First Impressions with The Ordinary Serum Foundation

Hi Everyone!

Like every other beauty enthusiast, I wanted to try The Ordinary’s Foundation, but I waited a bit to read reviews and see which one I’d prefer: Coverage or Serum.Both foundations come in 21 shades. The Serum Foundation is described as a “Lightweight Pigment Suspension System with Moderate Coverage” while the Coverage Foundation is described as a “High-Spreadability Pigment Suspension System with High Coverage.” The foundations come in a plastic bottle with a pump. The pump is matte black which is kind of harder to keep clean than non-matte pumps, but who can complain when it’s less than $10 for the foundation. They also have a glass dropper you can purchase separately if you prefer.

After swatching both, I decided on the Serum Foundation because it’s more lightweight and not as thick. I prefer lightweight foundations especially since my face has been relatively clear recently. I used to prefer medium to full coverage matte foundations, but I think now I prefer sheer to medium coverage with a natural or radiant finish.

media-20180123ddd.jpgSerum Foundation in 2.0N – I decided to get the shade 2.0 N (Light Medium Neutral). Usually for foundations that have different shades for each undertone, I’m either yellow or neutral. I think that neutral suits me better because yellow can sometimes be a bit too yellow. They were sold out of 2.0 N at Hudson’s Bay (they had plenty of stock at the Queen Street location, but, of course they’re sold out of my shade…just my luck). My sister was able to pick it up at the Abnormal Beauty Company store downtown.

Serum Foundations are lightweight medium-coverage formulations available in a comprehensive shade range across 21 shades. These foundations offer moderate coverage that looks natural with a very lightweight serum feel. They are very low in viscosity and are dispensed with the supplied pump.

I apply the foundation after using a sponge or my fingers since it’s so liquid. If you read my First Impressions Review on the Buffet serum, you saw that I applied this on top of the Buffet and it started to pill when I used my fingers. So, if you use Buffet, keep that in mind when applying this foundation- it didn’t pill when I used a sponge.


To test the foundation, I didn’t powder my t-zone to see how well it held up. It set to a nice, smooth finish. It started breaking up and getting shiny after the 2nd hour on my chin and around and on my nose. My skin isn’t very oily, so if you do have oily skin, you should definitely powder your t-zone.

Number and Letter Meanings for the Shades

The shades range from very fair to deep: very fair to light (1.0-1.2), light medium to medium (2.0-2.1), medium dark to deep (3.0-3.3). Each shade is followed by a letter to indicate the undertone: Neutral (N), Pink (P), Yellow (Y), Red (R). They also have three shades that have a second letter: Silver (S) indicates silver highlights, and Gold (G) indicates gold highlights. For example NS listed below is Neutral undertones with Silver highlights and YG is Yellow undertones with Gold highlights. The S and G shades “use natural-looking and exceptionally fine dispersions of metallic effect pigments for added highlight,” and the description on The Ordinary’s website says they plan to “introduce individual enhancers and highlighters in the near future to customize all shades.”


Shade 2.0N

Shade Range

1.0 Very Fair x x x
1.1 Fair x x
1.2 Light x x x x
2.0 Light Medium x x x
2.1 Medium x x
3.0 Medium Dark x x
3.1 Dark x x
3.2 Deep x x
3.3 Very Deep x


I love that it comes in a pump and it’s super affordable. It covered up redness around my nose and chin really well. I think I would prefer a foundation that gives a more luminous finish, but I can always add something to it to give it a pop (check out my beauty hack using the white/silver ‘concealer’ from the Coastal Scents Eclipse Palette). You definitely can’t go wrong with this foundation’s price.