The Ordinary Serum Foundation Review: We Put the Sold-Out Foundation To The Test

As a couple of The Ordinary junkies (see our reviews here and here), we were pumped when Deciem released The Ordinary Colours Serum Foundation ($7). A serum AND a foundation for $7?? Get real people! They also released a Coverage Foundation that we have yet to try. Unsurprisingly, both foundations sold out within a few hours of their release and we missed out. But after months of waiting, these babies are back and your girls at WWFL are here to put them to the test! Read on to see if the wait was worth it.

The Ordinary Colours Serum Foundation Review

What Makes This Formula So Special?

First of all, The Ordinary Colours Serum Foundation comes in 21 shades, with each shade divided into three undertone categories- yellow, pink and neutral. If you’re not sure what your undertone is, they show swatches on models, which can help you decide. Because of this, most ladies out there should be able to find their color. It’s also a medium-coverage foundation that is supposed to have a more serum-like feel.

Deciem developed a pretty advanced color pigment system that is supposed to make this foundation unlike any other. The pigments are highly-saturated, but spread easily in order to look natural on the skin without sinking into fine lines. Deciem also claims that the unique pigment system allows the foundation to look so natural on skin that three or more shades can work on each person. So if you’re on the fence between two shades, fear not! They will probably both be fine.

Our Review:

The Ordinary Serum Foundation comes in a little bottle with a pump in their classic minimalist, no-frills packaging. You can also purchase a dropper if you so desire, but I’m into the pump. I love the minimalist packaging and I think it makes the product look more expensive than the $7 I paid. After studying the swatches for hours, I ordered two shades (1.1N and 1.2P) because I was on the fence. I couldn’t tell if I was a pink or neutral, but both shades actually worked well for me. If you are unsure like me and buy two, you can easily blend them together to get a more precise match.

I’m not usually an everyday foundation-wearer since my skin is pretty good on its own (thanks Korean skincare!) So the idea of a serum foundation was extra appealing to me- skincare and light-medium coverage in one! The Serum Foundation formula is super lightweight (much more watery than other foundations) and spreads easily onto the skin. It also feels more hydrating than most foundations and doesn’t cake AT ALL!

It feels like an expensive product and provides a dewy, natural look. I would say the coverage is slightly more than a BB cream, but has an even more naked-skin look. Make sure before applying this to shake it first, as it can separate a little. Also, make sure not to pump too hard as the pump can shoot out way more than you need. I would recommend applying it with your fingers or a brush, not a blender or sponge. A blender would soak up way too much product.

The Ordinary Colours Serum Foundation Review

Swatches of 1.1 Neutral and 1.2 Pink before and after blending them together on my arm

I also purchased the High Spreadability Fluid Primer ($8) which I like more than most primers. It goes on more like a serum and doesn’t feel heavy on the skin. Deciem recommends using this or their other primer under their foundations, but I feel like any decent primer will do since the foundation is so good. I have to say I didn’t notice a huge difference between using the primer and just applying the foundation over my moisturized skin. Maybe in photos it would look different.

I would highly recommend this foundation to anyone looking for light-medium coverage that looks and feels like your own skin. If you’re looking for high coverage, give The Ordinary Coverage Foundation a go and let us know how it is! I tend to break out from a lot of foundations and after using the Serum Foundation several times, I think my skin actually looked BETTER after taking it off. We all know how rare that is. From a non-foundation girl, this foundation is definitely a keeper.

Our Rating:


  1. Roberta Roth
    August 19, 2017 / 8:52 pm

    Yes, I have spent many hours researching the shades and couldn’t come to a conclusion.
    Could you tell me your average MAC foundation shade so I can get an idea of your skin tone?

    • Will Work for Lipstick
      August 21, 2017 / 2:37 pm

      Hi Roberta,

      We don’t use MAC Foundation, we prefer more budget-friendly makeup. But, the swatches on the The Ordinary are shown on different skin tones. They even say that that 3 different shades can work on everyone 🙂