Make-up tips: How to de-emphasise a large nose

Learn what make-up to use to de-emphasize a large nose by creating subtle shadows as well as tips to draw attention to other features.

There is perhaps no other feature on a woman’s face which causes her greater anxiety than her nose. A strong or prominent nose can be a source of low self esteem, especially because it seems impossible to hide. Today the idea of undergoing plastic surgery to improve one’s appearance is more widely accepted than ever, but some people do not consider rhinoplasty as an option, either because “going under the knife” seems too extreme or simply because it is not financially possible. For these individuals, there are other options to consider, which can be done easily and quickly at home as part of a daily beauty routine, once the proper techniques are mastered. The skillful use of makeup can do a great deal to de-emphasize a large, wide, or long nose, and choosing the right hair style can draw attention away from the nose.

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Make-up tips: How to de-emphasise a large nose


A woman wishing to use makeup to disguise the size or shape of her nose must begin with the right supplies. Depending on your individual makeup preferences, you may choose from the following. If you favor wearing as little makeup as possible, or if you don’t have time for a complex application, you may opt to use blush (the best colors are pink, rose, apricot, and peach), choosing a color which is a shade or two darker than your skin tone. Another option for a low-maintenance look is to buy a shading eye shadow and a highlighting eye shadow (shader). The shadows you choose should be matte, with no glitter. Choose a shading eye shadow that mimics the color of natural shadows on your face. Of course, you may also use the blush or eye shadow techniques if you use a foundation. Also, for any of the options above, you might like to have an applicator brush with a flat edge or a sponge, although a finger can be used just as effectively.

For women who wear foundation, there are two options, depending on the type of foundation you use. If you prefer a cream foundation as your base color, buy a second cream foundation (or concealer) that is one to two shades darker than the base (again, to imitate a shadow). You will also need to purchase powder, but avoid translucent, opting instead for something closer to your base color, to avoid making the face look pale. If you normally use a powder or liquid foundation, you will need blush to create the desired shadows and contours.

Once you have the necessary supplies, you can begin practicing how to apply them. No matter which type of makeup you choose, the technique for application is similar. Before you begin, take a look at your nose and determine what you are trying to change. Is it too long, too wide, or too bulbous at the tip? The answer to this question will determine where you create shadows, either to shorten or narrow the look of the nose. Next, remember that you must have a light touch when applying darker colors. If you apply too much or fail to blend colors together well, the work you have done will be obvious and unnatural looking, drawing even more attention to the feature you want to de-emphasize. But with practice you can become quite adept at getting your desired look.

If you have chosen to use just blush without any foundation, lightly brush the blush down the sides of the nose to make it appear slimmer or smaller. To make the tip appear less bulbous, also apply blush along the nostrils and around the edges of the tip. The method for using eye shadows or shaders is nearly identical. The only difference is that you should use the lighter “highlighting” shadow along the bridge of the nose to create definition and a thinner look, taking care to blend the two colors together well. Both of these methods should be fairly simple, since the powdered colors blend easily. If you are using foundation of any type, the technique is a bit more difficult to master. With a cream foundation, first apply the base color, and then apply the darker foundation as described previously for the blush or shader. Use a sponge to blend the two foundations together well, and make sure you have achieved the shading you want before applying powder. If you are using a powder or liquid foundation, apply blush to add contours to your nose, sweeping the color up and along the sides and blending the edges. The key to all of these methods is thorough blending to get rid of any obvious lines where two colors meet, creating instead a gradual change that resembles a shadow.

Beyond using makeup to re-contour the nose, you can also take a few other steps to draw attention away from it. First, it often helps to accentuate the facial features you do like, such as your eyes or lips, by applying eyeliner, shadow, mascara, lipstick and lip gloss. Next, try visiting your hairdresser for some ideas about a hair style that will enhance the natural shape of your face. Try a style with more height and with tapered layers which frame the face. Hair that drapes across the face like a curtain, or even long bangs, can make the nose more of a focal point, so try bringing the hair back off the face, at least pushed behind the ears or, as mentioned, with layers that fall around but not on the face. Keeping these few tips in mind, you can find creative ways to accept your nose and enhance your beauty.

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