Take motivation for your next manicure from the world of neutrals. While nudes may be the first thing that comes to mind when you want something universal, why not think outside the box and opt for grey instead? It’s an excellent base color that complements a whole rainbow of other hues, yet it’s unique and appealing enough to hold its own. From simple stripes and glitter to confetti and not-quite-50 shades of grey, there’s plenty of styles and designs to excite and inspire you before your next salon visit.
1. Grey Abstract Nails
Abstract nails are a wonderful way to show some personality and let your imagination run wild. This particular design combines different shades of grey with other tonal colors, including black, white, and beige. Use nail tape to create color blocks with sharp edges. The fresh colors in this look are fantastic when paired with a simple, clean outfit, such as white jeans, a blue button-down, and a pair of pastel sneakers.
2. Grey and White Artistic Nails
These grey and white artistic nails have a lovely celestial element that fits right in with the spooky season. The design is essentially a French manicure with silver-grey tips and added white along the smile lines of some nails. Extra detail has been added with stars, dots, and a cat sitting on each white moon. Of course, you could easily adapt this style for any season, adding Christmas colors or brights for a birthday celebration.
3. Grey Stripe Detail
If you love a French manicure but want to mix it up a bit, why not opt for this fun striped grey nail design? The different shades of grey look lovely with the nude base, and it’s not too over the top. As such, it’s great for everyday wear, including looking ultra-chic at the office. This look works best with shorter, more square nails, so you can take advantage of straighter lines to keep it neat and tidy.
4. Light Grey Nails with Silver Line Art
Silver really is just the metallic version of grey, so it makes sense that the two work incredibly well together. Make use of nail stickers to create this grey nail design, as it will be much easier and save you time and effort. The light grey looks lovely, but you could also use mid and deep greys for the base, as the silver will still elegantly stand out on both.
5. Matte Grey Ombre Nails
Ombre nails are one of the biggest trends this season. It looks best when you transition from light to dark color, so the spectrum of greys is an ideal color palette to work with. The matte finish is also very sophisticated and is a nice alternative to high gloss shine. All you need is two shades of matte grey polish, some nail tape, and a sponge. Protect the skin around the nail with the tape, then paint the light grey base on. Next, apply the dark grey to the sponge and dab it onto the tips of your nails until you’ve achieved the desired look. Let it dry, and you’re good to go!
6. Nude and Grey Nails
Nude and grey are two wonderful neutrals that work well together for a paired back nail design. This subdued look is perfect for work but also fits well when you’re breaking out a pretty pastel outfit, such as a bridal or baby shower. Use the grey to follow the tip of the nail, as well as the shape of your lunula, or the pale root arch of the nail that sits near the cuticle. The design works better on shorter nails, where the shape of both lines will match for an even and balanced style.
7. Shades of Grey Nails
Keep your manicure simple by using shades of grey. You can graduate from dark to light across your fingers or mix the order up. Throw in some glitter for a little bit of shimmer because it’s never a wrong occasion to add extra sparkle. The beauty of this look is that it works on all nail shapes and lengths. No matter if you have long ballerinas or short squares, it will look amazing.
8. Pastel Copper and Grey Nails
Copper and grey may not be the first combination you think of, but it looks incredible when the intensity and tones match. You can keep it simple by alternating colors on different nails, or you can create a more in-depth design if you’re feeling enthusiastic. Pastel copper, in particular, works well with pale greys, as it’s more of a neutral tone creating a harmonious feel.
8. Confetti Nail Art on Grey Base
Get the party started with these brightly decorated grey nails. Start with a silvery grey base, then choose four or five different colors to paint on your confetti. The great thing about this design is that you have total creative freedom. Create a mix of squares, circles, triangles, abstract shapes — whatever tickles your fancy. It’s the perfect design for celebrations such as birthdays, new year’s eve, and bridal showers. Plus, it showcases how wonderful grey is as a neutral that helps brights stand out.
