- Editor Rating
- Rated 5 stars
- The Ordinary Colours Serum Foundation
- Reviewed by:
- Published on:
- Last modified:
- FormulaEditor: 95%
- Color RangeEditor: 95%
- PackagingEditor: 90%
- ApplicationEditor: 95%
- PigmentationEditor: 95%
- CoverageEditor: 95%
- FinishEditor: 95%
- Lasting PowerEditor: 85%
- Value For MoneyEditor: 100%
- AvailabilityEditor: 95%
Today’s review is clearly about a “phenomenon” product. It’s simple: everybody is raving about this foundation. And if you come here regularly, you know that I can be a little rough in my reviews. But I’m going to kill the suspense right away: yes, I totally understand why the Serum Foundation by The Ordinary is out of stock all the time since it launched. And when it’s available again, I totally plan to buy some backups!
An excellent foundation which costs less than seven bucks seems almost too good to be true.
I already told you about the revolutionary concept (let us call it what it is!) of Deciem and The Ordinary a few weeks ago. They have seriously shaken the skincare world and a few weeks ago, they decided to conquer the makeup world as well! They launched two foundations: the Serum Foundation and the Coverage Foundation.
Obviously, people had high hopes but with a little help from the English YouTuber Wayne Goss, who did a video about them, their launch was super successful and very quickly, the two foundations were out of stock, with the brand explaining there is a waiting list of more than 25,000 people just after the launch. For a few weeks now, the expansion of The Ordinary is so dazzling quick that many of their products are out of stock.
It even works so well that the laboratory to which The Ordinary belongs, Deciem, recently made a call for capital because they could no longer keep up with the pace of orders.
And last week, Deciem announced that the giant Estée Lauder Companies was now part of their capital, although Deciem remains the majority shareholder. Obviously, a group that has the means of Estée Lauder can inject funds very quickly to help Deciem develop and expand their laboratory and invest in more suitable infrastructure.
But many consumers who appreciated the rather different and “abnormal” approach of Deciem are rather disappointed and distrustful of this union which looks a lot like an arranged marriage.
On its social media, Deciem ensures that “It will change everything and yet nothing will change at all”. Personally, I’ll wait and see. But what is certain is that Deciem will soon be able to intensify its production and adapt to the huge demand of its customers. The out of stock products will probably be available fairly quickly (at least, let’s hope so!).
So I thought now was a good time to tell you more about their Serum Foundation I purchased a few weeks ago (I was lucky, I was able to order before the hysteria) and it shouldn’t be long now before it’s back in stock! smile
The Ordinary Colours Serum Foundation, presentation:
What the brand says about it:
“Serum Foundations are lightweight medium-coverage formulations available in a comprehensive shade range across 21 shades. These foundations offer moderate coverage that looks natural with a very lightweight serum feel. They are very low in viscosity and are dispensed with the supplied pump or with the optional glass dropper available for purchase separately if preferred.
The pigments used in this format are treated for a rich, highly-saturated effect. These pigments are suspended in our proprietary spreadability system that allows pigments to look natural on the skin, resist collecting within fine lines and stay on for longer. The foundations offer a semi-matte finish and are compatible with most primers and are designed to work exceptionally well with the primers offering from The Ordinary. “
In summary, a rather light foundation with a natural finish. Perfect for every day. And the icing on the cake, the small price tag: $6.70. This kind of price is really the trademark of The Ordinary: they offer quality products at unbeatable prices.
I’ve always been a bit suspicious with “cheap” foundations. For years, I only used high-end foundations because I preferred their quality over the drugstore foundations: better coverage, finish, and lasting power.
This is less and less true, and now, I use drugstore foundations that are excellent (I told you about my beloved Milani foundation which costs less than 10 dollars, and at the moment I also love the Bourjois Healthy Mix that I find super cool), but this one is even cheaper than drugstore prices! And the quality is absolutely great, not cheap at all.
The finish is semi-matte, which surprised me a little at first, because the name “Serum Foundation” could suggest a more glowy finish. And the coverage is also more important than I thought. It’s not cakey by all means, it remains quite natural. It gives you a very pretty looking skin, and it certainly lasts better than if it had had a satin finish. Perfect for the summer in Dubai and its 45-50 humid degrees.
The Ordinary Serum Foundation exists in 21 shades and retails for $6.70.
The Ordinary Colours Serum Foundation, my test and thoughts:
– Formula and texture:
The texture is very liquidy, you’ll really need to shake the bottle before using it, to mix the pigments in the formula.
– Color range:
A very wide choice of 21 shades. They range from lighter to darker, with a very good choice in the undertones, which is ideal to choose the color closest to your natural skin tone. The name of the color tells you the undertone:
– Y means Yellow, for warmer/ golden undertones,
– N means Neutral, for the neutral undertones (neither too yellow nor too pink),
– R means Red, for the cool/ pink undertones.
There are also some shimmery shades, with golden or silvered particles in the formula (the product name has an S for Silver or G for Gold).
I have the color 2.0 N, which is perfect for me this summer. I will probably try a lighter shade this winter (I noticed the shade 1.2 N).
I saw in the Wayne Goss video a color guide that compares the colors of the MAC foundations with those of The Ordinary. I copied it below, it’s very useful IMO.
