Splurge or Save?
The beauty and skincare world has been alight for the past year with conversations about, The Ordinary. An affordable (like, jaw dropping, preposterously inexpensive) line from the Deciem beauty company. The Ordinary has a collection of serums, acids and foundations with clinical names, claiming to provide customers with the raw essential products, no flashy names, no flashy labels and no flashy price tag that comes with the products’ luxury counterparts. Now, I am a skincare fanatic. I am obsessed with my regimented routine (posts HERE & HERE) that I go through as methodically as a sociopath every single morning and evening. It doesn’t matter how exhausted I am, how friendly I got with the Maker’s Mark, I never skip my date with my skincare products. Most of these being luxury branded. I have been a longstanding member of the VIB Rouge club at Sephora and the only time you’ll find me in the drugstore is to pick up something from LaRoche Posay if they’ve brought something new to Canada. I have loved my luxury beauty products ever since my mother gave me a Chanel moisturizer when I was sixteen, I’ve been hooked. I love that the formulas actually FEEL expensive, I love having my glass Sunday Riley bottles, with their gold foiled lables displayed prominently on my vanity and to be honest, a part of me even likes the luxury price tag. So I am admittedly, a little late to The Ordinary party, which boasts none of these things. However, when I saw that the products were being sold by Sephora, (a relationship, which has in the mean-time allegedly desintegrated-I’m not getting involved) whose opinion in the beauty industry I trust like no other, I decided to give these products a go. I specifically picked up The Ordinary luxury dupes for five of my most-loved premium holy grails and one additional product, to see if these products stand up to the competition.
The Ordinary High-Adherence Silicone Primer
This was the first product I tried from them as I am obsessed with my pores and making them go away! The primer promises to blur and minimize the appearance of pores in addition to creating a canvas over which to apply your makeup. I’ve been using this product for about two months now and I have been obsessing a lot less over my pores (meaning, I don’t see them, hence no need to obsess). The primer is also super easy to apply and I really like the consistency. It is mattefying and lightweight (I abhor feeling products on my face!). I will definitely repurchase this when it runs out, for the price tag, it’s so worth the hype.
Sunday Riley U.F.O. vs. The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution
I have been using Sunday Riley’s Ultra Clarifying Face Oil for about a year now. It’s a great product, I don’t have particularly bad skin when it comes to breakouts (I’m mostly concerned with blackheads, which I don’t find this product clears, to be honest), but I don’t really break out at all when I use this oil. The only thing I will say about it is the scent is strange. I would liken it to a health food store crossed with a pizza full of herbs. My boyfriend always makes a comment about “oregano” whenever I wear this to bed and I only wear it to bed because of the smell, I would never wear it out in the day. Though I don’t tend to notice it lasts forever, I usually can’t smell it in the night.
The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution by comparison is a very strange consistency. Despite being dispensed in an eyedropper it is a very viscous liquid, so it more so pours out, than being able to drop out. When applied to the face it actually applies like a liquid soap would without water, forming a white sud before absorbing into the skin. This product is odourless in contrast to the Sunday Riley U.F.O.. I didn’t find that it worked as well as U.F.O., but a good substitute for the price.
Sunday Riley Good Genes vs. The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA
I’ve used The Ordinary’s Lactic Acid 10% HA for a week now and I just don’t think it agrees with my skin. I have had incredibly sensitive skin, ever since I was a baby and it can be super reactive, so I have to be careful with more abrasive products like acids and exfoliants. I may be better off with the 5% version of this product, but it wasn’t in stock when I purchased, so I went with the stronger formula. My skin has been breaking out, including those painful blemishes I have been lucky to not have to deal with since high school.
Out of the two, I much prefer the Good Genes by Sunday Riley. The product didn’t cause me to break out and was much less abrasive on the skin.
Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil vs. The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane
Retinoid products needs to be used concurrently with SPF (applied in the morning) which is what I would consider overall to be the downfall of these products. I don’t know about you, but I cannot wear sunscreen without getting it in my eye, so I’d rather just avoid it at all costs. I noticed some pretty stunning results after using The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane for about three days. I woke up with glowing, clear skin and could really see a difference. This is definitely a product I will continue to use to brighten my skin and maintain a youthful glow.
I also love the Luna Oil from Sunday Riley, although much like other Sunday Riley products it has a strange smell I’m not fond of. I would actually be more likely to go with The Ordinary over the Sunday Riley in this instance.
Sunday Riley C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum vs. The Ordinary Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F
I found The Ordinary Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F to be very oily, so much so that I would breakout the next morning after using it overnight. I also found that the oil would sit on top of my skin because there was too much to be absorbed, making me look very oily. For someone with dry skin, I don’t want to look oily if I can avoid it. I definitely wouldn’t recommend this for anyone with oily skin. For a serum from The Ordinary, I much prefer the Marine Hyaluronics. I may revisit this product in the winter, when I deal with really dry and dehydrated skin.
The C.E.O. Serum from Sunday Riley is one of the few Sunday Riley products I’ve tried without a strange smell. The C.E.O. Serum has a pleasant citrus smell. It is also more of a milk consistency, like a light cream as opposed to The Ordinary’s oil dupe. I definitely prefer the Sunday Riley over The Ordinary on this one, the C.E.O. serum is easily absorbed by the skin and doesn’t leave a slick of oil on top of the face.
La Mer Miracle Broth vs. The Ordinary Marine Hyaluronics
Okay, so admittedly, the reason why I decided to try The Ordinary in the first place, is a friend of mine told me that their Marine Hyaluronics serum had the same ingredients as La Mer’ Miracle Broth, something I (and the entire world of skincare) have been fawning over for years. I have only thus far used some La Mer samples I’ve received from Sephora and Nordstrom, because I just can’t yet justify spending several hundred dollars on a moisturizer, especially when I love my Kate Sommerville Goat’s Milk moisturizer so much. That being said, I am still just so fascinated with La Mer’s secret brew of ocean botanicals, that I had to try this serum at a tiny fraction of the price. I have no complaints, my skin is soft and supple and hydrated, though I will also say it doesn’t compare to La Mer. There really is a difference in that soft white cream that applies like an absolute dream, you can barely even feel it on your fingertips. That being said, I do love this serum and would absolutely repurchase it.
Have you tried The Ordinary yet? What were your thoughts? I think it holds a very unique spot in the skincare world, unlike any other line has done before. It’s not luxury, not drugstore, it’s almost taking us back to the roots of beauty, like an apothecary, simply mixing the absolute necessary ingredients. I also quite like the packaging, even though it’s minimal it has an aesthetic to it and everything is uniform. I like it.