The Ordinary High Coverage Foundation: I Just Don’t Get It.

The brand The Ordinary utterly confuses me.

The minimalistic packaging is great, almost with a Aesop vibe, however the actual products I just don’t get. With waitlists for their foundations, a tonne of hype and change from a tenner, I am really confused by the entire range.

I’d already tried a couple of skincare products. After searching ASOS for a while I bought a couple of random bits to try. With names like ‘Suspension’, ‘Alpha Arbutin’, ‘Retinol, ‘Buffet’, I am totally confused. Personally I would find shopping from The Ordinary much easier if the products were labelled toner, serum, moisturiser etc. And suitable for dry/dehydrated skin, oily skin, combo. You know what I’m saying?? Safe to say the products I bought were a total flop for my skin type. I cannot even tell you what I bought, as these have been passed on a long time ago.
All these technical terms I don’t really understand, I feel as though I need to be a skincare expert. I’m no Caroline Hirons and don’t have the time or patience to trawl through every individual product trying to find the right one. It seems I have already dedicated a fair amount of time trying to find the right products for my skin type, to no avail. With this in mind, I thought I would try a foundation and that this would be a safe bet.
The Ordinary Coverage Foundation.

Tell Me More…

First off there are 2 types of foundations in the range (as far as I can tell anyway); High Coverage and Serum. It wasn’t until my pal asked me which type I’d bought that I realised they were at least two different versions to try.  Once it had arrived, it turns out I bought the High Coverage Foundation. I was pleased I had chosen this and not the serum as the days I do want to wear foundation, these days I like a little more coverage and felt it’s counterpart could have been a little on the lightweight side. The shade range is extensive. There are almost too many shades to choose from, I didn’t know where to start. I cannot tell you which shade I did pick up, but it was one of the lightest, neutral tones.

The Ordinary Coverage Foundation.

Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Foundation is one of the best long-lasting high coverage foundations I’ve ever tried and still to this day remains high at the top of my favourites list. I was hoping for similar results from The Ordinary, however this foundation really let me down.

On first thoughts it was fairly easy to blend and gave a nice, semi-matte finish to the skin. However the coverage certainly isn’t high (fairly sheer), it doesn’t even compare to Lauder’s magic in a bottle. The formula didn’t last on my skin and around my nose area bunched all up to look patchy and quite unsightly.
With a heavy heart I’m going to say I really don’t understand the hype around this brand. I haven’t enjoyed anything I have used, none of the formulas (both skincare and foundation) have personally worked for me. Maybe the products are so cheap for a reason?
I truly believe in being completely honest writing reviews for my blog and never want to slate a brand, however I just don’t get it.
Am I missing something here? Do you love The Ordinary? Or are you like me and nothing seems to work for you? I would love to know your thoughts, please drop a comment below…
  • Rachel

    Honestly? The Ordinary is a brand that is basically targeted at people who have a pretty decent understanding of ingredients and specific skin issues, rather than maybe the general consumer. They don’t have generic products that fit nicely into the ‘toner’, ‘moisturiser’ etc category because that’s not their approach. Their philosophy is to provide at a low price individual ingredients that are typically found in mid to high end products, so that you can mix and match depending on what your skin needs. This probably does require some research on your part, but there are loads of reviews up online about their products and what they’re used for – eg Vitamin C is for brightening, Niacinamide is for reducing pigmentation, AHA is for brightening and reducing pigmentation and encouraging skin renewal, Retinol is good for anti-aging, congested and acne-prone skin, Arbutin is for clarity/brightening and so on. It’s not an introductory brand for someone who is very used to the usual cleanser-toner-moisturiser type routine, most of the products are serums or specific treatments. That’s probably a better way of thinking about the line, and it’s why the products don’t line up with ‘conventional’ brands.

    The pluses of the brand is that these ingredients are sometimes very expensive in more conventional brands, can be purchased individually unlike conventional brands who may add several active ingredients into one product, are quite stripped down in terms of formulas (they don’t have lots of fragrance etc as would be normal for most conventional skincare brands sold on the high street). The ultimate benefit is a great deal of customisability – but that assumes you find that a benefit.

    I’ve never tried the foundations, and of course some people don’t like the Ordinary’s products for various reasons, but just thought you should understand what the brand is really about.

    • Thanks for the comment… I love skincare and always try to implement the best routine for my needs at that time. I feel like you have given me a lesson! However I must admit I have spoken to many beauty lovers and most find the whole thing completely confusing and do not know where to start. As with the foundation, this was nothing to do with the labelling, but the formula. My skin just didn’t like it.

  • I am yet to try anything from this brand! I am intrigued but like you I haven’t got a clue what half the products are haha! xx

    • Ah thanks – alot of people I have spoken to seem to share the same view. So confusing. x

  • I haven’t tried anything yet and I do think that boils down to how confusing the system is! I have my eye on a few products but every time I go to order I get cold feet in case they won’t work for me. xx

    • Hi Laura. I don’t think it’s a bad brand, on the contrary it may be very good. However even when you’re a skincare junkie, I find the labelling extremely confusing. I’m certainly no expert, just enjoy great skincare. And the foundation just didn’t work for me and that’s nothing to do with the system! x

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