Frugal Friday: The Ordinary Serum Foundation

I’ve been on a quest lately to find my Holy Grail foundation. I like medium to full coverage, a good shade range, a hydrating formula, something that doesn’t settle into my lines or emphasize my pores, is transfer-proof and long-lasting. I know! It’s a lot to ask but I’m determined to find it! For reference, I have dry, sometimes sensitive skin and a light (not fair) skintone.

The Ordinary Colours Foundation ($6.70–yes, you read that price correctly) nearly broke the internet last April when it debuted. Apparently, there was a waiting list of 25,000! The brand built up a cult following with their effective and affordable skincare and customers were clamoring for the color cosmetics. My blogger friend, Phyrra told me about The Ordinary Serum Foundation last summer in Las Vegas. She has dry skin too, and this foundation made her skin look absolutely amazing! I mean, guuuurl, her skin looked airbrushed, photoshopped, filtered good!

The Ordinary Foundation comes in a serum version and a full coverage version each in 21 shades and will an SPF of 15. Each shade is denoted by a Y (yellow), N (neutral), or P (pink) for easy undertone navigation. I have a hard time choosing foundation shades because I look best in warm color cosmetics, but my skin undertone is pink and I find I’m neutral in a lot of shade ranges. So confusing! If you have a hard time picking which hue is right for you, The Ordinary has a handy foundation guide here. I actually purchased two different shades–it’s so cheap two bottles are less than one most drugstore foundations.

After testing out all both shades, I settled on 1.2P  in the Serum Foundation. I actually wanted the Coverage foundation and messed up when I ordered. The serum version is featherweight, in fact, it’s so light you can’t feel it your face at all. I know I’ve said that before, but this is something else beauties! It has just enough pigment to neutralize my redness and blemishes but still lets my freckles show through. I would prefer more coverage but I was able to build it up on my problem areas without it looking cakey so that’s a plus.

The Ordinary Serum Foundation is unlike anything I have ever tried! It has a very thin, runny texture (make sure to shake it up) yet a little goes a long way. It dries down to a semi-matte finish with a velvety, powdery feel and like I said, you can’t even feel it on your face. I tried applying with my fingers and with a brush and preferred the look with the brush. It’s hydrating and can be extremely long-lasting if I prep my skin properly. I use The Ordinary  Primer, apply the foundation with a brush, set it with CoverFX Illuminate Setting Powder and use a setting spray. Full disclosure: I do this with all my foundations so I don’t have to do anything extra. It does not settle into my lines or cling to dry patches. The finish is the closest to natural skin than any other foundation I’ve ever used!

I think I will try the Coverage version to see if I like it better, but this is pretty close to perfect.

Bottom Line: the Ordinary Serum Foundation is a really great foundation for mature dry skin. It doesn’t emphasize dryness, pores or lines and has a natural finish. All that for less than $7? The Serum foundation is almost perfect, I’m going to try the Coverage version to see if I can reach complexion perfection!

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  1. Allison @neversaydiebeauty says

    Thanks for the detailed review. I think i’d probably be the same shade as you. I will try the other one because I want more coverage

  2. Lola Seicento says

    I still have not tried anything from The Ordinary, but it is definitely on my list! The foundation looks lovely!

  3. Wow! I have never heard of The Ordinary. I have large pores and my skin tone is right in the middle of every shade I seem to find in other foundations. And that price makes it even better!

  4. I love 1NS, just wish it was lighter. I hate having to add white to it.

  5. This is something I am going to look into! Makeup is SO expensive, and this seems like a great, cheap way to go about beauty routines!

  6. I have been using their skincare and now I MUST try their foundation. Thanks!

  7. You look fantastic in this foundation!

  8. I love their foundation and recommend it all the time. Get the Coverage one and mix the two when you want more coverage. It works like a charm. And it’s so reasonably priced!

  9. shandy kaye says

    I love the texture, it so light, it blends like a dream, and just meshes with your skin, makes it look so smooth.

  10. Ooh la la looking fabulous lady! I am really loving the smoothness of the texture here. This is actually a brand I havent yet tried. So thank you!

  11. Can’t beat a price like that. I hoarded TO when they first came out and only liked 1 product. Since then I haven’t bought anything. I’ll give it a try again with this foundation

  12. I cannot wait to try these two foundations. I would wear both finishes depending on the occasion. This company is the best, it makes great products for really reasonable prices. I haven’t tried their primer yet because they have two formulas and I’m not sure which to get. Which one do you use and are you pleased with it? Thank you if you are able to answer and thanks for the great information.

  13. The way it dries down sounds fascinating! I haven’t worn foundation in ages but I think I would give this one a try because of the price and the fact that it’s good for dry skin!

  14. says

    I like that this is a product for more mature skin, I will have to check this out for sure. My skin is not dry, but just normal I would guess and a great range of color choices

  15. I hear such good things about this brand! I have yet to try it and need to change that ASAP!

  16. Love this on you! Looks like a perfect balance of coverage without dehydrating. I just started using ELF serum foundation last year and find it works for my skin.

  17. I’m so out of it. I’d never heard of a serum foundation. That sounds super hydrating though. I don’t wear foundation, but I’m more and more having to hydrate my skin before putting on makeup as my skin is definitely dryer than it was. So this is something I would want to check out when going back to foundation.

  18. I have the full-coverage foundation from them, and it’s a struggle to find a match. 2.0 is a smidgen pale, and 2.1Y is too deep for me, and I can’t be arsed to buy two and then mix them.

  19. We have the same preferences in foundation! That price is unbelievable, I need to pick up a few bottles, probably one in each formula.

  20. jillconyers says

    The foundation looks great on you. I have never heard of serum foundation but I now I want to try it.

  21. thats a steal esp if it has all those qualities!

  22. I wanted to love this foundation but it didn’t work for me at all. I think these are meant for drier skin types, because both Ordinary foundations separate and crease on me hours after applying 🙁

  23. This foundation sounds amazing, although I’d probably need more coverage, so I may try that one first. I’m always on the lookout for a great foundation!

  24. That foundation looks amazing! Definitely a great price as well. Sounds healthy for our skin!

  25. Christina Shirley says

    I’ve never seen a foundation so thin and runny, but I’ll give anything a try once. It looks great on you!

  26. I am so happy you did a review on this brand. I have been wanting to try this foundation for a while. It looks great on you, and you can’t beat the price!

  27. Maria Katsulos says

    I’m so glad you did a review on this, I haven’t seen too many and I’ve been hearing about this brand for a while!!

  28. For those prices I will totally try them! I have been wanting to try a serum foundation, but they are typically so expensive! I love a lighter coverage for my every day so this seems like it would be a good fit.

  29. I have both of the foundations and I am still on the fence!I need to use them more to see if I really like them or not!

  30. This seems like a great foundation for me because it feels light. In Arizona it gets really warm but I still like a good coverage foundation. Definitely going to check this out!

  31. I have heard nothing but great things about this brand. I haven’t tried anything from them before but I’m always excited to try new brands and products I haven’t yet.