10. Dark Grey Nails With Line Art
Opt for a moody look with dark grey nails. A matte finish is particularly stunning, especially when accompanied by the delicate white elements. The abstract line art is just enough to add some detail without detracting from the overall look. This is an excellent design for the evening but also looks great as a winter look. Just imagine yourself tucked up by a fireplace with these nails nursing a nice glass of red wine while snow falls silently in the deep black of the night.
11. Grey and White Clouds Nail Art
Dark grey acts as a lovely background to cloud nail art. This artwork, with its diamante accents, is reminiscent of Peter Pan’s directions to Neverland — “second star to the right, and straight on till morning.” As such, it’s the perfect look if you’re keen on never growing up. Of course, a little bit of glitter adds to the ethereal, fairy-dust feel of the entire design.
12. Red and Grey Bandana Inspired Nails
Throwback to the heydays of the 90s with these red and grey bandana-inspired nails. You’ll need patience, a steady hand, and a very fine nail brush to paint the pretty paisley design. If that sounds like a bit much, go with nail stickers instead. However, it will be worth the effort for such a unique and bold design adorning your nails. Loverboy era Mariah Carey would be proud.
13. Grey Glitter Nails
Keep it simple with grey glitter nails. For the best results, apply a base coat in grey, then use a fine holographic glitter top coat of polish to finish. Alternatively, dip powder nails lend themselves incredibly well to glitter designs, coming in hyperpigmented and glitter-dense colors that last longer than regular nail polish. Such a simple manicure is great for everyday wear, as it’s easy to achieve and looks great with all outfits and nail shapes.
14. Grey Logomania Nail Art
Show your love and appreciation for your favorite brands with a logo nail design using grey and black. You can choose whatever you like, from word-based logos to image ones. Alternatively, theme it to fashion, jewelry, music, or sports. Opt to have the designs painted on with a steady hand, or instead, invest in some nail stickers that will make it much easier for you.
15. Grey Nails with Stickers
Stickers are a great way to add some decoration and interest to your grey nails, especially if you’re somewhat artistically challenged. There are thousands of designs you can buy online or from beauty retailers. Select colorful emoji nails and tie the look together with matching multi-colored French-style tips. Other possibilities include flowers, letters, jewels, animals, lace, or fruit — the options are truly endless. Once you’ve painted your base color and any optional tips, apply the stickers with a pair of tweezers, then finish with a couple of layers of top coat to seal everything in and prevent peeling.
16. Grey Acrylic Nails
For those who want nails that are strong and durable, acrylic nails are an excellent choice. Acrylics are artificial nail extension that is added over the natural nail. They can be created in a range of shapes and lengths, making them the ideal option for someone who wants to try out unusual shapes and longer lengths. This could include a stiletto of coffin nails. Acrylics are long-lasting and lend themselves well to nail art, giving you creative freedom with your favorite grey polish.
17. Grey and White Nails
Grey is a great choice for your next manicure because it looks good on most complexions and can be mixed and matched with a wide range of colors. For a classic approach to wearing grey, you can combine it with white. These neutral colors pair well together and there are different designs to try out, including abstract designs or the marble effect. The subtle contrast created between white and grey will make your manicure noticeable yet elegant.
18. Black and Grey Nails
Black and grey nails are the perfect combination for those who want something edgier. Combining these hues will create nail art that feels moody but can also be calming. Black and grey is a classic combination and will create a cool finish, and it is a great way to draw attention to your hands and highlight your nail shape. You can experiment with different looks, including an ombre or a paint-dripped effect for a manicure that is expressive and undeniably stylish.
19. Pink and Grey Nails
Grey and pink are a beautiful combination. Pink nails are a classic choice for nail art because it is a color that looks good on everyone. It also represents love and femininity and can make a powerful statement about how you feel. When combining pink with grey, is a great way to give your nails some color. You can choose any shade of pink, whether soft and pale or bright and bold, depending on how much you want it to pop against the grey.
