If you need a nail style that suits both formal and casual events, opt for a basic vertical racing stripe. For this design you paint a dark stripe on top of a light-colored base color. Pink works well for a base color with black polish for the stripe. It's difficult to paint an even stripe with a regular nail polish brush, but you can make a neat-looking stripe using a polish pen.
Lay a few paper towels down over your work area to prevent nail polish from staining the surface.
Apply a thin layer of clear base coat to each of your nails. The base coat protects your nails from color stains and gives colored polish a smooth surface to adhere to. If desired, paint the underside of your nail tips with the base coat. By doing this the color will stay on your nail tips longer without chipping or fading. Wait a few minutes for the base coat to dry.
Shake up and open a bottle of pink polish. Rub the brush against the edge of the bottle to get rid of any excess polish.
Paint each nail with a thin coat of pink polish, coating each nail completely with just three strokes of the brush. If the color isn't dark enough after applying one coat, wait for the polish to dry and apply another coat. Let the polish dry for 10 minutes.
Paint a single vertical stripe down the center of each nail with a black nail-polish pen. Allow the stripes to dry.
Apply a layer of clear fast-dry topcoat to your nails. The topcoat protects your design from damage so it lasts longer.