A classic nail polish shade is a good red. With red being my favorite color, you’d think that it would also be one of my favorite nail polish shades. It is not, however. I actually find a good red difficult to find. Most of the times, when I like the color, the formula is too thick, too thin or too sheer. So finding a good red nail polish required not only work, but also patience. By now I have 5 red nail polishes that I love using most.
My demands for any nail polish, but especially reds are as follows. A good red nail polish should go on opaque in two layers. The color should be neutral or blue toned, but I also make exceptions for orange and cherry toned reds. The consistency should ensure a good coverage of the nail in two layers and the formula should not be too gloopy. Finally, the polish should be easy to remove and not stain my nails, which in the case of bright reds seems to happen quite quickly. Here’s the five polishes I currently own that fit all of those requirements.
Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint Blood Orange
Barry M’s Gelly Nail Paints are some of my favorite polishes to begin with, but this red shade in particular is stunning. Blood Orange is a warm toned red that has a hint of darkness to it. The formula of this is great: not too thick, not too thin. It covers the nail nicely and out of all nail polishes I own, these stay on me the longest. Lasting power is therefore spot on.
Bourjois So Laque Rouge Escarpin
My favorite toe nail colors are from the Bourjois So Laque line. The polish has a thicker formula which is why I do not like it much for my hands. But on the toes this works great. These polishes cover your nail in nearly one layer so they make for a the perfect quick pedicure type shade. This red shade has been one of my favorite polishes since I started using nail polish again years ago. You can see on the pictures that more than halfway of this bottle is already gone and it is one of those shades that when it runs out I will repurchase if Bourjois still stock it. You can see this polish on my nails in this nail art blog post from way back in the day.
Max Factor Glossfinity Cerise
A good orange toned red is difficult to find. I owned several ones: from OPI to Essie and cheaper brands such as Catrice. But none of the ones I tried in the past were so right on the money as this Max Factor one. The staying power is okay, the color is the exact color of red I love the most and therefore this will go in my number 1 spot if I were to rank these 5 polishes solely based on color. The formula is alright, but nothing too special. This is just a good nail polish with that added benefit of being an orange toned red that is not sheer.
OPI Coca Cola Collection Coca-Cola Red
With OPI being my favorite nail polish brand, it is no surprise the brand is featured in this blog post. It took me ages to find a red cream OPI polish that ticked all of my boxes. I have a shimmery darker red that I love, but I like my polishes to be creamy lately (and then I add the sparkle myself if I want to). When I spotted the Coca Cola collection at the airport last year, I picked it up and found it has the most perfect red. This has all the benefits of OPI polishes and the color is a gorgeous classic, neutral red.
China Glaze Bing Cherry
The last polish I’d like to share with you is a polish that I loved the minute I bought it. Bing Cherry is a bit of an odd one to add to this list perhaps, but it is still one of my favorite red polishes. As the name suggests, Bing Cherry is a cherry red nail polish and the best one I have ever found at that. It has a hint of shimmer in the bottle, but that is not noticeable on the nail. This red is darker than any of the others and it has a pink undertone. It reminds me of the ripe cherries we used to pick in my grandpa’s backyard when I was little and the link to those memories is exactly the reason why this polish deserves a spot in my top 5 of red polishes. You can see it on my nails here.
As you can see my favorite red polishes come in different shades and I think it is safe to conclude that I have a red polish for every mood and situation. From classic reds, to blue toned reds, to orange and pink toned: a good red polish depends on your personal preference and what you look for in a polish. The fact that some of these shades have lasted years in my nail polish collection, despite my regular clearing out of shades that do not get used much, I think says enough. These polishes are the best red nail polishes out there in my opinion.
What are yours?