Say hello to the understated elegance with these 25 timeless gray nail designs.
Gray is a versatile color that’s, in our opinion, too often overlooked in the manicure department. As a neutral shade, it’s easy to match with any outfit, whether your personal style leans more casual or dressy, but it’s not usually the first choice (or the second, or third…) when picking colors at your local nail salon.
With this said, using the right nail art can help you transform this unassuming color into the perfect neutral manicure.
From delicate and demure to bold and eye-catching, we’ve featured 25 classy designs that are worth screenshotting for your next mani. Whether you prefer a light and airy dove gray or a dark and moody charcoal, there’s a design that’s sure to suit your style.
Timeless Gray Nails To Get Inspired By
1. fly me to the moon
Just because gray isn’t a vibrant color, doesn’t mean your nail art can’t be fun. This travel-inspired design is perfect for all the globetrotters out there!
2. Gray & Glitter
The best color combination with gray is silver, particularly with nail art. An accent glitter nail, or a glitter heart on the ring finger is a romantic rendition of this otherwise frosty color.
3. Gray Geode
A geode is a rock with a hollow inside, otherwise known as a crystal. This marble nail art design is similar to a geode, and can even be amped up a notch with 3D glitter or Swarovski crystals.
Gray nails lend themselves to a velvety matte finish. To juxtapose this, a metallic finish like this copper chrome shows the best of both worlds.
5. Picturesque and Pastel
A pastel gray shade with an accent swirly design nail is the perfect minimal manicure.
6. Creamy claws
A stiletto nail shape looks great with any nail design. A milky, jelly base like this is super on-trend, particularly with the swirly color design like this.
7. Struck gold
Similar to the geode design, this gold leaf manicure emulates the beauty of a freshly discovered crystal.
8. All the silvers
This frosty manicure is perfect for the snowy holiday season. If you can’t choose between chrome, glitter or crystals, this design proves you don’t have to.
9. gilded in gold
This stunning gray nail art design with vibrant gold edges is a great on trend manicure, particularly if you like to wear gold-toned rings and jewelry.
This multi-layered watercolor design is perfect for a frosty festive manicure, particularly for those who like silver jewelry.
For a festive manicure, chrome is a no-brainer. Chrome is more toned down than glitter, which can be overkill. If you’re concerned about the manicure not looking chic, go for a few accent nails and keep the rest gray and gorgeous.
12. Cool Coral
Image via @nails.by.zo_
This nail art design is similar to coral, and is a super unique look. This bold look will also look great on short nails.
This intricate design is literally what nail art dreams are made of. It is an aura design paired with 3D nail art and gold leaf and looks super dreamy.
14. Party Paws
Image via @nailsrnd
This nail art design looks like tiny pieces of confetti encapsulated in nail polish, and it’s perfect for party season! It’s actually an easy design to recreate at home, simply choose any large glitter polish, and dot around the cuticle area with a makeup sponge, finishing with a clear top coat.
15. Taupally Love
Taupe is a super chic shade of gray, and luxury fashion circles back around to the color every fall-winter season. You could even opt for a taupe French manicure for a dainty option.
16. a slight shadow
Nail art is always thought of as being colorful or busy, but it doesn’t need to be. Rather than going for a colorful design, choose whichever you would like, and emulate it in black.
17. Smoky French
Perhaps fitting for Halloween is this smoky French manicure, gilded in gold. Opt for this if you’re looking for a unique take on a classic manicure.
18. A half moon
This blue-gray manicure feels like a futuristic take on a classic manicure. This works perfectly for those who are always wearing denim jeans!
19. Beneath the gold
Opposites attract, even in the case of nail art. The cool tones of the gray play off the warmth of the gold edges, and bring out the vibrancy of both.
20. Gold in the Quartz
This quartz-inspired design with a nude base is a perfect minimal nail art design, and will look beautiful on every skin tone.
Frozen, just like the movie. This cool-toned gray manicure with silver on the tip of the tapered edge gives a frosty edge to this manicure.
22. Futuristic & Fierce
Because gray and blue come from the same color family, they combine beautifully in both fashion and beauty. This nail art design could be swapped out for any motif of your choosing, with the same harmonious outcome.
23. Pretty Penguins
Intricate nail art is slowly making its way out of trending designs, but how can you resist the cuteness of this penguin motif?
24. 3D Tips
3D nail art is all the rage, and though it can take some getting used to, it makes for a super interesting look. To adjust to the rough texture, opt for the design on a statement nail as opposed to all.
25. Gold leaf Girlies
Gold foil is a super underrated nail art aspect, but is actually really easy to do at home too!
Have you found your next manicure design in this post? We hope you did!