ICYMI, our mani-obsessed brains are always going a mile a minute when it comes to plotting our next polish endeavor. (And really, said excitement reaches a fever pitch at the turn of the season.) It's no secret you can sport a chic gray paint job any time of the year, but as the temperatures cool and the daylight hours dim, it's a great way to bridge the transition from summer to fall and winter.
Like its sister nail polish shades, white and black, gray is a convenient and surprisingly flattering alternative within your basic family of neutrals. That said, choosing the perfect iteration that will really suit your skin tone is crucial. Luckily, the nail polish gods have blessed us with hundreds of shades and formulas to shop, and we've gone ahead and selected 15 of our all-time favorites spanning silver, disco-inspired glitter to classic charcoal gray and everything your heart could ever desire in between. Below, 15 of the best gray nail polishes to transition your manicure aesthetic this season. Keep scrolling!
Habit Cosmetics Non-Toxic + Vegan Nail Polish in 37 Phantom
FYI: You're going to fall in love with each and every wish list–worthy polish Habit Cosmetics makes, but as far gray colors go, it doesn't get any cooler than this eye-catching, silvery-gray number leveled up with a hint of iridescent shimmer. Not to mention it's a nontoxic formula that utilizes nail-strengthening natural ingredients like myrrh.
Essie Expressie Quick-Dry Nail Polish in Leveled Up
No time, no problem. Thanks to Essie's super-glossy, quick-drying Expressie collection, you can get pro-level results from the comfort of your own home in under five minutes. We recommend swiping on two coats of this blue-toned charcoal number, giving each layer about one minute to dry. The best news? Forget your base and topcoats!
OPI Nail Lacquer in Suzi Talks With Her Hands
This statement-making gray nail polish was one of our favorites from OPI's Milan collection circa fFall 2020. It's classic and flattering and will earn you tons of compliments. And yes, one year later, we're just as obsessed!
LaPierre Cosmetics Nail Lacquer in Generation X
A sizzly take on classic gunmetal gray, LaPierre's hue called Generation X ups the ante by adding a hint of metallic shine to your mani.
Smith & Cult Nail Polish in Stockholm Syndrome
Smith & Cult describes this cult-loved shade as an "opaque elephant gray." It's on the warmer side of the gray spectrum and poses as a great alternative if you want something that feels borderline nude.
Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen in Silver
This might not be your typical pot of gray nail polish, but if you're ever in the mood to create an at-home nail design with cool, silvery accents, this easy-to-use pen from Sally Hansen is a must.
Pear Nova Classic Nail Lacquer in Night in Shining Armor
Pops of glitter never go out of style, and the sparkling finish of this nail polish from Pear Nova pairs especially well with fall and winter's naturally festive undertone.
Static Nails Liquid Glass Lacquer in Lithomancy
We dare you to try one of Static's glass-finish lacquers and resist splurging for 15 more shades immediately after. In the gray vein, try this prismatic color-shifting hue that's loaded with natural antioxidants and will remain chip-free for 10 (or more!) days when paired with the brand's Liquid Glass Primer ($16) and Top Coat ($16)
Olive and June Nail Polish in Cloudy Skies
Cloudy Skies is one of our favorite gray nail polishes of all time, and the nearly white tone is equally striking paired with deep and fair skin tones alike. Plus, because it's from Olive and June, you know the longevity and shine factor of your manicure will be unparalleled.
Orly Nail Lacquer in Sagebrush
One part green, one part gray, Sagebrush from Orly will be a game-changing addition to your gray nail polish collection, especially during the notoriously moodier months of fall and winter.
JINsoon Nail Polish in Grace
Inspired by the streets of New York, this cool, light, and feathery gray nail polish is a must once temperatures drop. Not to mention, the chip-proof formula will retain its luster for days on end.
Zoya Nail Polish in Freja
With subtle hints of blue and sprinkled with glittering silver, this gray nail polish called Freja sets your manicure up to smolder.
Sinful Colors Nail Polish in Queen of Beauty
Why not try your hand (literally) at pure silver chrome? For just $2, you have no excuse not to snap up this fan-favorite shade from Sinful Colors.
Bess & Color Nail Polish in Cab Co.
Green polish is a huge trend right now, so we couldn't have dreamed up a chicer variation of gray than this army green–ash gray hybrid from 10-free brand Bess & Color.
Base Coat OG (10-Free) Nail Polish in Bottle Rocket
Base Coat will always be one of our all-time favorite, squeaky-clean polish brands. Not surprisingly, its has tons of gorgeous grays to choose from, but it's this versatile muted-gray number called Bottle Rocket that we're especially head over heels for.