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With the crashing hit of the Korean Wave, a perfectly sharp and slim nose has made it to almost every girl’s ‘Want’ list. The good news? It’s achievable without going under the knife.



Nose contouring has been around for a really long time, but it is the last and most unimportant step in many of our makeup routines. Perhaps it seems like a redundant step; something that is unassuming and does little difference to our entire look. We cannot be further away from the truth. If done correctly, nose contouring can make a huge difference to our entire face as the nose is right smacked in the center of attention.

And no, we are not teaching you to merely shade two lines down the sides of your nose. Read on and learn all the tricks! 

We’ve selected the most common nose shapes and structures to show you exactly how to contour. If your nose shape is unlike any of those featured below, fret not! You only have to remember to shade the areas you want to “hide” and highlight areas which you want to “stand out”. Darker shades can also be used to draw new outlines for your nose to re-create new shapes.

the painting palace

The short and round nose, or what we know as the adorable button nose, is a very common feature for Asian ladies. To visually slim and elongate your nose bridge, shade the outer rim of your nose and also the outline of your nostrils. Remember to always start your shading from the sockets of your eyes (just below your brow bone). Next, highlight your nose bridge and blend well.


Highlighting is very important for those who have a long and narrow nose. To avoid looking like you have a “shrunk-down” flatten nose, go easy on the shading and amp up your highlight at the bridge of your nose to create a sharper and wider bridge. Blend away any harsh lines!


If the tip of your nose points slightly upwards, shade the pointed tip to visually bring it lower. You may want to apply the same contouring techniques if you have a wider nose bridge. However, do not make your nose bridge too narrow or it will amplify the pointed tip! We repeat – blend, blend, and blend for a natural look.

A less common nose structure in Asian features but it certainly exists (because this writer has it). If you’ve always struggled with looking as if you’ve got a “witch’s” nose, simply shade the protruded area of your nose.

Like the short and round nose, contouring for the bulbous nose is about hiding parts of your nose and creating new outlines. Don’t forget to shade the outer rims of your nostrils as well, and you may want to draw in a slightly more pointed tip at the end of your nose. Blend well.

asymmetrical nose

Last but not least, we are all born with asymmetrical features so a nose that’s slightly wider on one side is not an uncommon thing to have. Simply apply the same techniques for nose contouring that we have described above; conceal the areas which you want to tone down, and highlight the area which you want to, well… highlight. A greater intensity can be done to only one side of your nose to balance it out.

There you have it! Your simple guide to nose contouring that gives you an instant nose job that is au naturel. Here are what you need to get started:

  1. A dark and light concealer or a contouring palette
  2. A blending brush (your choice of a flat contour brush or a round fluffy brush)

A good all-rounder kit would be Make Up Forever‘s newest release, the Pro Sculpting palette, and the Contouring Brush Set by Sephora. These will be available from March.

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