The 40 Best Red Nails of All Time

It doesn't get any more classic.

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Walk into any salon, and you're bound to find The Wall (no, the other one) dripping with red lacquers—and as many women agonizing over which one sets off their hands to the greatest advantage. Our affinity for the jewel-like polish springs eternal, so ahead, 40 of history's greatest examples for inspiration/an extra 55 minutes spent trying to match the color.

1 of 40
Marlene Dietrich in 'Angel'

1937

2 of 40
Rita Hayworth in 'Blood and Sand'

1941

3 of 40
Carmen Miranda in 'The Gang's All Here'

1943

4 of 40
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Gene Tierney in 'Leave Her to Heaven'

1945

5 of 40
Joan Crawford

1945

6 of 40
Lauren Bacall

1950

7 of 40
Lucille Ball

1955

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8 of 40
Dior

1960s

Shop similar: Dior, $27

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9 of 40
Natalie Wood

1965

10 of 40
Liza Minelli in 'Liza with a Z'

1972

11 of 40
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Faye Dunaway in 'Chinatown'

1974

12 of 40
Barbra Streisand in 'Funny Lady'

1975

13 of 40
Dolly Parton

1978

14 of 40
Joan Collins in 'Dynasty'

1980s

15 of 40
Chanel

1980s

Chanel, $28

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16 of 40
Cher

1981

17 of 40
Lana Turner

1984

18 of 40
Diana Vreeland

1990

19 of 40
Princess Diana

1992

Revlon, $3

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20 of 40
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Anna Nicole Smith

1994

21 of 40
Uma Thurman in 'Pulp Fiction'

1994

Chanel, $28

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22 of 40
Gwen Stefani in "Hollaback Girl"

2005

23 of 40
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Victoria Beckham

2006

24 of 40
Iris Apfel for MAC

2011

25 of 40
Tom Ford

2012

Tom Ford, $36

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26 of 40
Kate Moss for Rimmel

2012

Rimmel x Kate Moss, $18

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27 of 40
Rihanna

2013

28 of 40
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Miley Cyrus

2013

29 of 40
Daria Werbowy for Céline

2013

30 of 40
Selena Gomez

2013

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