By Sophia Hussain
Red Alert! Chic red nails are a timeless romantic classic that suit any occasion, whether you are taking a leisurely stroll “a deux” or attending a chic soiree. With an array of hues – from the brightest crimson to the deepest bordeaux, red is universally flattering on nails and makes every type of nail length look brilliant too.
Simply apply two coats of your favourite red shade, and finish off with one layer of clear top coat to ensure a fortified chip-free finish lasting for at least 10 days. To remove the lacquer, use an acetone-free (preferably soy-based) remover and remember: red hues tend to take more product to due to the higher pigment intensity.
Our fabulous selection of our Top 10 Red Nail Polishes for Valentine’s Day consists exclusively of 4 and 5-free lacquer picks, of course–making sure your red nails are ‘green’, too.
This iconic petite beauty brings us an ode to the vibrant ambiance of iconic cities. Los Angeles, for example, is a bright, candy apple red, while Madrid is a warm red hue which dries to a high-gloss cream lustre, which promotes healthy nails by delivering microscopic air pockets to allow the nails to breathe.
Around for over 50 years, Mavala is free from parabens, formaldehyde, toluene, camphor, cellophane, animal ingredients, and heavy metals.
What could be sexier than a Vampire Kiss for Valentine’s Day? This is the perfect deep raspberry hue from Tuesday in Love, requiring only one coat to create a high-gloss cream finish. This healthy water-permeable and peelable formula is free from harsh chemicals such as formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate, camphor or alcohol, and is never tested on animals.
Tuesday in Love shares the love for Valentine’s Day even more: for each bottle sold, the brand donates a portion of the proceeds to Plan Canada‘s Because I am a Girl Initiative, which helps support the over 4 million girls living in poverty in the developing world.
3. Kure Bazaar
Kure Bazaar is a relative newcomer to the 5-free polish scene, but it’s already produced a rainbow of red hues. We particularly love Rouge Flore, a bright red hue in a cream finish high-gloss formula. A natural-origin formula where 85% is comprised of wood pulp, wheat, cotton, potatoes and corn. Kure Bazaar is free from formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate, and camphor.
4. INGLOT O2M
Whoa! Check out this deep blood-red hue, which dries to a high-gloss finish, making the polish stick onto your nails longer, with fewer chips and less peeling. This innovative water-permeable formula contains Polymer KS_02 which allows water and oxygen to pass through to the nails (when one coat – no more – is applied). Inglot is a 5-free brand, without any harmful formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate, or camphor.
This provocatively named polish comes in a very bright, nearly red orange – the sexiest of the naughty berry shades. Nailberry’s luxury breathable nail polishes allow air and moisture to pass through the varnish, resulting in healthier nails. The brand is also 5-free and vegan friendly.
A sweet twist on the classic cream finish is the addition of micro “sugar” particles infused into this lacquer. True Red is a medium red hue, and comprises a part of the Sugar Mat Lacquer series. This a truly unique formula, which dries to a textured matte finish that makes your fingers look as though they’ve just been dipped in the sugar bowl! Of course, Kiko is free from toluene, camphor, DBP, formaldehyde, and styrene acrylate.
Ditch the chocolates and indulge in this calorie-free treat! The city is so chic, Treat had to say it twice in its “Paris Paris” shade, a glamorous shiny red hue that made me think of le Moulin Rouge! To help nourish nails, this formula incorporates organic alternatives such as nitrocellulose and adipic acid, which is an EU-approved food additive. Treat Collections is a 5-free brand containing no toulene, formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, camphor, and formaldehyde resin.
This popular American salon brand with Russian roots created Rocha, a classic folly red hue with warm undertones to celebrate Spring. Zoya is never tested on animals, this 4-free brand contains no toluene, formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, and camphor.
9. PRITI NYC
Ace your manicure wearing PRITI NYC’s dark-cherry hue finish, Red Ace Rose. We love this brand’s darker, more sensual burgundy-hued reds, more wine than candy! Priti NYC is vegan-friendly, 5-free brand containing no toulene, formaldehyde dibutyl phthalate, camphor, and formaldehyde resin. They carry a whole range of reds, ranging from this deep Red Ace Rose to brighter, lighter hues, like In Bloom.
10. Void Beauty
Take a chance with this vegan and 5 free brand’s Chance Taken shade–a classic fire engine red hue. The entire Eluxe staff has tried Void Beauty polishes of one shade or another, and we can all vouch that it lasts and lasts (the lighter shades especially can go on for two weeks or more without chipping), and the brand constantly updates its shades to keep up with current trends. What else would you expect from a nail company based in chic LA?
Main image: swedishloveaffair.com