In case you don't keep up with the latest trends over on "the youtubes," you may not know about this one. I believe this all started with this video by NickiTutorials (she is credited with this discovery), but I actually first heard about it after watching this video by YoungWildandPolished.
In a nutshell, Nivea Men Sensitive Post Shave Balm is now widely used by many makeup lovers as...face primer. Yes, the stuff you put on your skin before you apply your makeup. Now, if you look at the ingredients (which you'll see in a second), the second ingredient is glycerin, which is in just about every face primer on the market. I wanted to give this a try because you know I'm ALL about affordable solutions when it comes to makeup (as well as using products in unconventional ways to help save a buck or two). Plus, unlike many traditional after shave balms, this one contains no alcohol (when I say alcohol, I'm talking about isopropyl alcohol, SD alcohol, denatured alcohol, ethyl alcohol, and rubbing alcohol, which can have a drying effect on certain skin types--especially my own). This product does contain witch hazel though, in case you're sensitive to that.
Nivea Men Sensitive Post Shave Balm
(retail: around $5, 3.3 oz.)
(retail: around $5, 3.3 oz.)
I picked up this bottle at my local Target (in the men's shaving aisle) for $5.59 (you can also get it on the Target website), but you can get this product just about everywhere. Nivea Men products go on sale constantly at the drugstores, so you can definitely get it at a better price than I did if you keep an eye on sales/coupons/store rewards.
Made in Germany
This bottle is made of milk glass with a thick plastic screw-top lid. The bottle is substantial--it has some weight to it and it feels a tiny bit heavy in the hand (especially when compared to plastic bottles).
Back of bottle
The mouth on this bottle isn't super wide, and I don't find it difficult to control how much you dispense. The product itself is quite thin and runny, but you can tilt the bottle at a slight angle and it comes out slowly enough into your palm so that you shouldn't have much trouble controlling the amount.
In the time it took for me to pour a little onto the back of my hand, grab my camera and take this pic, what you see above is how much product dripped down my hand. So again, it's a thin formula.
Now, if you google "nivea post shave balm as makeup primer" (which you can do by clicking HERE), you'll see many, many, MANY glowing reviews. So I was extremely excited, and hopeful, when I started using this product.
On day one of my testing, I tried this product in place of my normal moisturizer, before my makeup. So the only thing on my skin prior to makeup was this product. That day, I used concealer, powder foundation, and setting powder on my face, in addition to some cream blush, eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, brow pencil, and lipstick.
By the end of day one, I was pretty impressed. My makeup looked great, even after a full eight hours of wear. I had a teeny tiny bit of breakthrough shine on my nose, but that's it. If you're a longtime reader of my blog, you know I have super oily skin, so having just breakthrough shine on my nose after eight hours is seriously impressive.
But sadly, after day one, things seemed to fall apart.
Over the course my testing period (four weeks), I tried this product with every combination I could possibly think of, including but not limited to:
- Directly on bare skin
- On top of moisturizer
- On top of moisturizer + serum
- On top of moisturizer + sunscreen
And I tried it underneath all of the following:
- Powder foundation
- Liquid foundation
- Long-wear liquid foundation
- BB/CC creams
- Cushion compact
- Tinted moisturizer
I also set all of the above products with one of the following:
- Pressed powder
- Pressed oil-control powder
- Loose powder
After that first day, I just could not seem to recapture those great results. I tried using less, I tried using more. I tried letting Nivea Men Post Shave Balm set on my skin for a few minutes before applying my makeup, and I also tried applying my makeup directly after application. No matter what I did, it failed me.
When I say it failed me, I'm talking about how my makeup looked an hour or two after application. On most days, I noticed a cakeiness that isn't usually there when I don't use this balm. My makeup seems to pool up into my fine lines, and it caked up really badly around my eyes and nose in particular. In terms of oil control, I found that for my oily skin, this product never worked as well as it did that first day. For the rest of my testing period, I found that within two to three hours after application, I could both see and feel a greasy, sticky, tacky film on my face. One day in particular after using this product, I was out running errands with Mr. G and he looked at me in full sunlight and said, "Babe, what's wrong with your makeup today?" I looked in the mirror and was pretty much horrified. My makeup had settled into all of my fine lines, it was caked up around my nose, and my face was super greasy looking. And this was just three or four hours after application.
As for the scent of this product, the fragrance isn't super strong, but I definitely notice it during application and it does seem to linger for a few hours. I wouldn't call it a "manly" scent (whatever that means), but more of a unisex scent that reminds me of Irish Spring or Zest bar soap. Clean and fresh. I've heard some people mention that there's a fragrance-free version of this product out there, but I certainly couldn't find one. The only other version I could find was THIS ONE, which is the "cooling" version (and also contains fragrance).
FINAL VERDICT: Oh how I wish this product worked for me in the same way that it works for countless others, but I'm afraid that's just not the case. That first day? Great results. Every day after that? Horrible. There must be something in this product that just doesn't agree with my particular body chemistry, but that's not to say that it won't work for you! If you're in the market for a new, affordable makeup primer, you may want to give this a shot. I personally will be sticking with my holy grail Black Radiance Complexion Perfection Primer (same parent company as Wet n Wild), which is also very affordable. The kaolin clay in that primer really works well with my oily skin and it's been my holy grail primer for years now. This Nivea product definitely didn't knock it out of its Number 1 position (or even come close).
Are you a fan of Nivea Men Post Shave Balm? If so, I would absolutely love to hear your success stories!
The products featured in this post were purchased with personal funds. For more information, click here.