Maybelline Downtown Brown Swatches & Review

Maybelline-Downtown-Brown-Swatches-ReviewMaybelline Downtown Brown is part of the Color Show line, and this is a highly unique nail polish. In my stash of 600+ bottles, I don’t have anything like this brown-green duochrome.

I heard that it’s a bit similar to Misa Embroidered Emerald (which is an old and discontinued polish that I’ve been trying to get for literally years to no avail). So you can bet your bottom dollar that I was combing through the drugstores in hot pursuit of Downtown Brown.

After weeks of stalking Shoppers Drug Mart, they finally put out the display. I quickly snatched Downtown Brown from the display and then looked at the other colours more leisurely.

If you like this lacquer, don’t have an internal debate with yourself whether or not to get it. If you find it, get it. It’s a limited-edition shade, so once it’s gone, it may be gone forever unless they re-promote it in the future.

Maybelline Downtown Brown Pictures


Natural Light

Maybelline Color Show Downtown Brown



Natural Light

Downtown Brown by Maybelline Color Show


Maybelline Downtown Brown

Downtown Brown Maybelline Color Show Nail Polishes

Maybelline Downtown Brown Swatches

All swatches have:

Natural Light Photos










Yes, this was also taken in natural light. But see how it looks a little different?

Flash Photos

Maybelline Downtown Brown Swatch & Review

Maybelline Downtown Brown Swatch, Review & Photos

Maybelline Downtown Brown Swatch, Review & Pics

Maybelline Downtown Brown Swatches, Review & Pictures

Maybelline Downtown Brown Swatches & Review


√ Bolder, crisper colour that just won’t quit

Key Notes

  • Name: Maybelline Downtown Brown
  • Amount: 7 mL (0.23 fl. oz.)
  • What I Paid: $4.49 CAD
  • Where to Buy: Shoppers Drug Mart and other drugstores

Maybelline Downtown Brown Review


This isn’t your ordinary garden variety. Downtown Brown by Maybelline is what’s referred on America’s Next Top Model as ‘ugly pretty’. It’s not a girly polish by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s editorial, different, and artistically interesting.

There’s a murky quality to Downtown Brown. I feel like the main colour is a red-based brown and then there’s a green glaze on top. Very cool colour combination, and I love the earthy feel.

Although you can see both colours, usually one is more dominant. However, when you look at your nails in different lighting, the dominant colour changes. Sometimes I saw more green, and other times the brown came through more. It’s interesting to look at throughout the day.


Downtown Brown by Maybelline has a shimmery duochrome finish.

Application & Formula

It had a watery consistency, but it applied thickly somehow. Since I used medium coats, I was able to achieve full opacity at just 2 coats. However, I added a 3rd one to intensify the colour. Also, because the polish was on the watery side, I used this extra coat in hopes of avoiding nail-polish shrinkage with Seche Vite.

Unfortunately, I didn’t wait long enough between my last coat and my top coat, so my ring finger took the brunt of it. I got shrinkage on that finger. In case you aren’t sure, shrinkage is when a fast-drying top coat shrinks the polish as it dries so that you get premature tip wear.

I suggest that if you want to avoid that, wait a very long time for Downtown Brown to dry before applying your quick-drying top coat.

Limited Edition

If you see this polish and want it, get it right away or you may regret it. This is a limited-edition product, so once it’s sold out, it’s anybody’s guess if Maybelline will ever re-promote it.


Sure, I’ve paid more than $4.49 CAD for a bottle of nail polish before, but considering that you’re only getting a small 7 mL of polish, I think the price is quite high. That being said, it’s totally worth it because you’ll be hard-pressed to find a readily available dupe on the current market.


