Ask a Makeup Artist: How to Contour Your Nose in 3 Steps

There are lots of crazy contouring tutorials out there, but if marking up your face like an art project doesn’t appeal to you, don’t fret—you can still get a sculpted look with a more natural, real-life finish. One of the trickiest features to get right? The nose. Go too far, and it can look like you tried to contour your nose, which is basically the opposite of what you’re going for. To help us avoid joining the ranks of contour casualties, we asked celebrity makeup artist Lauren Andersen to show us exactly how it’s done. Scroll through to find out how to contour your nose in three simple steps.

Meet the Expert

Lauren Andersen is a celebrity makeup artist whose clients include Chloë Grace Moretz and Nina Dobrev.

contour your nose
Justin Coit

Before

Start with your normal complexion makeup. You’ll want to contour your nose after you’ve applied foundation, concealer (or whatever you usually wear), but before you've set your makeup with powder and setting spray.

Step 1: Highlight Your Nose

How to contour your nose
Justin Coit

As crazy as it sounds, the first step to contouring is highlighting. The way to make your nose contour pop without having to load on the product is by creating subtle contrast down the center of your nose. But instead of using a shimmery highlighter (which will make you look shiny rather than sculpted), use a luminous concealer to brighten without adding shine.

Look for a concealer with "radiant" or "brightening" in the name that is a shade lighter than your natural skin tone.

Starting at the bridge of your nose, use a small, compact brush and apply a thin line of concealer down the middle of the bridge of your nose, stopping before you reach the end. If you want to emphasize the point of your nose, add a little dot at the very tip (like you’re creating an exclamation point).

Step 2: Blend Your Highlight

How to contour your nose
Justin Coit

Then, use a sponge or the warmth of your ring finger to soften the stripe. First, press the concealer into your skin, then lightly rub the edges to buff out any harsh lines.

Step 3: Shade and Blend Your Nose Contour

How to contour your nose
Justin Coit

Now, onto contouring your nose. For this step, Andersen prefers to use powders, like Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder ($44), instead of creams for a more natural effect. Using a small blending brush (like what you use in the crease of your eyelid—just be sure it’s clean), tap off any excess powder, then, starting from the inner corner of your eye, shade straight down to the end of your nose. Repeat on the other side of your nose. Use the brush to blend the edges of both sides before you decide to add or remove any pigment. The more diffused the pigments are, the more natural your contour will look, so keep blending until all the harsh lines are softened.

Justin Coit

Done!

Do one final blend with your brush, sponge, or finger to ensure your highlight and contour looks as natural as possible, and you’re done.

Photographer: Justin Coit
Producer: Jenna Peffley
Makeup Artist: Lauren Andersen
Hairstylist: Gregory Russell
Manicurist: Barbara Warner
Model: Val

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