As you can see, I’m trying my hand at REALLY DRAMATIC AND SHOUTY post titles, as opposed to the usual “Here’s Another Foundation Review”, because they’re eye-catching and all that.

In reality, however, they make me feel a bit uneasy. Maybe it’s the lawyer in me, but I feel like this particular title should finish with an asterisk, accompanied by the following footnotes:

* IF you like very runny and thin liquid foundations
* IF you don’t want full coverage
* IF you do want a dewy finish
* IF you don’t have very dry or very oily skin (in my opinion)

I’ve pretty much just summarised my review, so if you’re not a big reader, you have permission to stop here.

If you’re like me and you enjoy a more lengthy chat and a little snoop into the brand behind the product, this bit’s for you. Perhaps I should also tell you what the product actually is. (Have you got this far without knowing? Or was the enormous picture above a bit of a giveaway?)

We’re talking about The Ordinary’s Serum Foundation, which retails for £5.70. Before I get overexcited about the price tag, let’s talk #beautybosses, because this brand is actually in the spotlight at the moment and things are getting a bit juicy.

The Ordinary is an innovative skincare and makeup brand that focuses on “Clinical Formulations with Integrity”. What this essentially means is that they aim to offer formulations that actually work, but without the ridiculous price tags that are often associated with “scientific” beauty products (hence the ‘integrity’ part).

HOWEVER (and that’s a big, dramatic ‘however’, in keeping with the post title), after achieving rapid success and “cult brand” status, the founder of The Ordinary’s parent company, Deciem, has come under serious fire recently for having what many are calling a “public meltdown” (*rolls eyes at entire population seemingly becoming medical professionals when this kind of thing happens*).

Back in January, he decided to take over Deciem’s social media and has since posted several rather bizarre posts; some with a spiteful or personal tone that’s not normally characteristic of a brand’s official Instagram page (see here: Many have turned their back on the brand as a result.

I ran a little poll on my Insta-stories today (love a poll) to see how you guys feel about the ‘meltdown’. Whilst it was pretty close, it seems like most of you aren’t bothered enough to take your business elsewhere. Irrespective of whether it’s business-suicide or just a guy being out of order on a public platform (or, indeed, all a big marketing ploy…), I certainly don’t condone some of the things he’s said. But what concerns me for the purposes of this post is simply whether this product works or not.

So, on that note, back to the foundation. I’m going to talk through my experience in the context of my skin woes because I think this reveals why I like it so much.

I’ve been off Roaccutane now for about 2 months. After over 4 years of problematic skin, it’s an absolute revelation waking up every morning without a new breakout. I don’t know whether this will be the case forever (I won’t hold my breath), but for now, I’m so ridiculously grateful for clear(ish) skin that I’m really trying not to cake it in makeup. If I feel like I can go to work wearing only moisturiser, concealer and mascara, I bloody-well WILL.

For the days that I want a bit more coverage (I still have red marks and some scarring), I’d been looking for something light, breathable and affordable that I could slap on quickly before work.

This foundation fits that bill perfectly.

Its consistency is very thin, which I like, because it doesn’t feel heavy on the skin. A little goes a long way, it’s quick to apply and it doesn’t look cakey.

However, thin typically means sheer coverage, and that’s not everyone’s cup of tea. It CERTAINLY would not have been my cup of tea a few months ago. But because of my quest to appreciate my skin whilst it’s doing okay (*touch wood*… *toucheseverypieceofwoodwithina50mileradius*) I don’t mind the sheer coverage and dewy finish – all I’m after is something to even out and brighten my complexion. I just add some pinpoint concealing on my red marks if I feel the need to / can be arsed.

For reference, I would put my skin type as… confused. It used to be oily, then it was repeatedly abused by accutane until it was extremely dry. Since coming off the drugs, it has regained some life (moisture) to the point where it’s probably classed as ‘normal’, with some dry patches. This foundation can cling to those dry patches, and can transfer easily on my oilier parts if I don’t set with powder. That’s why I mentioned it might not be ideal for those with very dry or very oily skin, but for the UNBELIEVABLE PRICE (shouting again), it’s worth giving it a try if you’re on the fence.

To those who aren’t sure of their shade – I found Beauty Bay’s description of each shade very helpful, so I’ve copied it below. I wanted my shade to match my natural skin tone without fake tan, so I went for Light 1.2N (neutral undertone). If you’re still not sure, I’d say pick two shades (a lighter and a darker) and have a go at mixing them. I often buy two shades in foundations I like, which is of course completely unnecessary when you can just go and get samples from counters. But if you’re anything like me and you’re not quite sure of your natural skin tone because you bathe in facial tan on the reg, having a darker and a lighter option can be pretty handy.

Very Fair 1.0N – Very fair neutral.
Very Fair 1.0NS – Very fair neutral with silver highlights.
Very Fair 1.0P – Very fair pink undertones.
Fair 1.1N – Fair neutral.
Fair 1.1P – Fair pink undertones.
Light 1.2N – Light neutral.
Light 1.2P – Light pink undertones.
Light 1.2Y – Light yellow undertones.
Light 1.2YG – Light yellow undertones with gold highlights.
Light Medium 2.0N – Light medium neutral.
Light Medium 2.0P – Light medium with pink undertones.
Light Medium 2.0YG – Light medium with yellow undertones and gold highlights.
Medium 2.1P – Medium with pink undertones.
Medium 2.1Y – Medium with yellow undertones.
Medium Dark 3.0R – Medium dark with red undertones.
Medium Dark 3.0Y – Medium dark with yellow undertones.
Dark 31.R – Dark with red undertones.
Dark 3.1Y – Dark with yellow undertones.
Deep 3.2N – Deep neutral.
Deep 3.2R – Deep with red undertones.
Very Deep 3.3N – Very deep neutral.

Source: Beauty Bay


Have you tried any products by The Ordinary? What do you think of this foundation? I’d love to hear your views and any recommendations!


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