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Breaking Down Beauty: How To Contour Your Nose

By Sheila Arkee

While I’ve discussed the subject of contouring your face, I’ve never gone into depth about contouring the nose.  It’s about time!

I think contouring has gotten a bad rap over the years. Done right on a prominent nose for photography or real life purposes, the results can be amazing, but all too often it’s easy to get into scary territory.  Contouring is just about learning to use light and shadows to your advantage. Keep in mind that light makes areas prominent and shadows take away. Creating the illusion of a sculpted nose is easier than you think and can be completed in a few easy steps.

Step 1: Pick a Powder

Choose a powder that’s about 3 shades darker than your skin tone. I prefer using an eye shadow that has a grey undertone so that it blends in well and doesn’t compete with your skin tone . It’s important that the powder is matte – avoid glitter at all cost when it comes to contouring products. The shade I’m using in this breakdown is MAC’s Omega, which is a fantastic all-around color that works great for brows, too.

With powders, contour when all is said and done with your foundation, or else you’ll risk mucking up the rest of your makeup.  If you prefer, you can also use a concealer or cream foundation that is a few shades darker than your skin tone. In the case of cream products for contouring, apply over your foundation, but before you apply a finishing setting powder.

Step 2: Walk the Lines

As far as where to apply your contouring powder, apply down the edges of your nose, and don’t forget underneath your nose. The closer together the lines, the thinner your nose will appear. In my case, I’m hiding a bump on the side of my nose – from the time I broke my nose on my mom’s knee at age 10. True story.

You don’t have to apply a lighter powder down the plane of your nose, but it does make a pretty effect in photos.

Step 3: Brushes and Blending

Proper blending is key! I’ll apply the powder with a small brush, like a brow brush, and then make sure everything is properly blended with a fluffier blending brush.




As with all makeup techniques, practice makes perfect and do not ever forget to blend!

  • Wendy

    Do you always do this in pics? I’ve never noticed that bump.

  • admin

    Yep – I do a little light contouring for every pic.

  • http://radiant-brown-beauty.com Michelle

    wow this is interesting. Not sure I have the patience for it though lol

  • http://sweetycraft.blogspot.com/ sweety craft

    woooow i did it and loved the result thank you Sheila :)

  • Denise K

    Hi your makeup looks so pretty. I am just wondering, do you apply the brown contour color directly on the bump or only down either side of the bridge of your nose? Or do you do both? Just wondering as i have a similar issue and am wondering if the brown powder directly on the bump as well helps or draws more attention to it? Thanks so much!

  • http://www.painted-ladies.com Sheila

    Hi Denise – thank you! I go right over the bump, and just down the sides. When it’s blended, you really can’t tell. :)