NW10 = 1.0P (pink undertones)
NW13 = 1.0P (pink undertones)
NW15 = 1.1p (pink undertones)
NW18 = 1.2p (pink undertones)
NW20 = 1.2p (pink undertones)
NW22 = 2.0p (pink undertones)
NW25 = 2.1P (pink undertones)
NW30 = 2.1P (pink undertones)
NW33 = 2.1P (pink undertones)
NW35 = 3.0R (red understones)
NW40 = 3.0R (red undertones)
NW43 = 3.1R (red undertones)
NW44 = 3.1R (red undertones)
NW45 = 3.1R (red undertones)
NW46 = 3.2N (neutral undertones)
NW47 = 3.2N (neutral undertones)
NW48 = 3.2N (neutral undertones)
NW50 = 3.2R (red understones)
NW55 = 3.2R (red undertones)
NW58 = 3.3N (neutral undertones)
NC10 = 1.0N (neutral undertones)
NC15 = 1.1N (neutral undertones)
NC20 = 1.2N/1.2Y/1.2YG (neutral undertones/yellow undertones)
NC25 = 2.0N/2.0YG (neutral undertones/yellow undertones)
NC30 = 2.1Y (yellow undertones)
NC35 = 2.1Y (yellow undertones)
NC37 = 2.1Y (yellow undertones)
NC40 = 2.1Y (yellow undertones)
NC41 = 2.1Y (yellow undertones)
NC42 = 2.1Y (yellow undertones)
NC43.5 = 3.0Y (yellow undertones)
NC44 = 3.0Y (yellow undertones)
NC44 =.5 3.0Y (yellow undertones)
NC45 = 3.1Y (yellow undertones)
NC46 = 3.1Y (yellow undertones)
NC47 = 3.1Y (yellow undertones)
NC50 = 3.2N (yellow undertones)
NC55 = 3.2N (yellow undertones)
The packaging is compact and pratical, it’s a bottle with a pump (30 ml).
I tried several application techniques and also different amounts to see if I could change the coverage.
– I first applied it with my fingertips, I liked it, and it’s easy to blend into the skin.
– I then tried with my Beauty Blender, and the result was perfect, this is my favorite method of application.
– I also used a brush, and the result was also very good.
It’s super quick and easy to blend, regardless of the method used!
Quantity wise, I tried 1 or 2 pumps, and I like both quantities. For every day, I usually go for one pump, that’s enough for a natural result. If I want more coverage, I go up to 2 pumps and have a more “flawless” result. This foundation is quite buildable.
– Pigmentation and coverage:
The pigmentation is excellent and the coverage is a medium one but as I explained above, it’s buildable according to the quantity you apply.
The result on the skin is very pretty and quite natural. It’s a semi-matte finish, and it really blurs the pores nicely. As I have an oily skin, I systematically apply powder on my T-zone to improve its lasting power, but if you have a dryer skin type, you can easily ditch the powder.
The texture is ultra lightweight and comfortable. It’s super nice to wear!
– Lasting power:
The lasting power is pretty good. After a few hours, it’s a little shiny in the usual places, namely my T-zone, but I would still call it long-lasting.
It may also tend to emphasize my small lines at the end of the day, but it’s really minimal.
– Value for money:
I think this foundation is probably the best value for money in the market. The quality is excellent, and for $6.70, there is no doubt about it, this is definitely a must-have!
Finally here are the swatches:
As you can see in the picture, the shade 2.0 N is a little too dark compared to the color of my forearm, but it fits quite well the color of my face, especially in summer.
And on me:
I will show you this foundation in 3 steps! First, let me introduce you to my bare face:
Then, this is my skin with the Serum Foundation only (no concealer, no powder, blush, etc…):
And the final makeup look (with foundation + concealer + powder + blush etc.)
On my lips, it’s the Estée Lauder Pure Color Love lipstick in the shade Juiced Up.
So, in summary:
- super compact practical packaging (it has a pump)
- very wide choice of shades with different undertones (21 colors)
- very good pigmentation
- easy and quick to apply, it applies very easily with fingertips, brush or sponge
- very natural semi-matte finish
- the medium coverage is buildable: it gives you a nice complexion if you put a lot, same thing if you put a little
- it blurs the pores very well
- it's super lightweight, you can barely feel it, perfect for summer
- good lasting power, it even lasts with the heat
- doesn't oxidize on my skin
- doesn't make me break out
- the icing on the cake: it's super cheap
- I don't see any, maybe the fact that you have to order it online but it's not really a problem IMO
What can I say, I think you understood my enthusiasm! This foundation is amazing, and its price is unbeatable: a true bargain! I only have one piece of advice for you: put yourself on the waiting list now! (And if you hesitate between 2 colors, honestly: take both lol wink )(that’s what I should have done!)
The Ordinary Serum Foundation is available on Deciem website for $6.70.
And you, have you heard about The Ordinary Serum Foundation? And what are you waiting for to put your name on this waiting list? wink
Photos credit: bonnie-garner.com
EDIT 04/05/18: I won’t review products from the group Deciem (The Ordinary, Hylamide, Niod etc) anymore here and on my new website. I completely stopped buying them because I don’t support the behavior of their CEO, Brandon Truaxe. If you’re not aware of the situation, just go have a look at Deciem’s Instagram account, you’ll see what I’m talking about.