beauty

The $12.90 foundation that was my best beauty discovery of 2017.

I’m not particularly experimental when it comes to foundations. In fact, I’m a little boring.

While a lot come my way as a beauty writer, it takes something pretty spectacular to earn a spot in my regular routine.

(In case you’re wondering, that’s Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation about 70 per cent of the year with the switch to It Cosmetics CC Cream when the weather gets warmer).

That’s it. While I have about 12 different mascaras (yes, I know it’s quite ridiculous) it’s just those two foundations in my makeup bag. Well, until recently.

At the end of last year, I added a new foundation to the rotation, The Ordinary’s Coverage Foundation.

At first glance, it looks, well, quite ordinary. It’s a small, simple bottle with a pump (thank god – I’ll never understand the foundations that don’t) available in 21 different shades. Like the skincare range, this simplicity is exactly why it’s causing such a stir.

I’m not too experimental when it comes to foundations. In fact, I’m a little bit boring. I’ll use Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation 70 per cent of the time and switch out to @itcosmeticspr CC Cream when the weather gets warmer. That’s it. Which is why it’s kind of a big deal that I’ve now added a new foundation to the rotation. When it was first released, @deciem The Ordinary’s foundation had a wait list of over 25,000 people. Yep, talk about FOMO. So of course I had to try it. It costs just $12.90 and the coverage is high without feeling heavy. It’s matte without being dull and it lasts the whole day. My mum also bought it and loves it just as much, proving it works for a variety of skin types and ages. It looks small but you’re actually getting the same amount of product as most other foundations (30ml). I do need a hydrating primer underneath as my skin is really dry at the moment but it still looks natural and skin-like. Ordinary? Not a chance.

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When it was first released, it had a wait list of over 25,000 people. That was the first indication that this was no ordinary foundation. With major FOMO, I finally went into The Ordinary Store last month to pick myself up a bottle.

At $12.90 it’s even cheaper than my drugstore Rimmel favourite. And while the bottle looks tiny, it actually contains 30ml of foundation – the exact same size as most other foundations you’ll buy for at least double the price.

As the name suggests, you get full-coverage with this foundation but it doesn’t feel heavy or cakey on the skin. This is thanks to its high pigment levels, which are still easy to apply and keep skin looking like skin, a highly underrated characteristic.

Excuse my 'I-didn't-have-time-to-wash-my-hair-so-I'll-chuck-it-up' hairdo. No filter on The Ordinary foundation. Image: Brittany Stewart

The water-based foundation feels light, doesn't collect in pores or lines and lasts the whole day. The real winner for me is the semi-matte finish - it's not too shiny or dewy so works well with oily skin, but it's not too matte and chalky that my dehydrated skin looks dull. I do need a hydrating primer underneath to make sure it doesn't collect in areas like around my nose, but once that's on it's not a problem.

I apply with a beauty blender and take care to shake the bottle each time before using.

My mum also bought a bottle at the same time and loves it just as much, proving it works for a variety of skin types and ages.

Listen: Jessie Stephens shares her greatest at-home beauty find. Post continues after audio.

The colours are organised quite logically... once you get your head around the system. As I went into the Sydney store at The Rocks, I was able to get the staff to help identify I was a 1.2P. Translation? Light with pink undertones.

There's a handy shade explainer on the website but the basic breakdown is three categories; 1 for fair to light, 2 for medium and 3 for darker tones. The second number (1-3) denotes the depth of each category and the letter at the end represents the undertone. E.g P for Pink, R for Red, N for Neutral and Y for yellow. Each bottle has both the figure and word description.

If you can't get to the store, you can buy the foundation online at Adore Beauty. The skincare range is a bit more readily available, also stocked at Priceline and Myer.

For more beauty bargains, follow Brittany Stewart on Facebook and Instagram.

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