Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The Science of Beauty - What Makes A Perfect Nose?

Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder and ideals of beauty differ from culture to culture. However, cosmetic surgeons generally agree on the characteristics required for an aesthetically pleasing nose.

That your nose suits your face is of course the most important thing and looking at its proportions in relation to the rest of your features is one way to assess that.

Front view

When analysing from the front, the face is divided into thirds and fifths (five equal sections vertically and three equal sections horizontally).

An ideally proportioned nose is one that takes up a single section both vertically and horizontally. If the nose extends lower than the middle third of the face then it is too long. If the nose is wider than the middle fifth of the face then it is too wide (at least in terms of ideal Caucasian facial proportions).
A nose that is too large can dominate over other attractive facial traits such as the eyes or lips. An ideally sized nose, on the other hand, is harmonious with the rest of the features as well as the face shape.

Side view

To assess if the end of the nose projects too far outwards from the face (or not far enough), a measurement is taken from the top of the nostril crease (alar crease) up to the root of the nose (radix). Another is taken from the alar crease out to the nasal tip. The horizontal measurement is then divided by the vertical measurement. The optimum range for the calculation is 0.55 to 0.60. 

Another factor determining how long or short the nose appears is the nasofrontal angle, this is the angle formed where the nose and forehead meet. The ideal angle is between 115 and 130 degrees (115-120 for men and 120-130 for women).


The septum contains bones and cartilage and runs down the middle of the nose.  Viewed in profile, If we draw a hypothetical line from nose root (radix) to nose tip, this line must have 2 mms distance from the septum in women and must match with the septum in men.

If the septum has a convex shape or hump and protrudes over this imaginary line it is an undesirable shape. Likewise, if the line of the nose is too concave and dips too far below the line, it is also displeasing.

Equally, the septum must be straight and not deviated, which creates a lopsided appearance from the front and underneath.

Columellar and nostril rim

The fleshy external end of the septum is called the columellar. Too much or too little showing is undesirable. There are three possible configurations for the columella - normal, hanging, or retracted. The nostril rim (alar rim) can also be normal, hanging or retracted.

Nasal tip

The nasal tip should be proportional in terms of size and width and not be round and bulbous. When viewed from below, the nasal tip should be triangular shaped but without sharp edges or angles (called a soft triangle).

With a nasal tip rotated at 106 degrees, Scarlett Johansson is said to have a 'perfect' nose.
Image credit: Georges Biard

The angle of rotation at the nasal tip (the amount the nose is turned up) is also important. Measured from the lip up, the ideal range of rotation is 90 to 100 degrees for men and 95 to 110 degrees for women.

A female nose that is rotated less than 90 degrees to the face looks droopy, long and masculine.

The perfect fit for you

When assessing a patient for rhinoplasty surgery, these guidelines help a surgeon determine how best to improve the appearance of the nose, however it’s not a one-size-fits all approach.

Come for a consultation at Ocean Clinic Marbella and we will consider a number of factors when making a treatment plan. We will ask you to tell us the aspects of your nose you’re unhappy with, consider the proportions of your nose in respect of your ethnic background and assess the surgical possibilities (we can only work with what you’ve got!).

‘Perfect’ proportions in noses don’t always create the most attractive face, so we always endeavour to assess your face as a whole and design a nose that’s right for you.

Contact Ocean Clinic Marbella for a free rhinoplasty consultation on (+34) 951 775518.

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