Red Nails Are The Ultimate Power Look. Here Are Our Favorite Rouge Manis

Red nails will never go out of style, and for a good reason. A red manicure will immediately make you look more chic and put-together and the color is naturally eye-catching. "Our eyes' light receptors pick up red, orange, and yellow colors faster than other colors in the visible light spectrum," color theorist Constance Hart tells Who What Wear. "Bright red naturally produces a feeling of excitement, as its physiological effects include increasing circulation and raising blood pressure."

Do you see a red mani in your future? With so many ways to work red into your nail look, you may be feeling overwhelmed. In case you're unsure of what to ask for next time you visit the nail salon — or how to do your own nails if you're the one painting them — we have a few stunning suggestions. From minimalistic and easy-to-DIY designs to bold and intricate sets, there's bound to be something for everyone's taste!

Short red nails

Kicking things off is, of course, the classic: short nails in a bright red color. A manicure like this suits everyone, no matter what fashion style you're going for or what kind of nail shape you have. As far as the exact shade of red goes, you can pick a cold, neutral, or warm-toned red depending on what you find suits your features best.

Classic red almond nails

Almond nails are a classy and delicate shape, and painting them in red always looks superb. However, keep in mind that nails like these look less edgy than short red ones, and they look best on those who prefer elegant pieces and have a style that leans more preppy and glam.

Red baby French nails

Baby French nails are a huge hit this year as people are slowly realizing that shorter nails are just way more practical. A baby French manicure in red adds that firey pop of color without being overwhelming and clashing with any other shades you might want to rock in your outfit.

Red ombre nails

Ombre is an easy way to make nails more interesting without going for a super difficult design. And if you opt for the color close to your cuticle to be a neutral shade that matches your nails, the design will look nice even after it grows out a bit. If you're doing ombre nails at home, use a sponge to dab the shades onto your nail, creating a blended effect.

Red heart nails

If there's one design that red nail polish is perfect for, it's obviously hearts. And no, hearts are not only meant to be rocked around Valentine's Day; they are a timeless symbol that you can wear any time of the year. If you want to spice the red hearts up even more, add pearl accents to the design.

Red stiletto nails

Pointy stiletto nails are probably the least practical shape you can get, but boy oh boy, do they look sultry and dangerous (in a good way). If you opt for red stiletto nails, keep in mind that they will always be in the spotlight, so expect people to compliment you a lot — and ask "how do you do anything with those?"

Red nails with flower accents

Simple red nails are stunning, but sometimes you may want to add that bit of extra something to your set. For spring, may we recommend going for one of two accent nails with cute tiny daisies? The white looks great against the red, and since flowers like these are an easy nail art design, it is something you can even do yourself.

Red cuticle line of hearts

You can always opt to add some red to a classic neutral base, and doing it in the form of tiny hearts alongside your cuticle is adorable and unexpected. A nail set like this one will certainly have people doing a double-take, as the hearts aren't very obvious at first glance.

Cherry red nails

Apart from hearts, red is also the color of cherries, which is why doing a design revolving around them is also super fun. Of course, you can also opt for just two simple cherries on an accent nail, but if you want to go full out, opt for something that involves glitter and nail gems too.

Red heart accent nail and red French tips

Baby French tips are fun, but if they're not your cup of tea, you can totally go for classic French tips but in a red hue. To spice things up a bit, paint your ring finger entirely in red — this is an easy way to make your nails more interesting. And if you want to go the extra mile, paint a nude heart on your ring finger too.

Vampy dark red nails

A classic red is definitely bold and fun, but for some, it might be a tad too bright. If you're someone who tends to gravitate toward darker colors and jewel tones, opt for a vampy red shade instead. That way, you can rock red without feeling like it's clashing with your personal style.

Red graphic nails

Graphic nails will always be cool, and the best part about them is that they can be totally asymmetrical and unique. With a nude base and some red and black nail polish, you can easily create a very interesting and fun look. Of course, a steady hand is a prerequisite for a nail art design like this one.

Red doodle nails

A fun way to spice up a classic French manicure is to add some red doodles on top of it. For this, you will need a thin brush that allows you to draw intricate lines on top of the white tip. You can also cover the entire nail with doodles or only go halfway down, leaving the area closest to your cuticle natural.

