Women Are Going Crazy About This Men’s Aftershave Balm
15 years ago, this humble (and not-so-successful) aftershave balm was created by Nivea to moisturise men’s skin and sooth razor burn. Today, the product had gotten a whole new lease on life thanks to Kylie Jenner and her legion of female followers on social media. But why exactly has Nivea Men Sensitive After Shave Balm become such a must-have beauty product — that too for women?
Recently, Jenner’s makeup artist Hrush Achemyan was filmed doing her makeup on Snapchat using the men’s product as a base, with the young influencer proclaiming it works great as a primer for girls with oily skin. The post went viral and suddenly Nivea had a sold-out beauty product on its hands.
Of course, if you’re a bonafide beauty junkie, you’ll know that bloggers have been calling it “the world’s best makeup primer” way before Jenner made it an overnight sensation a few weeks ago. In fact, it was Dutch vlogger Nikkie de Jager of Nikki Tutorials who first recommended this product as a primer replacement when she borrowed her boyfriend’s moisturiser after running out of her own. It blew up on the internet when she told her then 2.8 million subscribers that it had an amazing ability to keep her makeup looking flawless for several hours. Rave reviews by thousands of other YouTube stars and women followed, with each of them attesting to the fact that it worked great as a primer before putting on their makeup. What’s more, women with oily skin loved it because it kept their makeup looking flawless all day long.
And guess what? There’s a very solid reason why this is actually true.
For starters, it has a high concentration of glycerine, which is a binding agent, and that’s what makes it such an effective base as it helps makeup adhere better. Secondly, it is infused with witch hazel, which tightens pores and removes excess oil and regulates its production. It also has chamomile, which soothes and hydrates skin and reduces redness. Finally, it also includes vitamin E and B5, which helps the skin repair itself and reduces the appearance of fine lines.
So many benefits in one little men’s grooming bottle. No wonder women everywhere are going nuts about it.
Naturally, I had to try it out for myself. I have super oily skin and no matter what I do, Mumbai’s heat and humidity ensure my makeup melts away as soon as I step outside. I immediately ordered it on Nykaa a few days ago and tested it out on what proved to be a super hot day.
The product comes in a glass bottle and has a distinctly manly smell (which thankfully dissipates quickly). It has a very thin, liquid consistency, making it easy to spread. I first moisturised with my usual Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream, followed by La Roche-Posey Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Sunscreen. Then, I put the lightweight Nivea balm on. The key here is to let it sit on your skin for a few minutes till it dries and becomes tacky. This helps your foundation stick better.
The product dries matte and I can tell you with confidence that it does what everyone says. My problem areas are my nose and chin, which produce a lot of oil and sweat, which means my makeup really doesn’t last very long and I have to reapply it every few hours. As soon as I applied my high coverage foundation in the morning, I could see that it had gone on visibly smoother and my complexion looked pretty darn flawless — much like it would look had I use a speciality primer. Score!
The real test was whether it would still look as good in the afternoon, by which time my makeup has unwittingly been wiped away, the oil has risen to the surface, and the redness has begun to show. Amazingly, my foundation was still sitting tight post lunch and looked pretty good. Sure my skin looked slightly oily, but that was to be expected. However, I must add that it definitely didn’t look as oily as it usually does, so that’s another point in its favour for keeping sebum under control. By 8 pm, when I checked my face again, the foundation was still looking better than it did on most days. My foundation had barely worn off and my face didn’t look like an oil slick. Just for that, I’m sold, sold, sold.
What I especially love about this product is that it’s so affordable. At just Rs 235, it’s waaaay cheaper than your average drugstore primer. Goes to show that not everything in your makeup/skincare routine has to be expensive. And who knew that it was hiding in the men’s section all along!