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Fall Nail Trend Alert – Smoky Tips

By on October 20, 2008
in Blue, Fall 2008, Gray, Purple, Trends with 43 Comments
OK so who else has attempted the smoky eye look and failed? Come on, it’s not that easy, I can’t be the only one. Well, here’s a beauty trend you can actually achieve. Forget the smoky eye, this season it’s all about the smoky nail. From the runway to the red carpet, the look for nails is dusty, muted and smoked out.

We all know by now that I jumped on the gray nail bandwagon months ago but this look is not just about the grays. Brands have taken gray’s hazy cast and brought it to other shades like purple, khaki and blue, making the trend more wearable and versatile. Those of you afraid of looking ghostly in gray, fear not.


For day, you can keep it simple with a subtle hue.

Light Grays to try: Carolyn New York Handball Courts, CND Heather Gray Creme, CND Nordic Gray Creme, Rescue Beauty Lounge Concrete Jungle

If you’re feeling a bit bold, try a mid-tone. I’ll admit, these shades aren’t for everyone. They’re a bit unusual but oh so fun.

Medium Grays to try: China Glaze Recycle, Carolyn New York Hangin On The Stoop, Rescue Beauty Lounge Stormy, CND Spring ’09 Custom Blend.

And of course there’s the ever popular gunmetal shades. They’ve been featured in years past but have really come to the forefront this Fall. Just last week Petra from Glamour’s Girls In The Beauty Department blog contacted me in search of a dupe for the shade seen on Mena Suvari (right). My guess… Sparitual Mood (below right) because I know Mena is an eco-beauty fan and Sparitual is a Vegan line.

Graphite shades to try: Sparitual Mood, Yves Saint Laurent Tuxedo Gray, Dashing Diva Black Diamonds, Zoya Freja

Looking for more gray polish recomendations? Then check out StyleBakeryTeen for an article written by my pal Jamie from The Beauty of Life.

To shy to jump into gray or just not feeling it? Then how about a purple or browned version of the look instead?

Violet/Khaki shades to try: OPI Parlez-Vous OPI?, OPI You Don’t Know Jacques, Sephora by OPI Metro Chic, Sparitual Solitude

Finally, those jewel-toned and almost-black blues of the past have transitioned into something more steely. They’re grayed out with silver shimmer or charcoal bases that aren’t too dark.

Blues to try: Finger Paints Bada Bing, Bada Blue, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Gunmetal, Sally Hansen Salon Stormy Blue, Butter London Big Smoke

What do you think kids? Are you into the smoky nail look? Tell us your favorite shades from this genre.

images: All Lacquered Up, Elle.com and Getty Images

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  1. Cinza, o novo azul marinho « Dia de beaut | March 22, 2010
  1. Anonymous says:

    Nice posting – lots of info here for all (and not the usual campy halloween nail art theme that is so played). Loved it.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I love this trend. Gray is smokin’! (Am I cheesy or what?)

  3. Palacinka Beauty says:

    Great selections! I love all the RBL ,CND, YSL and Butter London, which I just happen to be wearing today! :)

  4. Lina-Elvira says:

    I don’t know if the cremes flatter me even though I love them, but my new gray find is awesome Revlon “Steel her heart” :) It looks awesome! :)

  5. Princess Malphaba says:

    I’ve never tried grey, but I think this might be the season for it I really like some of those shades.

  6. Katee says:

    Fabulous color options!

  7. GodivaEyes says:

    I am totally embracing the gray trend! After trying to make a gray myself (absolute misery with my sub-par mixing skills), I finally broke down and got CNY Handball Courts. And bonus – due to an inconvenient payment error on my part, the service rep sent me Hangin’ On The Stoop for free! So I’m all gray-ed up for fall, but I’m preparing to branch out into the gunmetals, too. Yeay weird fall colors!

  8. Midnight Cowgirl says:

    I definitely have to try this trend!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I am so glad you posted this! I have the Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Gunmetal and it is one of my favorite! It’s super vampy and oh so fun :)

  10. universityprincess.com says:

    I gotta say, I’m not a huge fan.

  11. Tiera says:

    I’m all over that YSL color!