20. Coffin Grey Nails
Coffin nails are the perfect way to get your hands noticed and make a statement. The shape is unusual, created with tapered sides and a straight tip. It resembles the shape of a coffin, hence the name. The straight tip makes the nail shape more durable and it is a modern and expressive choice for your next manicure. Coffin nails can be worn long or short, but for the best results, it is better to keep them long. This will also give you more space to create your nail art.
21. Grey and Blue Nails
Grey and blue are colors that will pair well together, creating a cool, calming manicure. There are many ways to combine the colors depending on your preference, and this could include painting each fingernail with a different shade of blue and grey or blending the colors together with an exciting nail effect like ombre or marble nails. The beauty of this manicure is its versatility, so do not be afraid to experiment and have fun!
22. Grey Marble Nails
The marble nail effect is one of the leading nail trends because it is chic and artistic. It is an excellent option to combine different shades of grey and will create a brilliant mix of light and darks. You can opt for a full marble manicure or focus the effect on a feature nail for a more subdued finish. Feature nail art is excellent if you wish to highlight a specific fingernail and show off a special piece of jewelry.
23. Geometric Grey Nails
Geometric nail design will feel modern and futuristic and will be complemented by your choice of grey nail polish. There is a lot to like about geometric designs, and they are created using contrasting shapes, colors, and angles to produce something unique and interesting. Focus the pattern on a feature nail or opt for a full geometric manicure; the choice is yours! Use grey and another color of your choosing to create more contrast and make the pattern pop.
24. Black and Grey Ombre Nails
Black and grey are a classic color combination and are incredibly versatile. The two neutral hues will pair well with everything, so you will not be restricted in what you wear. There are multiple options for how you combine the colors and this includes the ombre nail trend. The effect is created by mixing two or more colors to create a brilliant, blended finish. The colors will transition from dark to light or vice versa. This will highlight the tip of the nail and make the shape even more noticeable.
25. Grey Almond Nails
Grey is a versatile color and there are many shades to choose from, making this the ideal choice for your next manicure. It is also a hue that will look great with nails of varying shapes and lengths, including the almond nail shape. Almond nails have a slim, tapered side that forms a point. Unlike stiletto nails, they are more rounded at the tip, which makes them a versatile and flattering shape for women of all ages.
26. Grey Stiletto Nails
Stiletto nails will make a statement and are a guaranteed way to get your hands noticed. They are sharp, pointed, and all about the drama. To create the shape, you will file the sides so that they appear slim and have a very pointy tip. This shape is best when worn long and will lend itself well to nail art; even the simplest design is complemented by the shape. The downside to stiletto nails is they are prone to breakage and are not practical.
27. Grey French Tip Manicure
The classic French tip manicure is elegant and versatile. It is created with white polish applied to the tips with either a clear, pink, or nude base coat. However, for those looking for something fresh and modern, you can create your version of the manicure by using your favorite shade of grey polish. This is an excellent option to draw attention to the shape of your nails and can make them feel even longer. The look will complement unusual nail shapes like the coffin or stiletto.
28. Grey Butterfly Nails
Butterfly nails are a gorgeous option for your next manicure. Butterflies come in different forms and colors, and while most people opt for bright and bold hues to make the designs pop, you can also create something more subdued with grey. Grey is a color that is flattering on most complexions and easy to wear, and a manicure that incorporates a grey butterfly will be pretty and subtle. The butterfly is a symbolic choice and will represent beauty and change.
29. Grey Angel Nails
Nail art is about more than cute designs, and the right look can make you feel great while also making a statement. Angel nails are one of the sweetest options for your next manicure and they are also symbolic, representing goodness, purity, and protection. It can be a nice way to remind yourself to focus on the good things in your life or to stay on the right path. Or, it could simply be a fun way to experiment with nail art and create a beautiful finish filled with detail.
