Nose Contour Guide: How To Do It the Professional Way

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Want to enhance your nose’s features further?

With noses coming in various sizes and shapes, nose contouring would be the easiest way to achieve celebrity-quality noses without going under the knife. 

A close up photo of a woman using a brush to apply nose contour.

Yet despite the tutorial videos and nose contour guides available on the internet, perfecting the look has caused frustration to many. 

Many of us are guilty of lining the nose too dark or not blending the formula well.

You certainly don’t want to appear in public and be included in the list of people with nose contour disasters. 

If you’re ready to ditch the old ways of contouring your nose, here’s the ultimate nose contour guide that will effectively transform one of your most prominent facial features. 

How Does Nose Contouring Work?

Nose contouring is a process of cinching the shape and size of your nose.

You use makeup to add a reshaping effect, such as highlighting and adding depth to certain areas and concealing the rest. 

With contouring, your nose becomes more defined, and the shape you want is practically achieved when done right. 

Of course, contouring isn’t exclusively applied to your nose. 

With the makeup industry becoming even more influential and dynamic in the 21st century, contouring can also be done with your cheeks, jaws, forehead, and body. 

What You Need for Nose Contouring

Contouring your nose is easier when you have the right tools and products. 

There are brushes, sponges, and makeup products, commonly agreed upon by makeup gurus and enthusiasts, that work wonderfully for nose contours.

Before you get exasperated by the idea that nose contouring has requirements, know there are only four or five things you need to invest in. 

A Short Angled Brush

The primary tool for nose contouring is a short angled brush.

It allows you to take a small amount of formula from the makeup product of your choice and apply it around your nose in your preferred outline. 

It’s always vital that you choose a high-quality brush for your nose contouring process. The bristles should be soft and firm rather than stiff and frayed. 

Generally, fine makeup brushes cost more. However, they bring great results, so investing in them is reasonable if you want the best-looking nose contour results. 

A Makeup Sponge or Blending Brush

Depending on what you’re more comfortable using, a makeup sponge or a blending brush would be ideal for blending the contour product. 

For the most part, some may find makeup sponges more convenient when blending out the product. In contrast, others are more used to using the typical blending brush to smooth out the lines. 

If you’re unsure which one to use, why not grab both instead?

The tip of a makeup sponge works well in blending the product in small areas, while the blending brush works best when used in the wider regions of your nose. 

If you don’t have a blending brush, you may also utilize the tip of an eyeshadow brush. 

A woman is smiling while applying makeup on her nose with a brush.

A Contour Product

Contour products come in sticks, creams, and powders. You can try each of them to know which of the three works well for you. 

Generally, contour sticks give you more control over how much and where the product is applied without using other tools. 

As for cream contours, they will require a flat concealer brush for the application and a kabuki brush for the blending.

Meanwhile, a fluffy powder brush is needed if you prefer contour powders. 

A Highlighter and/or Concealer

The final product that gives life to your sculpted nose is no other than the highlighter. As the name suggests, it highlights certain areas of your nose. 

You typically apply this on the bridge and tip to create a gorgeous glow that draws attention to the center of your nose. 

Depending on your nose shape, you may also have to use a concealer to highlight the areas you want to look prominent.

This helps cover dark areas, allowing the contour to pop and look flawless.

For maximum effect, others use a concealer and finish off with a highlighter on top.

How To Contour Different Nose Shapes

After learning the four things you need to contour your nose, the next big step is correctly assessing your nose shape. 

No one-size-fits-all nose contour makeup guide exists because every individual’s case will always differ. 

That said, the following sections will show you how to correctly contour different nose shapes. 

A woman getting her makeup done by a makeup artist who's applying nose contour make up on her

Flat Nose Contour Guide

A flat nose lacks height and definition.

Add features to it by drawing two straight lines on both sides of the nose bridge and applying a highlighter in the middle. 

You may also contour the sides of the tip of your nose and highlight the tip if you aim for an upturned button nose.

