How To Nail The Perfect Holiday-red Mani

Red nails are always on trend, but especially during the holiday season.

We’re always a sucker for a beautiful manicure—I mean, who isn’t? Nothing gets you in the festive spirit quite like a fresh coat of holiday nail polish, and there’s one colour that makes hands really sing during the holidays. You guessed it: red! Whether you opt for a classic ruby hue or a dramatic dark red, your mani is guaranteed to stand out. Follow along with our how-to guide for an easy yet showstopping crimson-red manicure—no professional salon visit needed. We’re also sharing some of the most on-trend shades of red nail polish to wear for the holidays and throughout the winter season from the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Oil-Infused Nail Polish Collection. And if you’re looking to really amp up your nail game, we’ve got a few nail art ideas that’ll bring festive cheer to your digits.

Get the look

Step 1. Ace your base

The key to a long-wearing manicure is starting off with a strong base coat to anchor your colour. Apply one coat of L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Oil-Infused Base Coat and let it dry fully before moving on to your colour. This fortifying base contains peppermint oil to help strengthen nails and prevent splitting.

Step 2. Choose your hue

Once your base coat is completely dry (and no sooner!), reach for your red polish of choice. If you’re looking for a classic works-on-all-skin-tones red, try L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Oil-Infused Nail Polish in Rouge Sauvage. This little bottle of polish, which took 10 years to develop, features a chip-free formula that delivers both saturated colour and high shine. It contains a mix of four precious oils—rose, camellia seed, lotus flower and argant—and has a round, wide brush for expert application (even for newbies). You can’t go wrong with this user-friendly polish! If you’re on the hunt for a punchy orange-based red, reach for L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Oil-Infused Nail Polish in Orange Triomphe. And if you’re wanting to up the drama, a rich ruby tone like L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Oil-Infused Nail Polish in Bisous is just the ticket for trendsetting red nails.

Step 3, Get to painting

Now that you’ve selected your red polish du jour, open the bottle and pull out the brush. Wipe off some of the polish; you want a fair amount of colour on the brush but not so much that it’s dripping off and messy. Apply your first swipe of colour down the centre of your nail, from your cuticle to the tip, and then apply a stripe down each side from the centre so your whole nail is covered in polish in three swipes. The key to keeping your polish on your nail and not on your finger? Take your time—don’t rush it!

Pro tip: If some of the polish lands on your cuticles and you need to clean up your edges, take a small, clean nail brush or pointed Q-tip and dip it in nail polish remover. Run the brush over any areas you want to clean up.

Step 4. Double up

Let your first coat dry, and then repeat step 3, applying a second coat on each nail. This will help to make the colour more saturated and longer wearing.

Pro tip: To make your manicure go the distance, try “capping your edges.” For this technique, you apply an extra swipe of polish onto the tip and over the end of your nail to help prevent chipping.

Step 5. Add a topper

Lastly, a top coat will help to up the shine of your new manicure, and it’s an insurance policy to keep your polish on for the long haul. L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Oil-Infused Gel Ultime Top Coat will help strengthen your nails while providing that high shine we all want from a manicure.

A classic red manicure is a surefire way to turn heads, but if you want to step it up a notch, how about adding some holiday nail art? Try an accent nail in a deep-green hue, like L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Oil-Infused Nail Polish in Crocovert. Or for the nail pros out there, you can create a holly design on bare nails using L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Oil-Infused Nail Polish in Vert D’Amour for the leaves and L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Oil-Infused Nail Polish in Rouge Sauvage for the berries. Really, the options are limitless for holiday nail art designs, so why not have some fun with it?