Gray is not a drab and depressing nail color. It is the chicest neutral shade, and the best gray nail polish matches any outfit and all your fashion moods. Gray nail paints are the (underappreciated) gems of your manicure nail paint collection for more reasons than one. They can be worn with any outfit without seeming out of place. Second, they are a terrific alternative to the standard nude nail colors, which you have probably grown tired of after the millionth application. If you are looking for a nail color that can be worn in any season, gray is the solution! It is quite adaptable, sleek, and modern, suited for any event, and looks flattering on all skin tones.
Gray has so many different shades for you to choose from. Whether you want a smokey dark gray tint that gives you the perfect edgy look or a soft gray shade for a muted effect, you can take your pick from the list of the top 11 gray nail polishes that you will find on the market. Scroll down.
In This Article
11 Best Gray Nail Polishes
1. Best Choice: essie expressie Quick Dry Nail Color – Binge-Worthy
If you are someone who prefers to keep your nail au naturel at all times but also likes a hint of color, this soft gray shade from the celebrity-endorsed Essie can be the perfect choice for you. This gray nail polish looks chic and sophisticated and has taupe undertones, which means it is a simple neutral gray shade that you can pair with any attire you want. This nail polish is a quick-drying, one-step formula. So if you are ever in a rush, you can achieve a gorgeous color and shine with just 2 coats of polish that dries in a minute. The best part about this polish is that it features an angled brush, so you won’t have to struggle again while painting your nails with your non-dominant hand. This video review highlights a tester’s experience with the product. It will help you understand the nail polish better.
- Fast-drying nail polish
- Vegan and non-toxic
- Does not require a base or top coat
- Free of animal-derived ingredients
- Angled brush makes self-application easy with both hands
- May not be long-wearing
2. Best For All Seasons: wet n wild Wild Shine Nail
The Wet n Wild top coat nail paint is here to add some glossy finish and long-lasting shine to your nails. This glitter finish top coat comes in Kaleidoscope, a gorgeous gray color that is effortlessly stylish and will make you stand out from the crowd. It is safe to use because it is non-toxic and it doesn’t contain formaldehyde. The product is not tested on animals, which makes it ideal for people who prefer ethically conscious options. You can feel confident using it at home or at a salon.
- Long-wearing formula
- Offers opaque finish
3. Best Long-Lasting: Butter LONDON Patent Shine 10X Nail Lacquer
The Butter London’s Gel Polish is great for creating a beautiful gel-like cushion finish and shine. The special feature of this product is that it offers long wear up to 10 days, so you can enjoy your look without having to worry about touch-ups or reapplication. The natural vegan formula ensures healthier nails with shock-resistant polymer technology that binds together for an elastic and sophisticated finish. With its easy application process and long-wearing benefits, this gray nail polish will become your favorite!
- Fast-drying formula
- Easy to remove
- 10-day wear time
- Vegan formula
essie expressie Quick Dry Nail Color - Binge-Worthy
wet n wild Wild Shine Nail
Best For All Seasons
Butter LONDON Patent Shine 10X Nail Lacquer
|Dimensions||11.83 x 10.06 x 4.19 inches||1.22 x 0.08 x 290 inches||1.38 x 0.79 x 2.56 inches|
|Weight||1.76 Ounces.||0.09 Ounces.||2.08 Ounces|
4. Best Chip-Resistant: China Glaze Nail Lacquer, The Great Outdoors Collection – Change Your Attitude
If you want a nail polish that reminds you of fog-filled mornings and beach pebbles, try this statement-making Change Your Attitude polish by China Glaze. Described as a pebble greige creme, this versatile color was created by taking inspiration from the outdoors. This lacquer has a creamy consistency that offers a smooth application. While it is easy to achieve a true color with just one coat, it’s best to apply two coats for an opaque finish. This nail lacquer is formulated with kaolin, also known as China clay, which acts as a nail hardener to strengthen your brittle nails while also giving your nails a glossy appearance. Rest assured, this polish will stay on your nails for a long time. If you are still unsure, check out this honest review that details a reviewer’s experience with the product.
