Nivea Balm Primer Review

I’m usually not a sucker for over-hyped beauty products. I like to think of myself as a level-headed individual with a keen eye for seeing through the crap, the marketing ploys, the cleverly placed product placements. 

And yet here I am with the Nivea Post Shave Balm, which became a sensation a few months ago across the beauty community when it was revealed that this aftershave makes an amazing makeup primer. It took me a while to get my hands on it since it has been pretty much sold out at most of my local drugstores. Hype, what hype?

After trying this balm out for a few days, I can confirm that it makes a pretty great primer! It’s not the best I’ve ever tried, but I can’t compare a $7 aftershave to my beloved Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer (which, by the way, costs $52 per ounce! OUNCE.)

The aftershave itself is an opaque white color that dries clear. It’s quite watery but absorbs quickly when rubbed into the skin. But if you’re at all sensitive to fragrances this balm has a strong minty, astringent scent that you may have a hard time getting past. 

I have oily skin, and I’ve gotten in the habit of not powdering off my foundation because Estee Lauder Double Wear keeps me matte all day just by itself. However, the first time I used this balm I noticed that my face was looking very, very shiny by the middle of the day. Somehow this balm makes my oiliness worse, so powdering and touch ups are a must. 

Overall, this balm is an awesome alternative to traditional makeup primers if you’re someone on a budget. I can see the watery consistency being good for people with dry skin, and I feel that the slightly sticky texture it leaves on the skin makes my foundation adhere better. So I’ll keep this balm close by on my vanity and hopefully use it up just in time for the next makeup hype to come around. 

Have you tried the Nivea Post Shave Balm as a primer yet? Do you want to try it?

Speculoos Baking Recipes

I’ve been up to no good.

These super gooey cookie butter chocolate bars are indulgent, delicious, and 100% good for you.

Seriously! Chocolate contains antioxidants which has been proven to do good stuff to your body. These cookie butter bars are backed by science, people!

I adapted this from a chocolate peanut butter bar recipe by Dear Crissy. Pretty much all I did was swap out the peanut butter for Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter because I’m not a huge fan of peanut butter desserts. If you’re not familiar with Speculoos, think of it as a yummy, cinnamony ginger cookie. And Trader Joe’s found a way to grind Speculoos up into a delicious, buttery spread.


Cookie Butter Chocolate Bars

This is a super easy treat to make just in time for the weekend. Enjoy! And don’t forget to follow me on Bloglovin’ if you are not already.

Cookie Butter Chocolate Bars
Yields 24
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Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
45 min
  1. 3/4 cup butter, softened
  2. 1 cup packed brown sugar
  3. 1 egg
  4. 2 teaspoons vanilla
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  1. 1 12-ounce package semisweet chocolate pieces
  2. 3 tablespoons butter
  3. 1/4 cup Speculoos Cookie Butter
  4. 1/4 cup hot strong coffee
  5. 1 cup powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with parchment paper or foil, or lightly grease pan; set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl beat the 3/4 cup butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, vanilla, and salt until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour.
  3. Transfer dough to the prepared baking pan spreading evenly (press with hands). Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until edges are golden. Cool on wire rack.
  1. In a small saucepan cook and stir chocolate pieces and the 3 tablespoons butter over low heat until melted and smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in peanut butter and coffee until combined. Stir in powdered sugar until smooth. Spread uncut bars with frosting. Let stand until frosting is set. Cut into bars. Makes 24 bars.
  2. To store: Place bars in a single layer in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Adapted from Dear Crissy
Adapted from Dear Crissy
Spring Summer Sam

MAC Spice Lip Liner Brown Skin Dark

Patience, a virtue, is not one of my strong suits.

I have been dying to get my hands on the MAC Spice Lip Liner for about two years now, and I finally picked it up just last weekend. A couple of MAC stores I’ve ventured to in the past were straight up sold out of it (sold out!), because it’s so darn popular. For that reason it’s floated on and off of my wish list these last two years, mostly out of spite.

Last weekend I finally held this baby in my hands for the first time. And to be honest, when I swatched it I was a little…skeptical. I didn’t really understand the color. It’s not red, it’s not nude, it’s mostly brown, and looks a tiny bit orange on my skin. I wasn’t sure that it would flatter me, but Kylie Jenner has been rocking this lip liner since day one out of the womb so if it looked good on Kylie it would look good on me (because we’re twins, duh).

