Ok guys, hear me out on this. I know all the boys in your life will laugh and think this is batshit. And it might look a bit out of place on your bathroom shelf. I’m definitely not the first person to come up with this, and my YouTube makeup tutorial addiction is what we truly have to thank here. But this ‘balm’ works so well as a primer that I think you all need to know about it.
First things first, what is the point of primer? Good question, I was just getting to that… Primer is something you put on pre-foundation as a sort of wall spackle, to smooth out cracks and uneven brickwork and also to make your face err towards the side of sticky. It is sort of like foundation glue. I bet you never thought your foundation needed gluing on, right? The beauty of capitalism! Ok. Alright.
I personally have never been too fond of the idea of primer because 1) lazy, and 2) a layer of silicone on your face as normal practice seems like a one way ticket to problem skin. But that’s where the Nivea guy comes in. It is basically a thin and light moisturising lotion for blokes, and we all know blokes won’t take any nonsense, not like us stupid ladies. So this can pretty much be subbed out for moisturiser – unless you are super bone dry. But unlike a normal (boring) moisturiser, this will start off feeling slippy as all hell, and as you rub it into your face will become “tacky”. (Not tacky like a Von Dutch hat, but tacky like the back of a post-it.) This tacky surface will help everything you put on top to adhere to it better and for longer.
The balm also gives your face an appealing laminated quality. Your face will feel as smooth as if you have just shaved, which is fun. I can see why boys would like to wear this without putting makeup over it, because it makes your bare face look hydrated and a bit … blurred, maybe? Better, anyway, and that’s all we can really hope for in this life.
Now for some cold hard facts. It smells like men. I don’t actually mind the smell of men (oo-er) and find it actually preferable to smells like peaches and cream, but the fragrance does make me a bit sceptical as to the ‘sensitive‘ claims of the product. However, I have pretty temperamental, 22 y/o teenager skin and have suffered no reaction. It doesn’t seem to clog, nor does it seem to irritate. And the smell goes away quite quickly. The packaging is a bit bulky, and unnecessarily made of glass, but for around £3 (check around for sweet deals) you get 100ml. Most primers are around 30ml. You do the maths. Ok, fine, I’ll do the maths … something like 90p per 30ml. I’m not getting any more precise because I feel my point is proven; it’s cheap.
So, if you can get past the weirdness of this one, I really think it’s a good product. Firstly, it works, and secondly it’s a bit unusual and off the beaten track and like a (a very poorly kept) secret . I can’t help but feel sorry for all the men who can no longer find this to use for its actual purpose, but obviously not that sorry. And if it doesn’t work for you (though I can’t imagine it wouldn’t work for people) then it can always be repurposed as a kindly gift for your favourite man friend. At best, a smooth face, and at worst, a gesture of love (sort of). That’s a pretty good deal.
Nivea Men, Sensitive Post Shave Balm, Boots