Nose Contouring Do’s & Don’ts

In middle school, my best friend Shelly and I used to fight.

Not like gossiping or flirting with each others’ crushes or doing sneaky three way calls or anything like that. We just, you know fought…or rather, wrestled. Often.
We weren’t exactly ahead of the game, maturity-wise.
Anyway, once during a particularly intense WWF style match she somehow ended up with a book in her hands and that book ended up hitting me smack dab in the nose. I will insert here that although I have no recollection as to what she actually intended to do with the book, it’s collision with my schnoz was unplanned and 100% accidental.
Long story long, my nose ended up a little bit crooked.

Which is why I HAC it. Well, that and I just think it looks more fancy a little sculpted up.

Here’s how you do it:

Learn how to contour your nose.  Life changing I tell ya!

Small BrushBlending BrushBahama Mama Bronzer NYX HD Concealer

It’s really easy once you get the hang of it and get used to the way it looks, but it is something I get questions and concerns about OFTEN. So I thought I would tackle some of those today:

Q. I want to HAC my nose but I try and it looks like I have two lines down it! What am I doing wrong?

A. Well, here’s the thing. It might be that you are not blending it properly but more likely it’s because you do have two (albeit faint) lines down your nose. Which looks weird to you because you know you put them there but if you look at yourself prior to adding the lines what you’d probably see? Two lines down the sides of your nose. Your nose is protruding from your face, which creates a shadow, which is actually the only reason (from a straight on view) that anyone even knows where it starts and stops. You think it’s obvious the same way you think it’s obvious that Bruce Willis is dead in 6th sense when you rewatch it. It’s only because you already know. So my advice would be blend it a reasonable amount and then just wear it for a day and see if you still think it looks weird by nighttime.

Q. My nose is already very thin but it protrudes farther than I like, how can I diminish that with HAC.

A.Very good question. If your nose is thin but still prominent HACing the sides will do you no favors. In this case I say match your whole nose with the highlight under your eyes and between your brows, that tends to diminish it and make it blend well with the rest of your face. It also gives the spotlight back to the eyes, where you most likely want it:)

Q. Maybe it’s ok straight on or in photos but doesn’t it look weird from the side or in person?

A. I am sure it can. If you use too much if it’s too orangy or you don’t blend well. In general I think it looks completely unnoticeable in person. I take photos with a side view often and can detect the shade if I look for it but even then, it doesn’t look bad to me. Perhaps since I am such a HAC lover my opinion would seem…unreliable but I can tell you this. Much to my gratitude, I come from a family who is not afraid to say it like they see it. Once when I was over doing my lip HAC (it was when I first discovered it’s possibilities in 10th grade) my sister told me I shouldn’t leave the house looking like a drag queen. So, yeah. My nose HAC has been approved by her and my hub (who isn’t shy about the truth either) so, I am pretty confident that it looks OK.

This last one is not a question so much as a piece of advice, make sure your two drawn lines are inside the two natural lines of your nose or else this whole exercise could actually backfire. The closer the lines are together the thinner the nose will look….but don’t get carried away and end up looking like Latoya. Unless you are into that look.


75 thoughts on “Nose Contouring Do’s & Don’ts

  1. Love it! I have always hated my nose, but HAC helps so much! My make up routine has changed so much for the better since following your advice! I just love finding a blog that supplies me with so much new-to-me info! Thanks Cara!

  2. Hi Cara! thanks for this post :) ive been wanting to ask u, can u recommend another yellow concealor besides the NYX? I LOVE the color but for some reason it doesnt wear well on me throughout the day, and I am having trouble finding another good yellow concealor w/ wand (if its more $$ its ok – its worth it!)

  3. Wow!! I really needed to start my morning with a nose job tutorial!! Seriously!!! Thanks for making my day!! I love your sense of humor and your amazing beauty skills!! P.S. I’m a bit of a Cara blog stalker. I wish you lived close!!! I think we would be good friends. XOXO

  4. You are so cute and funny. I wish you were here in Chicago and that we could go shopping together. Maybe your hip advice could spiffen up my look.
    Cheers and keep up the good work,

  5. What would you recommend for a client whose nose is very round and huge? haha. It’s hard to shape something when it doesn’t really have a shape to begin with.

  6. Hi Cara! What would you recommend for someone who has a rounder nose at the base (where the nostrils are)? How and where could you HAC that to make the base look smaller? I would really appreciate your take on it. Thanks! And keep inspiring! (:

  7. Do you prefer the NYX Concealer rather than the Maybelline Dream Lumi Concealer now? I’ve been using the Dream Lumi but thought I’d give the NYX a try if you think that one is better?

