The Ordinary foundation range

The best The Ordinary foundation alternatives now the Colours range has been discontinued

12th December 2023 | Author: Victoria Woollaston-Webber

The Ordinary foundation and concealer range, Colours, has been discontinued. Here are the best alternatives that we’ve tried and tested 

The Ordinary is one of our favourite beauty brands and while it’s renowned for its ingredient-led skincare lines, it also used to sell a collection of makeup under its Colours range.

This included concealers as well as its Serum, and Coverage foundations. Both of which featured highly in our best foundation list.

However, at the end of 2022 and citing high costs and a complex production process, The Ordinary said it could now longer afford to keep making the Colours products. It then pulled the plug on The Ordinary foundation range in June.

We explain more about the decision at the bottom of this page and below we list The Ordinary foundation alternatives that offer the same formulation and coverage for a similar price.

The Ordinary Foundation alternatives

The alternatives and replacements are based on real-world tests. We’ve been running a large foundation group test for the past year and you can see the full ranking via the spreadsheet on our best foundation page.

♥︎ Editor’s Pick: Collection Lasting Perfection Matte

£6.49 | Buy now

Collection Lasting Perfection Matte reviewmamabella | mamabella


Price: £6.49

Shades: 20

Coverage: Full

Base: Silicone

Finish: Matte

Vegan: Partly

Cruelty-free: Yes

A familiar staple of our childhood, Collection Cosmetics has undergone a makeover and firmly established itself as a favourite among makeup enthusiasts.

We often find ourselves reaching for Collection foundations and concealers over the myriad of high-end products we own, despite their significantly lower price tag.

We were thrilled, then, to see that the Lasting Perfection Matte foundation performed so well in our recent foundation roundup.

For a mere £6.49, you get a choice of 20 shades – while not the most extensive range, it’s impressive for such an affordable brand – and a generous SPF 30.

This foundation delivers full coverage and a soft matte finish that lasts throughout the day.

While Collection claims an impressive 16 hours of wear, we found that it realistically lasts closer to 12 hours, especially on oily skin types. Yet this is still impressive, especially given the price.

In fact, the combination of its hydrating nature coupled with its matte finish meant this foundation lasted longer than any other we’ve tried on our oily skin.

While a selection of Collection products adhere to vegan standards, there are still a few items that incorporate animal byproducts. Collection is officially cruelty-free but, given its incomplete vegan compliance, it received a drop in our overall scoring.

Buy now from Boots
@victoria_woolly_web Collection’s Lasting Perfection Glow performed well, but how does the matte version compare in the hunt for the best foundation? #fyp #fypシ #viral #mamabella #foundationtest #foundations #foundationreview #foundation #bestfoundation #bestfoundationuk #bestfoundationever #bestfoundationforoilyskin #bestfoundationformatureskin @collectioncosmetics ♬ Sunroof – Nicky Youre & dazy

♥︎ SheGlam Skinfinite

£5.69 | Buy now

SheGlam Skinfinite foundation reviewmamabella | mamabella


Price: £5.69

Shades: 30

Coverage: Medium

Base: Silicone

Finish: Natural

Vegan: Yes

Cruelty-free: Yes

SheGlam has garnered significant kudos among TikTok users and influencers alike, promising premium products at affordable prices and its Skinfinite foundation exemplifies this promise, offering a blend of impressive features and a wallet-friendly price tag.

In our foundation tests, the SheGlam Skinfinite performed as expected for a medium-coverage foundation in the strawberry test, earning a respectable three points. However, it fell short in the orange test, earning only one point.

The Skinfinite foundation then aced our blotting paper test, demonstrating its remarkable oil-control capabilities while increasing skin hydration – a rare feat for any foundation, let alone a drugstore choice.

This hydration boost translated to a significant 4.4% improvement in skin moisture. This achievement, coupled with its natural-matte finish, speaks volumes about the SheGlam Skinfinite’s ability to balance oil control and hydration effectively.

Beyond its performance, the SheGlam Skinfinite foundation makeup stands out for its commitment to sustainability. It is both vegan and cruelty-free, and with a generous shade range of 30, the SheGlam Skinfinite foundation offers a decent selection to suit a wide range of skin tones.

This makes it a versatile as well as well-performing and cheap alternative to The Ordinary foundation.

While the foundation feels somewhat heavy when you first apply it, it doesn’t dry out too quickly. This gives plenty of time for blending and smoothing. We achieved the best finish using a foundation brush, but a damp beauty blender also worked.

In terms of coverage, the SheGlam Skinfinite conceals redness and blemishes, evening out complexion and balancing skin tone without flattening the natural texture. It also boasts impressive wear time, enduring throughout the day without sliding off our oily skin while simultaneously preventing dryness.

The only drawback is all of its positive points is that you have to buy it from Shein, which may lead to slightly longer delivery times. It’s worth the wait, but it depends on how desperate you are for it!

Buy now from Shein

♥ 17. Second Skin

£5 | Buy now

17 Second Skin high street foundation reviewmamabella | mamabella


Price: £5

Shades: 20

Coverage: Medium

Base: Water

Finish: Natural

Vegan: Yes

Cruelty-free: Yes

The 17. Second Skin foundation stands out as one of the few water-based foundations in our group test, demonstrating its unique ability to increase skin hydration by an impressive 1.4 percentage points.

While this may seem like a small increase, it’s noteworthy considering that almost every other foundation we tested caused our skin’s hydration to drop.

This hydration benefit makes the 17. Second Skin an ideal choice if you have dry or mature skin, providing a refreshing boost of moisture while delivering medium-to-full coverage. We were particularly impressed with this The Ordinary foundation alternative’s ability to conceal redness and blemishes without feeling heavy or cakey.

During our blotting paper test, the 17. Second Skin foundation released a significant amount of liquid, which is understandable given its water-based formula. However, this also speaks volumes to its exceptional hydration capabilities.

The shade range of the 17. Second Skin foundation mirrors that of Collection’s, offering 20 shades to suit a small range of skin tones. While this is not the most extensive offering, it’s commendable for a foundation priced at just £5.

Our only minor criticism of the 17. Second Skin foundation is its longevity. Without setting spray or setting powder, it tends to lose its pigment and coverage throughout the day.

We would also recommend using a primer to boost its longevity. Just make sure you’re using a water-based primer to prevent the foundation from sliding or separating. You can read more about this in our What does primer do? guide.

Buy now from Boots

Why was The Ordinary foundation discontinued?

In an Instagram post announcing the news at the end of 2022, The Ordinary wrote: “Despite many people loving the formulas, we didn’t manage to reach enough of you with our Colours range and the products have not been profitable since their launch. Although we strongly believe in both products, their popularity simply was not strong enough to make their production sustainable.”

The post did add that “Colours may return in our more distant future” but for now, The Ordinary want to concentrate on its skincare line.


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