Contouring The Nose

While contouring the nose can be used to give the appearance of a smaller-looking and more defined nose, it can also be used to correct different nose shapes.

Contouring The Nose Makeup Blog

It's important to understand that our noses come in all different shapes and sizes (i.e. big, small, long, short, wide-bridge, narrow-bridge, sharp-bridge, soft-bridge, etc.). Therefore, depending on your individual nose shape and size, the technique of contouring will be different.

When it comes to contouring the nose, it’s important to analyze the nose from both a front and profile view.

With the proper technique, you can make subtle, or even dramatic, changes in the appearance of the nose. While contouring the nose can be used to help change the appearance of the nose, it’s important to note that the profile view of the nose can’t be changed. Therefore, the most visible changes will be seen from the front view.


The Regular Nose Contouring Makeup Blog

Regular Nose

From the profile view, the nose is balanced to the face.

The Strong Bridge Nose Contouring Makeup Blog

Strong Bridge

No amount of shadow or concealer can disguise the fact that there is a bump on the nose.

Flat Nose

No amount of highlight will make the nose appear to have a stronger bridge from the profile.


There's no definition to the orbital area or the nose bridge.


Using a small brush, apply the contour beginning at the eyebrow and curving around the inside of the orbital rim (A). Follow in a straight line down the side of the nose (B). Repeat process on the opposite side of the nose.


The illusion of a stronger bridge and deeper orbital rim areas give balance and definition to the nose as well as to the face.

Triangular Nose

The triangular nose is narrow at the bridge area (between the eyes) and wider at the tip.


This results in an out-of-balance appearance.


Narrow the tip of the nose and widen the bridge of the nose (between the eyes). To achieve this, apply shadow to the tip of the nose on either side (A) and highlight the nose in the two shadow positions (B)


The triangular nose is now widened at the bridge area (between the eyes) and narrowed at the tip, bringing the nose into balance.

Crooked Nose

This type of nose has a bend or turn.


In this illustration, the nose bends from the viewer’s left to right. The shadow pushes in on the right side, while the highlight pulls out on the left.


Apply shadow along the bend where the highlight pulls out (A) and apply highlight where the shadow pushes in (B).


The crooked nose is now straightened, bringing the nose into balance.