Buying Guide: The Ordinary Foundations

Sell-out skincare range The Ordinary is known for its affordable serums, no frills approach to beauty, and the fact that it’s new releases always fly off the shelves. When the foundations first launched in 2017, they were faced with waitlists 25,000 people deep… Why? Who wouldn’t want a base that’s light, buildable, long-lasting, and looks like your skin, but better? 

Here’s everything you need to know about The Ordinary foundations

The first thing you should know is that there are two formulas – one with a light-medium finish and the other with a medium-full coverage finish. They’re both available in 21 shades (ranging from pale to deep) and the shades are also helpfully broken down into undertones (pink, red, yellow, and neutral). Both formulas are vegan, cruelty-free, oil-free, and are boosted with SPF15 physical sun protection from titanium dioxide. 

Can’t decide which one to buy? Scroll down for our helpful guide to choosing your foundation.

Coverage Foundation

Texture: Light, lotion-like consistency 

Coverage: Medium but buildable to full 

Best for: Combination and oily skin types 

Finish: Velvet matte 

Apply with: Sponge or a round buffing brush 

Beauty Editor’s notes: “I was so surprised by how concentrated this formula is, considering that the texture is so light and silky. It blends and layers really well so I can get a good coverage that conceals any blemishes or redness that I have. Overall it does a really good job of brightening and evening out my skintone, and it doesn’t look at all cakey (but does need a bit of extra powder if you’re prone to shine and oily patches).”

Serum Foundation

Texture: Thin, watery consistency 

Coverage: Light but buildable to medium 

Best for: Dry and sensitive skin types 

Finish: Sheer, fresh, and semi-matte, looks like natural skin 

Apply with: Fingers, stippling brush, or sponge

Beauty Editor’s notes: “This is my favourite everyday foundation, I’ve been through about five bottles since I first purchased it. The level of coverage it gives is similar to a BB cream, but without the thick texture – so it doesn’t cling to and emphasise dry patches. My favourite thing about this foundation is that despite the fact it’s surprisingly pigmented (I was initially expecting it to be a lot more sheer), it feels like I have nothing on my skin. Plus, unlike other foundations it doesn’t break me out – in fact, it feels more like skincare than makeup.