Red square nail tips

Square nails look particularly edgy with a French tip since the oval inside perfectly contrasts the sharp outside edges. And even though white is classic and timeless, a red French mani just makes everything a whole lot sexier. Depending on what you prefer, you can have the French tip end on the sides, or you can drag a thin line down on each side — almost to your cuticles — for a slightly more unique look.

Red and gold celestial nails

Red and gold is a combo that always looks stunning, and a celestial design, in particular, suits the color pairing especially well. While you can opt to paint celestial details — suns, moons, and stars — on your nails or have a nail tech do it, it's also easy to find gold celestial nail stickers that will give you the exact same effect.

Red fire nails

Red is a fiery color which is why it only makes sense that it is the perfect choice for a fiery flame design. You can opt to do all of your nails with fiery French tips, but honestly, just one or two accent nails with red flames are totally enough to achieve the same edgy and fun effect.

Red strawberry nail tips

If you love the idea of classic red French tips but want to add a bit of unexpected pizzazz to them, consider going for a strawberry-inspired design with yellow polka dots. This look is perfect for spring, and the best part is that it is easily recreated at home — all you need is some pale yellow nail polish and a toothpick.

Red strawberry accents

If you love the idea of fruit nails — super on-trend for spring and summer — but want to go all out, paint on full strawberries which make for a fun and quirky design that looks adorable. Go for a couple of tiny ones on an accent nail or two, and take the design up a notch by adding a couple of cute daises right between them!

Red and black nails

While white can make red seem more innocent, black makes it more sultry and bold. A simple black and red nail set is easily spiced up if you do the reverse order, on the other hand. This means that red is an accent nail on the one hand, while black is the accent on the other.

'60s-inspired red and pink nails

Retro patterns frequently come back in style, and currently, we're seeing '60s-inspired squiggly lines all over clothes, accessories, and, you guessed it — nails. While you can opt for any color to pair with the red, we recommend going for baby pink. Even though the two are on the same side of the color wheel, the shade is still contrasting enough for the design to pop.

Red and orange nails

A lot of people probably wouldn't pair red and orange hues, but the two colors actually look stunning together. Sure, they aren't as contrasting as red and green, but that doesn't mean that they don't complement each other. Since both red and orange are vibrant colors, a bright manicure in these two shades is perfect for warmer days.

Minimalistic red line accent nail

Flowers, hearts, and strawberries are cute and all, but a lot of people prefer minimalist nails that they can match with whatever they're wearing. If you want to explore the red nail trend without committing to classic red nails or fun designs, go for a nude base and add a thin red line to just one accent nail.

Red and leopard print nails

When it comes to animal prints, leopard is a classic. However, painting a leopard pattern on all of your nails can easily be overwhelming, which is why doing the pattern on accent nails only with the rest being a simple classic red is the way to go.

Red and zebra print nails

If you're a fan of animal prints, you likely either prefer leopard print or you are on team zebra. Luckily, both animal patterns look great when paired with classic red nails, which makes them awesome accent nail choices for those who are into this style.

Red heart tips

If you rock almond nails and you want to go for a red French tip, let us introduce you to a more fun and unexpected design: the heart tip. Since the shape of almond nails ends in a slight point, it is the perfect place to draw a heart. And if you ask us, whoever came up with this design is an absolute genius!

Red and pink triangle nails

We already established that red and pink are a wonderful combo, which is why we wanted to give multiple options for rocking the duo. One of them is this stunning triangle design that is actually super easy to recreate — all you need are the two nail polish colors and a thin brush to use for the pink line.

Red glitter nails

Perhaps the easiest way to spice up classic red nails is to add a glittery top coat. This will instantly make the manicure that much more glamorous, and the sparkles will catch everyone's eyes, ensuring no one misses your stunning manicure. Add the glittery top coat to one or two accent nails, or go all out by adding it to the whole set.

Red and black ombre nails

Even though a red and nude ombre is classy and chic, nothing compares to a black and glittery red one. A manicure like this is perfect for anyone who prefers darker nails but wants to venture out and try a red look as well. The best part is that this design looks just as stunning on short nails as it does on long ones.

Red royal nails

A rich red is definitely fancy enough to be the base for a stunning royal design, especially if it is a glittery one. Whether you opt for crowns, jewels, or hearts, the more sparkle and drama you add, the more intricate the design will look. And yes, the gorgeousness of the design is definitely worth all the times your nails will end up getting caught in your hair.

