contour-nose | City Beauty



How To Contour Your Nose Perfectly: Contouring Tips And Tricks For Every Nose Shape

September 23, 2020 By

Contour makeup is simply a trick of light. By using basic shading rules – deeper shades to “recede” features you don’t love and lighter shades to bring forward features you DO love – you can effectively enhance your appearance and define your features. One of the most popular ways to do this is with a great nose contour. Read on to learn how to perfectly contour your nose.

contour-nose | City Beauty

What Is Nose Contouring?

This contour technique focuses specifically on the nose. Perhaps you feel like your nose is too wide, too long, or too short… Contour makeup can help create the illusion of a different shaped nose.

For example, by using a concealer that’s 1-2 shades darker than your natural skin tone, you can create natural shadows down the sides of the nose that visually “narrow” it. A highlighting product on the tip and the bridge can help those parts take center stage, further giving the illusion of a narrower nose.


Choose Your Contour Product Carefully

It’s important to consider your skin tone when choosing a nose contour product. Though you’ll be using some dark shades to contour, they still need to seamlessly blend into your skin. So, for example, anything too warm on pale, cool skin, will not blend naturally.

To make this super easy, you can buy pre-made contour palettes that cater to your specific skin tone. But it’s still a good idea to understand the process of choosing the right shades a little better before you jump in.

For a basic nose contour, you need a deeper shade (for shadowing, or low lighting) and a lighter shade (for highlighting). Both shades need to suit your complexion. 

For Shadowing (1-2 shades deeper than your natural color)


  • Neutral taupes for fair to medium skin tones
  • Golden browns for tan and olive skin tones
  • Warm, dark browns for dark skin tones

For Highlighting (1-2 shades lighter than your natural color)


  • Silvery, pearl hues for cool skin undertones
  • Golden hues for warmer skin undertones

Cream Vs Powder

Cream contour products tend to work best for the nose area because they blend more naturally into the skin. When it comes to highlighting, stick to creamy concealers for the most natural look.1  

How To Contour To Make Your Nose Appear Slimmer

Let’s take a look at a basic nose contour that may help make your nose look slimmer and more chiseled.

1. Apply Your Foundation

Apply a matte foundation and concealer to create a flawless base, as you normally would.

2. Start At The Brows With Lowlights

Start by taking your darker contour shade and drawing several small dots down either side of your nose, starting from your brows. Some people prefer to draw a line, but dots may keep things more natural-looking. 

Once you’ve “dotted,” blend these dots together down the length of your nose from the inner corner of your eye to the tip of your nose. This creates a slimming effect. To do this, use a small brush – you can actually buy a nose contour brush – or you can use a dampened makeup sponge. 

3. Highlighting Takes Center Stage

Next, take your lighter contour shade and drawn a line down the center of your nose. It’s essentially a stripe that starts between your brows and runs to the tip of your nose. The thinness of this line will depend on how narrow you’d like your nose to appear.

4. Highlighting the Tip

If you’d like to create the illusion of a “button nose” or a slightly upturned nose tip, you can also apply some highlighter to the tip. 

5. Blend, Blend, Blend

Use a damp beauty blender makeup sponge to blend out any harsh lines, and make sure your makeup is blended seamlessly together along the sides of your nose. Everything should look natural when you look in the mirror.

Make sure to use tapping motions with the makeup sponge. You don’t want to move the contouring product across the face by swiping.

6. Set With Powder

Setting with face powder isn’t necessary for a casual daytime contour, but if you really want your contouring to stay put, you can use loose powder to “set” it.

Using a damp makeup sponge, apply face powder down the center of your nose. Wait for about five to ten minutes for the powder to “bake” into the skin – the heat from your face helps the powder to bond to your other makeup (you can do the rest of your makeup while you wait!). Then take a big, fluffy powder brush and dust away any excess powder. 

How To Contour Your Specific Nose Shape

A Flat Nose

If definition is what you crave, you can contour more angles into your nose by drawing a thin horseshoe-shape around the tip of your nose with the lowlight shade. Blend this darker shade upward until you see more definition. Add a small dot of the highlight shade to the center of the “horseshoe” for extra definition.

Finally, rather than dotting lowlight shadow down the sides of your nose, draw soft curves very close against the nose instead. Don’t go farther than where your inner brow line starts. Blend these shadows to give further dimension to your nose.

A Bumpy Nose

If you have a small bump on the bridge of your nose, you may feel as though your nose appears bent at the bridge. 

Here’s a contour technique that works nicely: add a small amount of lowlight cream right onto the tip of that bump to make it look receded. Then, add highlighting cream right above and right below the bump. This gives the illusion of a more even nose bridge. 

An Upturned Nose

An upturned nose is one where the tip is angled upward. It can make your nose appear smaller and your nostrils more prominent, as the tip attracts more light.

Using your darker shade, start by drawing a soft, thin line under the tip of your nose where the septum is (the cartilage that separates the nostrils). Blend the line upwards, so that focus will be pulled away from your nostrils.

Finally, add a little highlight to the very tip of your nose. This will help to flatten out the end of the nose.

Contour Makeup: Give It A Whirl

You don’t need to be a makeup artist to try out some basic contour makeup techniques. It really is one of those things – like all makeup techniques – where practice makes perfect. The more you start incorporating it as part of your regular makeup routine, the quicker and better you’ll get at it.

Were these nose contouring tips helpful? Leave us a comment and share this post with your friends! 🙂





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