When it comes to choosing a nail polish color for your manicure, few options are sexier than a vibrant cherry red. It also has a classic, retro feel that can instantly give you a more elegant, sophisticated look. While there’s no shortage of cherry red polishes to choose from, you may want to start with a few standout shades, so you wind up with the perfect bold, vampy manicure.

Essie Forever Young Nail Polish

For a classic cherry red polish that makes you feel as glamorous as an old Hollywood starlet, Essie’s polish in Forever Young is a perfect choice. “Allure” recommends the shade because unlike other cherry red polishes that can be too bright or garish, Forever Young has a darker undertone that resembles the color of cherries. Rock the polish with the 1940s or ’50s inspired dress and some lovely pin curls, and you’ll feel every bit the retro bombshell.

Nars Jungle Red Nail Polish

Nars Jungle Red Nail Polish may be the most versatile cherry red polish option. Winner of “InStyle’s” Best of 2011 Award for Best Red Nail Polish, Jungle Red is a dark, bold cherry red that offers a variety of looks. “InStyle” suggests wearing the shade on shorter nails for a sassy look or pairing it with longer nails for a truly seductive vibe. It’s a great day-to-night polish, too. Pair it with a blazer, white tee, and skinny jeans while running errands in the afternoon and rock it with a sexy white sundress for date night.

Chanel Pirate Nail Polish

If you’re looking for a slightly more sophisticated cherry red polish option, Chanel’s Le Vernis Nail Colour in Pirate is worth checking out. “Allure” likes the shade because it manages to tow the line between sultry and understated. While you’ll pay more for Chanel’s Pirate than your average nail polish, the cream formula doesn’t contain formaldehyde, toluene or dibutyl phthalate — you know the latter as DBP — so it’s a good polish that you can feel good about wearing. Try pairing Pirate with your favorite little black dress and a sparkling cocktail ring for your next dinner party or night out on the town.

Essie A-List Nail Polish

When you want a cherry red shade with neutral undertones that work with any skin tone, “Glamour” recommends Essie’s A-list Nail Polish. It is a dark, classic cherry shade with a cream finish, so it offers a chic, sexy look on your nails. Because it lacks the brightness of the usual red polishes, it’s even safe for work. Wear it with your favorite charcoal, black or navy suit when you need an extra boost of confidence for a power meeting or big-time presentation.


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