These two products (Nivea Men Aftershave Balm for sensitive skin, $7 and 100% pure aloe vera gel, $4) are great options if you are looking for something inexpensive and effective in terms of a makeup primer. I have sensitive, oily skin and use either one of these products everyday before applying my makeup. While they both work for me, they do work differently.
The aloe gel works better to fill in pores and creates a more “glide-able” service for makeup, however I do not find that it makes my makeup last any longer but it does apply nicer and makes my face look more pore-less and smooth. Another advantage to the aloe is that is is 100% natural and will not harm/ break out your skin.
The Nivea balm contains glycerin, which as you probably know, is a key ingredient in any primer to ensure the makeup stays in place. When applied and massaged into the skin, it becomes tacky, which can make it a little harder to apply foundation depending on how you do so (Beauty Blender, buffing brush, etc.). With this product however, I do find that it does prolong the wear of my makeup and keeps it in place all day. It does have a typical aftershave smell to it but it quickly wears off by the time I am done applying my makeup and is nothing too overpowering.
Overall, while I love both of these, I do tend to reach for the Nivea balm more often just because I do notice a bigger difference in how long my “face” lasts. Either way, both of these are very inexpensive and worth a try.