooth.
L.A. Colors Art Deco Black is meant to be a decorating tool. While the brush and bottle are a lot smaller than a typical nail polish, it would take someone with a skilled, steady hand to actually use it this way. As such, I decided to list it with the nail polishes. The finish is semi matte and smooth.
Julep Johnny is a true black crème. The finish is semi glossy and smooth.
Formula X Dark Matter is not pictured above, because I set it aside with the blues (and published the blues after the blacks). The space above the black creme reflects a blue tint making me think it was a really deep blue. All the blue in the bottle disappears completely once painted, and it is a true black creme. I actually think it is the darkest black I have, although it is a toss up with Julep Jet. The finish is semi glossy and smooth.