11 Best Gray Nail Polishes

by Mayuri J Ravi
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Whoever said gray is a dull, gloomy color for the nails, have never really tried the right shade. Gray nail polishes are the unsung heroes of your nail shade collection for more reasons than one. Firstly, they can be paired with any type and colored outfit without looking out of place, unlike the black nail polish that looks over the top with your office attire. Secondly, they are a great alternative to your usual nude shades that you are bored of after applying it for the millionth time. Looking for a nail color that is perfect for any and all seasons? Gray is the answer! It is very versatile, works well for any occasion, and is suitable for all skin tones.

Whether you are going for the smokey dark gray shade that gives you an edge or opting for a soft gray finish, there are so many different shades of gray to choose from. Scroll through our list of the 11 best gray nail polishes and pick your favorite ones.

Products
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essie expressie Quick Dry Nail Color - Binge-Worthy
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Vishine Soak-Off Gel Polish Set - C003 Gray Series
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Blue Velvet Gel Polish Set - Gorgeous Gray
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China Glaze Nail Lacquer, The Great Outdoors Collection - Change Your Attitude
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Twinkled T Stamping Polish - Smokey (Gray)
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Deborah Lippmann Treatment Nail Color - Grey Day
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OPI Nail Lacquer - I Can Never Hut Up
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ella+mila Nail Polish, Mommy Collection - Grey Skies
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Sally Hansen INSTA-DRI Nail Color - Oh My Grey
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ROSALIND Soak-Off Gel Polish - Light Gray
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11 Best Gray Nail Polishes

1. essie expressie Quick Dry Nail Color – Binge-Worthy

If you are someone who prefers to keep your nail color au naturel at all times but also like a hint of color, this soft gray shade is the perfect choice for you. This gray nail polish 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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons

  • May not be long-wearing

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2. Vishine Soak-Off Gel Polish Set – C003 Gray Series

Get salon-quality nails at the comfort of your home with Vishine Soak-Off Gel Polish. It goes on like regular nail paint and wears like a gel to give your nails a long-lasting, flawless finish. All you need to do is apply 2 to 3 layers of this nail lacquer to achieve the exact color and dry it within minutes using a UV or LED nail lamp. So, no more worries about smudging or waiting forever for it to dry. From dark gray nail polish to a cool gray shade, this gel polish set includes 6 different shades of gray that are perfect for any season and occasion. Keep it subtle by using a single color on all your nails or get creative by mixing and matching the colors.

Pros:

  • Non-toxic
  • No strong smell
  • Lasts for over 3 weeks
  • Made of natural resin
  • Easy to remove using acetone

Cons

  • May not come with UV/LED lamp

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3. Blue Velvet Gel Polish Set – Gorgeous Gray

Give your nails a lustrous finish with this Gorgeous Gray gel nail polish set. This set includes 12 pieces of nail polishes in variations of gray and other delicious colors, so there is something to suit your every style and mood. These nail polishes are easy to apply and easy to remove. Although the curing process using a UV/LED light may take some time, the result is worth it. Always remember to apply a base coat to prevent staining and finish off with a top coat to seal the color. Take your pick from blue-tinted gray, dusky brown, or pretty teal for a stunning manicure that will last for days without chipping away.

Pros:

  • Long-lasting
  • Easy to remove
  • Includes 1 nail template
  • Equipped with a high-quality brush

Cons

  • The curing process will take a long time.

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4. China Glaze Nail Lacquer, The Great Outdoors Collection – Change Your Attitude

If you want nail polish that reminds you of fog-filled mornings and beach pebbles, try this Change Your Attitude polish by China Glaze. Described as a pebble greige creme, this 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.

Pros:

  • Chip-resistant
  • Long-wearing formula
  • Contains China clay as a hardener
  • Made without toluene, DBP, and formaldehyde

Cons

  • May have a thick consistency

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5. 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 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, this polish will help you create stunning nail art designs quickly and easily.

