How to Contour a Big Nose to Look Smaller

Does the size of your nose make you feel self-conscious? Does it embarrass you because you think it’s the only thing that stands out on your face and everyone is looking at you? First, no matter how big your nose is, you need to love it. It’s part of you and you need to learn to love yourself. There are however contouring tricks you can use to make it look smaller. You can create an illusion of it being a size smaller.

Contouring is an art used to define features of the body using makeup. One can use either dark or light shade to enhance, reshape or define their features.

How to contour a big nose
How to contour a big nose

What products do I need?

To do this, you need to purchase some nose contouring products. More than one foundation will be required. Please note that contouring won’t physically make the nose small or slim. It will just create an illusion of smallness.

a). You need to choose a color that closely matches your complexion. It could be slightly lighter or darker than your natural skin tone. If this is your first time, look for powder foundation as it is easier to work with than cream foundation.

b). Choose the right highlight and shading make up which can either be in cream or powder form. There are special contouring and highlight makeup available in the market, but you can also use matte eyeshadow. Stay away from shimmering makeup since it makes the skin look shiny.

  • The shadow you choose should be a color three shades darker than your skin color.
  • The highlighter should be two or three shades darker than your skin.
  • For both the contouring and highlighting shadows, choose a color that matches your undertone. Some people have cool pink tinted undertone while others have a warm yellow tinted one. If you get the wrong one, then you will look plastic.

c). Buy some brushes to apply the makeup. Buy a soft bristled one if using powder based makeup and a brush with stiff bristles for the cream based makeup. For the highlighter and shadow, choose an angled brush for more control. Finally, choose a blending brush or sponge to blend the colors together.

d). Wash your face first to remove any oils or makeup.

e). Before you can start applying the shadow and highlighter, apply some foundation and primer. The primer minimizes pores while the foundation provides grip for the contouring makeup. This two will also help when it comes to blending and making the skin tone even. Apply the primer using fingers, and use either a foundation brush or foundation sponge for the foundation. The foundation should match your face. Testing foundation on your wrist is not a good idea because the face may have a different shade from your wrist.

Steps to contour a big nose

For a great contouring job on your nose, follow the following steps:

1). Apply foundation to your whole face using a foundation that matches your skin tone. Applying to the whole face makes it less noticeable.

2). Draw a thin line down on each side of your nose using your contour tool of choice. Contour placement will depend on your nose shape as well as the shape you are looking to achieve. The closer together the contour lines are, the slimmer your nose will look.

  • A nose that is consistently wide from the bottom to top will need contour lines carried to the bridge of the nose. To get a seamless transition, blend the contour lines into your eye sockets outer ridge.
  • Wide nostrils will need contour lines to be brought down and onto the front of nostrils.
  • When doing a bulbous nose contour, as you get to the tip of the nose, draw a down facing arrow to create a narrow tip illusion.

3). Use a new brush or clean out the one you were using to start highlighting. Highlighting will enhance the contouring results. Use the highlighter to apply a narrow line down the center of the nose.

  • For the bulbous nose, take the highlight only halfway down and stop before you get to the tip of the nose. Highlighting the nose tip will make the nose look even wider since more light is brought into that area.

4). Use a fluffy brush to buff out the lines. While doing this, make sure the contour lines are not blended into the highlight. This will only give you a muddy look. Blend completely until it appears natural.

Nose contouring tips

  • Do not use too warm of a shade for your skin tone. Use a matte cool toned contour if you have a pale to medium skin tone. You can use taupe, greyish or beige tones. For deep skin or tanned, use cool tones. Warmer shades will also look great on you.
  • For first-timers, start with the contour powder since you can blend it away when you make a mistake. Powder-based contours also give a subtler result. For a more sculptured look and if you have experience with makeup, use the cream based contour.
  • Powder highlighter gives a dramatic and stronger highlight when layered. This is a good option for those with oily skin.
  • Using a highlighter mimics and attracts light giving your features a brighter illusion. It also helps enhance the contouring results.
  • For experts, liquid highlighters give the skin a natural looking finish more than the powder based. The skin gets a glowing look from within and especially if your skin is dry. If your skin is oily though, stay away from liquid highlighter since it will slip around.
  • The brush you choose will have a great impact on results you want. For precision, a small blending brush will do a good job. Angled brushes will also do a good job.


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