- Long-wearing formula
- Contains China clay as a hardener
- Made without toluene, DBP, and formaldehyde
- May have a thick consistency
5. Best Opaque Finish: Twinkled T Stamping Polish – Smokey (Gray)
A nail polish so glossy that you won’t have to use a top coat again? Yes, please! This polish gives your nails maximum coverage and a gel-like opaque finish in a single coat. Plus, it goes on smoothly and dries quickly. Loved by beauty bloggers and vloggers, this dark gray shade is a softer alternative to black and works excellently well as a polish and for stamping. Available in more than 20 colors other than the gray shade, this polish will help you create stunning nail art designs quickly and easily. Click this video to learn more about the dark gray nail polish based on a tester’s experience.
- Fast-drying formula
- Offers opaque finish
- Can be used with any stamping plate
- May stain your nails if used without a base polish
6. Best Vegan: Deborah Lippmann Treatment Nail Color – Grey Day
The celebrity-inspired Trust Deborah Lippmann to come up with a nail color that transforms your everyday wardrobe from dull to dapper in an instant. Inspired by fashion designer Jason Wu’s ready-to-wear collection called GREY Jason Wu, this limited-edition cool gray nail polish shade lends your nails a high-shine finish like that of gel polish but without damaging your nails. It is enriched with keratin, biotin, green tea extract, and bamboo, to name a few, that make your nails healthier with every swipe. Still not convinced? This dual-patented formula is created without the 10 toxic ingredients, including formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, and camphor, among others.
- 10-free formula
- Treatment-enriched nail polish
- May not be chip-resistant
7. Best Durable: OPI Nail Lacquer – I Can Never Hut Up
We can’t stop raving about this nail lacquer from the celebrity-endorsed brand O.P.I. because it is long-lasting and much more durable than a regular nail polish. This nail lacquer formula is a great option if you are someone who likes to change your nail color every week. It guarantees to last all of 7 days, provided you prep your nails with a base coat and top the nail lacquer with a top coat. Plus, it is equipped with a unique ProWide brush that ensures a smooth and flawless application. Referred to as an “edge-of-dawn gray” shade, this nail polish has a shimmery finish, making it perfect for occasions when you want to add a touch of elegance to your look.
- Pigment-rich formula
- Wide brush
- Easy to remove
- 7-day wear time
- Available in more than 200 colors
- May not last long without the base coat and top coat
8. Best Toxin-Free: ella+mila Nail Polish, Mommy Collection – Grey Skies
It is vegan, non-toxic, and long-lasting – what’s not to love about this nail polish by ella+mila. For someone who’s looking for a safer alternative, this is a perfect option as it is free of camphor, xylene, formaldehyde, toluene, and other toxic chemicals. It has a smooth consistency, which means it glides on effortlessly to provide an even application without budges. Reviewers have noted that the cement gray fingernail polish is super opaque, so one coat is all you will need to attain a seamless finish. All while it dries quickly to prevent any smudging.
- 100% vegan
- Quick-drying formula
- Might have a strong odor
9. Best Quick-Drying: Beetles Oh Whale Gray Color
Get salon-quality minimalist nails at home with Beetles Gel Polish! This nail polish gives you a glossy finish that won’t chip for weeks. The gray whale color is very popular right now. The formula contains 9 ingredients that are safe and toxin-free with low odor, making it easy to use. Many reviews indicate that you can use this gray color polish on both natural and artificial nails for a great look all year round.
- Fast-drying nail polish
- Easy to remove
10. Best For All Skin Tones: ZOYA Nail Polish
The Dove by Zoya is the perfect addition to your nail polish collection! This soft, delicate light neutral gray shade has an opaque, glossy creme finish that is both unexpected and flattering. It is formaldehyde-free, making it a safe choice for your nails. This beautiful shade has a timeless appeal and is perfect for adults and can be worn on any occasion, whether you’re going to work or out for a night on the town. The liquid formula and glossy shine finish polish glides on smoothly, providing a flawless finish that lasts until you take it off.
- Easy to apply
11. Best Shiny Finish: ILNP Nail Polish – Maiden Lane
Add an urban chic elegance and a little sparkle to your nails and life with this ultra-holographic charcoal gray shade with blue undertones. Depending on the light, this polish will look like a clean dark slate or make your nails appear like they are covered in thousands of tiny sparkly rainbows. This shimmery, cool-toned hue is perfect for times when you want your nails to scream, “look at me,” but in the best way. Dao Huyen Nhu, a nail artist, says, “For a better holographic effect, you can apply a layer of black polish underneath.” Suitable for at-home and professional use, this formula goes smoothly over your nails and dries quickly to give long-lasting coverage.
