15 Must-Try Gray Nail Designs

15 Must-Try Gray Nail Designs

The color gray is seriously underestimated when it comes to manicures. Recent nail trends are loving the world of neutrals, but don’t miss out on gray’s potential. Gray is a perfect neutral color that has just as much versatility as black and nude tones. 

As a great base, gray polish compliments other colors very well, giving you endless design opportunities. Think outside the box and offer your clients some of these stunning, must-try gray nail designs that are anything but boring. 

Understated Nail Designs

We love the effortless, low-drama manicure that still turns heads. Subtle nail designs can make a big statement. If your client comes in looking for something pretty, simple, and not too flashy, suggest some of these options.  

Minimalist Line Art

Line art is one of the new minimalist trends that V Beauty Pure is totally on board with. There is so much you can do with minimalist design inspiration. Here are some of our favorites. 

1. Gray Stripe Detailing: For those who are die-hards for the classic French manicure, try mixing it up with some gray stripes. This look works best on a nail shape that is squared or squoval. Starting with a nude base, pick three different shades of gray. Paint on the three different shades to the tip of the nail the same way you would paint on a regular French. Stay close to the tips and curve it gently along the curve of the nail’s shape. 

2. Dark Gray and Abstract White: This is a moody look that is particularly stunning. Accompany a dark gray base coat with pure white abstract line art. This minimal design adds an edge without taking away from its simplicity. 

3. Silver Stripe Art: Silver and gray are in the same family, so it makes sense that the two colors go so great together. After painting on a gray color as your base, paint on some metallic silver squiggles. This style will look great with any gray color, from a muted gray to a deep dark shade. 

4. Nude With Gray Half Moons: Nude and gray are a match made in heaven. Using a thin nail art brush, paint on a super-thin strip at the tip of the nail. Add another thin strip at the base of the nail, parallel to the first strip. You can opt to fill in the space between the cuticle and the base strip, or leave it nude for a negative space look.

    Cloudy With a Chance of Glitter

    These nail designs seriously play up the gloom and doom sometimes associated with the color gray, but with a mysterious, artistic edge.

    5. Cloudy Afternoon: Oh how we love a dark, gloomy day. It’s the perfect excuse to cuddle up and watch Netflix without the guilt. These nails will make your client feel those same relaxing vibes when you give them this cloudy afternoon manicure. Paint on some clouds over a dark gray nail polish using a nail art brush. 

    6. Midnight Sky: Dark gray is the perfect contrast color to make white clouds jump off your fingertips. Turn your “Cloudy Afternoon”  look into more of a “Midnight Sky” by adding some twinkling stars with glitter or rhinestones at their center. 

    7. Constellation: If you want another design idea that resembles the sky, consider painting on some constellation patterns. This look is super simple with a thin nail art brush on hand. Dip the brush in white polish and paint on some lines and dots in the form of easily recognizable constellations. Add some twinkling stars and glitter for a bit of romance. 

    8. Wish Upon a Star: For the client who’s a true dreamer, start with gray nail polish as your base. Then, using nail glue and a nail art brush, paint on some large stars. Shake some loose glitter over the glue so the glitter sticks in the shape of the stars. This style works great with dark gray polish and silver glitter stars or light, pale grey with darker, black stars.

      Over-the-Top Gray Nail Designs

      These are the gray nail designs that will have your client forgetting they ever thought gray could possibly be boring. 

      Sticker Crazy

      Nail stickers are one of our favorite hacks to get super cool designs even when you may not have the most steady hands. You can get almost any kind of sticker in any color, and they are great to have in stock at your nail salon. 

      We recommend putting a sticker book together so your client can thumb through and pick out ones they like. Additionally, flex your creative muscle and get inspired on a slow day at the salon and create your own sticker nail design ideas to display in the book. 

      9. Totally Random: Gray is the perfect base when you want to go a little wild with nail stickers. Since gray goes well with so many colors, you and your client can have tons of fun with the types of stickers you add. Mix, match, and have fun with this one. To take this look up another level, pull out three colors inspired from the chosen stickers and color match them to nail polish. Paint on french tips with alternating colors for maximum impact. 

      10. Logomania: Let your client stunt her favorite brand name logos on their gray manicured nails. This look goes best on long, stiletto-shaped or coffin-shaped nails. You’ll need plenty of room to display their choice logos. Do they like Gucci? Prada? A favorite band logo? 

      11. Abstract Faces: You may have seen this one-line abstract face art growing in popularity as Etsy prints or tattoos. With some cool new stickers, this trend can be put to work on manicured nails too! 

      12. Zodiac: Your astrology-loving clients will love the option to put their zodiac sign on full display. For the client who is always asking “what’s your sign?” Everyone will know they are a Leo and proud. Add some glitter or sparkles for some extra pizzazz. 

        Sparkle Bomb

        Gray works super well with sparkling details. Rhinestones, crystals, loose glitter — they all pop against a gray foundation. 

        13. Holographic: Use a fine, holographic loose glitter to pour all over your still-wet gray nail polish base. This gray nail design looks great in the sunlight and even better under nightclub lights. Be sure to finish this look with a high gloss topcoat to secure the glitter and smooth out the nail. 

        14. Glitter Gray Ombre: For a mysterious and ominous nail design that’s also super chic, go for a glitter gray ombre. To nail this look, get a makeup sponge and cut it to the size of your client’s fingernails. Then, paint a white nail polish, a gray nail polish, and a sparkling gray nail polish onto the wedge makeup sponge. Dab the sponge onto each nail, reapplying the stripes of polish so it stays pigmented. 

          Pro Tip: Paint some liquid latex onto their cuticles before applying so it’s easier to clean up any mess that gets on the surrounding skin. Alternatively, you can clean up any messy misplaced product with an angled brush dipped in acetone. 

          15. Angled Metallic: Polish on a gray base. Then, using painter’s tape, map out some angled sections of each nail to paint a reflective metallic. The sections don’t have to be the same size or in the same location on the nail. You can also play around with a matte topcoat for this design. 

            Nail Art Tools Checklist

            To complete these designs, your salon will definitely need to be stocked with all the best nail art supplies. Here’s a checklist so you’re ready for any inspo picture your client comes to you with. 

            • Nail Glue
            • Angled Nail Art Brush 
            • Nail Striping Brush 
            • Nail Sticker Book 
            • Selection of Loose Glitter 
            • Tweezers
            • Rhinestones, Gemstones
            • Liquid Latex
            • Nail Stencils
            • Striping Tape 

            In Conclusion

            As you can see, gray nail polish is quite the opposite of “boring” when done right. Use these creative nail designs to give your next manicure client jaw-dropping nails like they’ve never seen before. You can count on V Beauty Pure to give you the coolest, trendiest, nail designs and all the tools you need to execute them. 


            1. 15 Grey Nail Designs to Try in 2021 | The Trend Spotter 
            2. 15 Best Nail Stickers and Wraps | Oprah Daily 
            3. 12 Nail Art Tools That Will Make Your Life So Much Easier | Bustle