  • Unique colour (brown-green shimmery duochrome)
  • Very similar to Misa Embroidered Emerald (which is very-hard-to-find and discontinued)

  • Thin formula, but applies thickly
  • Limited-edition product (won’t be around forever)
  • High price considering the small amount of product you get

Final Verdict: 9/10

I really like this brown and green duochrome. The colours work so well together, and it crushed my lemming for Misa Embroidered Emerald! (I actually like how Maybelline has more brown and less red than the Misa.) Plus at the drugstore price, it doesn’t make my piggy bank squeal bacon murder! 😉

Did you pick up any of the Maybelline Color Show nail polishes? What colour combinations for duochrome polishes do you wish companies would make? Which Maybelline polishes do you own and would recommend?


20 thoughts on “Maybelline Downtown Brown Swatches & Review

  1. Melissa

    I know what color I’m looking for this weekend!! I’ve been looking for a brown. I got a Sally Hansen that looked brown in the bottle, Haute Chocolate, turns out its more of a maroon, but still super great.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Melissa!

      Yay! I really hope you track it down. It’s such an interesting/different polish to have. (Wonder if it’ll later be duped by other brands.)

  2. Gwen

    I honestly can’t decide if I like this colour or not. I think I’d have to see it in real life.

    As an aside, doesn’t it madden you when you stalk Shoppers for a particular nail colour that never seems to come in? I’ve been trying to find Revlon’s Blue Lagoon to no avail. 🙁

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Gwen!

      The colour surely isn’t for everyone, but, yes I hope you are able to find it soon in the store so that you can decide if it’s right for you or not.

      Hahaha, I know what you mean! When I heard about the original Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure, I kept checking Shoppers Drug Mart for it…for many months. It just never came in, it seemed. But then one of my friends surprised me with it, so I got to welcome it into my polish family in the end. 😉 I do wonder if the Buyer for Shoppers Drug Mart only purchases select shades of new collections and has them show up only at certain locations…

  3. Kayla

    Thanks for the application tips and review! I bought this last week and haven’t worn it yet, looking forward to it. It’s definitely beautiful. 🙂

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Kayla!

      You’re most welcome – I’m always happy to help when I can!

      WEAR YOURS! 🙂 And afterwards, let me know what you thought of it. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

  4. Jenn

    I’m happy to hear that you were finally able to find this at Shoppers, I’ve been looking for weeks! I’ll have to go check again this week! I love the green duochrome, I’ve never seen anything like it in a brown polish before!
    Jenn recently posted: Elevation Polish Everest

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Jenn!

      Fingers crossed for you that it’ll turn up soon! Don’t give up – the display is bound to show up. Hmm…but the display at mine just had 4 bottles of each colour. So if you find it, I hope at least one bottles left for you. (They should put your name on it – Reserved for Jenn!) 😉 Hehe, I wish they did such things for us nailphiles!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Gelic’ nail art!

      Definitely! And because it looks different based on the lighting and angle, you won’t get tired of it. Really interesting and usual.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Paola!

      Oh yeah? Hmm…I’ve never seen that, but maybe those who can’t find Downtown Brown can look into the one you mentioned. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Heidi

    I made a franken that turned out very much like that color and I put it in the “fail” pile. Maybe I should rethink that classification.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Heidi!

      Haha, maybe you can open up shop to fill the void for all those people who are having trouble locating Downtown Brown! :O

      Which polishes did you mix to create your franken? I’m sure that I’m not the only person who’s curious now!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey mellinail!

      YAY! So glad you scored it, too! And I already know that you’re going to love it. Great nail addicts think alike. 😉

  6. Sara

    Great review! I just picked up this polish today and LOVE it. When I saw it I immediately thought of MAC’s Blue-Brown pigment, but in nail polish. I’m so glad I picked it up. I know exactly what you mean about the texture of it. Such a great dark fall color!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Sara!

      Yes, I’ve heard other people also comparing it to MAC Blue-Brown pigment! 🙂 How cool! (I don’t own that pigment, but it’s pretty neat how you could potentially wear the eye shadow and then the same shade on your nails.)


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