The Timeless Allure of Red Nail Polish

By Alison McGill

Last autumn, red nail polish went viral thanks to a TikTok theorizing that scarlet nails are most appealing to men. A little background: beauty creator Robyn Delmonte (aka @GirlBossTown) championed this theory in a candid video where she observed when she wore red nail polish, men noticed. “Every time I have red nails, a guy comments on it … and then it hit me. In the ’90s when we were growing up, women had red nails a lot—especially our moms. And I weirdly think guys are attracted to red nails because it reminds them of their moms.”

Interesting and valid perspective, but for me red nails are symbolic of so much more. Red has always been my choice nail colour because it makes me feel confident, strong, and glamourous. I will revert for a moment to the mom theory because my mother was an OG nail influencer—she always had the most perfect, elongated, almond shaped nails, and I was forever enamoured with them as a child. Red was a favourite colour choice of hers, which in turn became my favourite because I love the boldness and the fashionable statement it makes.

Beginning in my tween years and continuing into my adulting present, red nail polish is almost always my weekly go-to. Sometimes I deviate to a bright berry or a midnight sapphire; it’s a very rare occasion to see me wearing a pastel or a neutral nail polish hue. There’s something about having a hit of saturated colour on my tips that completes me. I can dress up or dress down my red nails and I always feel properly turned out, and above all polished (pun intended).

I have an extensive red nail polish wardrobe. I adore orange reds, blue reds, and raspberry reds. I also love red nail polish in every finish from cream, to frost and glittering metallic. With winter upon us, I would argue this is the ultimate red nail polish season because these are the months we all need a little lift and added colour in our lives to get us through until spring.

Here are nine ravishing red nail polishes to add to your beauty stash stat!

CND Vinylux in Poppy Fields
This long-wear nail polish one of my current favourites because it strikes the perfect balance between orange and red. It’s creamy, luxe, and lovely.

Chanel Le Vernis in Pirate
Nothing says high fashion like a classic crimson red nail polish and this one is a perineal fashion favourite that flatters every skin tone.

Essie Gel Couture in Rock the Runway
This one is another personal favourite. This polish delivers 10 days wearability—no chips, and no loss of colour vibrancy.

OPI Nail Lacquer in Big Apple Red
Consider this one of the OG statement red nail polishes. It’s a warm, juicy shade that has routinely topped best of beauty lists since being released almost a decade ago.

Les Main Hermès Nail Enamel in Rouge Casaque
There’s so much to love about this luxury nail polish. It’s an elegant red that feel a little vintage, very modern, and extremely fashion-forward.

Rouge Vernis Dior in Rouge Dior
This nail polish is the perfect match for Dior’s iconic Rouge Dior Lipstick in shade 999. Worn together you will feel the most glam ever!

Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro in Lady is a Tramp
When you want to tap into your dark side, this blood red shade has a vampy, gorgeous goth vibe that’s giving major Wednesday Addams feels.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Rhapsody Red
Create your own long-lasting gel manicure at home with this bold and bright ruby red nail polish. Apply two coats of polish followed by Sally Hansen’s Activator topcoat to create the glossiest mani ever.

Gucci Goldie Red Nail Polish
This is an intense, high-coverage, plant-based nail polish that has become a red-carpet essential. We’re not sure what’s prettier, the crimson colour or the gorgeous retro-inspired bottle.

THE STORY OF: Nail Polish

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