When it comes to classic nail colors, perhaps the first to come to mind—besides neutrals and muted pinks—is red. Yet despite the fact that it's been a go-to for decades, a good shade of cherry, oxblood, or ruby never fails to feel iconic. In fact, some of 2022's most memorable red carpet moments (think Florence Pugh at the British Fashion Awards, Lizzo at the Emmys, and Aubrey Plaza at The White Lotus premiere) have featured the most alluring rouge manis, leaving many of us reaching for these shades on repeat. But sometimes, we all get the urge to subtly switch it up, which is where mixing red polish with another constant staple—the French manicure—comes into play.
Offering a fresh take on both elements, the red French tip manicure is trending just in time for the holiday season, but it's versatile enough to be a top choice whenever you need a confidence boost. Depending on the shade and design you choose, it can feel festive, sophisticated, a little bit sexy, or practically any mood you want to convey. We fully expect it to stick around as mani lovers everywhere continue to embrace creative twists on longtime classics.
Intrigued by the idea, but not sure exactly what you want to ask for at the salon or attempt at home? We've got you. Keep reading for 17 of our favorite red French tip manicures perfect for parties, date night, and beyond.
All Wrapped Up
Need a holiday nail look that feels festive yet is sophisticated enough to go with all your winter outfits? This set strikes the perfect balance between solid ruby nails, red French tips, and a gift bow accent nail featuring a single pearl.
Abstract Cherry French Tips
If you're feeling a more abstract manicure, you can use a red French tip as a point of balance. We love the way this design features various angles all in the same cherry shade.
Polished with Love
Whether you're looking for the perfect Valentine's Day nails or simply feeling warm and fuzzy, a heart shape is one of the easiest ways to switch up a classic red French tip manicure. In fact, the design is simple enough to DIY with the help of a detailing brush.
For a fresh take on the mermaid aesthetic, pair French tips as red as Ariel's hair with tiny pearls at the base, plus accent nails that integrate various gold shell charms. This mani uses the Cirque Colors Coquille Charms ($9).
Sometimes, the best way to show off a bold shade of red polish is by sticking to the classics. Finished with a shiny top coat, these crescent French tips look absolutely stunning.
What's better than celebrating the holidays—or any time you're looking for a little extra glam—than a touch of sparkle? Using glitter to transition between red tips and a neutral base is a surefire way to make your mani the life of the party.
Complement your red French tip manicure with some detailed blue accent flowers for a stunning result that's sure to spark joy every time you look at it.
Candy Cane Stripes
Looking for a more subtle way to pay tribute to your favorite holiday treat? Give candy cane striped French tips a try. We love how this one replaces white with silver for an extra touch of sparkle.
Hailey Bieber's Classic French
Hailey Bieber is kicking off the holiday season with a classic, almond-shaped, red French manicure. (Naturally, she's dubbing the style "glazed candy cane nails.") We love the way she's pairing the rich red mani with a holiday-inspired lip.
Deep Red with Dots
A deep shade of oxblood or burgundy feels luxurious and endlessly alluring. Alternate between solid nails and French tips, and place a small matching dot near the cuticles in the negative space to add interest.
Who said you can't rock two fun colors on the same French tip? Red and gold are two chic, festive staples that hold even more power when together. Nail artist Amy Le created this set for Lunar New Year.
Glitter and Plaid
This manicure mixes classic red French tips with glittery ones, plus a red and black plaid accent nail that matches the pictured coat. Try coordinating with your own favorite outerwear to feel put-together every time you step out.
Another magical creature-inspired mani, this ultra-long Gel-X set alternates stripes of red and translucent silver to create a unicorn horn tip. One thing's for sure: You'll feel one-of-a-kind with nails like this.
Prepare to dazzle by adding silver glitter to the base of your red French tip manicure. No matter what time of year or event, this fun (and easy!) combination is sure to shine.
This French manicure combines red tips with a lavender center (my other favorite polish shade!), while also leaving the bottom section blank for a stunning negative space design. It's sure to look great no matter what color combo you choose.
Blood Drip Tips
Whether for Halloween, a Twilight saga movie night, or any time you want to add a little edge, switch up your red French mani by turning the tips into drips of blood. This one also inverts the design on select nails.
Minimal with a Midas Touch
For a stunning way to frame a short mani, keep your red French tip ultra-thin and place a small, curved piece of gold wire at the base of your cuticle. 3D nail art can take some precise technique to secure, so if you don't want to worry about it, find a nail professional who can make your dreams come true.