The 11 Best Gray Nail Polishes That Suit Every Occasion – 2022

Written by Chaitra Krishnan
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Gray is not 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, 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.

TOP 10 PRODUCTS
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Best Choice: essie expressie Quick Dry Nail Color - Binge-Worthy
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Best For All Seasons: Vishine Soak-Off Gel Polish Set - C003 Gray Series
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Best Long-Lasting: Blue Velvet Gel Polish Set - Gorgeous Gray
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Best Chip-Resistant: China Glaze Nail Lacquer, The Great Outdoors Collection - Change Your Attitude
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Best Opaque Finish: Twinkled T Stamping Polish - Smokey (Gray)
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Best Vegan: Deborah Lippmann Treatment Nail Color - Grey Day
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Best Durable: OPI Nail Lacquer - I Can Never Hut Up
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Best Toxin-Free: ella+mila Nail Polish, Mommy Collection - Grey Skies
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Best Quick-Drying: Sally Hansen INSTA-DRI Nail Color - Oh My Grey
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Best For All Skin Tones: ROSALIND Soak-Off Gel Polish - Light Gray
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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 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. This video review will help you understand more about the product.

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

2. Best For All Seasons: 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

3. Best Long-Lasting: 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.

4. Best Chip-Resistant: 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. If you are still unsure, check out this honest review.

Pros:

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

Cons

  • 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 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. Click this video to learn more about the product.

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

6. Best Vegan: 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

7. Best Durable: 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

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. 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

9. Best Quick-Drying: 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

10. Best For All Skin Tones: 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.

11. Best Shiny Finish: 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

Suppose you are one who constantly like changing nail colors according to the season and outfit, then you will love to try these grey nail polishes that fit every occasion. These grey polishes are similar to nude colors and can be worn on any outfit. Several grey shades are available, from dark grey that complements your skin tone to smokey grey that suits trendy outfits. The grey nail polishes on our list are non-toxic, chip-resistant, and are 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

Chaitra Krishnan, 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.

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