What Does Red Nail Polish Mean?

Thinking of buying that stunning shade of red, but you are not sure of how bold you want to go?

Let’s start by saying that red is a popular color that people prefer above all else. 

But what does red nail polish mean, if anything but a stunning color?

Red speaks volumes and we’ll tell you why.

What This Article Covers:

What Does Red Nail Polish Say About You?

In red, do you find yourself sitting up straighter? Do you speak with a bit more confidence?

Red is a bold, look-at-me color that insinuates confidence, fire, and passion. When you see someone adorning red fingernails, then you immediately think of characteristics such as dramatic, outgoing, and daring.

Even if you feel like you’re having a bad day and a bit down, you will be able to give yourself a boost with your red nails.

But is red nail polish trashy? No, not at all. 

Red looks sophisticated. With red nails, you can have the courage to take on any challenge. To radiate energy and passion.

You may also wonder whether red nail polish can look professional. It can.

Red nails show that you mean business and can get the job done.

Why Do People Favor Red Nail Polish?

Have you seen the number of red shades at retail stores?

There’s a reason why brands have more shades of red than any other color. Red nail polish is the chosen color of choice over any other color and by a large margin.

Just look at red lipstick, as an example. It is by far the favorite amongst other colors.

It could be that red is the most striking and visible color, as it calls attention to one’s fingers, and toes.

Different shades of red can stand out in different occasions and settings.

For example, a muted red shade is very versatile and can look good on many skin tones. On the other hand, a dark red will look great when you want to add a little mystery to your look.

We made a list of different red shades and what they mean in specific situations.

The Meaning of Red Nail Polish


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Red Rock is the ultimate statement of glamour. The red burgundy crème is reminiscent of the desert at the end of the day with its deep, warm tones. It is a dark red that is sexy and sultry.

When someone wears burgundy nail polish, they give off a chic aura. You can tell that they have a unique personality and will always be ready for a challenge.

You can wear it anytime, day or night.

Now might be the perfect time to put on a fresh coat of this blood-red nail varnish on your nails.


what does wearing red nail polish mean

Hello, Summer. The bright and vibrant Fireball is perfect for any occasion.

If you have been looking for a cross between red and orange, then we have found it for you. It is a great summer color that also looks super cute on toes. This shade shows a bold and fiery personality.

Orly’s formula goes on smoothly when applying 2 coats and, dries quickly

The result is a red-orange shimmer that lasts a long time.

Just make sure you have the appropriate products when removing nail polish.

Metallic Red

what does red toe nail polish mean

Ready to show off your glamorous side? Then the Star-Spangled is for you.

The color is not too orange, nor too purple. Instead, the Star-Spangled is a deep red with a gorgeous sparkle that is likely to catch anyone’s eye.

Flaunt your red nails in the sun and you will see them come alive.

We recommend applying 2 coats of varnish and using a bonder.

If you are attending an event where you want to be seen, then this one is for you. Get the nail polish if you are not one to shy away from the spotlight.

A metallic red means that you’re bold and unafraid to flaunt your style.

Dark Red/Dusty Rose

Not sure whether your red nail polish is professional?

If you want to opt for a more mellow red, then the muted red créme of Wild Wonder is perfect.

what does dark red nail polish mean

The nail polish provides great coverage and a flattering deep pop of color. It can only be described as a dusty rose color.

The bonus? It lasts a long time without fading.

This shade of red shows versatility, while still remaining stylish.

The History of Red Nail Polish

People fashioned their nails with red differently depending on the era.

At The Start Of Civilization

The first gender to get their nails done were men. They use to color their nails with kohl to indicate their social status.

Wealthy men painted their nails a dark red or black color, whereas those with less wealth painted their nails a green color.

Ancient Egypt

The manicure trend was started by Queen Nefertiti and Cleopatra. This trend would last for centuries.

Both women painted their nails a red shade that resembled ruby or blood red. It was also an indication of their esteemed status.

What’s even more interesting, is that pharaohs had to get henna manicures in the mummification process. They believed that it will allow them to enter the afterlife with all their strength.

China’s Ming Dynasty

The Ming Dynasty in China was the first to experiment with artificial nail art. They wore red-colored fake long nails to show that they do not need to perform manual labor. The noblewomen in China also made use of unusual red coloring and nail shapes.

The Revlon Revolution

During the ’20s, women used high gloss car paint to color their nails. This would offer them a rewarding red finish.

It was also during this time that exclusive manicure products for women were created by Revlon. Revlon’s revolutionary range of polishes was made with pigments instead of dyes.

In the ‘30s, the half-moon nail technique became a massive fashion trend amongst women.

After World War 2

Before World War 2, painting your nails was seen as a luxury that was only meant for women with a high-class status.

After World War 2, the prices of nail polish on the market dropped significantly, which lead to a frenzy related to red nail polish. During this era, red nails became of symbol of style and extravagance.

Acrylic nail polishes were also invented in this period.

The Introduction of the French Manicure

what does red nail polish mean on one finger

Red acrylic nail polishes became increasingly popular in the ‘60s.

With that being said, the working women at this time preferred painting their nails with more mellow shades due to strict workforce regulations.

As more women started to enter the workforce in the ‘70s, they started to opt for French manicures since it was deemed more appropriate in the workplace.

The Grunge Era 

The famous red nails started to lessen in popularity during the ‘80s. People started to become bolder with their manicures.

Women chose extremely long fingernails. They colored their nails based on what was popular during the grunge era. In the ‘90s, these colors varied from black, plum, and oxblood.

Women and men started to paint their nails with all kinds of patterns, prints, and dark colors that were inspired by grunge fashion.

The 21st Century 

Many manicure variations and styles have appeared during this century. What hasn’t changed, is the preference for red nails. People still aim for their red nail varnish if they want to look intriguing, attractive, and stylish.

There’s also a new wave of guys that like red nail polish.

Despite many fashion trends coming and going, red is versatile and can easily match any outfit. For this reason, red is the ideal nail color to adorn when attending special occasions.

Looking to improve your appearance? Paint your nails red. You will notice an immediate confidence boost.

Final Thoughts

There is no room for debate when it comes to red nail varnish: it is the most gorgeous manicure ever! 

Is red nail polish out of style? It seems to be a fashion trend that has lasted for centuries, and it will be a trend in the future too.

The symbolic power of red is undeniable: it exudes power and excitement.  

Adorning red nails will make everyone around you speechless, so do not be fearful of opting for shades. You will look stunning.

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