The external nose is made up of a bridge, tip, and ala:
is formed by hard bone on the upper half and softer cartilage on the lower half. The lower half of the bridge also houses the nasal valve area, which is critical for nasal breathing. The nasal septum runs right down the middle of the entire bridge and often dictates straightness of your nose. On profile, we prefer the bridge to be relatively straight from top to bottom. In females, a light inward slope is often desirable. In men, a slight outward slope may look attractive. From the front, the bridge should be straight and project forward to a gently rounded apex. The width of the bridge should resemble an hourglass from top to bottom.
is formed by two arched cartilages with one common leg, resembling a three-legged stool. The upper legs extend above the nostrils, while the lower, common leg spans the columella (the fleshy part between the nostrils). There is a wide variety in their width, height, curvature, and overall shape. With a refined nasal tip, these cartilages have a strong bend in the arched region and the tripod legs are straight and strong.
is the fleshy part that houses the nostrils. There is no cartilage in this region. The floor of the nostril opening between the ala and columella is called the nasal sill. Nostril show is influenced by the position of the nasal tip, position of the columella (fleshy part between the nostrils), and arch of the nostrils. Ideally, the nasal tip should be project straight out from the face, the columella should hang down a little lower than the nostrils, and the nostril margins should have a gentle arch.