Guide to Contour and Highlight Different Nose Shapes

Contouring is an artistic creation of illusions to sculpt facial and body features. Honestly, nobody is perfect in all aspects. We may get away with chubby cheeks with a little blush, but it is not easy to hide an extra-long or a blunt nose. However, creating a shadow effect around the nose can help bring out the best of its natural shape. The nose contouring tricks are very simple to master; however, their impact on the face is immensely powerful.

Here is a complete guide on nose contouring, the required tools, and techniques. Just find the shape of your nose, and you are ready to go!

What is Contouring?

Contouring is a technique that involves cosmetics to define, enhance, and sculpt facial features such as forehead, nose, cheekbones, and chin. On the whole, it will give shape to your face.

Contouring accentuates the attractive features on the face and hides or alters features that are felt undesirable. It is usually acquired by placing warm or cool-toned shades that are one or two shades darker than the natural skin color. It can be balanced with a highlighter, one or two shades lighter than the natural skin color, on the more prominent areas of the face.

Most often used are powder contour products (also comes in palettes, dark colors for contouring, and light colors for highlighting) and cream contour products that can create an accentuated look.

Formulations to Contour and Highlight

Choosing the right products to contour and highlight can help you to beautifully transform your face. Here are some formulations that can make the entire process easy.

Powder Formulations

You can pick portable sticks if you are a beginner. It doesn’t have a high color payoff even if you are heavy-handed, and it is easier to control the intensity and achieve the desired look. The texture also works great for oily skin types.

Liquid Formulations

There are a wide variety of liquid contour and highlighter products available. You can choose a product that has a lightweight texture that blends easily to give you the most natural effect. If unable to find the right product, you may opt for a foundation that is a shade or two darker than your complexion. Blend well to get a crease-free finish.

Cream Formulations

These products have a thicker texture and require more blending than others. However, these formulations, when done in the right way, can give a professional look. You can also mix contrasting hues to create a custom shade to suit your skin tone. A cream contour or highlighter product works best for normal or dry skin types.

Rules of Nose Contouring

Contouring should enhance the natural nose shape and will depend on the bone structure and the shape. Everybody’s nose shape is different, and using different contouring techniques can make it look fabulous.

Follow the step-by-step guide to help you contour your nose like a pro.

  • You must choose a contour product that is 3 or 4 shades darker than your natural skin tone. Opt for cool-toned shades instead of warm-toned shades. Don’t go too deep since it would give an artificial appearance to the nose.
  • Powder contouring can be tricky if you are a beginner. If you make a mistake while applying powder over the base makeup, you may have to retouch the base makeup. Begin with cream contour first, and then use contour powder to set it.
  • Use a small-sized angular contour brush, a beauty blender, or a regular blending sponge for nose contouring.
  • Blend the contours first and then go with highlighting. If you make mistakes while blending, it can be corrected with highlighters; hence keep this step for later use.

How to Contour Your Nose?

  • Use a fine tip brush to apply the contour cream in the desired places.
  • Use a blending tool to blend.
  • Apply the cream or liquid highlighter with a fine brush and blend it seamlessly with the contour.
  • Place the contour with contour powder and highlighted areas with loose powder followed by powder highlighter.

Different Nose Shapes and How to Contour Them

Contouring the nose can help you create a “perfect nose shape,” and various techniques are used based on the shape and size of your nose. Contouring techniques can make your nose look longer, shorter, wider, thinner, or straighter.

Blunt Nose:

A blunt nose does not have enough lift. It is easy to identify this shape since the flat shape of the nose lands directly into the cheeks. A blunt nose will require extra dimension at its sides. Hence, draw sharp lines on each side of the linear nose bone and then blend downwards.

Long Narrow Nose:

Narrow-type noses have a very thin, narrow bridge. It requires a slight widening contour, and you can try shortening effects as well. Draw the contour lines maintaining enough wider space between them. Fill the remaining area in the middle with a thick line of highlighter. Use contour cream to cover half the nose tip to create a decreasing length effect.

Triangle Shape Nose:

Triangle-shaped noses are much wider at the nostrils and too thin below the brow. It creates an out-of-proportion appearance. You can create a balance by drawing sharp straight lines from the base of the brows and to the nose tip. You may add definition to the nose tip with a semi-circular contour line at the nose bulb.

Bulbous Shaped Nose:

The nostrils are wide-set with more prominence with a thin bridge. To reduce the bulbous look, get the straight nose contour line to the tip and through the roundness of the nose bulb. Blending the contour sidewise downwards can reduce the prominence of the bulbous nostril.

Uneven Nose:

The crooked nose may appear uneven or slightly slanted instead of following a straight line. It is the trickiest nose shape for contouring, but you can create a perfect nose look with a little practice. Slightly bend your neck and look into the mirror straight, start placing a pair of lines parallel as possible, starting from the brow area. The lines may follow the irregular shape of the nose, but blending them in the right manner will give an even look. Apply a highlighter on the nose bridge with precision to combat the slanted look.

Using appropriate contouring and highlighting techniques for your nose can help you achieve the desired result.

Some Easy Nose Contouring Tricks

You can beautifully transform your face by following some contouring nose tricks and mastering the art of contouring your nose.


Prep and prime are the basic things of any makeup routine. It is important to prep and prime your face first to get a flawless finish. Follow it with a matte foundation and set your makeup with setting powder to eliminate any shine.

Get It Straight

Draw two lines beginning at the brow bone and down to the tip of the nose to get a smooth straight line. You can start by drawing a lighter line and then darken it if you are satisfied with what you see.

If you want to create an illusion of a thinner nose, draw the lines closer; the closer your draw lines, the thinner your nose will look.

There are several products you can choose to contour your nose. You can choose a darker foundation or concealer, a sculpting powder, a matte bronzer, or a shade from a contour palette. Ensure that the color is only 1 or 2 shades darker than your natural skin tone. Using powder can be easier than cream products for contouring.

Highlight The Bridge

Choose a highlighter 1 to 2 shades lighter than your natural skin tone. Highlight the bridge of your nose and apply the highlighter in a thin line beginning from the top of your nose and going all the way down to the tip of your nose.

You can use highlighter products, an off-white or nude eyeshadow, or concealer, or a foundation. It must be one or two shades lighter than the foundation you have applied.

Blend To Perfection

Blending is very important to get a perfectly contoured nose. If not blended properly, there can be visible harsh lines on your face that could ruin the entire look. To get a narrower appearance of the nose, blend inwards and towards the center of your nose.

Contour The Tip

If you have a rounded or bulbous nose or a wider tip, using darker shades can make certain features recede. You can make the nose appear shorter just by applying a little matte bronzer or eyeshadow on the tip of your nose, on the curve between your nostrils.

Concealer To Make It Thinner

You can apply a concealer one or two shades lighter than your skin tone to create the illusion of a slender nose. Apply this on either side of your nose and set it with powder. This nose contour makeup trick will cancel out the shadows and give you a slender nose.


Nose contouring procedures can be intimidating. Corrective makeup through contouring and highlighting has become one of the most employed and popular techniques in the ever-growing cosmetic world. Using the best contour makeup products and accessories such as brushes and sponges, along with proper nose contour techniques and tricks, can transform your nose and face beautifully.

The concept of deliberate blending and tricks of light mimicking the effects of plastic surgery may be alluring. Though the contouring effect intends to improve the appearance, it may also boost the user’s confidence.



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