  12. ashleydanielle4 says:

    i'm wearing china glaze's Beatnik which looks a lot like the darker metallic greys you have & i love it! i also love CG's Stone Age which is a charcoal grey.

  13. Theresa says:

    I thought I made a mistake buying Metro Chic when i first opened the package from Sephora. I really liked the way it looked based on swatches on the net, however when I saw it in person I was disappointed. It actually sat on my dresser in its wrapper for almost a week, I couldn’t bring myself to try it. I finally put it on today and I REALLY like it. I even got complements on it at work. I have both of those gray CNY colors and while I like them, I love CNY Subway Surfing which is a dark gunmetal color. BTW your blog is great! Thanks for the hard work!

  14. Jennifer says:

    i am wearing finger paint’s “Bada Bing Bada Blue” today. woohoo~ it’s fun to see it covered on your blog while i’m wearing it :)

  15. MariahGem says:

    Would you say the new Holiday OPIs fall into those categories too? Like Baby It’s Coal Outside, Brand New Skates and Sheer Your Toys!

  16. rbrinkley says:

    I like this one for fall as well! I’ve got on Parlez-Vous OPI today!I’ve also got Metro Chic. Sephora by OPI’s Run With It is also great for a light gray. I’m intrigued by the Sally Hansen’s showed.

  17. geekybeauty says:

    At first I wasn’t so sure about the grey trend, but after seeing all those samples I think I might try it, I didn’t realize there were so many shades of grey.

    I first saw Parlez vous OPI in a magazine and knew I wanted it, and after seeing it on your nails I think I need it even more!

  18. Anonymous says:

    I adore greys this season! OPI Moon Over Mumbai is very flattering and my fave right now!

  19. carakitty says:

    I am totally loving the greys! Debating between my miedium grey franken, Revlon Steel-etto and China Glaze Avalanche for next mani + pedi :) Leaning toward Avalanche because it seems more metallicy. I am itching to buy a lavandar-grey-mushroomy shade like perhaps Parlez-Vous OPI? Thanks for another awesome spread!

  20. nilla cookie says:

    Gorgeous grays! The cremes look amazing.. hopefully someday I can sport one new gray every day!!

    xoxo

  21. anniemal says:

    Great post, I love the first box so much. Especially Handball Courts! But none of these is to find on ebay and since I’m from the Czech Republic it’s impossible for me to buy it from different sites.

    On the other hand, I already own CG Recycle and I somehow don’t know how to dress for it. I love wearing black and gray, which looks odd with gray nails. Cause I love pairing my clothes with bright nails. So maybe it’s better I can’t find Handball Courts anyway:)

  22. candita says:

    Loving all the gunmetals and kicking myself for not picking up anything at Dashing Diva when I was there last…. it’s not a trip I make every day!

  23. Rachel says:

    Your collection is AMAZING!

  24. Laura says:

    Thanks for all of the comparisons! I have and love Zoya’s Freja. It’s a great base for My Private Jet, too! I thought Gunmetal would be similar. This blog saves me so much money, it almost makes up for all of the lemmings it creates!

  25. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for all the great swatches!!! I am totally into grey right now and this was great to help pick some must haves :)

  26. Anonymous says:

    I got Parlez-Vous OPi? and You don’t know Jacques! I like them both. Very nice application. Keeps a week.
    Like others from your post too. But I do not like to have lots of the same kind. I guess now after smoky stuff nice to get some bright :)

  27. shannon l. says:

    I got brand new skates from opi today and I am just dying to put it on my hands and toes!

  28. Lin says:

    Hi, I really liked the violet/khaki shades esp the OPI shades listed, but I’ve been debating whether or not I should by either Parlez-vous OPI? or You don’t know Jacques? Of the two, What shade would you recommend for dark skin tones? Thanks!

  29. Anonymous says:

    Any idea where to find CND “Nordic Gray Creme”? I’m in love with it after seeing it there!!

  30. Lindsey says:

    i love your blog! i was looking for grey polish and this site listed more than i could have hoped. thanks!

  31. CincyFan says:

    Anon – Thanks! I’m not a big Halloween person so I avoided it this year.

