Not that we don’t dig those Christmas lights manicures, but sometimes you want a little something more subtle for the holiday season on your nail beds—something that doesn’t require you camping out in your salon for two hours. Or, even better, something you can do yourself and wear past December.
Red nail polish, in all its classic glory, takes care of that. But picking out the right red is no easy feat (especially for the indecisive human), so we asked a few pro manicurists for what formulas they really obsess over. Here’s the deal on the reds you should really invest in.
1. Dior Vernis in Rouge 999
"Luxury at your fingertips. Dior Vernis in Rouge 999 is a great classic color. The coverage is fantastic and the brush makes application easy for everyone. It’s a great versatile red that can really be worn any season," says Casey Herman, a pro manicurist who has worked with celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence and Emily Blunt.
Dior | $27
3. OPI Nail Lacquer in Big Apple Red
"Big Apple Red by OPI is a staple in my kit and a favorite of my clients. Reds can have either blue or orange undertones, and this red is neither. It’s a true red. Perfectly bright, classic, elegant, and timeless. It looks just as good paired with a bikini on the beach as it does at holiday parties and on red carpets. You literally can not go wrong with this red," says April Foreman, a nail pro who has worked with Kerry Washington and Charlize Theron.
OPI | $10
4. Russian Roulette by Essie
"essie is a great brand that doesn’t break the bank. Russian Roulette is one of my favorites. It's a bright red and it’s a great pop of color that makes everything a little more cheerful," says pro manicurist Casey Herman.
Essie | $9
5. Jezebel by Marc Jacobs Beauty
7. Chanel Le Vernis in Rouge Essential
"My top pick for a classic red would be Chanel's Rouge Essential. As the name suggests, it's an essential and the new long-wear formula with peptides has incredible shine and durability," says Ashlie Johnson, a pro manicurist who has worked with celebrities like Kristin Stewart and Ashley Graham.
Chanel | $28
8. Hannah by Zoya
"My favorite is from the brand Zoya—it's called Hannah. It’s a lovely classic red cream polish that doesn’t pull a blue or orange, giving it a balanced neutral undertone, making it a great pick for most skin tones," says Alicia Torello, a manicurist who works with A-listers like Anne Hathaway and Kate Bosworth.
Zoya | $10