No your eyes do not deceive you! This is indeed a product that has been formulated for use by men, but thanks to the amazing Nikkie Tutorials on Youtube, the Nivea Men Sensitive Post Shave Balm (alcohol-free version) is now also widely recognised as a makeup primer for men and women who want to paint their faces and want their faces to last! It retails for around £5 (for 100ml) but I got mine on offer for less than £3…yes really! I can’t even tell you how much I have spent on face primers in the past…is my search for the ultimate makeup primer really over?
The science – The Nivea Post Shave Balm lists water and glycerin as its top two ingredients…both of which are contained in most moisturising & hydrating makeup primers. It seems that there are a gazillion-and-one uses for glycerin. Most importantly, in relation to stuff that you put on your face, it is a humectant (keeps things moist) and it has hygroscopicity (attracts water from the air)…which is great for your skin especially as the weather is getting cooler (in the Northern hemisphere anyway).
How does it apply? – Great! The balm is opaque and liquidy with a nice manly smell to it. I have noticed that once you apply the rest of your makeup the smell vanishes…or at least no one has pointed out to me that I smell like I am wearing after shave! On application to the face it spreads easily, not an awful lot is required, and dries to a slightly tacky finish which is great for applying foundation over. My foundation applied smoothly using a beauty blender as it normally does with a much more expensive primer and the finish was really quite smooth and flawless.
Will your makeup last? – Yes! I have combination skin with a super oily T-zone. I am currently using the L’Oreal Infallible Matte foundation over the Body Shop Wonderblur primer (£17 for 30ml) which generally keeps my makeup in place. I replaced the primer with the Nivea Men Post Shave Balm and my makeup lasted all day without breaking down. I got a little shiny on my forehead and nose by the end of the day, but nothing I wouldn’t expect with my usual primer.
Any downsides? – Some! If you have large pores it will not cover and blur them like the silicon-based primers do. I have found that I need to add a tiny amount of another primer to cover my pores, however due to the small amount needed my expensive pore-filling primer will last for aaaaages.
To buy or not to buy? – Buy! At the price I definitely recommend that you give this a go, especially if you have drier skin that would benefit from a more moisturising primer. Even on people with more oily or combination skin (like mine) it works a treat and makes your makeup last. For around £5, less if there is an offer on, you get a great primer that is perfect for the winter months!