Red Acrylic nails are the ultimate chameleon. Red has so many different nail designs. It can be both traditional and trendy, innocent and dangerous. You might love those black nail designs on a Friday night, but aren’t they a little much for Sunday brunch? And the classic, natural nail ideas look great with your work suits, but aren’t they a little, well, boring for Saturday?
Red never has this problem. Red is bright and put together, but it molds to whatever style you’re looking for that day. It’s a manicure chameleon. No wonder red has been one of the most popular manicure colors of all time, and that isn’t changing any time soon.
50 Bold Red Acrylic Nail Styles You’ll Adore
So how do you choose the right red nail designs? With basic red nails, there are two questions you need to ask yourself. The first is “What shade of red?” Red comes in lots of different tones. Bright cherry reds are great for summer and the holidays. Dark wine reds and oxblood are good for dramatic impacts like formal events and winter manicures.
The second question is “How long?” A short red manicure lets you go to that Saturday picnic without worrying about how you’re going to function with the frisbee. A long stiletto manicure is perfect for your front row tickets to the concert of the year. A coffin style nail is trendy, but solid red helps it transition from day to night.
And that’s just solid red. When you start adding nail art designs, red becomes even more versatile. Accent nails look great with a splash of white. Glitter and red are absolutely made for each other. Red and gold give your manicure a luxe, vibrant look you don’t get with many other colors. There are just so many different nail designs.
Are you a nail addict? (We are.) Do you need nail ideas? We’ve put together a list of 50 of our favorite manicures to help you get a little inspiration. There are manicure types for everyone and the perfect nails for you for spring all the way through the holidays. Let’s find your next nail polish idea.
1) Red Acrylic Nails With A Pop Of Gold
Simple, classic red nails get a luxe upgrade with this creative nail art design. Paint half-moons at the base of the nail with gold polish. Choose one with a small grain glitter finish for a light-catching flourish. It goes from the boardroom to the dance floor with no trouble. Keep them medium length for impact.
2) Sporty Pink, White, And Red Nails
Remember those fabulous college sweaters from the 1950s? Girls headed to class with a flouncy ponytail and high style? These nails recall an era of sporty high fashion and preppy innocence. Use a high gloss red base coat with pink and white stripes, just like those prep school sweaters. Sporty and fun.
3) Classic Red Long Acrylic Nails
Every famous, stylish woman from Marilyn Monroe to Meghan Markle has sported a long red nail at some point in their public appearances. It’s the ultimate nail style, one that fits any scenario, any outfit, and any mood. Take it to the next level by filing the tips to a point for high drama and eye-catching fashion.
4) High Gloss Square Long Acrylic Nails
Similar to the classic style above, but with a trendy twist. Long square acrylic nails are back in fashion, and these are a show-stopping nail design. It’s a traditional acrylic nail design with an update. Bonus tip: the longer the nail, the bigger the trend.
5) Mid Length Square High Gloss Nail Design
Still classic, these red nails pack a punch because of the bright red and high gloss. They take advantage of the square acrylic nail trend without going too extreme. It’s a little more buttoned up without giving in to the man completely.
6) Chunky Red Glitter and Short Nail Manicure
You’ve got a traditional, short red nail, but you need something with more wow. Paint half your nails with your favorite red and the other half with a neutral or clear coat. On top of the clear coat, use a combination of small and super chunky glitter on the tips for an eye-catching surprise.
7) Gold Olive Leaf Crown – Grecian Inspired Red
This design is another minimal look without the snores. Classic, mid-length nails get a little pop of color on an accent nail. Paint a Grecian olive leaf design on the ring fingernail with solid gold paint or polish. Keep it ultra minimal, just like Athena’s golden crown. No fuss. All style.
8) Unique Red Ballerina Nails – Go Big Or Go Home
High drama requires bold choices. There are a time and place for short nails, and this time isn’t it. The longest of long square nail complements the high gloss, cherry red. It’s not for the faint of heart. This style is excellent for all your studded jewelry, black leather, and sky-high stilettos. Be bold.
9) Ultra Pretty Medium Oval Red Nails
Red nails can also be sweet. These rounded, medium length nails bring those classic 50s cocktail dresses to mind. They look just like Marilyn’s white dress, flirty and innocent but with an exciting flair. It doesn’t get any better than this classic red manicure. It just doesn’t.
