A classic red manicure is as timeless as a crisp, white shirt––they pair together beautifully, too––transcending seasonal vibes and fleeting trends. “Red nails have been on trend since ancient times, when Egyptians would wear crimson henna on their nails,” explains celebrity manicurist Mar y Soul, who counts Gigi Hadid, Ashley Graham, and Joan Smalls as loyal clients. “Classic crimson [flawlessly] complements all skin tones and can be worn in a plethora of ways,” she says.
There are several ways to make the classic hue feel modern all over again. Try adding a layer of matte polish overtop, or take cues from the Balenciaga Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear runway and press diamantes against your nail bed. For an even edgier look, Mary y Soul suggests: “Paint your nails a neutral beige or white, then neatly draw graphic shapes using a deep red nail polish.” For ways to prolong your manicure, Soul recommends always using a base coat. “To help the nail polish dry faster and actually last longer, paint two very thin coats of lacquer instead of one thick coat.”
For the best shades of ruby reds to incorporate into your nail polish wardrobe, see the gallery ahead.