OPI Red Hot Rio Swatches & Review

OPI Red Hot Rio Swatches & ReviewOPI Red Hot Rio is part of the amazing Brazil Collection, which I still can’t stop raving about, even though it’s no longer the latest release!

It has so many stand-out colours, and it’s been a while since I’ve been so excited about an entire nail-polish collection!

This has a jelly finish that I love, and even without a shiny top coat, it ends up looking like glass on your nails.

It reminded me a lot of OPI Vodka & Caviar (which I reviewed back in 2011) – it’s one of my all-time favourite reds.

The formula, finish, and colour are so close, you can probably only justify getting that or OPI Red Hot Rio. (You may remember seeing my comparison swatches on Instagram.)

To me, I consider them pretty much dupes because they look so similar. When I wear them on my nails, I can’t see much of a difference. It’s only when you see them side-by-side on a nail wheel and in certain lighting through the lens of a camera or one on a phone that the nuances show a bit. (If you were to show me one bottle and the other briefly, I don’t think I’d be able to distinguish them apart. Then again, I’m more of a green fiend than a red fiend!) 😉

I think you’ll be just as happy owning one or the other.

But, since OPI Vodka & Caviar is getting harder to find, OPI Red Hot Rio is a nice option for those who may have missed out!

P.S. Remember, you have until May 31 at 11:59 pm EDT to enter my worldwide giveaway to win the entire full-size OPI Neon Collection and the OPI Put a Coat On Base Coat!

OPI Red Hot Rio Pictures

OPI Red Hot Rio Brazil Collection

Natural Light

Red Hot Rio OPI Brazil Collection


OPI Red Hot Rio Pictures


OPI Red Hot Rio OPI Brazil Collection

Natural Light

Red Hot Rio by OPI Brazil Collection


Red Hot Rio OPI Brazil Collection Photos


OPI Red Hot Rio

OPI Red Hot Rio Swatches

All swatches have:

Natural Light Photos

OPI Red Hot Rio Swatches & Review

OPI Red Hot Rio Swatches

OPI Red Hot Rio Review & Swatches

OPI Red Hot Rio Swatch & Review

OPI Red Hot Rio Swatch

Sunlight Photos

Red Hot Rio by OPI Brazil

OPI Red Hot Rio Swatch Brazil Swatches

Red Hot Rio OPI Brazil Swatches

Red Hot Rio OPI Brazil Collection 2014 Swatches

Flash Photos

OPI Red Hot Rio Swatch & Photos

OPI Red Hot Rio Swatch & Pictures

Red Hot Rio OPI Swatches

OPI Red Hot Rio Swatches & Photos


  • Ruby red (Yes)

Key Notes

OPI Red Hot Rio Review


Red Hot Rio by OPI is a cherry red that’s classic, iconic, and feminine. It’s traditional, but it’s not boring.

There used to be a time when I saw red nail polish and yawned. But maybe it’s the fact that I don’t wear red nail polish much (other than during Christmas) that I’ve appreciated it more. (It’s a little funny how what is a standard colour to some is like a novelty to me, since I tend to wear greens and non-traditional shades more.)

This vibrant red packs a punch, and I love how the shade isn’t too light or too dark. And it’s definitely red, not orange. There are probably a few drops of orange mixed in, but under normal lighting situations, it reads red.


The finish is why I find this polish so swoon-worthy and a must-have for any nailphile who likes jelly polishes! The ‘squishy’ appearance and high shine take it up a notch and make your nails look like glass.

My top coat had a bit of bubbling. (Sometimes I rush when I paint my nails and get too excited). 😉 Otherwise, you’d see just how smooth and glass-like the polish is!

Because it’s a jelly and not really a ‘crelly’ (i.e. creme-jelly hybrid), you do see some visible nail line in person. (In photos, it’s not quite as obvious.) I used 3 coats to get a bit more coverage. Regardless, I still really adore this polish because even without a shiny top coat, the polish itself is super shiny!

Application & Formula

Application was effortless! If you’re a nail newbie, seriously, this is the best nail polish to wear first because the formula is so forgiving, it glides on evenly and smoothly, and it’s self-levelling. It’s a joy to paint with, and it’s one of the easiest nail polishes to apply!


  • Vibrant cherry red
  • Smooth, glass-like finish
  • Jelly-ish & super shiny, even without a top coat
  • One of the easiest polishes to paint with


  • Shows some visible nail line because it’s a jelly

Final Verdict: 10/10

Yup – even though my heart beats faster for greens, this red managed to nab a perfect score!

I love everything about this nail polish, and if you’re looking for one of the best red nail polishes, I highly recommend this one!

How often do you wear jelly nail polishes? Do you have an all-time favourite red? Was red one of the first nail-polish shades you ever wore? (The first nail polish I ever wore when I was a kid was a pearly beige, and it was my mom’s. I think I only started wearing red polish when I was in high school.)


34 thoughts on “OPI Red Hot Rio Swatches & Review

    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Rose’s Book Corner!

      Good idea! 🙂 I need to do some fun Canada Day nail art, too. We’ll see if I have some time to whip up a little design!

  1. pema

    ohh.. I’m so glad you reviewed this! I LOVE this color! 😀 my weakness is always red, and i always end up getting the red in every new collection of OPI or Essie. I have tons of dupes of this as far as color, but not the formula. the jelly formula gives it a depth and inner glow that makes it unique, i think. 😀 this is the best formula to work with, and it always makes me feel sexy and confident when i have it on. I usually do 2 coats, but you’re right.. 3 coats helps hide the VNL if u don’t care for that look.

    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Pema!

      It’s my pleasure! I was really excited to wear this because of the jellyish finish – so gorgeous and easy to paint with!

    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Charlotte!

      I agree with you! And when the formula on this one is so wonderful, it becomes a must-have! 😉 Nailphile to nailphile…

  2. Rachel

    Hey Mary,
    could you tell me, if Red Hot Rio is an dupe for China Glaze Phat Santa? I’m Curious.
    With the Coming Holiday Collection from OPI I also think What’s your Point Settia? Could be a dupe.
    At the moment I’m on a quest for the perfect neutral red. I prefer the blue based ones, when it comes to red (although I’m also more the green, blue, yellow nail person). And now I want one classic red polish, which should have a clear colour, and not be too blue or yellow or brown or orange leaning. Just a classic red ^^

    Have a nice day 🙂

  3. Slim1one

    A bit late to the party here, but I love Red Hot Rio! I’ve had it for almost 2 years now. The reason I got it was because Opi discontinued my all time favourite red O’Hare and Nails Look Great from the Chicago collection. I was devestated! I called Nail Polish Canada and asked them to recommend something similar. They got back to me a while later recommending Red Hot Rio. While I don’t find them dupes, Red Hot Rio stands on its own merits. I love the crelly formula and it’s easy to control. This polish literally shines like diamonds when the sun hits it. I use 3 coats to avoid vnl. One thing I notice about this polish is that the colour on your nails darkens over time, which I am ok with but its kinda weird. Never seen that in a polish before. Anyways apologies for the long winded comment and thanks for the review. I hope Opi never discontinues Red Hot Rio!

    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Slim1one!

      I’m so pleased that you love OPI Red Hot Rio, too! It is such a wonderful, classic red with depth.

      Hmm, I’ve never noticed this shade darkening on me over time, but I think it’s only because I switch up my nail polish very frequently. Hehe, as a nail blogger, I don’t tend to keep the same colour on my nails for too long.

      Hey now – don’t apologize for your long comment. I love reading comments from readers, and it’s fun to share in the excitement over nail polish! THANK YOU for taking the time to leave a comment on here! 😀


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