Gray is a sophisticated color. It’s neutral, but it’s not boring. Just check out #graynails and you’ll see that social media is right on top of this trend.
Personally, I love gray because it goes with anything. That’s why I rounded up the best gray nail polish to share with you today.
- 1 Is gray a popular nail color?
- 2 What is the meaning behind gray nail polish?
- 3 Best Gray Nail Polish in 2024
- 3.1 essie expressie Nail Polish, Binge-Worthy, Soft Gray
- 3.2 Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish, Slate-r Girl
- 3.3 OPI Nail Lacquer, I Can Never Hut Up
- 3.4 Revlon Nail Enamel, Glossy Shine Finish, 905 Sophisticated
- 3.5 butter LONDON Earl Grey
- 3.6 ZOYA Nail Polish, Dove
- 3.7 Beetles Oh Whale Gel Nail Polish
- 3.8 Revel Nail Dip Powder, Stormy Shade
- 3.9 Modelones Gel Nail Polish Set, 6 Colors Gray Blue Gel Polish
- 4 Conclusion
Is gray a popular nail color?
Gray nail polish started becoming popular in late 2019. Nowadays, it’s easy to find gray shades from all your favorite brands. Some are cool-toned and some are warm. Which ones should you pick?
You can go off your skin tone or choose a gray shade that goes with the other colors you’ll be wearing. It comes down to whether you want to call attention to your nails or simply enjoy them as a sophisticated accent.
What color nail polish goes with gray? Literally, you can combine it with anything. Go monochromatic with black and white or match gray with orange, yellow, or pink for summer. In the winter, enjoy gray nail polish alongside moodier shades.
What is the meaning behind gray nail polish?
Sure, gray is a contemporary color, but it’s not all business. It also stands for serenity and balance. It can be quite soothing, especially if you opt for a matte finish.
Get more gray nail polish ideas in the reviews below.
|The best gray nail polish
|Why we love it
|essie expressie Binge-Worthy, Soft Gray
|Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish, Slate-r Girl
|OPI Nail Lacquer, I Can Never Hut Up
|Revlon Nail Enamel, Glossy Shine Finish, 905 Sophisticated
|butter LONDON Earl Grey
|ZOYA Nail Polish, Dove
|Beetles Oh Whale Gel Nail Polish
|Revel Nail Dip Powder, Stormy Shade
|Modelones Gel Nail Polish Set, 6 Colors Gray Blue Gel Polish
Best Gray Nail Polish in 2024
essie expressie Nail Polish, Binge-Worthy, Soft Gray
Let’s start with a light gray nail polish with a slightly warm undertone. It’s one of the calmest shades I’ve seen. Moreover, it’s one of the fastest-drying nail polishes I reviewed. At room temperature, it air-dries in about a minute.
Even though it’s pretty durable, it’s not a bad idea to add a second coat since you don’t need a base or top coat. But since it dries quickly, you need to work quickly to get a smooth finish. The applicator brush is angled and its design makes it so you don’t have to do yoga to paint your nails. If you flip the brush, it makes it easier to work with the non-dominant hand. However, you might want to practice a little bit before a mission-critical moment arrives.
What’s more, essie uses only vegan ingredients and avoids nasty chemicals like formaldehyde. If you’re into nails, you probably already know that this brand is favored by celebrity manicurists and other beauty professionals.
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish, Slate-r Girl
Slate gray is dark gray, and this polish nails the color… almost. It’s actually a little purplish and looks stunning alongside silver.
To be honest, I prefer the brush in this bottle because it’s wide and flat and makes quick work of doing my nails. Although the polish takes a couple of minutes to set, it’s very durable. Put a gloss topcoat on it and it can last up to 2 weeks. (The average lifetime is 8 days with two coats).
There’s no need for UV or LED lights – the polish air-dries. The main downer is that it contains parabens.
OPI Nail Lacquer, I Can Never Hut Up
OPI has several shades of gray ranging from very dark to silvery with glitter. It was a tough choice to pick one for the reviews. I liked this neutral gray but I might pick up Rub-a-Pub-Pub or The Runway in the near future.
Although an OPI polish manicure takes a little longer, it’s chip-resistant and looks like a gel manicure for days on end. For best results, you’ll need the base coat, two color coats, and a top coat. However, each one dries without the need for a nail lamp.
Revlon Nail Enamel, Glossy Shine Finish, 905 Sophisticated
Gray nail polish also comes in pearlescent shades. This one is a slightly shimmery medium gray. If you need a neutral color for the office but want to have a little fun, it’s perfect.
In general, I like Revlon nail polish. This one is a little harder to brush on evenly and takes a little longer to dry. It doesn’t help that the brush is narrow so I have to do more strokes.