10) Burberry Inspired Long Pointed Designer Nails
Burberry’s classic look is replicated on a high fashion accent nail. Use long red pointed nails as the perfect accent to for a Burberry tweed inspired look. Use a natural almond base for shimmery red with black and white stripes. The ultra-luxe cashmere scarf of manicure designs.
11) Red Ultra Long Coffin Nails
The coffin nail trend isn’t going anywhere. Take it to the extreme with this ultra-long manicure. Red provides the perfect base for this bold design choice. It’s got a bold Paula Abdul feel. Pair it with some gold accent rings for a fun weekend look or go ultra minimal for a black tie affair.
12) Cool Red Nails With Gold Cuticles
Take a classic short red nail and vamp it up by inverting your French Manicure. Use an ultra-shiny gold polish for a half moon shape at the base of the nail. If you wear stackable rings, it’ll look like one more jewelry layer, or add some rich accents on bare fingers.
13) Mid Length Classy Barbie Manicure
Barbie is a fashion icon, and more often than not, her nails are a classic red. Take some cues from a woman that’s done everything and been everywhere. A classic nail is one of the best manicure decisions you can make. These dial back the drama in length but sacrifice no fashion. Choose a darker cherry red for the most impact.
14) Extreme French Manicure With A Pop Of Red
French manicures are beautiful, but let’s shake it up a bit. Take a natural nail base with a little bit of gloss and paint the tips bright lipstick red. What’s the twist? Keep your nails long with an extreme rounded tip (almost a point). It’s a French manicure that refuses to be well behaved.
15) Elegant And Simple Red Nails – Dynasty Edition
We don’t love the hair of Dynasty, but we do love their brazen drama. Keep the drama but not the terrible hair with this long nail design. File them to a point on the end for a bold, fashion-forward choice that looks great with some bling or just a pair of jeans.
16) Classic Red Long Coffin Nails Design
What do you get when you put lipstick red with this season’s trendy design, the coffin nail? You get an edgy but minimal manicure. Keep the red bright and fun for a beautiful and classy design. Long, red coffin nails are one kind of manicure that will never go out of style.
17) Picnics And Apple Pie Short Nail Design
Summer is almost here, and we’re dreaming about all that sun and fun outdoors. You don’t want your nails to get in the way of a good time, so keep this one short. Trimmed square nails are a great complement bright red, high gloss nails. There are all fun and sun and endless summer.
18) Sweater Weather Mid Length Oval Acrylic Nails
When fall comes, you need a little more oomph peaking out from below your sweater sleeves. Mid-length nails in a soft oval are traditional and go well with your cashmere sweater. Think chocolate and marshmallows, the fireplace, and the cool night air. This manicure is warm and everlasting.
19) Glitter, Stripes, And Dots Nail Art Design
Red doesn’t have to be minimal. Give it a fun little twist by using different designs on each nail. One nail is white with an adorable red dot at the base of the nail. The next is chunky red glitter. The middle is a white base with red stripes. The final nail is a red nail with a little white dot. Cute and fun.
20) Classic Red Coffin Shaped Nails
What’s the perfect complement to diamond rings and formal attire? The most popular manicure color, red, of course. You don’t want to give up all your style, though, so add a little pop of trend with mid-length coffin shaped nails. They’re black tie appropriate, but not your mother’s red manicure.
21) Cute Kisses Red And White Lips Nail Design
Sometimes you just want a cute and pretty nail design that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Here, you can add fun little lipstick marks all over your bright red nails. It’s fun. It’s adorable. It’s perfect for that weekend at the music festival or for meeting your boyfriend’s mom for the very first time. Not everything has to be so dramatic.
22) Cool And Popular – The Grown Up Manicure
You may not have all your business together. You might not have retirement accounts set up. You might have spent your last dollar on those fabulous (on sale) shoes. With a manicure like this, you might not have things together, but your manicure will always look put together. Let everyone wonder how you keep everything floating so effortlessly. Only your nails will know.
23) Look Into My Eyes Red 3D Swirl Round Nails
There are several minimal red manicures on the list, but this one has an interesting twist. First, paint the nails with a bright cherry red. Make sure they’re short and rounded to a classic oval design. On the accent nail, use clear 3D gel polish to create a swirl right on top of the red polish. It’s a fun, rose inspired design that looks great and doesn’t take itself too seriously.