  8. Thank you for this! I had an unfortunate run-in with a dog’s forehead (he jumped up when I was bending down) and I also have a crooked snoz! Your HAC tutorials have been invaluable to me! I just wish I’d started doing it years ago!

  9. You’re so funny! I think I enjoy the beauty tips and your sense of humor equally! I’ll give this one a try during the weekend (to avoid showing up to work looking funny if I mess it up!)
    Cara, I’ve been meaning to ask, I’m the kind of person that likes to match eyeshadow with my outfit (brown, purple/lavender, gray) but I admit it’s kind of boring and predictable. What do you recommend? I’d love to see a post regarding this topic! thanks and keep up the amazing posts!

  10. I just wanted to say that I love the tone of you HAC tutorials. I love how you make it all about being more comfortable with your personal nose and not making it feel like there’s only one cute kind of nose or that you have to HAC to be beautiful.

  11. Girl, I love your HAC-ing tips. Teach me master! You are such a pro. I hope you are liking Las Vegas. I’m coming down in the middle of the month and if schedules allow we should grab some food or go crazy in Sephora. Aaaand I’ll have gummy bears in my pocket 😉

  12. Thank you so much for your help Cara! As a person who seriously hates her nose, I cannot wait to gather the supplies you have listed and try to HAC it. I cannot thank you enough. I agree with everyone else’s comments, I wish you lived by me :)

  13. Cara, what color is the NYX concealer you use for HAC and hide dark circles under your eyes? Light or yellow? Thanks for a great blog with wounderful tips and tricks!

  14. Thank you for this! I’ve watched the HAC video and I do most of it except the nose contouring because it doesn’t seem right. I know I just need to practice, but this post helps a lot. I’m amazed at your before and after pics, and I’ll have to try that for myself, too.

  15. :) Oh my God, when I was young I fell down stairs, because me and my friend where holdin hands :)) So I have same problem as you thank for tutorial 😉

  16. I bought the Bahama Mama bronzer off of amazon and just got it yesterday…..all million little pieces of it :( They put it in the box with the St. Ives moisturizer you recommended along with a jar of coconut oil so it got destroyed. I didn’t know it was broken til I opened the flap and it dumped out onto my one year old’s face (he was standing at my feet) ugh. He was NOT happy.

    Does anyone know of any other places that see it in store? Like Sephora? HELP :(

  17. This may be a dumb question but i just want to be sure! Do you use the bronzer to draw the lines down the nose, and then more bronzer or just a clean brush to buff the bronzer lines a little bit? :)

  18. I think I need to try that Bahama mama bronzer…I just can’t get the hang of contouring…or really, even finding a foundation/method to make my skin look flawless. I have very weird skin…oily sometimes, super dry others, huge pores and general uneven-ness. I totally hate it. I totally need a makeover! :)

  19. How did you do your eyes in this tutorial?? They look beautiful!!! Your blog is a lifesaver and what I’ve been looking for forever!!! Love it!!! I repin and purchase everything you put up:-)

  20. Thank you for all your posts! My make up has looked so much better with your tips!

    Question on #1, what product is used to make the 2 lines down the sides of the nose?

    I have re-read and I am not sure what it is. Thanks so much for your help!

  21. I have been watching your videos for a little while now and was not sure how to do the contouring – I tried it today and it worked – I can see the difference, I love it. Super easy to do. Thank you so much for all the tips – love watching and learning from you. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU

  22. Can I please just put you in my makeup bag? ;] That would be so much easier! I feel like I have the hardest time trying to HAC. I can never seem to find a concealer that really brightens me!

  23. Love this piece. I have watched your other HAC videos and have been practicing but the nose thing was throwing me for a loop. Also, since I have watched your makeup how to’s, I have been paying attention to other people’s makeup….everyone HAC’s why did I not know about this sooner.

  24. I teach martial arts, and have had my nose broken four times now. I really thing that HAC would be awesome to hide the crookedness of my nose a bit. I tried it today, and it seemed that one side looked good, and the other side seemed to make the crooked nose stand out more. Maybe I did it wrong? Help!

  25. Do you HAC your whole face with the same bronzer?! In other words if I purchase th Bahama Mama it works for whole face contouring?


  26. Really great tutorial, it looks so natural and has such a great effect! Once I started contouring my nose I could never go back… very little can make a big difference!

