The six men's products under $12 that are secretly perfect for women too.

It may be dominated by Manly Spray and Spiky Hair Gel but that doesn’t mean the men’s grooming aisle isn’t hiding some serious beauty gems.

It’s a secret insiders have guarded for a long time, but is quickly gaining popularity thanks to some truly great multi-purpose products.

We’re not talking ‘borrow from his cupboard’ either – these are ones you’ll want to buy and keep for yourself.

1.Nivea Men’s Sensitive Post Shave Balm, $11.95.

Since YouTuber NikkiTutorials first spoke about this last year, it’s become a cult product amongst beauty lovers – even Kylie Jenner is a fan. No, not for shaving though – this balm is a dupe for some of the best primers out there.

I was dubious – now I swear by it. And the fact that it’s not uncommon to see the shelf ravaged and half-empty suggests I’m not alone.

Image: Supplied

The key ingredient in the balm is glycerin, which acts as a sort of "glue" to keep any makeup applied over the top in place. The result? Flawlessly smooth foundation that almost glides on during application. Ten hours later and my base still looked fresh and high coverage.

Retailing at $11.95 for 100 ml, you only need to use a tiny bit each time. Drop a pea-sized amount in your hand, rub until tacky then apply all over the face. It's quite thin, feels light and soaks in in less than 30 seconds.

The only downside would be the smell, which does have a noticeable-but-inoffensive  'manly' musk about it, although it does fade in a few minutes. I've also heard reports that it has caused some people to break out - as with any new product, patch test before using it all over.

Listen: Beauty guru Zoe Foster-Blake shares her best beauty hacks for busy women. Post continues after audio. 

2. Men's razors.

Making the simple switch from "women's" razors to men's has been life-changing.

They may not be pink or scented like oriental flowers but boy, do they get the job done - often at a much cheaper price.

I use Gillette razors just because they're what I originally, ahem, "borrowed" from my partner. They give an incredibly close shave that leaves skin silky smooth and even with my lack of coordination I've so far managed to escape any nicks or cuts.

It's also brilliant at getting even the shortest of stubbles - perfect for underarms in summer.

Gold. Image: Priceline

3. Schwarzkopf Taft Styling Powder, $6.95.

Flat, limp hair has met it's match thanks to this magic powder.

Fellow Mamamia writer Jacqui first alerted me to this as she swears by it for giving volume, grit and oomph to her hair. Just dust a tiny bit of powder in near your roots and gently massage with your fingers. The hold is firm without being crunchy.


It instantly brings life to flat hair and works well at reviving three five day hair that's perhaps in need of a wash.

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4. Dove Extra Fresh Deodorant, $2.70.

I spend a lot of time and take pride in my perfume collection, so it's always seemed a little counterproductive to me to 'ruin' the scent by dousing myself in strongly scented deodorant that doesn't exactly complement it.

Move away from Lynx Africa and you'll find a lot of men's deodorant ditches the overpowering scent altogether in favour of clean, fresh and indistinctive scents which do the job without shouting about it.

Even better, their anti-perspirant properties actually work (the best I've tried) and I don't feel quite so self conscious about sweat, even in the height of summer.

Image: Priceline

5. Schick Hydro Sensitive Shave Gel, $6.29

This is one of my most recent and arguably most beloved men's grooming discoveries.

I'm lazy you see, particularly when it comes to shaving my legs. Throw in cold weather and it drops right down the bottom of my priority list.

Then the other week there came an occasion where I needed to bare my legs, almost stepped out the door... then looked down and realised I wasn't quite game enough to bare quite so much. I needed to shave but didn't have time for a shower to wet them, so rummaged in the bathroom cupboard and found this shaving gel. One squirt, a quick shave and I had lovely, smooth legs without undressing and getting wet.

Now I use this in and out the shower to shave - and means my beloved $40 Philosophy Cinnamon Bun scented shower gel lasts twice as long.

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6. Styptic pencil, $4.99

We all know you're not meant to pick your pimple, but sometimes you do. And it's usually right before you need to leave the house, you make it bleed, and it looks 10 times worse than it did before. Or you managed to nick your leg while shaving and you're bleeding everywhere.

For those times, I swear by a styptic pencil after learning about them from Man Repeller. Marketed largely to men to stop small cuts bleeding after shaving, the pencil gently coats the area with silver nitrate which stops bleeding very quickly.

They can be picked up at your local pharmacy, although I prefer to think of it as not an all-the-time solution, but a quick-fix will-I-ever-learn-my-lesson solution for emergencies.

Image: Supplied

What's your favourite men's grooming product discovery?

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