- Vegan and cruelty-free
- Intense shiny effect
- Loaded with over sized holographic pigment
- Might need at least 3 coats to achieve the desired results
Grey nail polish is a neutral color ideal for everyday or professional occasions The shade is also ideal for winter months. With so many classic gray shades available from dark gray to bright color, it can get puzzling to find the right one for your collection. To help you make a decision, we have put together a list of factors to consider while purchasing gray nail polish.
Things To Consider Before Purchasing A Gray Nail Polish For All Occasions
Shade: If you have medium skin tones with an olive or neutral undertone it is easy to pair with any gray shade. There are many shades of gray and textures that you can wear to get different looks. Shades like metallic gray and gray nail polish with pink specs create a dramatic look that can be worn for parties or discos. Pale gray is perfect for a professional look.
Finish: You can also choose a matte, glossy, gel, or chrome nail polish as you desire. Glitter gray nail paint can be worn for weddings, parties, or discos. Matte looks luster-free but is ideal for a professional look. Shimmer and glossy are ideal for everyday looks.
Ingredients To Choose: If you have dry and brittle nails, opt for nail polish with moisturizing and strengthening ingredients like vitamin E, calcium, camelia extract, etc. Also, look for nitrocellulose which is a resin that holds the nail polish. Ethyl acetate, butyl acetate, propyl acetate, and isopropyl acetate are solvents that help the polish to apply and dry quickly. All these compounds are skin-friendly and do not irritate the skin.
Ingredients To Avoid: Nail polishes house a lot of harsh chemicals. Always go for at least a five-free nail polish that does not contain formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, and camphor. These formulas are comparatively safer. However, premium formulas are also free of some other harsh chemicals.
Breathability: Generally, nail polishes create a barrier for healthy nails by blocking the oxygen supply. But the improved formulas let nails breathe while improving their health. So, make sure to check the product description to locate ‘breathable’ in the content..
Durability: : For long-lasting wear, choose a chip-resistant and quick-drying nail paint that gives a high color pay-off, full coverage, and streak-free shine in just a single coat. Such formulas are likely to stay put for 2-3 weeks
Infographic: Which Outfits Do Gray Nail Polishes Best Complement?
Pairing the perfect shade of gray with the right outfit can be a daunting task. There are certain factors that come into play when deciding which shade works with which outfit, color, and occasion. The infographic below will help you learn a great deal about how to do it like a true fashionista. Check it out!
If you are someone who constantly likes changing nail colors according to the season and outfit or even the latest nail trend, then you will love to try these gray nail polishes that fit every occasion. These modern and refined gray polishes are similar to nude colors and can be worn with any outfit. Several shades of gray are available, from dark gray that complements your skin tone to smokey gray that suits trendy outfits. The essie expressie Quick Dry Nail Color – Binge-Worthy is a great choice for those with a busy lifestyle as it is quick-drying, while the Butter LONDON Patent Shine 10X Nail Lacquer is perfect for those who want a glossy, long-lasting, smooth finish. If you are looking for a nail polish free of any harmful chemicals, then try the ZOYA Nail Polish. The gray nail polishes on our list are non-toxic, chip-resistant, and cruelty-free. However, you may need to put on a second layer for some nail polishes based on the intensity of the color.
Why Trust StyleCraze?
Srijani Roy Chowdhury, the author of this article, is a makeup enthusiast passionate about keeping up with the latest advancement in makeup products and technology. She feels that gray nail polishes are underappreciated and are a great substitute for nude colors. She read multiple user reviews on several gray nail polishes from leading brands and curated this list of the top ones available online. These nail polishes are vegan, cruelty-free, and do not chip off easily.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does gray nail color mean?
Grey nail color symbolizes modesty. Gray is a very sober color that offers a subtle and elegant look that highlights the calm mindset of the wearer. The color also represents your androgynous characteristics.
Does gray nail polish look good?
Yes. Grey nail polish looks flattering on every skin tone. It gives a basic yet alluring look to the nails. In addition, this nail color suits almost every occasion.
Is gray nail polish trendy?
Yes. Grey has been a trendy nail color for a while. It complements almost all dresses and suits every skin tone. Celebrities like Kylie Jenner, Camilla Cabello, and Hayley Williams often flaunt their manicured gray nails.
Do I have to match the colors of my nails and toes?
No. Your manicure and pedicure colors do not necessarily have to match. But try to stick to complementary colors to enhance the overall look.