The Ordinary High Spreadability Fluid Primer £5.50 for 30ml
By Lisa Armstrong
Regulars of my beauty column in the Telegraph magazine, are already acquainted with The Ordinary which, since its debut just 12 weeks ago, is shaping up as the beauty launch the year. Unlike other beauty companies, The Ordinary makes a virtue out of using tried and tested ingredients and being honest enough to say: “They’re great. But we won’t pretend they’re new and charge a fortune.”
This primer won’t be available for another week, but I bring it to your attention now because (a) I love it. It’s anything but ordinary and will make your make-up last longer, even slaving over Christmas lunch. (b), Ordinary products tend to acquire waiting lists. Super lightweight, it glides on like a serum, dries fast and leaves a smooth, dewy finish. tightness. No icky residue. Use it with foundation and it will last all day and behave itself beautifully by not settling into any lines or eye crinkles. In fact, what lines?
‘In this instance, the name “The Ordinary” is ironic, to say the least. Indeed, maximum efficacy and minimum cost is the brand’s edict. Offering 21 different, seriously hard-working skincare solutions, including everything from hyaluronic acid 2% to retinol 1%, our faith in beauty with integrity has been firmly restored. (And a whole number of skin sins rectified.)’
A new range has suddenly made superluxe ingredients affordable, says Lesley Thomas
Zillions of products cross my path yet there are very few that I feel I absolutely have to tell you about. Particularly in the youth-enhancing areas. This is because most of the products that are really effective are also really expensive. For Example, I am using an extraordinary moisturiser from Colbert MD called Retensify Firming Cream. When I put it on with the Stimulate serum from the same brand, I feel as if I’ve had a mini facelift. But will I tell everyone to go out and buy it? No, because it’s £175 and for most people that is too much (although it is at Space NK if you are oligarch or just feeling flush; the serum is £135).
Also, it’s the cheap, effective products that I find most thrilling of all. And have I got news for you: I’ve been trying out a new range called The Ordinary that seems almost too good to be true. It is brought to us by the creators of brilliant NIOD, which you’ve only heard about if you are a cosmetic nerd and you spend above-average amounts on your skincare.
This latest brand is a line-up of hi-tech serums and treatments that you normally only find in the fanciest beauty halls. Many of the products cost around a fiver. There’s a small catch and it’s that you need a fair amount of knowledge about your skin’s needs to work out which ten potions would be right for you. The names of the products are simply the key ingredients and are quite baffling. But there’s are the ones to know: for all skin over 30, effective in securing moisture and volume in ageing skin. I found little difference between this and products that are five times the price.
If you are battling acne or the blemishes it has left behind, the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% (£5) is excellent for treating and fading.
There’s a retinol product (a usually pricey anti-ageing ingredient) called Retinol 1% (£5.80). Retinol boosts cell production on the top layer of the skin (sometimes that slows as you age) and this is a high concentration of it for an over-the-counter product. Two weeks of use and your skin will be smoother. I have used something similar in the past for around £70.
A helpful fact sheet on victoriahealth.com explains the products and when to use them. If you can’t be bothered with that, there’s a brilliant do-it-all serum, which tackles wrinkles, pigmentation, dehydration and sagging, called Buffet (£12.70), to be used morning and night.
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It’s one of those loud klaxon weeks, because what we have here is a truly brilliant line of top-notch, results-led skincare that costs from a fiver to just under £13. I know, it’s amazing. The products come from the clever people behind Niod. The difference is that this lot – the line is called The Ordinary – are completely stripped back. They contain the ingredients that do the business, and nothing else. There is no lovely essence of this or scientific-sounding made-up word to make it more special. You want vitamin C or retinol or hyaluronic acid or whatever? Here it is, with zero frills, in plain, functional packaging. And it works. That’s the point: it works brilliantly. I mean, how cool?
The range is called The Ordinary because “in the context of where technology is today, they’re ordinary”. To translate: they’re ordinary enough to be in tons of high-end products; they’re the high-end norm. But here they are for a fiver and upwards. I think that not only is this a genius idea, it is also the future of beauty. It is beautifully democratic. It means everyone can afford optimal skincare.
You know how every now and then a tabloid goes mad because a product that’s actually effective comes in at under a tenner, then everyone goes bananas and there’s a stampede? And, in my experience, the product isn’t particularly exciting, it’s just cheap, or cheaper (and it usually smells of room deodoriser). You can now forget about those products. The discount supermarket’s own-brand serum-whatever. The Ordinary is cheaper and works better.
There are 10 products. I don’t have space to tell you about all of them in detail, but you will get the idea. They’re currently available on Victoriahealth.com and Ordinaries.com and you can read more about them on both sites. The three I’ve using are Advanced Retinoid 2% (£8). Retinol is brilliant on both acne-prone and ageing skin. The 2% formula means your face won’t peel off, but will become smoother and less congested, if congestion is a problem. It’s great. I also love Hyaluronic 2% + B5 (£6). If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that the old hyaluronic, which I bang on about at length, can hold 1,000 times its weight in water. Vitamin B5 is also great at hydration. This product is for you if you’re dry/patchy/agedly/ thirsty of skin. The 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil (£6) goes on at night before you go to bed. It reduces the harm done by tanning and generally sorts out your skin. Read More…
The new kid on the beauty block aims to bring youthful results without bankrupting you. Applied Morning and night before your moisturiser, the impressive oil-free treatment combines low, medium, and high-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid to ensure deeper penetration within the skin, as well as next-generation slow-release technology.
What does this mean for your skin? Well, hyaluronic acid is what’s known as a cushioning agent, so expect a youthful plumpness to be restored to your face and fine lines caused by dehydration to vanish. Oh, and the vitamin B5 acts like a vacuum, sucking up and then holding on to the moisture – boosting skin softness and elasticity in the process.
Why beauty insiders are falling over themselves to snap up this £10 budget skincare range by Lisa Armstrong
Confession time: I’m a conflicted beauty columnist. I love a beauty product. I am as ineluctably drawn to hair masques and skin oils, lip colours and nail paints as a child is to new geometry sets and crayons. Some of what’s on the market now is remarkable. Plenty is fine.
But the claims – sweet Mother of God. And the gobbledy- pseudo-science. As for the prices. £60- £200 is quite common for a relatively “standard” luxury offering, which might be ok if it delivers results. But you never quite know, do you, whether it’s going to work. It’s not like a handbag or frock, where you can see the workmanship (or lack of ). You’re taking it on trust from someone who may have different needs from you. Read More…