Gray Nails Are the Manicure Trend You've Been Waiting For

We'll be wearing "cookies and cream" nails all year.

Shades of Grey Nails

 Olive & June

We love a colorful mani moment, but every once in a while it serves to keep it black and white—or, in this case, in between the two. Yup, we're talking about gray nails. The light-and-dark nail hue has proven to be a hit among beauty lovers on Instagram and in real life, with #graynails growing by the minute.

Unlike some other nail trends, gray nails are incredibly versatile. That's because there are so many different shades of gray to choose from. Whether you want to rock a warm-based shade, a dusty hue, or a slate-inspired color, they're all within the gray spectrum. And, if you want to get creative, you can even choose a different shade of gray for every nail to kill two trends with one stone. Of course, that would first require sussing out the best gray nail polishes the beauty market has to offer.

Luckily for you, since we're well aware that time is of the essence, we've gone ahead and rounded up the 15 prettiest gray polishes ranging from light colors to dark shades. Take your pick, below.

01 of 15

Cookies and Cream

Olive & June ECC
Olive & June 7-Free Nail Polish in ECC $9.00
Shop

This ultra-light cool gray color is named after Erica Chidi Cohen, the cofounder of Loom—but, if we're being honest, all we can think of when seeing the pretty pale shade is cookies and cream. The modern hue is sweet, simple, and undoubtedly minimalist. Wear it on its own or detailed with darker polish.

02 of 15

Barely Gray

Zoya Nail Lacquer in Dove
Zoya Nail Lacquer in Dove $12.00
Shop

This light neutral gray is so pale it's almost white. To ensure that it looks gray on your nails, be sure to use at least two coats of the toxin-free vegan polish. And, as always, start with a base coat.

03 of 15

Cloudy Blue-Gray

londontown dainty daze
Londontown Dainty Daze $16.00
Shop

This pale blue-gray shade looks especially ethereal during the transition into winter. It mimics the color of a winter's first snow and looks dreamy for days on end.

04 of 15

Greenish Gray

Sally Hansen Thyme Is Money
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Nail Color Thyme Is Money $5.00
Shop

Believe it or not, there are even greenish-gray shades on the color spectrum. So if you can't choose between purple and blue undertones, consider this earthier gray for an equally as alluring end look. It brings images of a fuzzy lamb's ear to mind.

05 of 15

Pale Gray Shimmer

OPI I Can Never Hut You Grey Nail Polish
OPI Infinite Shine Long-Wear Nail Polish in I Can Never Hut You $13.00
Shop

Described by the brand as an "edge-of-dawn gray," this iridescent hue takes the last greenish-gray shade up a notch by adding loads of sparkle to the mix. In the right light, it might just give you mermaid vibes.

06 of 15

Jason Wu-Approved Gray

Jason Wu Grey Nail Polish
Deborah Lippmann GREY Jason Wu Gel Lab Pro Nail Color $20.00
Shop

Gray nails are undeniably on-trend but if you don't believe us perhaps the fact that this particular medium-tinted shade is created in a collaboration with none other than the esteemed Jason Wu. Go ahead and click "Add to Bag."

07 of 15

Geode Gray

essie for the twill of it
Essie For The Twill Of It $10.00
Shop

This holographic, metallic silver nail polish takes regular gray nail polish to the next level with ultra-fine, light-reflecting shimmer that simply can't be missed. Paint it on one accent nail or every finger—either way, you're bound to earn more than a few likes on your crystal-inspired mani.

08 of 15

Warm-Toned Lilac Gray

Olive & June AW
Olive & June 7-Free Nail Polish in AW $9.00
Shop

This lilac-tinted gray is one of Olive & June's best-selling nail shades. While the hue alone is worth falling head over heels for, it's the fact that it's been proven to last for weeks on end that makes it such a stand-out.

09 of 15

Metallic Gray

Sally Hansen Metallic Silver
Sally Hansen Color Cuticle Oil and Nail Therapy in In My Element $5.00
Shop

Technically speaking, silver is a part of the gray family—lucky us! This metallic silver shade is especially killer thanks to its nail-nourishing formula that's designed to replenish damaged nails.

10 of 15

Neutral Medium Gray

Medium GRey Nail Polish
Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro Nail Color in Waking Up in Vegas $20.00
Shop

Not too purple and not too blue, this neutral medium shade works well for anyone looking to ride the middle of the gray nail trend. In addition to major color payoff, the formula features 10 active ingredients that strengthen, lengthen, and improve the overall look of nails.

11 of 15

Medium Purple-Gray

Chanel Le Vernis Grey Nail Polish
Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour $30.00
Shop

This best-selling Chanel shade is the ultimate medium shade on the purple-gray spectrum. Possibly even more notable than the color is the wide brush that makes painting your nails easier than ever. For best results, apply two coats.

12 of 15

Medium Dark Gray

Smith & Cult Grey Nail Polish
Smith & Cult Nail Lacquer in Stockholm Syndrome $18.00
Shop

The purple-based medium gray is a moody hue that can be worn all year long, especially during the colder seasons. The rich cream color is super shiny, so depending on your preference, you can even get away with a quick single coat.

13 of 15

Dusty Blue Gray

Essie Dusty Blue Grey
Essie Serene Slate Nail Polish in Toned Down $10.00
Shop

This dusty blue cream nail polish looks gorgeous on its own or paired with intricate nail art. Whether you wear it with tiny white details or in a half-moon negative space design, we wouldn't be surprised if it earned a permanent spot in your nail polish collection.

14 of 15

Steely Gray

OPI Steel Waters Run Deep
OPI Infinite Shine Long-Wear Nail Polish in Steel Waters Run Deep $13.00
Shop

The darker the gray, the bolder the look. Well, at least with this high-shine shade that's built to last. Thanks to the brand's ProStay Technology, it can last up to 11 days without chipping.

15 of 15

Holographic Charcoal

ILNP Holo Charcoal Grey
ILNP Nail Polish in Maiden Lane $10.00
Shop

This holographic charcoal gray deserves to be a star in one of your upcoming manis. Depending on the light, the speckled color will look like a slab of dark slate or a shining rainbow.

Love all these gray nail colors but can't choose which will pair best together? Fortunately for us, Olive & June makes it especially easy to nail the mismatch trend with their 5 Shades of Grey Mani Kit ($54). It includes ECC and AW (mentioned above), as well as RP, CDJ, HD, and The Top Coat. When nails are prepared properly and topped off with The Top Coat, you can expect the salon-quality results to last for at least a week (and as many as three) without a single chip.

Related Stories