Test The “Red Nail Theory” With These Spicy Polish Colors

Cuffing SZN is coming...

Originally Published: 
We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

In the world of fashion and beauty, the color red has been linked to countless rising trends in recent months. Namely, copper hair colors shows no signs of slowing, with celebs like Megan Fox, Emily Ratajkowski, and Florence Pugh deciding to experiment with the daring shade. Even Billie Eilish most recently gave a nod to her OG slime green roots, this time opting for a near-neon shade of red instead.

Red manicures, too, have been having their main character moment for quite some time now, no doubt in light of the viral “red nail theory” that all but took over TikTok in the fall of 2022.

In short? The nostalgia-driven theory is that red nails remind male suitors of the women they looked up to and loved growing up (like Pamela Anderson, Marilyn Monroe, or even their own mothers). And subconsciously, the ruby red hue is theorized to be just attention-grabbing enough for those with a sparkling fresh set to find true love.

For the red nail polish obsessed (and relationship seekers alike), expert manicurists in the industry have shared with Bustle that the color is trending for fall, representing “strong, feminine power.”

Below, find 16 spicy nail polish colors that test the “red nail theory.”


Sultry Wine Red

Bordeaux is a deep red polish that is reminiscent of a glass of wine (that also so happens to be a cult-loved essie shade that has stood the test of time).


Glamorous Garnet

Care for a deeper shade of red nail polish? A rich garnet-inspired hue is for you.


Fiery Orange-Red Glitter

A fire-filled glitter shade that reflects shades of orange and red, Pandemonium is truly like art in a bottle.


Red Chrome Press-Ons

For an on-trend mani that has a buzzy chromatic finish, To Me, From Me is a clear must-have.


Fast-Drying Rich Red

Dazzle Dry creates polish hues that dry within minutes — and Fast Track Cherry is that perfect deep scarlet hue that stuns year round.


Near-Neon Red Gel Mani At-Home

Cherry Red creates the prettiest long-lasting gel manicure in a vibrant red nail color at-home.


Sheer Red Jelly

Cherry Jelly is a unique, jelly-like polish with a sheer, high-shine finish.


Red Ruby Slippers

Reminiscent of Dorothy’s ruby slippers in The Wizard of Oz, Ruby beautifully catches the light.


Bright Idea

The perfect hue to enhance those summertime tans, these Cajun Shrimp vivid, almost neon shade of orange-red.


Lovely Luxe Lacquer

For a timelessly elegant nail polish color that checks both “red nail theory” and “quiet luxury” boxes, Pirate is a luxe option.


Muted Mid-Tone Red

A bit more muted than some of the other vibrant shades on this list, There Goes Rudolph is the type of red that matches velvety lipsticks.


Really, Really Red

A classic red that nods to the Old Hollywood starlets of the 1950s, No. 101 Fiery Red truly stuns against any and every skin tone.


Dark Raspberry Red

A deep, sultry shade that’s perfect for the chilly fall and winter months especially, Afters is a dark red with a subtle pink undertone.

This article was originally published on