Everyone’s raving about The Ordinary products, and I’ve got a whole bunch of them too.
The company is so small and probably overwhelmed with demand as a result of these ravings, but if you put yourself on a waiting list or their list to email when it’s back in stock, then eventually they’ll get around to sending it to you. And I thought that this foundation was worth the wait.
Of course, not having counters in department stores makes it difficult to choose the right shade, but, especially when you’ve got a weird skin tone like mine, actually having your shade matched by a consultant in a store is no guarantee that you’ll eventually walk away with the correct foundation shade for you. I find that make up consultants in this country, perhaps influenced by reality TV, routinely issue me with a yellower or darker shade than my actual skin tone. Par contre, I made an emergency foundation purchase in Dubai airport Duty Free last week – long story – and my shade was matched as lighter and less yellow than my actual skin. Cultural expectations of beauty and tone must play a part here, I think.
Getting back to The Ordinary, they have a helpful approximation colour chart on their website, so I plumped for shade 2.1Y as my normal colour and 3.0Y just in case, which might come in handy for later on in the summer. Part of the appeal of The Ordinary is their cheapness, and these foundations cost only £5.90 as opposed to the £30-£40 I normally pay for a foundation. You might as well buy both and see which one is the best match. I wear a high spf on my face to guard against further hyper pigmentation but I am inevitably a little tanned. You should see my arms and legs just from being in the garden these last few weeks: I’m brown as a nut. Apparently there’s shade-changing leeway built into the foundation but I can’t see how this works at all.
The serum foundation is billed as a light to medium coverage and it is buildable to a certain extent. It’s VERY liquid as it comes out of its little bottle and it’s difficult to believe that one pump can give as much cover as it does but so did Chanel’s Teint VItalumière Aqua, which gives a similar finish. I use it with The Ordinary’s High Adherence Serum (not as quenching as my beloved Illamasqua Hydra Veil primer) and it goes on well, if slightly streakily. I can’t wait until I can purchase a Clarisonic Foundation Brush head in October as I think that might help with even application.
I’m wearing this foundation in this picture, taken a good five hours after application. I’d been at the Chelsea Flower Show on a very hot day and I had glowed like the most earnest ballet dancer, and still the foundation looked like this. I must tell you here that my eyes were watering all day. The spf 15 in this foundation – any foundation or spf moisturiser I find – makes them run ike the wind and so I’d make sure not to apply it in your eye area, which can be problematic as there’s no concealer available in the line yet.
I’d rate the coverage as between Charlotte Tilbury’s Lightwonder Foundation, which is my go-to as a sort of glowy tinted moisturiser, and Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Foundation, which is supposed to be full coverage. I’m not sure what I think of this last one: I think I might have a too-light colour, having tried one that was too dark and yellow. I really don’t think that Charlotte’s line has given quite enough thought to her customers of colour in this one yet. I bought mine in a package with its dedicated foundation brush, which is so poor and sheds bristles so badly that I’m surprised that they have the temerity to continue to sell it separately for £35 odd and not in a gift package where you can discard it. It really is the worst brush I’ve used.
So I’m pleased with this foundation over all and I’d now like to put myself on the waiting list for the full cover foundation.