30. Red and Grey Nails
Red and grey may seem like an unlikely combination but it works surprisingly well. The boldness of the red is toned down by the grey, creating a fun and fresh finish. There are different shades of red and grey to choose from, depending on your preference. Some may prefer dark hues to create a moody and expressive look, while others wish to pair a bold red with a light grey. You will have versatility with how you combine the colors. This includes a dot design, French tip manicure, or line art.
31. Grey Dot Nails
Nail art does not have to be detailed to be eye-catching and dots are one of the simplest yet stylish options for your nails. There are many ways to add dot nail art, including experimenting with different placements. You can opt for one dot at the base of the nail, or add multiple, depending on the desired effect. They can also vary in size. The simplicity of this nail art is what makes it so appealing. You can combine your favorite shade of grey with a neutral hue or a bright color.
32. Gold and Grey Nails
For an elegant combination that will feel luxurious, try gold and grey nail art. It is an unusual pairing, but that is what makes it so exciting because the unexpected will make your nail art even more interesting. For the best results, you want to opt for a deep grey hue for the base coat like slate or charcoal, and pair it with gold accents. Try line art and geometric designs, or focus the gold on the tips for a modern approach to the French manicure.
33. Grey Nails with Paint Drips
For an edgy and effortlessly cool approach to grey nail art, you want to get creative. Opting for the paint-dripped effect is a guaranteed way to draw attention to your hands. There are different approaches depending on your desired outcome, including making it appear as if you dipped the tips of your nail in paint. This is great for highlighting the nail shape and length and is an especially popular choice if you have chosen an interesting shape like stilettos or coffin nails.
34. Grey Winter Nail Designs
Winter nail art is a great way to embrace the cold and there are many fun options to try. This includes cute Christmas nail art or snow-inspired designs like snowflakes that will pair well with chunky knits and sweaters. You can also experiment with different textures. Paint one fingernail with matte or glitter nail polish to create a feature nail effect and contrast with the rest of your fingernails.
35. Grey Flower Nail Art
Flower nail designs are one of the most popular looks because they can be created in various colors and will leave you with a pretty and symbolic manicure. Flowers are associated with beauty and growth and can make a subtle statement about your thoughts and feelings. You can create your look with different shades of grey. Or combine your favorite hue with a brighter, bolder color to create a contrast.
Grey Nail Designs FAQs
What colors match with grey nails?
Grey nails are a stylish and modern choice for your next manicure. The cool hue is easy to mix and match with various shades but works best with neutral colors like cream and beige. This will give your manicure a sophisticated finish. You can also opt for a wintery feel by including icy colors like blues and whites. There are various shades of grey, so if you cannot pick one, try combining them. The result is a fashion-forward manicure that will get your hands noticed.
How do I wear grey nail designs?
There are several shades of grey to choose from and different designs, depending on your preference. Grey looks good on nails of all lengths and shapes and can be easily incorporated into your nail art. You can keep it simple and subtle by opting for grey details on a muted base color, like French tips, or get creative with abstract grey nail designs, grey stripes, or grey nails with silver line art.
Does grey nail polish look good?
Grey nail polish looks good, and there are various ways to wear it. If you prefer simple designs, paint your nails with your favorite shade of grey. Or you can get creative with your nail art, complementing your chosen grey with silver artwork, abstract designs, or patterns. You can also opt for a manicure that is all about contrast by using grey as a base coat and adding bright and bold colors and nail stickers on top of it.
Is it bad to wear nail polish all the time?
Experts recommend you take a break from nail polish because wearing it all the time can be damaging to your nails. It can result in your nail beds weakening over time and becoming dry and brittle. Nail polish can also cause discoloration. Taking a break from nail polish can let your nails repair and regenerate.
Alexandra Linde is an experienced writer holding a bachelor's degree in Journalism. She is the owner of Alexandra McKiterick Creative and has expertise in travel, fashion, fitness and lifestyle. Alex has previously written for Flightcenter, Travello, and Backpacker Deals.
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER
Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.