DIY Vena Cava Finger Bands: Where Nail Art + Jewelry Overlap

By Alexis Wolfer

There are always a few moments every season of Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week that blow us away and rekindle our love affair with the artistry and brilliance of fashion and beauty. They’re the designers and artists who push boundaries, expand our imaginations and redefine what we think of beauty, fashion and design.

Vena Cava’s runway show on opening day of New York Fashion Week was one of those moments. And no, it wasn’t the clothes (although those were fabulous too). Rather, it was the nails – if you can even call them that – designed by Butter LONDON’s Nonie Creme.

Another “trend” pushing the limits!

Using Butter LONDON’s chemical-free and vegan nail lacquers to paint right on the skin, Nonie pushed the boundaries of “nail art” to the outer limits – literally – by, expanding the nail canvas, as she explained, “taking over real estate from the skin.” Blurring the line between nail art and jewelry, Nonie created jewelry from nail polish by using Butter LONDON’s polishes to draw finger bands, or concentric rings of nail color painted around the models’ fingers, between the first knuckle and nail bed. Drying as a stunning, shiny lacquer (unlike body paint), the finger bands expand how we think about nail polish, jewelry and makeup.

How to recreate the finger bands at home:

–  Start with clean, dry, lotion-free skin so the polish won’t crack.

–  Pick an area between the first knuckle and nail bed where the skin doesn’t move push (to prevent pre-mature cracking and chipping).

–  Immediately before painting, swipe skin with acetone

–  Then carefully paint the first ring all the way around the finger, like a ring worn on the part of your finger where it would normally fall off.

–  If your hands are shaky, we found it easier to hold the brush steady and move the finger being painted in a circular motion. This is especially helpful when painting your non-dominant hand. You can also use tape to mark off the area and peel it away after the polish is dry for perfect lines.

– Before painting a concentric ring, allow the first ring to dry a bit in order to prevent the colors from bleeding.

– Use restraint! At Vena Cava, Nonie painted 1 band per finger (either a single ring or double, made with 2 concentric rings) and just 2 fingers per hand – otherwise, as Nonie explains, it will start to look “tribal,” rather than “rocker.”

–  Keep the actual nails clean and short. Nonie used Butter LONDON’s Hard Wear ($18).

How to prevent polish chips and more!

The bands take about 15 minutes to dry on the skin (similarly to how long polish takes to dry on the nails) and will last about 24 hours.

The Vena Cava look was created using a combination of Butter LONDON’s Tramp Stamp, Scoundrel, Royal Navy, Union Jack Black and Flouro Orange (a not yet available shade), although feel free to get creative with any of Butter LONDON’s 3-free hues, $14 each at

See the nails sure to be hot for spring!

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