Home Beauty The Ordinary Serum Foundation Review, Swatches, Makeup Look – Dupe of PMG Sublime Perfection Foundation

The Ordinary Serum Foundation Review, Swatches, Makeup Look – Dupe of PMG Sublime Perfection Foundation

by Tavia

Hello lovelies!

I have no excuse for not posting The Ordinary Serum Foundation Review sooner. I bought it last year and I’ve been using it till the last pump. This one along with The Ordinary Coverage Foundation (upcoming review) were very hyped products when they launched. Everyone was talking about them as being the best and most affordable foundations.

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U.S. / UK – Now at BeautyBay, CultBeauty, FeelUnique, Look Fantastic, The Ordinary


The Ordinary Serum Foundation Review

I went and bought this foundation right from the store, almost 10 months ago and I was so impressed with their range of 21 shades. I think they have a great range of super light shades for fair and super pale skin but for the darker skin there are about 5-6 shades as well.

Three of the shades have an additional letter at the end: S indicates Silver highlights and G indicates Gold highlights; these shades use natural-looking and exceptionally fine dispersions of metallic effect pigments for added highlight.

The Ordinary Serum Foundation SPF 15 ($6.70 / £5.70 for 30 ml / .1 fl oz) is a light to medium-coverage foundation that gives a very natural finish to the skin. It feels extremely lightweight on the skin, super comfortable that most times I even forget I’m wearing a foundation. It has a super liquidy, watery-like texture that is very runny. My shade is No.1.2N (neutral) and it was a perfect match as I tested it in the store before buying it.

This foundation is alcohol-free, water-free, oil-free, silicone-free, nut-free, vegan, gluten-free, cruelty-free. So it pretty much covers all preferences for a lot of makeup enthusiasts. I was really curious to try it out because it claims to be a serum foundation, therefore super lightweight.

I don’t have any major skin issues, apart from redness and always fighting excess sebum so I don’t need more than a medium coverage at best. Having read that is a serum foundation with a low viscosity and super-light feel on the skin, made it sound perfect.

The price is super affordable so I wasn’t to concerned if this product would have been a major fail as it cost me the price of an ice cream. It comes in a small bottle with a pump but you can purchase separately a dropper if you prefer to use it that way. The packaging doesn’t look fancy or anything, but I like the simplicity of it and for that price I couldn’t have asked for more.

Just be careful when you apply this foundation as the texture is very thin and watery. If you use a beauty blender just like I do, the sponge will suck in a lot of product so you need 2-3 pumps at least. I love that I can’t even feel it on the skin so it’s true to a face serum. Since I’m a combo skin type I prefer lightweight textures as much as possible and this one looked so natural on my skin.

In terms of coverage it does provide a light, very natural coverage which can be built to a medium… at best. So if you are concerned with uneven looking skin tone, minor discoloration or just a zit now and there this one should work fine. If you want something with full coverage that will hide more severe skin imperfections, breakouts or pimples I wouldn’t count on it for that.

As long as you prefer a foundation that leaves your skin still looking at skin after you’ve applied even 2 layers, then you have a winner. It doesn’t settle into fine lines or wrinkles and it’s super forgiving for mature skin as well. When we age we prefer to give up on those full coverage products or matte finishes that accentuates our lines or wrinkles and make our complexion look dehydrated throughout the day.

I was quite impressed that even though is a serum foundation it does provide enough coverage and offers a very natural semi-matte finish. For my combo skin type as well as for oily skin this one should be a great product to try it out. It keeps my sebum at bay and I dare to say it does a better job in this segment than Pat McGrath Sublime Perfection Foundation (review, before& after photos – 3 different looks) does.

While it has the same consistency as PMG Sublime Perfection Foundation, The Ordinary Serum Foundation lasts even a bit longer, up to 10 or 12 hours if I use the right primer and set it with powder. If I want a flawless looking complexion with a makeup that will last all day I make sure to use Deciem Hylamide HA Blur (review).

If you are concerned that The Ordinary Serum Foundation will settle into your lines, especially around the nose or the chin, don’t be. It works just like a serum and blends in easily and seamlessly. I was surprised to use it more than PMG Sublime Perfection Foundation… and for this price it does even a better job.

I personally think is the best lightweight foundation and natural coverage one that I’ve ever tried. While the formulations are the same in all markets, the packaging will claim SPF 15 only in the European Union while regulatory processes for claiming SPF in other markets are carried out individually.

It looks very well on the skin, has a good wear and keeps my complexion looking good for at least 10 hours. If you love the  Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation (review) then you should definitely try The Ordinary Serum Foundation as well. I’m into luxury and high end foundations too and I didn’t trust that such an affordable foundation could do such a great job. Definitely I’m going to repurchase it and have it in my collection at all times.

The Ordinary Serum Foundation Swatches

As you can see it provides a decent coverage in one layer but is a bit see-through. I have days when I use an extra layer of foundation and it still looks natural and semi-matte. I love that the finish is not completely matte and it doesn’t look cakey or tends to break out during the day. It’s just like a serum but it does provide a natural coverage.

The Ordinary Serum Foundation Makeup Look

I’ve worn this foundation so many times throughout the past months and I’ve created so many looks that I shared on my Instagram feed or Instastories. Here is one of them where I have Guerlain Chamade (164) Rouge Automatique Lipstick (review, swatches) on my lips. I rarely go for red lips but this one really felt part of this look.

For the eyes I paired Chanel Warm Memories Eyeshadow Quad (review, swatches, makeup looks) with a bit of sparkle from Tati Beauty Texture Neutrals Eyeshadow Palette (ucpoming review) on the lid. The Tati palette is an overdue review even thought I bought it right when it launched but I was 50-50 with this palette after I tried it out and I preferred to speak out on Instagram at that time.

Here’s a close up where you can see how the well the colors blend together and look quite natural.

It wouldn’t be me if I wouldn’t wear a fuchsia bright lipstick so let me share a photo of that look. I was wearing The Ordinary Serum Foundation of course. 🙂 I know you’ll be asking me about the lip color so here it is. Guerlain Rouge G No.73 Lipstick review and lip swatches as well.

On the cheeks I used shades from NARS Overlust Palette (review, live swatches, makeup looks).

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1 comment

genevieve June 3, 2020 - 3:50 am

Thank you so much for your indepth review of The Ordinary’s foundation. It is certainly one that I have wanted to try. And it’s good to know how wonderful it is for the price, especially with the comparison to PMG’s foundation. I don’t think you have to spend a lot of money to get good foundation these days.
I guess I would be concerned about the lightweight formula and how thin and watery the consistency is, as it would be quite easy to end up with too much on your fingers ( I don’t use a beauty blender). But with all foundations it is a bit of trial and error in that department as to how much you pump out.
I look forward to reading your review of the Coverage foundation too.


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