    Anon #2 – Not at all cheesy. It is smokin’ :D

    Palacinka – thanks girlie!

    Lina-Elvira – I haven’t seen that Revlon color yet. I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled.

    Malphaba – go for it girlie! It’s not for everyone but it’s just polish. If you hate it, take it off.

    Katee – Thanks!

    Godivaeyes – I’m so with you. I love seeing something abnormal being embraced. And keep trying to mix your own, you’ll come up with something great. Just play!

    Midnight Cowgirl – What kind of color do you think you’ll wear?

    Anon #3 – I’m with you. Though for a shade called Gunmetal, it’s very blue looking.

  32. CincyFan says:

    Univ. Princess – What don’t you like about it? I knew these colors wouldn’t be universally embraced.

    Tiera – It’s my first YSL polish and I’m so in love. Totally worth it IMO.

    AshleyDanielle – I love Beatnik and I would have shown it but since it’s discontinued, I didn’t want to send people on a wild goose hunt.

    Theresa – Thank you so much! As long as people keep reading, I’ll keep posting. :) And I know exactly what you mean about Metro Chic. When I saw it, all I could think was “ick” until I put it on.

    Jennifer – Fingerpaints really is under-rated. I just wish the LE collections weren’t so hard to collect.

  33. CincyFan says:

    Mariahgem – Oh they definitely fall into the category. I just chose to show other shades I love.

    Rbrinkley – Parlez-vous OPI is so beyond gorgeous. Love it!

    Geekybeauty – You should definitely give the gray look a whirl. Buy one of the less expensive shades so you aren’t out a lot of $$ if you aren’t feeling it.

    Anon #4 – Moon Over Mumbai is a great choice for the people that don’t want a “gray” gray.

    CaraKitty – Oh I’d love to see your franken.

    Nilla Cookie – I want to see pics of you wearing gray on your blog.

    Anniemal – I love your style. I wear pretty subdued clothes and love pairing them with out of the box nails. But I think that a gray nail would be a nice compliment. You don’t have to stand out every day. :) You should try mixing your own grays if you can’t find them.

    Candita – I’ve done that before. I first went to a Dashing Diva last November and made the mistake of not taking home all the colors I loved. I had to wait til February to get them.

    Rachel – Thank you! I have to try and keep the number in check though. If it takes over the house, The Boyfriend might freak out.

  34. CincyFan says:

    Laura – I’m glad I can actually save you money as well. :)

    Anon #5 – What colors are you eyeing up?

    Anon #6 – It’s good to have a diverse collection. I’m just at the point of having way too much of everything but I’m terrible about weeding shades out.

    Shannon – Great choice! I hope you love how it looks

    Lin – I would say either shade would look good on dark skin tones but You Don’t Know Jacques would probably be my pick.

    Anon #6 – That is a custom blend that I posted a few weeks back. If you click the name, it will take you to the post where I shared the recipe.

    Lindsey – I’m happy to be of help. What kind of grays are you looking for?

  35. Anonymous says:

    Another great muddy greyish/brownish mushroom color is called fash pack by butter london.

  36. tigra1411 says:

    Thank you so much for this wonderful gray review! I have just bought recently the MAC’s “Hello Kitty” – “On the prowl” shade (the othe brands are not available in Germany). Do you think, gray still will be “in” for some time?

  37. Oceane says:

    Revlon: steel-her heart is another great gunmetal colour or for a lighter version try their silver screen. I mix it with a sparkle polish for my toes. It’s summer in New Zealand so it’s time to let my feet shine..

  38. TygerKitty says:

    I love this post – really helpful, thank you! I really love your CND custom blend and the creative color posted above it. As for gunmetals, I like the steely dark gray look of China Glaze “Awaken”.

  39. Danii says:

    I loove the collors!

  40. Fran says:

    The colors look metallic. The reason why the black and grey ones appear a bit gothic. I’ll prefer the bleuish and purpleish paints.
    Great article btw

  41. I truly loved this brilliant article. Please continue this awesome work. Regards, Duyq.

  42. Kat says:

    Awesome colors, need these as well ;)

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