Dark Red Nails Are The Key To That Vampy-Glam Look Everyone Wants This Fall

This year’s fall vibe: sorceress-chic.

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Lana Del Rey dark red nails at Met Gala 2013

Nails trends come and go, it’s undeniable. But those who have watched assorted manicure crazes ascend, crest, and disappear year after year know that sometimes, a look is such a fixture that it’ll stay both popular and firmly in the zeitgeist forever. Examine the attendees at any high-profile event and there’s a virtual guarantee that at least one celebrity wears dark red nails regardless of the season, age, or affiliating with any particular aesthetic. The color is a little bit Old Hollywood and a little bit Vampira, but will always confer a classic energy that makes it suitable for virtually any occasion — but it really makes a splash every September as sights set on fall beauty.

Just because dark red nails have been a celebrity mainstay since the early talkies doesn’t mean the wearer can’t innovate. In fact, with the advent of nail art and the vast color libraries from polish brands, you’re often hard-pressed to find two stars wearing a similar look at the same event. The all-over pinot shade beloved by Jennifer Lopez, for instance, is vastly different from Kourtney Kardashian’s oxblood tips. Below, explore some of the coolest dark red manicures from your favorite celebrities and try not to feel inspired — it is that time of year, after all.

Jennifer Lopez

Speaking of Lopez, the reflective shine in her glossy wine-colored manicure is beyond captivating. While she loves experimenting with long tips and trendy shapes, her artist Tom Bachik kept the color concentrated on her natural nails — they’re flawless.

Hailey Bieber

It’s the holiday-friendly version of Bieber’s signature chrome manicure. With just a bit of silver powder dusted over the top, nail artist Zola Ganzorigt adds a highly personal element to the classic color.

Kerry Washington

If there were ever a set of nails to aspire to, it’s Washington’s. Her natural ones are long, strong, and look incredible in a classic shade of moody red that she actually created herself for a collaboration with OPI.


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There’s no higher endorsement for a nail shade than seeing it cradling Rihanna’s baby bump — she probably sold thousands of bottles by the end of Oscar Night alone.

Kendall Jenner


Demure, timeless, and beloved by it-girls the world over, Jenner displays just how “quiet luxury” dark red nails are with her low-key mirror selfie. It’s the fall/winter version of those orange-toned reds so beloved in the summer.

Viola Davis

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Now this is how you do a matching moment the celebrity way. Rather than do all-over monochrome (for the record, she’s great at that too ), Davis coordinated her dark red nails with the beautiful bloom tucked right into her Afro.

Kourtney Kardashian

There’s only a hint of dark red found in Kardashian’s itty-bitty French manicure, but it sure is a scene-stealer.

Vanessa Hudgens

Hudgens is an all-time ambassador for stiletto-shaped nails — combined with this color, though, and she gained even more converts. Her version is even a bit sparkly for added glamour.

Lana Del Rey

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Fellow Lanasters, do you remember this era?! In line with her Ultraviolence album aesthetic, Del Rey’s appearance at the 2012 Met Gala was brooding and witchy, matching her creamy, dark red lipstick to her long nails.

Sabrina Carpenter

Innovative and adorable, Carpenter and Ganzorigt make excellent use of negative space, even outlining the edges of the dark red nail art with pearls for more intricacy.