Triangle Nose Contour Guide

A triangle nose is narrow on the top bridge and wide on the nostrils. 

Contour the sides of your nose’s tip. Make sure the lines are uniform. Highlight the corners below your inner eyebrows to subtly make your nose bridge appear wider. 

Crooked Nose Contour Guide

A crooked nose has an asymmetrical or slanted appearance.

Apply the contour product by drawing a straight line on both sides of the bridge from your inner eyebrows to your nostrils.

Keep the lines as straight as possible; don’t follow your nose’s natural bridge. 

It may look unnatural at first, but trust the process!

Use a highlighter and draw it straight between the lines and on the tip of your nose. 

For some people with this nose shape, the highlighter at the tip of the nose won’t be placed in the middle of the tip but slightly off-center. This straightens up the crookedness of the nose.

Bulbous Nose Contour Guide

A bulbous nose features a thin nose bridge and wide-set nostrils.

From your eyebrows, contour the sides of the top and bottom of your nose and highlight the bridge’s center. 

Irregular Nose Contour Guide

An irregular nose exhibits a small indentation on one side of the nose bridge.

One way to correct this asymmetry is by concealing the dented area and drawing a straight line over it using a contour product. 

To perfect the look, highlight the center of your nose so any tell-tale shadows from the dent are less likely to be more noticeable. 

Skinny Nose Contour Guide

A skinny nose is narrow from the bridge of the nose down to the tip. 

Give it more dimension by applying concealer on the sides of the bridge down to the surrounding area of the tip to erase the shadows and construct your own desired width. 

Once all shadows are concealed, you can apply your contour product on each side of your nose bridge, but don’t follow your natural nose lines nor draw your contour within your nose bridge.

Button Nose Contour Guide

A button nose is small and rounded on the tip.

Contour both sides of the bridge of your nose down to the sides of the tip by drawing a straight line.

Apply some highlighter on the middle of the bridge to make the nose appear slim and straight. 

Advanced Nose Contouring Strategies

Learning how to contour different nose shapes is a good starting point for makeup lovers and aspiring gurus. 

Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can develop your skills by knowing several advanced nose contouring techniques. 

Doing so will help you gain more confidence in creating excellent before and after nose contour transformations. 

Narrowing a Wide Nose

Dealing with a wide nose? You can tweak the shadows of your nose by drawing two lines of your contour product at each side of the bridge but both closer to the middle. 

Don’t forget to highlight your nose bridge, but keep the highlighted area narrow yet intense.

Following this easy nose contour guide for wide noses creates the illusion of a slimmer nose. 

Making a Round Nose Pointed

A round nose can appear straight and pointed by applying your contour product on both sides of the nose bridge, and as you approach the tip of your nose, the contour should be angled toward the middle. 

Highlight the bridge’s middle and the contour line’s outer area. 

Shortening a Long Nose

You don’t have to get a nose job if you want to reduce the length of your nose.

This nose contour guide for long noses states you can just draw contour lines on the sides of the bridge. 

You can then apply the same product underneath your nose to create a shadow and make it appear shorter. Flick the brush upwards until you have applied enough product.

A bit of the same product should also be horizontally applied on the supratip break, the area right above the tip of your nose. Once done, highlight the remaining space between the lines.

Also, if you have intense shadows from the eyebrow down to your nose bridge, making your nose appear long, you can use concealer to lighten up those dark areas.

Uplifting a Droopy Nose

Is your nose pointing downward? Give it a lifted appearance by contouring both sides of the nose bridge down to the nose tip outline.

Using the same product, horizontally draw a line above the nose tip

Once done, the highlight does the rest of the work in lifting the nose.

Apply the highlighting product on the center of the bridge and right below the horizontal line you made to create the illusion of an upturned nose.

Making a Big Nose Look Smaller

Make your nose look smaller by creating shadows on the sides of the bridge using the contour product of your choice. 

You can further achieve a more defined appearance by applying concealer on the outer areas of the contour lines you drew to effectively cinch your nose. 

