When The Ordinary launched its low-cost, high-quality foundations in 2017, the brand reported sell-outs in major markets and a waiting list in excess of 25,000 in the US. Since then the dial has hardly moved on the price points of The Ordinary Serum Foundation and The Ordinary Coverage Foundation, retailing at $12.70 and $13.10 in Australia.

In early 2021, the hyper-popular brand released its first concealer to a barrage of publicity, with many fans claiming that the $11.40 product was better than rivals costing three or four times more.

But The Ordinary, whose parent company Deciem is majority-owned by The Estée Lauder Companies, has announced that it will discontinue the foundations and concealer in the new year.

There has been a long history of skincare brands dipping their toes into the makeup market and then doing a U-turn. Nivea and L’Oréal-owned Biotherm, for example,  both entered the colour cosmetic sector with limited success before withdrawing.

Deciem has also found that all the hype on social and legacy media centred on its foundations and concealer didn’t translate into on-going growth. In an email to consumers and an Instagram post, the company revealed that its foundations and concealer didn’t attract enough fans to make the cost of production profitable.

The withdrawal will be staggered. The Ordinary will stop selling the concealer at the end of January next year and pull the plug on its foundation products in June.

The production process for colours is complex and requires heavy input from many of our team, said The Ordinary in a statement.

“The accessible pricing that we felt was sensible to charge for the formulas would only cover our production costs if the volume that we sold was high.”

This is the second slimming down move for Deciem this year. In April, the company shuttered four brands – Abnomaly, HIF, Hylamide and The Chemistry Brand – to focus on its core businesses – The Ordinary and NIOD.

Priceline and Adore Beauty are the two major official stockists of The Ordinary in Australia.

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