Cherry-Red Nails: The Ultimate Guide to a Juicy Summer Manicure

May marks the beginning of my favorite season—cherry season, of course. When these sweet and juicy jewels are finally ready for picking, I know that summer is just around the corner. To celebrate this joyous time, let the gorgeous fruit inspire your next manicure.

“Cherry red is a bold and vibrant color that’s reminiscent of the juicy fruit,” says nail artist Sigourney Nuñez. “It’s just as eye-catching as when a cherry is ripe, glossy, and plump. It draws attention as it’s the perfect pop of color to make a statement. Cherry red is also very timeless and can boost your confidence and self-assurance.”

Right now Nuñez, who is also a Sally Hansen global partner, says her favorite cherry reds are the brand’s Insta-Dri x Ring Pop in Very Cherry Jelly ($8) and Xtreme Wear in Red-ical Rockstar ($5). For a deeper hue, I love the Aprés Nail Gel Couleur in Vampire Drunk ($15).

To celebrate the season right, scroll through 20 juicy cherry red nail designs, below.

Deep Red

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Turn your nails into literal cherries with a vampy red polish. This is the perfect cherry red — not too dark and not too bright.

Cherry Hearts

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“A more literal take on cherry red nails is wearing actual cherry-inspired nail art,” says Nuñez. This mix-and-match design features cherry hearts on French tips flanked by white hearts, stars, and dots.

Coquette Jelly

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A cherry red jelly polish is a great way to get the depth of cherry red in a less saturated way. This look features cute white ribbons on a few nails for a coquette vibe.

Pink Cherries

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For a 3D cherry look, add red gems connected with delicate green stems. This design uses cherries atop a pink French tip, but you can also keep it monochromatic and go for a red tip for that full-on cherry flare.

Statement Pinky

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“Cherry red is a color that has a lot of seasonal appeal,” says Nuñez. For example, “this is a mix-and-match manicure with pops of cherry red for a his-and-hers Valentine’s manicure.”

Jeweled Mix

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Mixing a deep cherry red with a milky white and gems yields a rich and stunning manicure. This design features bows and crosses.

Matte Hearts

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“This is a negative space matte manicure with micro hearts painted using a cherry red shade,” says Nuñez.

Cherry Mocha

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For a sultry cherry vibe, go for a red with chocolate undertones for that cherry mocha look. It’s a warm and delicious hue.

Subtle Touch

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For fun and minimal touch, use cherries as a subtle accent. This look features a mix of classic French tips and nude nails.


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This deep and moody design features cherry red nails with a black-and-red checker print on the thumb. The little bit of black adds a dark touch without overwhelming the look.


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Use a bright cherry red in an abstract manicure for a fun and punchy look. This design features angular shapes, lines, and dots.

Bright Cherry

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For a bright and cheery cherry, go for a true red. This look features Rebel With a Clause ($12) by OPI.

Cat Eye

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Add even more visual interest to your cherry nail design with a cat eye, also known as velvet, effect. The magnetized polish adds a layer of dimension to the look.

Goldie Red

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Gucci’s Goldie Red ($35) is a stunning bright red that’s anchored by the teensiest hint of blue.


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Fake the cat-eye look using a shimmery polish made with a super finely milled shimmer. This look features the shade Christmas Means Carnage ($15) from Death Valley Nails.

Clean and Sharp

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Switching up the shape of your nails can change the entire vibe of your manicure. This look features cherry red atop a sharp stiletto nail.

Subtle Shimmer

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For shimmer that’s light and simple, opt for a monochromatic ombré where a super-fine shimmer is concentrated just at the tip of the nail.

Red French

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Shake up your French manicure by swapping the traditional white tip for a fun and funky color like cherry red.


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A square nail with a rounded edge is a fun way to add just a bit of edge to your cherry nail design.

Dark & Glossy

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This super-deep, plum-adjacent red is a stunning take on the cherry-nail look. The high-gloss finish adds a super luxe layer.

Cherry season is my favorite. Once these juicy and sweet jewels are ready to be picked, I know summer is right around the corner. Let the beautiful fruit inspire your next mani to celebrate this joyful time.

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