Red rose nails

No red nail design list is complete without a rose suggestion, and how stunning is this vintage-looking one that resembles a stained glass pattern? If you're someone who loves roses, there's no question about what design you should choose for your red manicure! The only question is whether you want them on all of your nails or only accent ones.

Matte red nails

Picking a matte nail color or a matte top coat instantly makes any color more trendy and daring. If you're someone who tends to stray away from satiny or glittery finishes, a matte red set is a perfect choice. Even though the nails are super simple, the fact that they are matte makes them so much more striking.

Burgundy red nails

A burgundy red is the closest you can go to black without actually doing black. And let's be real — even though red is classy and chic and can be worn in so many different ways, some people simply dislike the color. If you are one of them, going for an ultra-dark version of it allows you to explore red without feeling like you're not being true to yourself.

Red checkered nails

Checkered nails are definitely not the easiest nail design to recreate, so if you're not willing to spend hours ensuring the squares are as even as possible, we recommend going to a professional for a design like this. While white or black would be the most common choices to combine with red, a light pink hue also looks absolutely stunning.

Red swirly nails

Sometimes all you need to spice up a classic nude mani are some funky squiggly lines. For this particular look, you will need red and white nail polish and a thin brush. We recommend starting out with the white line and then doing the red one. Since red will be opaque if you happen to paint over white, mistakes are easier to hide than if it were the other way around.

Red and white nails

It's clear by now that the colors white and red look fabulous when paired together, which makes them a great choice for an effortless two-toned manicure. Simply paint every other nail in the same color, and you're left with a super easy but very attention-grabbing manicure.

Red star nails

While hearts, strawberries, and roses are all red, that certainly doesn't mean you can use the color red to paint things that aren't typically found in that shade. Hence, our next suggestion: red stars. Unexpected and cute, this design works well on a lighter background, like white, light orange, or baby pink.

Pink nails with red tips

You can do a red French tip in many ways, and one design we particularly love — mostly due to the fact that it's so easy to create — is a Barbie pink nail with a vibrant red tip. A manicure like this screams springtime, longer days, and mimosas with the besties!

Red matte nails with glossy tips

A more subtle way to add a French tip to your nails while rocking red is to play around with shiny and matte finishes. Depending on what you prefer, you can have the base shiny and the tip matte or vice versa. And if you really want to take things a step further, you can also alternate between the two.

Red deck of cards nails

Since red is a prominent color in a deck of cards, red nail polish works incredibly well with a card-inspired design. Depending on your preference, add a diamond, club, heart, or spade to one or two accent nails for a unique twist to the classic red nail look.

Red nails with pearl accents

Since red looks stunning with white, it's not surprising that pearl accents look wonderful on red nails. However, since three-dimensional nails can be a bit of an inconvenience as they get caught in everything, we recommend adding them to just one nail, especially if you're not used to having jewels or pearls on them.

Red watermelon nails

Watermelon nails are another trend that comes back with the warm weather, and a watermelon design provides another fun way to rock red nails. While you can add just one accent watermelon design to each hand, a manicure featuring two different watermelon accent nails is just that much more fun!

Red nails with silver glitter accents

Even though red is typically combined with gold glitter, it also looks stunning with sparkly silver. In fact, since pairing it with silver is a bit more unexpected, if you like both options, we definitely recommend going for this one. One accent nail with silver glitter will do the trick!

Red mushroom nails

If you're someone who loves fairycore, cottagecore, and everything nature, forest, and grounding related, you are the perfect candidate for a funky mushroom manicure. Yes, mushrooms are currently having a huge moment in decor, so if you're going to add some mushroom pieces to your space, why not also rock them on your nails?

Plaid French tips

For a lot of people, red in fashion immediately makes them think of plaid shirts — an iconic piece of hipster fashion in the aughts. And with indie sleaze having a huge comeback, plaid nails are definitely back in fashion too. If doing plaid all over sounds like a bit too much, go for plaid French tips instead.

Red and blue superhero-inspired nails

Blue is a great contrasting color to pair with red, especially since green — the color that is opposite of red on the color wheel — would immediately give your nails a Christmas feel. You can add blue to a red manicure in any way you like, but going for a geometric design is always fun and gives off superhero vibes.