The Best Red Nail Polishes

Lacey Gattis
Elizabeth Brockway
Annie Kreighbaum
Mackenzie Wagoner
Eunice Lee
Mathea Millman
Jessica Harrison
Deja Turner
Courtney Brunson
Kim Johnson
Devon Swartz

In honor of this Saint Valentine fellow, the Gloffice threw a red nail party. Each of us brought in our favorite crimson polish and celebrated our shared love of friendship, readily-available drugstore candy, and acetone fumes (beauty editors actually love the smell of polish remover). Our top reds (in no particular order) are below; share yours with in the comments!

1. Julep Anisa: "Pale (but interesting!) people whose five sad little melanin cells have pink/gold undertones should try this shade. Traditional blue-reds don't work on us, so I like that this has a hint of ocher instead. It's also a little vampy; perfect for a single lady on Valentine's." —Lacey Gattis, Community Editor/Strategist

2. Essie Fishnet Stockings + Nars Tomorrow's Red: "I used to think red polish paired with my rosy skin tone made my fingers look a bit like stubby sausages, but I've started to embrace the classic nail color. As someone who never likes to keep a manicure simple, I pair Essie Fishnet Stockings (a deeper, sexier red) with Nars Tomorrow's Red (a lighter, tomato hue)." —Elizabeth Brockway, Managing Editor

3. China Glaze Red-y & Willing: “I'm not a huge fan of true red nails, I'm more inclined to go with something moodier like China Glaze Red-y & WillingIt's more of a burgundy, so it feels less in-your-face than a candy apple color, and it's metallic. I like metallic polishes because they dry so quickly.” —Annie Kreighbaum, Senior Editor

4. Deborah Lippmann It's Raining Men: "It's Raining Men is a Lolita red, a Bourdin red, a Terry-Richardson-photo-of-Miley-Cyrus'-lips red. It’s seductive, cinematic, and more sex positive than a Gustav Klimt woman." —Mackenzie Wagoner, Associate Editor

5. Essie A-list:"Essie A-list is my beauty alternative to the power pose. It makes you feel super important and pulled together." —Eunice Lee, Advertising Manager

6. Essie Limited Addiction: "I like two coats of a more blue-based red like Essie Limited Addiction to make me feel bright and vibrant, but not too ostentatious." —Mathea Millman, Photo/Editorial Assistant

7. Chanel Cinéma: "Chanel Cinéma is a muted tomato red that is a welcome punch of color. The shade isn't too bright or too dark, making it a go-to for me year-round. And the formula is highly-pigmented, perfect for an at-home manicure." —Jessica Harrison, Editorial Intern

8. American Apparel Nail Polish in Downtown LA: "I like American Apparel Nail Polish in Downtown LA because it gives my all-natural look a more done-up feel. It's shiny without a top coat and looks great as a matte as well." —Deja Turner, Photo Intern

9. Michael Kors Sexy Nail Lacquer in Sensation: "Michael Kors Sexy Nail Lacquer in Sensation is an opaque orange-red that makes me feel more attractive than I really am. This shade would make a perfect lipstick." —Courtney Brunson, Editorial Intern

10. OPI Big Apple Red: "I love OPI Big Apple Red, because it's a classic bright red that works for any season. The little bit of color adds a much needed contrast to my otherwise dark winter wardrobe."—Kim Johnson, Editorial Intern

11. Essie Jelly Apple: "Red nails are a game changer—two coats of Essie Jelly Apple instantly make me feel sexy and sophisticated." —Devon Swartz, Photo Intern

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • Eleri Roberts

    I love Chanel Cinema for its name alone. x

    Eleri Roberts

  • Amy

    Can't beat a good red nail - it's so classic and gorgeous.

    Amy xo

  • Alyssa Gapske

    I have Essie Forever Yummy on today, but I agree with Lacey, I have so many issues with reds because I'm so pale!

  • Marlenne

    I love Essie Geranium, really a bright pop of red on your nails! And don't forget the classic Chanel Pirate!

  • Ana

    I recently bought dior masai and i'm mexican and brunette and the color is very flattering

  • Rachel Baynard

    I am usually not a red nail gal, but I really love the Michael Kors Sensation color. Very Robert Palmer girl.

  • Zoe Archer

    I love Red nails and Rimmel's Double Decker Red nail polish is beautiful.

  • Behind the Mirror

    I am completely feeling you on the red nails, been obsessed for a while... lot of pics of red nails with rando objects here

  • britt stone

    Zoya Carmen or Sookie are really good as well.

  • St. Ephanie

    The only red I can stand on myself is OPI Lost On Lombard... a gorgeous understated red.

  • murt

    If you go to Canada or Europe it's still sold here under the name Rouge Noir. I always have a bottle at home - agree that it's awesome.

  • murt

    My favourite red nails are Dior 999 (which I think is basically the same as Chanel Dragon), and OPI st. petersburgundy for a deeper blood-red.

    For something slightly pinky-toned I love Revlon Cherries in the Snow.

    • Mariana

      I've been using Dior 999 for about three years now when I choose to wear Red. It's gorgeous and so classic.

  • Maria @SoNailicious

    Great picks team ITG! All featured polishes are stunning. But have you tried the new OPI Over and Over A-Gwen? Such a sensational shade of red.

  • Lauren

    Marc Jacobs "Jezebel" or Essie's "Wicked"!


Julep Nail Polish
Essie Nail Polish, Red Collection
NARS Nail Polish
China Glaze
China Glaze
Deborah Lippmann
Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer
Chanel Nail Color #581 Cinema
American Apparel
American Apparel Nail Polish
Michael Kors
Michael Kors Sexy Nail Lacquer
OPI Classic Collection Nail Lacquer