Versus: The Ordinary Serum and Coverage Foundations

the ordinary serum and coverage foundation

It’s been a long time coming, but I FINALLY managed to get my hands on both The Ordinary Serum and Coverage foundations. If you’ve been living under the non-beauty rock, these foundations had some major hype last year! It’s mostly due to the crazy price at around $7 a bottle. I wanted to do a Versus post not only to compare them, but to also share my thoughts on both of them!


The claims for both of these foundations can probably be inferred from their names. The Serum foundation is described as “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.”

the ordinary serum foundation

The Ordinary Serum Foundation in 1.2 YG

The Coverage foundation is described as “full-coverage formulations available in a comprehensive shade range across 21 shades. These foundations contain higher pigment levels than our Serum Foundations but still offer a smooth finish that avoids the heavy makeup look that can make skin appear more aged. ”

the ordinary coverage foundation

The Ordinary Coverage Foundation in 1.2 YG

Shade Range

As mentioned above there are 21 shades in both of the lines. The shades are the same between both the Serum and Coverage foundations. In general, I would say they have a pretty good range.  The undertones are broken up into Neutral (N), Neutral with Silver Highlights (NS) (definitely unique…), Pink (P), Yellow (Y) and Yellow with Golden Highlights (YG). I chose 1.2 YG (Light) in both Serum and Coverage.

the ordinary foundation shade range

Shade range of The Ordinary Foundations (from The Ordinary website)


Right out of the bottle, the serum and coverage foundations are definitely different.

the ordinary serum and coverage foundation

Serum Foundation – Coverage Foundation

The Serum foundation comes out like water. It’s very similar to the Fenty foundation right out of the bottle. The Coverage foundation is similar to a traditional cream foundation with a bit more structure.

the ordinary serum and coverage foundation

Serum Foundation – Coverage Foundation

Once spread out a little they look similar. You can tell that the Serum foundation to the left spreads out a bit more fine than the Coverage which makes sense.

the ordinary serum and coverage foundation

Serum Foundation – Coverage Foundation

Fully blended, the most interesting part is that the shades end up actually looking different. The Serum foundation looks similar to the foundation out of the bottle, but the Coverage foundation sets a bit darker.


the ordinary serum and coverage foundation

Coverage Foundation on the left – Serum Foundation on the right

I’ve tried applying both of these with a makeup sponge and brush. I found they applied a bit better with a sponge than a brush. Even though these both came out so different in the bottle I found the finish was actually quite similar. The Coverage foundation did provide more coverage, but they both had a demi-matte finish.

the ordinary coverage foundation

Coverage Foundation

On the left side of my face we have the Coverage foundation. You can definitely tell it runs a bit more orange. Finish-wise looks good. My complaint is that I found it a bit finicky to get it to look even. It actually looks pretty decent on camera, but it was almost like the pigment doesn’t spread evenly. I found this especially on my nose. I used this with and without primer with the same results.

the ordinary serum foundation

Serum Foundation

On the right side I have the Serum foundation. You can kinda tell that the redness is peeking through a bit more than the Coverage side. Similar to the Coverage side, I found that I had a tough time with application. It’s like the pigment wouldn’t wholly cover my face especially my nose. Very similar to the Coverage side as well in that a sponge worked better to apply this.


The wear time on both of these is very similar. I found that they lasted for a full days which is great. I found myself getting a bit oily in the T zone, but nothing crazy. In general though, as mentioned in application, the pigment itself didn’t look totally smooth. This didn’t necessary accentuate throughout the day but it remained even as it mixed with the natural oils in my skin (which I’ve found sometimes helps this).


I’ll make this short: the foundations are dirt cheap. If you can find them, they are definitely drugstore prices (even lower than some). The Serum foundation is $6.70 CAD and the Coverage foundation is $6.90 CAD. So the Coverage foundation will cost you a bit more, but I would dare say they are the same price!


For the price, I would say these foundations are worth a try. These are pretty good foundations, but not the best I’ve tried. The beading up of the colour pigment is a bit annoying, but not sure if that just happens to me. The wear on these and the finish are good for a drugstore priced foundation.

If you need a bit more coverage, the Coverage foundation would definitely be best. I would (if you can) buy the shade you think you are and maybe the one lighter due to the slight darkening.

The Serum foundation has a bit more of a natural look, but still wears just as long as the Coverage one.


And there is my review! Hope it was helpful if you were looking at purchasing these!

Thanks for reading! Have a great day!