  27. All the way from Sweden I found your blog, loves it! I cannot HAC, but Í´m trying my best. Your skin looks flawless even without make up so lucky you. :-)

  28. You’re the best Cara! I’ve been wanting this for a while! Can you possibly recommend another product to use for HAC-ing other than the Bahama Mama? Any drugstore brands? I’m trying to avodi spending the money to order online.

  29. Hi, love your blog! I have slightly a hump in my nose, do you have any advice on how I could possibly lessen the visibility of it? Thanks!

  30. This is probably a really stupid question, but do you contour pre- or post- everything else? I’ve never worn much makeup, so I’m kind of a contouring virgin :)

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  32. Hey Cara! This is the first time I’ve ever commented on a blog:) First off I check your blog for new post everyday…. Sadly… But it’s cause your blog is fantastic! I have exactly the large, protruding and narrow relative to it’s depth nose you described in your post. I didn’t just want to give in and try to blend my nose into the background like you suggested. I want to be the master of my own nose;) So I experimented, and with the lovely advice you suggested for an average nose, flatter, wider, altogether cuter nose I found a way to make mine look smaller! I do everything like you recommend for other people but with a twist, I start the shading half way out. For the closer to my face half of my nose I highlight it to make it appear on the same plain as my cheeks. The shadow is shallower thus my nose also appears to be 😀 Have fun in Disneyland!

  33. Quick question, your #1 step. What are you drawing the line with, in other words what product do you have on the brush to draw the line down your nose? I would love to give this a try. Thanks!

  34. Thank you so much for your tutorial Cara! I love contouring, I started with my eyes but experimented with my nose too and this really makes a world’s difference, especially in photos.

    I just have a quick question – do you have any advice on making the HACing stay all day …? Whether it’s certain products or primers to use before brushing on the powder. I just don’t want it to rub off so easily :-)

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  36. I had my nose rebuilt with Sculptra, a permanent filler, after a donkey beaned me and broke it quite badly. Flash-forward to a photograph five years later, and I realized my already thin, aquiline nose was collapsing so badly, you could see the holes in my septum through my skin. The Sculptra rebuilt my nose beautifully, but my friends missed my old nose, as the Sculptra uses poly-lactic acid beads as a matrix to which collagen adheres permanently, which somewhat broadened my formerly sculpted nose.

    I used your HAC contouring tutorial for a week and then just started expertly contouring my nose daily (I had always contoured my forehead, lips, and jaw). My friends ended up thinking I’d had something surgically done to restore my old nose (impossible!). I’ve since showed makeup artists your tutorials, and they’re blown away. Consider me a permanent fan.

  37. Cara thank you so much for your videos and blogs!! I hope you can help me, I have combination oily dry skin and when i try to contour over my foundation, my foundations separates. Especially where i use the Maybelline Dream Lumi Concealer . I also find that when i countour my nose it seems to take off the foundation.
    Also, can you recommend a bronzer that works for fair skin.

  38. I feel like the highlighting at the end takes off the line originally drawn down the nose. The way you show the highlighting in that triangle seems to cover most the side of the nose as well and the line down the middle of the nose…what happens to the original brown lines first drawn? Hope this makes sense!

  39. Cara, Where have you been all my life? I just discovered you and I am hooked! What is the shade for NYX that I can use? I am a medium tone skin (people tell me ALL the time that I am a dead ringer for Penelope Cruz) btw thats an awesome tutorial I will use as well. Thanks, mwah!

  40. Hi Cara!

    Recently stubbled across some of your blogs, and Im very happy I did! I cant wait to try this HAC on my nose! My one question for you is, is this the last step in my morning makeup routine? I moisturize, apply primer, concealer around my eyes (thank you for your dark circle blog) and then I use a mineral powder all over. Is the HAC done at the very end of all of that? One more question, I noticed your using the “NYX light” for your nose HAC but you also mention the “NYX yellow” for dark circles, I have olive skin.. I was wondering if I could use just one shade for both areas, and also if I should look into the beige or medium tones? I didn’t know if the “light” would be too light for me.

    I love all of your tips, Im so happy I found you! Thank youuu! xo

  41. Hi Cara! I was wondering, how do you contour a nose that is already really thin? I want to soften how sharp it is?

    Thank you!! p.s.- I love your blog! I am addicted!

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  43. Hi! Do you draw the bronzer on then use more bronzer to blend with the second brush?? Steps 1 and 2…do you use the bronzer in both steps?

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