There’s no two ways about it: The Ordinary redefined the way we see skincare. Particularly affordable skincare. They proved that good skincare and expensive skincare are not synonymous, and was so well received, the brand’s philosophy so well respected (pay only for ingredients that work, not for packaging, branding or unnecessary ingredients) that when their foundations launched in the summer of 2017, they had a 25,000 person waiting list. Yep.
While astonishingly affordable, their skincare line does require some level of expertise, or at least knowledge, about ingredients, and what your skin needs and likes, in order to access it properly.
While their branding and philosophy remains unchanged, their foundations are on the other end of the spectrum to their skincare: they require no knowledge. Zero. They are accessible to even the newest of participants in the makeup game. They only have two formulas, their Serum Foundation and their Coverage Foundation, which is pretty self explanatory.
Their shade range is equally self explanatory. Each of the numbers have a corresponding letter: P (pink, cool undertones), N (neutral undertones), Y (yellow, warmth undertones) or YG (yellow golden, extremely warm undertones).
They carry 21 shades, which, for a £6 foundation (approximately), is by far not the worst shade range, and is certainly far better than many high street, affordable foundation shade ranges.
Their packaging, in line with their overall branding, is simple, sleek and functional. When the foundations first launched, they didn’t come with pumps; the Serum Foundation came with a dropper and the Coverage Foundation came with just a cap, but, alas, now they do. Further proof that being ‘affordable’ is no excuse for crappy, pump-less packaging (and putting higher end brands like Nars and Estee Lauder even more to shame for their pump-less foundation packaging).
But, as always, the proof is in the pudding. Or the foundation, in this case. And I don’t believe that I’ll be surprising anyone when I tell you that they perform. My job is somewhat redundant with The Ordinary products in general because they literally do what they say on the tin.
The Serum Foundation acts in a similar way to MAC’s Face & Body foundation, a longstanding and – until now – undupable cult classic. It is extremely watery – it has to be shaken before use – and provides a light, satin coverage.
The Coverage Foundation does indeed offer impressive coverage without looking cakey, heavy or dry. Again, a satin finish, so I can imagine an variety of skin types being able to use this with appropriate complimentary products.
The Ordinary have knocked it out of the park with this one. Very few brands can target such a large audience of users in terms of experience, desire and skin type with just two formulas, and none do it at a price as affordable and accessible as The Ordinary’s.