24) Casual Friday Red Coffin Nails
Fridays are for fun. Since it’s probably casual Friday at the office, why not give your manicure a fun trendy look, too? Use a deep, bold red polish for an edgy but carefree look. Make sure you finish it off with high gloss. Accessorize with gold stacked rings, and you’re ready for the weekend.
25) Santa Claus is Coming – Red Matte And Glitter
The stockings are hung. Presents are wrapped. The tree is covered in ornaments. Take inspiration from some of the best decorated Christmas trees with your manicure this winter. This uses both matte and glitter for high fashion impact. Keep some nails a matte paint with a slight shimmer, just like an ornament. On others, use natural almond acrylic nails as a base with a red glitter tip.
26) Low Key Glitter And Deep Blood Red Manicure
Deepen the tone of your red manicure a bit for a fashionable alternative to bright lipstick red nails. This one has just the tiniest bit of glitter for more impact. Blood red nails are less old Hollywood and more bombshell. Think Sophia Loren rather than Marilyn Monroe. Innocent, they are not.
27) Diamonds And Red Long Nail Design
Glittery rhinestones mimic Oscar red carpet style in this acrylic nail design. Style bright red nails but using a long, oval style (and we mean very long.) Add small rhinestones to the base of the nail for a pop of glitter and a luxe look. They’re just screaming for an Oscar acceptance speech complete with tears. You like me! You really like me!
28) Extreme Shine High Gloss Red Manicure
Don’t stop at show-stopping lengths. Go for ultra high gloss so no one will miss this manicure. Buff those red acrylic nails until you can see your soul in the shine. This is not a time to whimper and retreat with your manicure. Be bold. Be brave. Be all-out style.
29) Short Pointed Classic Red Nails
Points don’t have to be long to be high fashion. If you love the pointed nail trend, but you don’t like having to alter the use of your hands, keeping them short gives you the best of both worlds. Choose nails that come to a point just beyond the nail bed, and nothing will get in the way of your world domination, not even your manicure.
30) Short Blood Red Natural Oval Nails
There’s no need to do anything special to your nails if you can find the right color of red. Choose a high impact glossy blood red nail color for a simple manicure that can sub in when you’re tired of minimal manicures. Red might not be neutral, but it can still make any outfit classy and clean.
31) Crown Jewels – Red And Chunky Rhinestone Coffin Shaped Nails
There’s nothing minimal about these designer nails. Blood red coffin nails are an excellent complement to an all-out bling accent nail. Use silver glitter base polish and attach shimmery rhinestones to the base of the nail and at strategic spots throughout the nail bed for an eye-catching, bold look.
32) Minimal Cherry Red Summer Manicure
Short, bright red nails are perfect for the warm, carefree days of summer. Keep the nails short, so you don’t have to sit out for any summer activities. The bright, clean red gives your manicure all the drama you need. The color will pop against the green grass of that picnic, but the short style still lets you play volleyball or toss a frisbee.
33) Inverted French Manicure Almond Nails With Red
Use a natural polish at the base of a nail and create a triangle pointing towards the tip of the nail. The natural curve of the cuticle softens the point of the triangle. Paint the rest of the nail a bright lipstick red and keep the tip curved in an oval shape for a minimal but still impactful nail design.
34) Bright Red And Oxblood Red Edgy Manicure
You need a short manicure, but you don’t want to sacrifice your edge. This red manicure adds high drama first with ultra glossy polish and second by adding an oxblood red tip. The majority of the nail is a bright lipstick red, but towards the tips, the color begins to transition to a dark purplish red. It’s all the edge in a short nail.
35) Red And Oxblood Ombre Coffin Nails
Start with a dark purplish red Oxblood color at the base of the nail. Gradually fade up to a bright lipstick red at the tip. Keep the nails high gloss so that the ombre really stands out. The finish is a mid-length coffin shaped nail that adds even more flair.
36) Basic Red Short Nails With A Small Twist
Basic red nails don’t have to be all business. These have a fun little twist right in the middle. Uses matte red polish to create contrast with the high gloss base coat. From far away, it looks like a minimal red manicure. Up close, it’s an unexpected take on the traditional manicure.
37) The Mother Of All Red – High Gloss Red
This manicure is a bombshell. It doesn’t need anything fancy, no rhinestones, no colors, no ballerina nails. All you need is a soft, natural shaped nail, plus the deepest red and the highest gloss for an impact that’s out of this world. No one will ever doubt that.