Dos and Don’ts To Remember When Nose Contouring

Remembering all the step-by-step nose contour guides can be a challenge. 

To easily wrap your head around the art of nose contouring, take note of our curated list of the do’s and don’ts:

Do Identify Your Nose Shape

Identifying the shape of your nose is crucial in the nose contouring process. 

Since different noses require different sculpting techniques, drawing your contour lines in the wrong places will barely improve the shape of your nose.

That said, always assess your nose type to know which parts of your nose need to be highlighted and which areas need to be contoured. 

Do Prep Your Base Well

One way to keep your nose contour last all day without the horrible creases, patches, and uneven coverage is to prep your base properly.

Apply the primer of your choice, and follow it with a foundation suitable for your skin type. The last product for your base would be your setting powder

Once done, you can start outlining your nose with a contour powder or cream.

For extra staying power, finish off with setting spray.

A woman on a gray background spraying a setting spray on her face

Do Take It Slow

Any makeup artist would agree it’s best not to rush it when applying contour to your nose.

This keeps you from committing mistakes, such as using too much product or heavily lining your nose when you shouldn’t. 

Keep in mind that perfecting your makeup look always takes time. One error could mean grabbing a box of wet wipes and redoing the entire process. 

Do Blend Well

The point of contouring your nose is to make the changes in your feature appear natural. 

Contouring should always appear close to the natural look. That said, don’t forget to put effort into blending out all the lines you drew on your nose.

Always blend the contour products on your face so they won’t create obvious and harsh lines, especially when you’re outside, under the sun. 

Do Nose Contouring in Natural Light

Although yellow light favors the appearance of your skin, it’s best to apply your contour under natural light. 

Doing so gives you an idea of how your makeup looks once you leave your dressing room. 

Do Make Use of a Concealer

You can use a concealer if you simply want to conceal blemishes or get rid of unwanted shadows. 

However, if you aim to highlight your features, choosing between a concealer and a highlighter is a matter of preference.

Don’t Use Too Much Contour Product

Applying your contour product should be done gradually. You can always apply more if you need more definition on your nose. 

Remember, too much product can look harsh on the skin and may ruin your overall look.

Don’t Pick the Wrong Color and Formula

Take into consideration the skin type you have. If you have dry skin, a high-quality cream contour formula or bronzer is ideal to hydrate your skin. 

The opposite applies if you have oily skin, which works better with a powder formula to control shine and oil. 

Meanwhile, when picking your contour shade, it’s recommended that the shade is one or two shades darker than your skin complexion.

As for your highlight, the color should be one to two times lighter. 

Don’t Use a Dirty Brush or Sponge

Keep your sponges and brushes clean and free from residual makeup products. Doing so eliminates any potential imperfections that lumps from old makeup may cause. 

This also keeps your skin free from bacteria that may lead to acne breakouts. 

Nose Contouring Is Life-Changing!

Whether you have a special occasion or want to elevate your daily makeup look, learning how to contour your nose is worth learning.

Always note that you must assess your nose shape first, prepare your tools and products, and go right into the contouring process. 

As you go about your makeup routine, you should also allow yourself a generous amount of time instead of rushing your look. 

Most importantly, you must do the procedure in natural light to spot which areas need more blending. 

By following this nose contour guide for beginners, your nose’s exquisite features are set to be elevated! 

Dive Deeper Into the World of Contouring!

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  • Stephanie Martin

    Stephanie Martin blends her beauty industry background with expertise in communications to lead in the fashion and beauty world. As a fashion and beauty editor, she is known for engaging and informative articles. Her lifelong passion for fashion, makeup, and hair shines through her work, earning her widespread respect among readers and clients. Stephanie's style, a mix of classic and contemporary, makes her a dynamic and influential figure in the industry, inspiring others with her knowledgeable and approachable insights.

  • Noelia Genov

    Noelia boasts eight years as a professional makeup artist and 6 years mastering skincare. She is a licensed esthetician and makeup artist in New York and her expertise spans from transformative makeup looks to in-depth skincare solutions.

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