My Top 5 Red Nail Varnishes

red varnish 1907

I love a good red on the nails, there’s nothing like it.  I don’t know about you but it instantly perks up my hands and my mood.  To the “normal” person having a huge collection of red nail varnishes sounds crazy and they’d probably be wondering what the difference is but I mean you can get an orange-red, pinky red, coral-red, blood-red…..the list is endless and I’ve managed to narrow down 5 of my favourite red nail varnishes and what I have on rotation at the moment.

red varnish swatch 4 1907

No collection would be complete without Essie making an appearance and first from left to right there’s Essie’s Aperitif which is a gorgeous cherry red.  I always get compliments when I wear this colour and I first admired it on Anna from Viviannadoesmakeup and knew I just had to have it.

Estee Lauder’s Pure Colour Nail Lacquer in Impassioned is a vibrant red with orange tones.  I normally stay clear of orange on my nails but this is a perfect suits all colour and can I just say the bottle is divine.  In fact, all of the colours in this range are beautiful plus the nail varnish is pretty long-lasting so I wouldn’t mind getting a few others too.

Butter London’s Come to Bed Red (love the name) is described by Butter London as the sexiest red nail lacquer in history.  Honestly, I wouldn’t really go that far but it is a cute colour and verges more on the pinky-red side.

Essie’s Fifth Avenue is another orange-red but on the brighter side than Impassioned and again it suits all skin tones.

Revlon’s Scented Nail Enamel in China Flower is a true coral I would say.  I’m not into the scented nail varnish thing but in terms of the colour this is pretty, particularly for the warmer months.

I don’t think the swatches show up very well on camera, sorry about that, but there are subtle differences between these nail varnishes and if I was to pick my all time favourite it’s Essie’s Fifth Avenue followed closely by Aperitif.

So what about you?  What are your favourite red or “not quite red” nail varnishes?

  • Adaleta Avdic

    I don’t know if I’m a nail polish addict if I don’t have this many beautiful shades of red! xx

    • It;s just so hard to resist and the other day I picked up another one from Accessorise – oh dear. xx

  • Emily Valentine Parr

    The essie one is perfect for summer! love a slightly orange red with a tan 🙂

  • I love a good red too! My favourite at the moment is probably Essie’s Fishnet Stockings, a darker true red. I really like the formula, so I think I may need to try Aperitif next!

    • I’ve seen that colour in store and it looks lovely too, definitely one for Autumn / Winter xx

  • lauragale94

    Thank you so much for your recent comment on my post about why I started blogging and why it took me so long. I really appreciate your kind words and am so glad you could relate. Your blog is amazing, I followed on Bloglovin’ straight away ha! This is a lovely post doll, just wish I didn’t bite my nails (terrible habit, I know), so that I could utilise some of these beaut nail polishes!xx

    Laura | Lala London: Beauty & Lifestyle

    • Thank you so much. These nail varnishes are the best and just used the Butter London one today! Stop biting those nails you need to wear these colours! xx

  • what a great collection! with dark ping and Red they are my two fav colours for nail polishes. 🙂

  • The Estee Lauder and Essie shades both look gorgeous! I don’t think I own a true red nail polish! Definitely need to fix that for A/W 🙂 xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

  • I definitely agree with you! Red is such a powerful shade and I love how it just brightens everything up. I love wearing all black and that bright pop as a fun little surprise! My lips aren’t so great with red but nails = perfection. I think I’m going to try out the Essie since you’re in love with it and I definitely trust your beauty judgement 😉


    ♥ ♡ ♥ ♡ Creme de la Chic ♥ ♡ ♥ ♡

    Hope you’re having a beautiful day! xx

    • That’s so sweet of you, thanks. Red nails with a black outfit is great! xx

  • Such pretty photos! I have always wanted to try a Butter London color, but was wondering if they were worth the price? xo

    Kelsey |

    • Overall I prefer Essie for finish, colours and lasting power but Butter London is fairly good too slightly more expensive though x

  • Ahh beautiful photos! All the nail varnishes look fab! x

  • Beautiful pics, the Essie shades look particularly lovely!

    Makeup Monster

  • Gorgeous – these colours all look absolutely beautiful! 🙂

    Layla xx

    • Thanks, they are my regular go to’s – when I can’t decide what colour to choose I always just pick one of these reds. xx

  • What a lovely collection! 🙂 Currently I am obsessed with Bright Coral by Autograph (Marks and Spencer) and GlossFinity by Max Factor (85 cerise), which is a beautiful red. But you know, I’ve never tried any scented nail polishes. Now you made me curious about Revlon… I should check it out in the shops!
    Recent post – Best palette for the last few years//

    • These sound great too, i’ll have to test them out. The scented nail varnish thing is a unique concept and i’m not really that wowed by it but the actual colours themselves are great which is what you want really. xx

  • Essie’s Aperitif is lovely. It’s such a nice deep red shade!

    Katya | The Beauty Harbour

  • I definitely love the deeper red shades kinda like wine shades, so the Essie one looks lovely & right up my street. Looking forward to autumn now so I can wear all these gorgeous kind of shades again x

    Beauty with charm | Zoeva Giveaway

    • Oh yes i do know what you mean I reserve the really deep reds for Autumn / Winter too xx

  • I absolutely love the look of all of these & have added some to my ever expanding wishlist! Jessica Red Delight is my favourite red – it is so flattering on my skin tone! xx


  • Kiki Rampone

    I think my favorite shade here would have to be the Essie one, but I love the Butter London one as well! Great collection!

    xo Kiki

    • Thanks. I don’t have much from Butter London but this one is lovely, as it has pink tones to it it’s a lot deeper than the others. xx

  • Beautiful selection. I love deep red nail polishes, especially now, that Autumn will soon approach us. x

    Renata | Speaking Beauty UK

  • Im just drooling over these gorgeous polishes! Need to find Essie’s Aperitif it is a stunning red shade.

  • Ohh my collection of red’s is also very extensive… It’s just my favorite nail color, especially orange-red for summer! But Aperitif by Essie is gorgeous too!

    Love, Layla Rosita

    • Glad I am not alone!! Red nail varnish is classic and will never look boring! xx

  • Both essie shades look gorgeous – I love the look of red nails x

  • I have yet to find my signature red. thanks for this 🙂


    • No probs hun hope you found it useful. A red nail varnish is the best i think! xx

  • Love the one by Butter London you picked up. So true, it’s really sexy (:
    Nati xx

  • They look pretty similar, but I think I prefer the Essie Fifth Avenue orange red. The red nail polish I wear a lot is Revlon Fearless, also a warm toned red color.

    Vanessa│Meili Journey