Pros:

  • Fast-drying formula
  • Pigmented
  • Offers opaque finish
  • Can be used with any stamping plate

Cons

  • May stain your nails if used without a base polish

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6. Deborah Lippmann Treatment Nail Color – Grey Day

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.

Pros:

  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • 10-free formula
  • Treatment-enriched nail polish

Cons

  • May not be chip-resistant

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7. OPI Nail Lacquer – I Can Never Hut Up

We can’t stop raving about this OPI Nail Lacquer 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 is loaded with shimmer, making it perfect for occasions when you want to add a touch of elegance to your look.

Pros:

  • Chip-resistant
  • Pigment-rich formula
  • Easy to remove
  • 7-day wear time
  • Available in more than 200 colors

Cons

  • May not last long without the base coat and top coat

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8. 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. This cement gray fingernail polish is super opaque, so 1 coat is all you will need to attain a seamless finish. All while it dries quickly to prevent any smudging.

Pros:

  • 100% vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Chip-resistant
  • Quick-drying formula

Cons

  • Might have a strong odor

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9. Sally Hansen INSTA-DRI Nail Color – Oh My Grey

Amp up your manicure game with Sally Hansen INSTA-DRI Nail Color. True to its name, this polish takes only 60 seconds to dry once applied. You can literally just do your manicure and immediately get on to do some cooking or dishwashing and not worry about smudging or smearing your polish. Hailed as the #1 quick-dry nail polish in North America, this formula delivers high color pay-off, full coverage, and streak-free shine in just a single coat. It is formulated with a base and top coat to help extend the life of your nail color and prevent chipping. It comes with a unique brush that offers a quick and precise application. If you think that a gray shade might be too basic for you, then this lavender-tinted gray hue might change your mind.

Pros:

  • 100% vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Chip-resistant
  • Quick-drying formula

Cons

  • Might have a thin, watery consistency

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10. ROSALIND Soak-Off Gel Polish – Light Gray

Let’s be honest: the most difficult part about getting a manicure is picking a nail color that will stay on your nails for the next 7 or 14 days. If you are ever in such a dilemma again, we suggest you go for a light gray shade such as this one. Ideal for all skin tones, this pastel color looks fantastic in every season and does not clash with any outfit. This gel polish is easy to apply like a traditional nail polish but has to be cured for 30 to 60 seconds under an LED/UV lamp. Apply 2 to 3 coats for a creamy finish that stays on for 15 days with no peeling or chipping. Additionally, it comes off easily when soaked in acetone for 15 minutes. For best results, start with a base coat, followed by 2 layers of gel polish, and then finish it off with a top coat.

Pros:

  • Opaque finish
  • 15-day wear
  • Easy to apply
  • Does not hip or smudge

Cons

  • The drying process might be tedious.

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11. ILNP Nail Polish – Maiden Lane

Add 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 hue is perfect for times when you want your nails to scream, “look at me,” but in the best way. Suitable for at-home and professional use, this formula goes on smoothly over your nails and dries quickly to give long-lasting coverage.

Pros:

  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Fast-drying
  • Long-wearing
  • Intense shiny effect
  • Loaded with over sized holographic pigment

Cons

  • Might need at least 3 coats to achieve the desired results

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Although underrated, gray is a beautiful color that you can put on your nails in any season. With so many different variations of gray available, you are bound to find a color that might become your go-to shade. We have listed down the 11 best gray color nail polishes – from deep, moody tone to shimmery gray – that will make your nails look beautiful anytime and any day. So, which gray shade is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

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Mayuri J Ravi

Mayuri J. Ravi is a content writer and journalist and holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Print Journalism. Her love for writing and desire to influence people for the better with her stories led her to pursue a career in this creative and dynamic field. She creates engaging content on a wide range of topics, such as beauty, fashion, and wellness. She is an ambivert and an avid foodie who also loves reading, dancing, and baking.
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