30 Red Nail Designs That’ll Step Up Your Mani Game

A bold red lip brightens up any look, and it’s no different when it comes to your nails. Only, skip a solid paint job for something with a bit more flair this time. Whether you prefer a classic look like a French manicure or you love to get creative with textures and lines, here are 30 red nail designs to get you started.

21 French Manicure Ideas That Don’t Scream 1997

1. Moon Shape

Instead of painting the whole nail one color, try playing with shapes. Nail tape can come in handy to achieve the curves and bring different colors together.

2. Geometric Shapes

Circles, diamonds or triangles can add the perfect eccentric touch.

3. Lines

Find an extra-thin brush tip to play around with curls, lines and dots. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect.

4. Abstract Art

Again, don’t take nail art too seriously. Adding random strokes can end up a masterpiece, and we especially love how the blue and gold accents pop against the bright red.

5. Hearts

Add a heart (or two) to your base color for a Valentine’s Day–inspired look. Work with a stamp or a template to get the shape just right.

6. Heart Tips

Or take it a step further and turn your tips into hearts, with or without a base color.

7. Animal Print

Showcase your spirit animal with stripes that give off a wild vibe.

8. Fire Tips

Bring the heat with these decorative flames. Is it hot in here or is it just your fierce mani?

9. French Manicure

Upgrade the classic French manicure with red tips instead of white. For a more modern twist, choose an almond shape.

10. Designer Homage

This Tommy Hilfiger–inspired look was created for the runway, but we think the ultra modern design is ready-to-wear.

11. Negative Space

Color doesn’t have to cover everything. Leave some space to work with shapes and lines, and create a different design on each nail.

12. Gingham

Keep the summer fun alive with a fun checkered pattern.

13. Cupid

Cupid-inspired nails are the perfect Valentine’s Day choice.

14. Bow Ties & Polka Dots

We’re getting major Minnie Mouse vibes with this combo.

15. Snakes

Slither your way to a design that travels from your pinky to your thumb.

16. Ombré

Create a gradient effect with different shades of red. Just grab a sponge and your favorite red tones and then blend them together.

17. Jewels

Make your ruby nails bling with some jewel press-ons. Cover one accent nail, or line your cuticles on each hand for a gemstone effect.

18. Plaid

If fall is your favorite season (come on, it’s everyone’s favorite season), then try this pattern and whip out your favorite flannel to complete the look.

19. Statement Nail

While many decorate their ring finger, any nail can make a huge statement. Switch it up and try the pinkie, middle finger or even thumb.

20. Watercolor

Become a real-life painting with a mix of nail polish and acetone nail polish remover. Watch how it blends together as you dab it with a brush.

21. Swirls

Create a mesmerizing ripple effect with swirls on swirls on swirls.

22. Drips

If you’re into crime stories and horror movies and your fave holiday is Halloween, this design might be right up your alley.

23. Glitter

It’s time to sparkle, y’all. And let’s face it, you can never go wrong with a little glitter.

24. Reverse French

This is not your average French mani. Simply cover the cuticles and paint the remainder of your nail to flip the style on its head.

25. Stars

This print shines even more when worn on top of another contrasting color.

26. Strawberries

Use a clear base to let this adorable allover pattern do the talking.

27. Florals

Roses, orchids, carnations: A ton of flowers out there can make for one beautiful red nail design.

28. Lipstick Effect

We love a red lip, so why not mimic our favorite makeup on our nails? The key here is in the sharp, slanted shape.

29. Jelly Nails

Forget acrylics, wraps or press-ons, and try jelly nails instead. The popular trend continues to thrive.

30. Mix & Match

Can’t decide on a single design? Try them all at once. There’s no shame in letting each nail have its own personality.

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Chelsea Candelario

Associate Editor, Ultimate Fangirl, Aspiring Beauty Guru

Chelsea Candelario is an Associate Editor at PureWow. She has been covering beauty, culture, fashion and entertainment for over a decade. You'll find her searching the internet...
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