38) Under The Big Top – Red, White And Silver Round Nails
Bombshell red manicures are lovely, but when you need an awesome twist for the weekend, try this. Take one hand and paint the two middle nails white. On top of that, paint a fun red triangle from base to tip. On the ring nail, paint a silver band across the middle. It’s cute and easy.
39) Queen Of Hearts Cute And Easy Nail Design
If you need a cute easy design, use these sweet little hearts to take your fashion to Sunday Brunch. It’s simple to do. Use an almond acrylic nails as a base, and use the tip to paint cute rounded heart designs. There’s nothing to it. It’s the casual but perfectly fitting t-shirt of the nail world.
40) Birthday Girl Confetti And Red Nails
Manicures can be high fashion and dramatic, but they can also be really fun. Go for traditional cherry red short acrylic nails, but add a little lightheartedness. On the accent nails, use a natural nail coat for the base, but add chunky rainbow glitter for a twist.
41) Red Stiletto Short Acrylic Nails
Stiletto nails are so on trend. Accentuate this year’s style with a bright, bright red. A little black dress might get all the glory, but a bold red manicure accomplishes the same feeling. Everything put together for a night on the town. It’s champagne and diamonds. It’s music and dancing.
42) Short Bright Red Nail With Cute White Accent
Here’s another cute easy nail design. Use a bright red polish on top of a short nail design. Each nail gets a thin white diagonal line from base to tip. It isn’t too out there, so it goes well with your work outfits and your casual weekend attire. It allows you some fun but still room to get serious when you need something serious.
43) High Fashion Glossy Red Nails
Take a deep red nail, but make it even deeper. This kind of red has significant depth and drama. We recommend making this a short nail design so that you don’t take away from the beautiful red. It’s a classy design that carries a lot of impact with very little maintenance required.
44) Short Ombre Square Nail Design
Ombre was such a hair trend for a while, and now it’s a new nail polish idea. Take a beautiful purplish red, almost black, and begin at the base of the nail. As you continue towards the top, lighten the red until it’s a fun lipstick red. Keep the nails short and square. Use a high gloss top coat for the most drama.
45) Field Of Poppies Bright Red With Flower Accents
Give this red manicure a sweet something extra. On the accent nail, use a white base coat and paint fun poppy designs. Keep things imperfect so that it takes on an impressionist style. They’re a shabby chic design that looks great with sundresses and big sunglasses. Red flowers are a timeless design.
46) Awesome Deep Red Stiletto Nail Design
Keep your edge but get rid of maintenance. This solid color manicure is set off by trendy pointed nails at a mid-length, but the red is a deep rose red. It’s bright, bold, and a little flashy without being too overdone. Match it with fun summer heels and your night on the town is complete.
47) Hearts And Glitter Cute And Simple Nails
Glitter goes with everything, and red glitter hearts are all the rage. This manicure can be dressed up for an edgy take on formal manicures or dressed down for light-hearted “jeans and t-shirt” manicure style. Not many manicures follow you from afternoon to evening, but this one does.
48) Snow White And The Huntsman Edgy Manicure
Skin as white as snow and lips red as the rose. Ultra pointy nails are an edgy addition to a manicure. Accentuate that look with a deep, shimmering red. On one accent nail, paint a shimmery, glittery white nail. Now you’ve got Snow White’s magic right on your very fingertips.
49) Minimal Red Nail Design With A Fun Gold Twist
Had enough French Manicures for work? Going out of town this week and want something a little extra? Take the look of a traditional manicure and brazen it up a bit. On the bottom half of the nail paint your usual natural nail color. Halfway up, switch to a bold, dark red. Right in the middle is a gold rivet for some sexy glint.
50) Mid Length Oval Traditional Red Fashion Manicure
Red nails never go out of style, ever. Accentuate your boldest fashion choices by choosing an Old Hollywood classic for your fingertips. It’s ladylike but dangerous, a girl next door and a man-eater all in one. It dresses up or down as your fashion changes from day to day. You don’t always have the same look, so get a manicure that won’t slow you down.
2018’s 50 Best Red Nail Designs
Red nails are the epitome of style. We certainly hope you’ve found your next acrylic nail idea. Don’t worry about being a nail addict. There are plenty of manicure types, so you’ll never run out of creative, unique nail art designs. The perfect nails for you are the ones you love the most no matter the acrylic nail idea you choose. Make 2018 the year you fall in love with red again.