Everyone loves dark red nails for autumn - so here are 10 of the chicest designs to wear

These dark red nail designs are so chic and perfect for pairing with your autumn/winter capsule wardrobe...

A hand with long, oval shaped dark red nails on a cream, knitted background
(Image credit: Getty Images/ Almaje)

Everyone's embracing dark red nails this autumnal season, so we've rounded up 10 of the chicest designs - from minimal French tips to bold, burgundy hues - to compliment your chunky knits and coats.

Dark red is being touted as one of the must-have winter nail colours, alongside brown nails and really, it's not hard to see why. Not only do these rich, burgundy hues evoke thoughts of mulled wine and winter berries - making them ideal for pairing alongside your cold-weather capsule wardrobe - but they are also among the most expensive-looking nail colours around.

It's likely you'll see every iteration of maroon this season and in case you are also looking to partake in this particularly chic trend, we've rounded up 10 dark red manicure looks to replicate, no matter your nail length...

10 chic dark red nail designs to wear confidently 

Much like how red lipstick is making a comeback, deep merlot-like colours and dark crimsons are dominating the nail trends of late. The beauty of dark red is that it really suits every nail shape, particularly short and rectangular nails - which are also proving to be very popular this season. 

Another point in this manicure trend's favour is how easily you can replicate it at home (whether you opt for a French tip or block shade). In fact, we'd go as far as to say dark red is very much a 'Quiet Luxury' nail colour, as you can find polishes for under £10, that give you a salon-worthy manicure in minutes. So, without further ado, here are our favourite dark red nail looks to replicate this autumn/winter season...

1. Wine nails

For a classic and minimalistic look, you can't go wrong with a block, "Rouge Noir"-esque shade. This colour is perfect if you have shorter, rectangular nails but will also look sophisticated on any nail shape, from stiletto to almond. 

To recreate this look, we'd recommend first prepping your nails with one of the best nail strengtheners, before then applying two to three coats of your chosen wine shade. Then top with a glossy clear coat, to ward off chips.  

2. Classic crimson nails

For another minimalistic option, a signature cherry red is also a good option, especially if you prefer timeless looks. This shade again works for all nail shades but we'd suggest either short and squared or longer, almond shapes. 

To give yourself this red mani at home, be sure to apply your trusty nail strengthener, like OPI's Nail Envy (available at Amazon) or a base coat, before applying two to three shades of your favourite red shade, to ensure you have a seamless, streak-free finish.

3. Burgundy French tips

A classic, French tip look is a great pick for anyone wanting to embrace this season's must-have shade while still keeping things subtle. You can either opt for a micro French tip or go for a full, crescent shape.

Your nail artist will be able to create a burgundy French tip easily but if you want to master the design yourself, you might want to invest in a nail stamper or a thin nail brush (both available at Amazon).

4. Heart hole punch nails

If you wanted to be extra trendy, you can combine both the heart holepunch nail and dark red nail trends together, for a chic Valentine's Day-ready look. 

This design will look chic on short and long nails and is surprisingly easy to replicate with the help of either heart-shaped stickers or stencils. Simply apply your stick to the centre of your nails and proceed to paint over them. Once your nail polish layers have tried, remove the stick and viola! 

5. Maroon velvet nails

Velvet nails are very popular over the festive period and a dark red is the perfect colour to combine with this look. 

This design is a little trickier to recreate, so we'd suggest leaving it to the professionals but if you're desperate to wear this look in the coming weeks you could instead use a shimmery nail polish or top coat.

6. dark red half-moon nails

For a simple but elevated manicure look, we're obsessed with this red, half-moon manicure. It's chic and low-maintenance but still adds a little oomph to your everyday nail look.

Like the heart hole-punch nails, this design is also easy to replicate with the help of either a thin nail brush or a half-moon sticker/stencil. 

7. Red abstract nails

For our maximalist nail design lovers, a swirly line-art look or a manicure with one or two feature nails is a great option.  

If you want to keep things fairly simple, you can opt to paint some of your nails red, while on others you can just use a clear coat, before topping the nail with a few abstract swirls or a French Tip - like the look above.

8. Red glitter nails

If you're looking for some festive nail inspiration, a glittery dark red manicure is definitely a good way to go.

To create this look, you can either opt for an all-in-one, red glittery polish or apply a glittery top coat to your favourite red shade.

9. Crimson almond nails

If you have longer, almond-shaped nails, a signature dark red will look so elegant and refined. We can picture this manicure paired with a cream, chunky knit or a blazer, for a timeless wintery look.

Much like with the other block shades included in the line-up, simply apply to three coats of your go-to red - but don't forget your base and top coat for a high-shine finish! 

10. Grape red nails

If you're looking to break the mould, you could also select more of a purply-red hue and apply it to any of the looks above.

Personally, with love this grape shade on it's own, especially when applied to a short, squared nails because it looks so clean and sleek!

Naomi Jamieson
Beauty Writer

Naomi is a Beauty Writer from Woman&Home, where she covers everything from skincare to beauty trends, as well as reviewing products and sharing her personal shopping recommendations. She specialises in feature and e-commerce writing and has previously worked as a Lifestyle News Writer for My Imperfect Life magazine, where she used her savvy for TikTok trends to bring readers the latest beauty buzzwords, fashion movements and must-have products. During her time on this title, she also reviewed beauty and skincare products and was commissioned to design some illustrations for one of the team's relationship features.

Before that, Naomi also worked across both GoodTo and My Imperfect Life, whilst training for her Gold Standard diploma in Journalism with the NCTJ, for which she earned a Distinction. Interestingly though, Naomi actually has a background in design, having studied illustration at Plymouth University but leapt into the media world in 2021, after always having a passion for writing.

Before working for Future Publishing’s Lifestyle News team, she worked in the Ad production team. Here she wrote and designed adverts on all sorts of things, which then went into print magazines across all genres. Now, when she isn’t writing articles on the best perfumes and must-have beauty buys, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping.