7 Shades of Grey Nail Lacquer

August 21, 2014
I’m in that in between mood of summer and fall for beauty. I’m loving the vibrant bright colors for summer but also craving colors that are either more subdued or darker for fall. Right now I have an obsession for grey nail polishes. Here are seven shades of grey, some newer and some older colors that I’ve been loving.
All swatched side by side along with Chanel Eastern Light which is a pure white for a baseline reference on color:

Each color close up and swatched on the nails. JINsoon Kookie White is a super pale white grey with cool tones. It’s almost a pure white but the hint of grey prevents it from looking too harsh. I love the clean contrast it has with the skin. It applies very smoothly with two coats on the nails as long as you have a good base coat underneath. (Roundup of all my nail essentials and favorites here.) It’s fully opaque with two coats, but as with most white colors, you need to take extra care to apply precisely around the edges and near the cuticles.

YSL La Lacque Couture in Gris Deco #23 has been on my wish list for ages ever since YSL revamped their nail polishes. It’s a gorgeous pale grey with blue tones and has a slight hint of pearl mixed throughout. On the fingers depending on the light sometimes it looks more blue, other times more white or grey. It’s truly beautiful and clean looking. The pearl gives it a bit of dimension. This one was a bit sheer so I prefer it with three coats.

Sephora’s Formula X is another favorite of mine (more thoughts on Formula X here). The Sephora team sent the Formula X in Extraordinary for review and it surprised me. It looks so basic and plain in the bottle but it applies very smoothly with full coverage. I like that it’s a pale grey but has color in it so it doesn’t look white on the nails. I like the blue tones in it which brightens the color. I love beige-greys but sometimes they can make the skin look sallow or dirty. 

Burberry Storm Grey is another dove grey with blue tones. The brush is on the thick side which made it a bit difficult for me to get a clean application. It’s not impossible though. The formula is smooth, rich and opaque – it just takes a bit more time to apply. The color has the perfect blend of blue and grey mixed together. On the nails it’s a non-shimmer.

Dior Gel Shine Nail Lacquer in Junon is a powder blue color with a hint of grey. On me it leans more blue but I still see hints of grey tones in it. The Dior Gel Shine Formula is amazing. It has a lush cushy look with a high shine. Lasting power is really good and these are super easy to apply flawlessly. It’s shown below with two coats. 

Dior Metal Montaigne is also in the Gel Shine formula. It’s a metallic gunmetal color. Being a metallic color you can see brush strokes when applied but it’s on the subtle side. It also applies very smoothly. I like that it’s a darker color that isn’t too dark.

Last but not least, I’ve featured Chanel Frenzy again. Many think of this as a classic grey color. On me it pulls more beige as it’s a warmer-toned grey color. It has a sheer jelly finish so I need three coats for this one. It’s an understated classic neutral.

If I had to pick one favorite, it would be impossible. Each grey has different nuances in the undertone that make them all very unique. I am quite smitten with the pale opaque grey nail lacquers at the moment although I also love a good dove grey color. Do you like grey nail polish? What are your favorite greys for nails?

Sephora and JINsoon provided polishes for review consideration. All others purchased by me. For more information, refer to my Disclosures.

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  • I love the Burberry polishes. The packaging is so elegant and I find the coverage more lacquer than polish like By Terry. Storm Grey looks great on you Sabrina. So many gorgeous colours in the range but I have a real love for Metallic Khaki which is classed as an Iconic shade & Ink Blue which is part of the new runway shades for Autumn 2014.

  • Lorraine

    What a fantastic round up of grey options! I have started collecting them last Fall and I have a few favorites – Illamasqua Raindrops, YSL Gris Underground, OPI My Pointe Exactly, Estee Lauder Caviar, Deborah LIppmann Stormy Weather, OPI I Don't Give a Rotterdam and butter London Lady Muck, to name a few. For those interested in a budget version of Jin Soon Kookie White may want to check out OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls, which is similar. I love how the touch of grey balances it to make white easier to wear.

  • Lorraine

    I almost forgot another favorite- Estee Lauder Smoked Chrome. It is soft and edgy all at once and too cool to read gunmetal. Perfection in a bottle!

  • Aah! I love this post! Gris Deco is my favorite grey polish! I just got Frenzy yesterday and love it! The Formula X color is so gorgeous and so is the Jin Soon! Lovely roundup Sabrina!


  • I'm wearing Kookie White right now, and I'm wearing anther of my favorite grays, Cult Nails Faded, on my other hand.

  • I'm wearing Kookie White right now. Can't wait to buy Jin Soon's fall polishes.

  • So lovely, Sabrina! I adore Dior Junion and Chanel Frenzy on your nails and this post is all kinds of beautiful, even for a basically-non-nail-polish-wearing-kind-of-girl ; )


  • I'm wearing Chanel Frenzy right now and waiting to apply Junon. I am also drawn to Dior Pied to Poule which is a slightly pinker neutral than Frenzy.

  • These are all so beautiful! The Sephora X "Extraordinary" is a lovely shade. I've always thought that gray is such a perfect color to transition from summer to fall!

  • It can be hard to find the right shade of grey for the nails, but all of these are so stunning!


  • Beautiful shades! I love the YSL one!

    Sophia // sophiebysophia.blogspot.com

  • That formula x looks awesome!

  • Loved Dior Junon and Chanel Frenzy. Beautiful shades!
    Lots of love, xx


  • Burberry's and Dior Metal Montaigne are my favorite shades.
    You have beautiful nails!!

  • Anonymous

    I don not like grey nail polishes as I always feel they make my skin dirty. Maybe is just me.

  • I have the Dior Junon and love the shade too!

  • What about Chanel Vertigo and Steel??? I love the dark grays!!!

  • Hi Sabrina,

    I've been wearing YSL Gris Deco nonstop lately… I can't help but think it's the perfect shade of grey! I actually like the slight sheerness — for me, it's the standout aspect of the shade, so I've been using two (as opposed to three) coats πŸ™‚

    It was helpful to see your comparison to Jin Soon Kookie White — it was the other pale grey I was considering at the time.

  • I struggle with greys because I feel like they make my skin look ashy, but the Dior 494 looks soo good on you!

    xx Alyson
    The Beauty Vanity

  • Great picks, must check these out! Love grey polish. I have China Glaze Elephant Walk and Recycle, Lippmann Pretty Vacant (LE from last year and has this crazy bumpy wet concrete texture), Illamasqua Raindrops, NARS Storm Bird, Essie Cashmere Bathrobe, Master Plan and Chinchilly.

  • On you I like Chanel Frenzy and YSL Gris Deco!! Very classy. Grey isn't my type of nail color but lately I've been really enjoying Formula X Thrilling, a warmer taupe version of Extraordinary

  • I love Junon! I did two manicures in a row with it, wore another colour for a week, and then went right back. It's so pretty!

  • Oh, I loooove this Sephora's formula X one! It's the perfect shade of grey, I'm definitely buying this on my next trip to Sephora.

  • Catherine

    I didn't anticipate how much I would love Chanel Eastern Light, but I'm totally obsessed. Wish I'd got a back up.