If one brand has rocked the beauty world in 2017 then it's The Ordinary! In case you've been living under a rock: this brand (which is owned by Deciem, who also brought us Hylamide and Niod) essentially create amazing formulas for an affordable price and started out with skincare. The Serum Foundation (£5.70) and the Coverage Foundation (£5.90) mark their first foray into makeup, but how did I get on with them...?
Dear lord. The ordering process. I actually get asked a lot on social media how I ordered the foundations and how long they took. Essentially I originally placed by order with Victoria Health back in April and got the Serum Foundation around 6 weeks later and the Coverage around 6 weeks after that, so it's been a long road... From what I know, there are few reasons for this; firstly Deciem only has one factory from which they make these foundations (one shade at a time), though they're now expanding, in addition to this, I think the demand was unprecedented and on top of all that, these were originally manufactured without pumps, which were then added due to popular demand.
At the time of writing, the majority of shades are available, and if yours isn't then you have two options. You can either place an order on Victoria Health and your products will be dispatched and you'll be charged for them as and when they come in stock (without any additional postage costs). Or you can sign up on the Deciem website to receive and email notification when your shade is available. Currently other stockists don't have these foundations, however I'd expect BeautyBay, LookFantastic and ASOS to also sell these on their website once stock levels stabilise.
Both foundations come in an inclusive 21 shades, which is something I've never come across before at this price-point. The number indicates how fair or deep the shade is and the letter tells you whether the shade has Red, Neutral or Yellow undertones. Given the time it takes to receive some of the shades from ordering and based on the price-point, if you really aren't sure, it might be worth getting two shades (that way you can mix and match based on how your skin tone changes throughout the year).
I completely randomly opted for the shade 2.1Y and it turned out to be a good guess! It's very slightly darker and more than I'd usually go for, but it's a pretty decent match as we head into summer. I don't usually swatch foundations but I really struggled to find any guidance on which shade to choose online, so hopefully this is helpful! As you may be able to tell from the image below, the Serum 2.1Y is a tiny bit darker and more orange than the slightly lighter and more yellow-based Coverage 2.1Y. For reference, I'm a MAC NC37-40.
Packaging & Product Information
The packaging is simple, functional and of reasonable quality; I've said before of the Ordinary that it's almost iconic in its simplicity. I was pleasantly surprised that you get 30g of product in here, as the bottle looks tiny and that's pretty much the standard amount you'd get whether the foundation is drugstore or high-end. It comes with a pump that you can turn on or off and none of the writing has rubbed off the bottle for me. Both foundations are vegan and cruelty-free, plus contain no alcohol or oils.
The Serum Foundation
This arrived a good while ago so I've had plenty of time to test it out. The consistency when you dispense the product is very watery. I personally like to apply it with a damp beauty sponge. It gives a good medium coverage, which was actually more than I expected from the name and was a pleasant surprise, as I thought this would be the foundation I liked less of the two. It can also be built up in any areas you think you need a bit more coverage.
The finish once applied is what I'd describe as 'natural skin'. It kind of mimics your skin's texture; if you've used a moisturising primer then it'll have a slightly more dewy finish, if you're dry then unfortunately it might not add enough hydration for you on its own. This is what makes it quite hard to pin down; how it looks on you will totally depend on your skin type!
The longevity of this is decent. It doesn't go patchy but after around 5 hours I can definitely see a bit of shine coming through and need to powder. After 8-10 hours, it does start to fade from my problem areas and begins to look less than perfect.
The Coverage Foundation
This has a much thicker consistency and definitely looks and feels more like a traditional foundation. You can apply this with a damp sponge or a buffing brush; both work really well. It has a nice, even finish and despite giving a good medium-full coverage, it doesn't look thick or heavy.
I find that this has a satin finish because it's definitely not dewy or overly glowing, but it also isn't a matte formula. This means it can work well for a variety of skin types, but if you're on the extreme of either end, it might not be for you. Dry skin types might crave more hydration and if you're oily, it might not be enough to keep the shine at bay. However for my combination complexion, it works nicely.
This holds up fairly well, I'm going to say. Again, by lunch time, I do find myself reaching for the powder, however it's nothing major. What I do notice though is that after 6+ hours of wear, it can start to settle a bit in fine lines and look a bit 'melt-y', so it isn't going to be one I use for a night out.
I think that with these foundations, the price on one side and the difficulty in getting hold of them on the other can colour your opinion. You can end up saying 'it's good for £5' or 'it really wasn't worth all the time or effort', but we've already covered off these points, so I just want to talk about them as products in themselves.
The Serum Foundation was surprisingly my favourite of the two; it's a great everyday option that I reach for all the time before work. I definitely recommend it and see myself repurchasing it when I run out.
The Coverage Foundation is good, but I just feel like I have products that hold up a little better and give a similar effect. If you're on a budget, then this is a really fantastic alternative to something like MAC's Studio Fix Fluid, however purely as a foundation it just isn't my favourite.
So, are they worth the hype? Overall, I have to say: yes!
Have you tried the Ordinary Colours yet?