We’ve seen an increase in red at Paris Haute Couture Week 2024. Anya Taylor-Joy rocked a bright red lace Dior gown to the Christian Dior show, Doja Cat literally painted herself red with 30 thousand Swarovski crystal, to match her gown, and Kylie Jenner wore a head-to-toe red ensemble to the Jacquemus Fashion Show. Similar to red lipstick, red is universal, complementing every skin tone and instilling confidence, says Choi.
The “classic” red manicure
The only problem with red nails? Actually choosing your color. There are countless shades to choose from, and no two people might agree on what makes a red “classic.” Choi’s favorite? “The perfect red shade is a vibrant one that has been seen since early filmmaking,” she says, pointing to a “classic blue-red” as the ultimate shade, like Jinsoon Nail Lacquer in Ardor.
How to find the best red nail polish for your skin tone
If you really want to get technical, you can determine whether you have a cool, warm, or neutral palette to figure out which shade best complements your skin tone. A quick way to eyeball it is think of how you feel and look in the color orange—an undeniably “warm” shade. If you like yourself in orange, you’re probably warm and should consider warm shades like brick red, cherry red, and corals. If you don’t, you could be cool and might want to try vivid blue-reds, cranberries, crimsons, and plum shades. Basically: The closer the red is to orange and yellow, the warmer it is, while the closer to blue and purple, the cooler.
More of a visual learner? Take Selena Gomez, who has cool undertones and loves to rock a cool, blue-toned black cherry mani. Beyoncé, on the other hand (or fingernail), is warm toned and tends to opt for warm cherry reds (which, like Gomez’s choices, also match her lipstick).
The best red nail polishes
Now let’s get to the fun part. I asked friends, family, Glamour editors, and nail pros for their absolute favorite red nail polish shades of all time; cool, warm, and everything in between. Ahead, see our top picks for best red nail polish, and prepare to paint the town (and your nails) red.
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