Perfect Facial Proportions: The Nose

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The nose is in the middle of the face, and many people are conscious of its position and appearance. Many times we hear people commenting on the type or size of noses another individual has. Some different descriptions of noses we hear are those of:

The Roman or Aquiline Nose: This type of nose is convex in shape, like a hook. It is also known as ‘hooknose’ because of its shape. The word aquiline is derived from the Latin word ‘aquilinus’ which means ‘eagle like’.

The Greek or Straight Nose. This type of nose is perfectly straight with no curves or hooked like shape. It is known as Greek nose because it is generally noticed that the Greek people have this kind of nose.

The Nubian Nose: This type of nose has wide nostrils. It is generally a little narrow at the top, thick and broad at the middle and wide at the end. The term ‘Nubian’ comes from the ethnic group ‘Nubians’ who belong to northern Sudan.

The Hawk Nose: The hawk nose is so called because it is very convex, to the extent that it almost looks like a bow. It is very thin and sharp as well. Since it resembles the beak of a Hawk, it is known as the hawk nose.

Snub Nose: This type of nose is quite short in length and is neither sharp, nor hook like nor wide. It is almost as short as a nose possibly can be. Hence, it is known as snub nose

The turn up Nose: This type of nose is also called as the Celestial nose. It is so called because it runs continuously from the eyes towards the tip.

Like all other features of the face, there are guidelines and measurements that allows the nose to be viewed as more aesthetically pleasing. Here are the proportions for the ‘ideal’ nose:

  • The ideal nasal length should be equal the distance from the stomion (the middle point of the oral slit when the lips are closed) to the menton (the lowermost point of the chin when seen in profile).
  • The ideal nose tip projection should be equal to 0.66 x ideal nasal length.
  • The distance from the infraorbital rim (lower bony edge of the eye socket) to the base of the nose is equal to the width of the base of the nose, and is half the length of the middle third of the face (ie, the distance between the brow to the base of the nose)
  • The nose is straight by following a line falling from the midglabellar area (point between the brows), the nasal bridge, the nasal tip and the Cupid’s Bow of the lips.
  • The width of the alar base (where the flare of the nose joins the cheek) should be equal to one eye width.
  • The width of the bony base of the nose should be 80% of the alar width.
  • The alar rims should have a slight outward flare in the inferior direction.
  • The lines connecting the tip defining points (the most projecting area on each side of the nose tip), the supratip break area (the depression just above the tip), and the columellar lobular angle (angle formed by the junction of the infra-tip lobule with the columella) form 2 equilateral triangles.
  • A line outlining the alar rims and the columella (the skin separating the nostrils) resemble a gull in gentle flight
  • From the front, the nasofrontal angle (angle of demarcation between forehead and nasal dorsum, best seen in profile) lies at  a level between the upper eyelashes and the supratarsal crease.
  • In women, the nasal dorsum should lie 2mm behind and parallel to a line from just above the nasofrontal angle to the tip defining points. In men, the dorsum should be slightly higher.
  • 50-60% of the tip should lie in front of a vertical line drawn adjacent to the most projecting portion of a normally positioned upper lip.
  • The tip projection should be equivalent to the alar base width.
  • The tip rotation is determined by the degree of the nasolabial angle, as measured by the angle between the vertical and a line drawn through the most anterior and posterior edges of the nostrils (normally 95-100° in women and 90-95° in men.
  • The columellar lobular angle is approximately 45°.
  • On the basal view, the outline of the nasal base forms an equilateral triangle, the lobular to nostril ratio is 1:2.
  • The upper lip projects 2mm more than the lower lip, and in women, the chin lies slightly posterior to the lower lip, slightly stronger in men.
  • The distance from the angle of the jaw to the menton is half the distance from the menton to the natural hairline.




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