Unsurprisingly, this has been my go-to lip shade for the past week. It matches every eye look I do. I throw it on every morning and I love that I don’t have to reapply this again for hours. The consistency is quite creamy for a lip liner. It doesn’t drag too much, but I always make sure to wear this on top of lip balm since my lips are always very dry.

Overall, I love this lip liner. I haven’t made a purchase from MAC in months but now I am tempted to go back and pick up more liners and lipsticks. Which shades do you recommend?

Makeup Sponge Beauty Blender Storage

This makeup storage tip may not be news to some of you, but it’s something I just discovered and had to share!

The Beauty Blender saved my life. Yes, I’m exaggerating. It doesn’t know CPR or perform the Heimlich very well, but makeup sponges are the one makeup product I cannot live without. Side note: I’ve been using the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge for about a month now and love it just as much, if not more than, the Beauty Blender.

But one thing that always puzzled me about egg-shaped makeup sponges is that I never knew how to store them. Enter egg holders.

I bought two stainless steel egg holders for dirt cheap off of eBay, just to store my makeup sponges, and I’m in love. Yes, I created an eBay account just to buy these. No, I will probably never use them to hold actual eggs.

I love these because both my Beauty Blender and Real Technique sponge fit perfectly inside of it, and the wire frame ensure that the sponge dries evenly on all sides, which makes it more sanitary.

If you’re in the market for cheap makeup sponge holders, pick these up! They were the best dollar I ever spent. 🙂


Drugstore Urban Decay Mascaras Review

2015 feels like many days, and many mascaras ago.

While cleaning out my basket of product empties for my 2015 Empties Video (which you can watch here), I pulled aside the handful of mascaras that I’ve accumulated over the year and decided to review them separately, because I think 2015 was my year of awesome eyelashes. Not only did I finally get a handle on my technique, but I also discovered THE secret to flawless, curled, separated lashes that last all day. Read on to find out what it is.


L’Oreal Miss Manga: This was my least favorite mascara of the bunch, despite the fact that so many people in the beauty community rave about it. I wasn’t a fan of the flexible wand, and the fact that I had to do multiple coats to get good pigmentation. It just wasn’t for me. I didn’t despise it, but I won’t be picking it up again any time soon.

Maybelline The Rocket: I liked this mascara a lot whenever I doubled it up with the Miss Manga mascara. The two worked well together and gave me the length and volume that my lashes crave. When used alone, this is a totally decent drugstore mascara, too. I’m curious to see how the waterproof version of this performs – I predict that it would be a total winner! More on waterproof mascara in a bit…

Urban Decay Perversion: I got two samples of this last year for my birthday, and I miss them already. If you want black lashes as dark as the devil’s heart, look no further. The formulation of this mascara is very wet and creamy, so it is quite messy to apply but the final result is worth it, in my opinion. This is one of the few mascaras I’ve used that leaves behind virtually no clumps – a rarity indeed.

Revlon Lash Potion: I got this mascara as a gift almost a year ago, and it does not last all day, or have great pigmentation, but it is shockingly awesome! Ok hear me out – I rarely use this mascara on its own. This is the best mascara to use though if you like using two mascaras at once, like me. I don’t know why, but it really amplifies any mascara that I’m already using. It makes my eyelashes longer and separates any clumps with ease. I highly recommend picking this and trying it with your favorite mascara. You may be surprised!

What I’m using now…

Maybelline The Falsies: Favorite. Drugstore. Mascara. Ever. But I’m cheating a little bit, because this is the first waterproof mascara I’ve ever used, and I’m now totally converted to waterproof mascara. What was my life like before waterproof mascara?! Sad, lonely, and poor, probably. This mascara holds a curl, stays black, lengthens, and volumizes. And your lashes look great ALL DAY. I used to hate applying mascara in the morning only to see that it’s barely visible at the end of the day. This mascara lasts all day, and that’s no exaggeration. It lasts through my sweaty Zumba workouts. It’s hard to take off. It doesn’t want to come off. I love it. It’s part of me. We are one.

Now tell me, what is your favorite mascara? I always love trying new products!

And don’t forget to follow my blog if you haven’t already! 🙂