On the bright side, when layered with the matching base coat and top coat, the polish wears well for a week or longer without chipping or fading. No surprises there as Revlon is quick to promote its Shade Lock and Chip Defiant Technology. In order to get the maximum benefits, you need to use Revlon’s own quick dry basecoat. At least it keeps the nails from breaking, yellowing, or becoming discolored from colored nail polish.
What’s more, the polish formulas are free from camphor, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, and dibutyl phthalate.
butter LONDON Earl Grey
Earl Grey is my favorite black tea. It has a hint of bergamot that makes it extra tasty. So I couldn’t resist trying the Earl Grey shade from butter London. It’s dark and warm, nearly black, with a beautiful glossy finish.
(In case you’ve noticed, sometimes it’s “gray” and other times it’s “grey”. The former is the American English spelling of the word and the latter is British English).
Like all polishes from this brand, it’s 10-free. They never include formaldehyde or formaldehyde resin, toluene, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, xylene, parabens, gluten, DBP, or TPHP. Furthermore, these products are vegan and cruelty-free.
To get the most out of the polish, use 2 coats of the color. You don’t need a base or top coat. The polish settles into place like melted butter and dries to the touch in a couple of minutes. If you prep your nails, the finish looks a lot like a gel manicure. That’s because it has a unique polymer technology for extra shine and resistance to chipping.
ZOYA Nail Polish, Dove
ZOYA is another 10-free brand like butter London but its list of excluded ingredients is a little different. There’s no mention of gluten – instead, the polish is lead-free. No wonder this no polish is often recommended for pregnant women, persons with allergies, and those with sensitive skin.
It’s a low-toxicity nail polish that proves that there’s no need for nasty chemicals to produce a gorgeous manicure. And the Dove color is fresh and clean, a light gray that’s almost a pastel. It has a glossy finish and neutral undertones. Even though it’s luminous, it’s not shimmery. I’ve heard it described as a modern color with the perfect amount of elegance.
The polish has a delightful texture, too. It goes on smooth and dries rapidly without a nail lamp. If you love it, check out ZOYA’s other gray shades including Harley (concrete gray with shimmery flecks), Carey (translucent periwinkle gray becomes opaque with two coats), and Vickie (milky gray).
Beetles Oh Whale Gel Nail Polish
If you already have a nail lamp, you’re all set to enjoy a Beetles manicure. It only takes 60 seconds under an LED lamp to set these gels.
The Oh Whale color is a classy neutral gray that you can wear either glossy or matte depending on which top coat you choose. Meanwhile, the Madison Grey shade edges towards taupe in color. Either way, these gels last a good three weeks. You’re likely to need a fill before you see any chipping or fading.
Also, the formula is 9-free and low odor. It contains no camphor, lead, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, DBP, ethyl tosylamide, xylene, or parabens.
Revel Nail Dip Powder, Stormy Shade
Dip powder nails don’t require a nail lamp to cure. They air dry just like nail lacquer but they stink less. If you’ve got the patience to do a dip powder manicure, it will last you for weeks without a chip.
How do you apply dip powder polish? You’ll need a set that includes liquids like base coat, activator, and top coat, plus dip powder. Apply the base coat, dip the nail in the powder, remove the excess powder, apply the activator and top coat and you’re done. There are numerous tutorials online to guide you through it.
So, if dip powder is so durable, easy, and (nearly) odorless, why doesn’t everybody use it? The dark side of a dip powder manicure is that it’s not the easiest to remove. Generally, you’ll need to soak your nails in acetone for about 15 minutes, and you’ll probably end up filing off part of the polish, too. But if you want an extremely durable manicure that looks salon-fresh day after day and you’re trying to avoid UV lamps, it’s ideal.
As for Revel’s Stormy Shade, it’s a dark slate gray that looks fabulous with nail art. And it’s only one of over 300 colors produced by this brand. They are all 5-free, vegan, and cruelty-free.
Modelones Gel Nail Polish Set, 6 Colors Gray Blue Gel Polish
Picking a single shade is painful because there’s always some other color that looks good, too. Instead of forcing yourself to decide, why not get a set of shades of gray? This one comes with light, medium, neutral, warm, and dark grays as well as a bluish gray. The colors are sheer but buildable, plus you can choose between glossy or matte top coats. (You’ll need to buy these other necessary accessories separately).
Since this is a gel polish, you’ll need a UV or LED lamp to cure it. It takes a minute or two. Be aware that the colored shades will feel sticky even after curing, but will set completely after the top coat has dried.
I didn’t have a chance to test these shades myself, but they’ve racked up a ton of happy reviews. Not only are they affordable, but they are also non-toxic, vegan, and cruelty-free.
The color gray is elegant and sophisticated, and it goes with anything. But choosing the best gray nail polish isn’t just picking a pretty color – it’s also choosing polish that’s easy to work with, durable, and non-toxic. I hope that the reviews above helped you create a gorgeous manicure. If you love your new gray nail polish, I’d be happy to hear from you. Feel free to tell me about it in the comments below.