Review: DECIEM / The Abnormal Beauty Company

Hi beauties! I’ve got a long review, so get a cup of vodka and have a seat!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve likely heard of the brand DECIEM, also known as The Abnormal Beauty Company. Launched just in 2013, DECIEM is most known for their apothecary style (yet extremely affordable) skin care, and most notably, their foundation from The Ordinary line.

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Most recently, DECIEM was bought out by Estee Lauder (Who pretty much own EVERYTHING). People were extremely disappointed considering that a ton of brands under the Estee umbrella test on animals. Regardless, DECIEM stood strong in their claim that nothing will change in terms of product quality, animal testing, etc.

While this company is kind of confusing marketing wise (Are they called DECIEM, The Abnormal Beauty Company, The Ordinary, what?), they own dozens of brands underneath the DECIEM/The Abnormal Beauty Company umbrella. Their most known brand being The Ordinary.

What really attracted me to this company was all of the reviews on YouTube about The Ordinary foundation. While there are 6 stores in Toronto/GTA, and half a dozen more throughout the world, I ordered online (even though I live like 20 minutes away from one – can you say Antisocial?). Here are my thoughts on what I ordered.


Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% ($6.70 CAD)

From the Ordinary line, it claims to be a high-strength Lactic Acid superficial peeling formulation. According to the website, Lactic Acid is an alpha hydroxyl acid that exfoliates the skin. This 10% formulation offers mild exfoliation and is supported with a purified Tasmanian pepperberry known to reduce signs of inflammation and sensitivity that is often associated with exfoliation.” What drew me to this product was that it’s an exfoliating serum, which I thought I could use on my dermarolling days. While my skin always felt itchy the next day, I noticed a visible improvement in the overall tone and texture of my skin, but this could be in part due to the dermarolling process in general.

Salicylic Acid 2% Solution ($4.90 CAD)

Also from The Ordinary line, it claims to be a 2% Salicylic Acid treatment with Witch Hazel. According to the website, Salicylic Acid is a beta hydroxyl acid that exfoliates the skin. This 2% treatment solution helps exfoliate the inside walls of pores to fight the appearance of blemishes and for better visible skin clarity with continued use.” As someone with blemish/acne prone-skin, I have always been drawn to products with Salicylic Acid. This one was a no-brainer. I’ve been using it every other day all over my face, and have even used it as a spot treatment on certain blemishes. While the texture is thick and goopy, and frankly, kind of odd, this definitely works. It helped to dry out my blemishes almost overnight, and since using it for the last few weeks, I haven’t had any major or noticeable breakouts! Run out and get this!

100% Organic Cold-Pressed Moroccan Argan Oil ($6.80 CAD)

From The Ordinary line, it claims to be a daily support formula for  hair and skin. According to the website, This formulation uses 100% pure Moroccan Argan Seed Oil extracted through a cold pressing that preserves the integrity of the oil’s fatty acids, vitamins, phenols (including caffeic acid) and carotenes. Argan oil’s main fatty acid content is made up of oleic acid and linoleic acid. The oil supports healthy skin and reduces the appearance of flaking. It also adds soft sheen and strength to hair.” While I haven’t used this for my skin yet (I likely will need to in the Winter when my skin dries out more than usual), I’ve used it on my hair about 4 times. I’ve been using MoroccanOil brand argan oil since I was 18 (8 years!) and have never had any problems. I know the right amount to use for my somewhat thin hair to avoid weighing it down and making it appear greasy. For some reason, I just can’t get the ratio down for this product. No matter how much (or how little) I use (Which is about a dime-sized amount, if not less), it really weighs down my hair and makes it look greasy as hell! While it does make my hair super shiny, silky and soft, it leaves my hair looking stringy and heavy. I’ve been trying to avoid my roots and crown and only focusing on the length, but it’s not working. I’ll keep trying this product and maybe only using it on my dry/split ends, but it any case, I’ll try it on my skin come the winter and give you an update – besides, for less than $7, I’m not too upset!

Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG ($6.70 CAD)

From The Ordinary Line, it claims to reduce the appearance of eye contour pigmentation and puffiness. According to the website, “This light-textured formula contains an extremely high 5% concentration of caffeine, supplemented with highly-purified Epigallocatechin Gallatyl Glucoside (EGCG) from green tea leaves. Independent studies have shown that topical use of each of caffeine and EGCG can help reduce looks of puffiness and of dark circles in the eye contour. Additional studies have shown that caffeine can also reduce the appearance of cellulite.” What attracted me to this product was that it was an eye serum. I usually use a super heavy moisturizing eye cream at night (Kiehl’s Avocado Eye Cream), I need something to help brighten my eyes in the morning. While I don’t have terribly puffy eyes or dark circles, I’m trying to prevent this from happening as puffy under eyes seems to run in my family. Truthfully, I haven’t seen a visible difference since using this eye serum every morning for the last few weeks. It feels great and absorbs fast under my eyes, but I’m hoping that with long-term use, I will see a visible difference.


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High-Adherence Silicone Primer ($4.90 CAD)

Also from The Ordinary line, it claims to be a high-adherence blurring surface smoothing or primer. According to the website, This formula uses advanced adaptive silicones to act as a matte, hydrating, blurring primer for makeup that looks higher in definition and adheres for longer. The formula can also be used alone as a non-greasy hydrator that reduces the looks of pores and of imperfections.” I was attracted to this product, simply out of price difference to the Hylamide Blur Primer ($19.00 CAD). I wanted to try a primer from this line to go with the foundation. While I was skeptical about the “silicone” claims (as a gal with oily skin, silicone primers are my enemy!) but I figured for less than $5, I can’t go wrong. This primer does not feel like silicone AT ALL. It feels like a light moisturizing cream, and applies evenly into the skin, absorbing similarly to a regular daily moisturizer, which I LOVE. It definitely lives up to its claim of high-adherence, hydrating and mattifying/blurring. It’s actually insane, how can something be moisturizing and mattifying at the same time? Somehow, The Ordinary did it! This is a fabulous primer and I’ve been using it every day since. Since I wear glasses most days, my foundation typically gathers near the bridge of my nose – but not with this primer, my foundation stays put! Go out and get this ASAP!

Coverage Foundation ($6.90 CAD)

The most talked about foundation right now by The Ordinary. This claims to be a high-spreadability pigment suspension system with high coverage. According to the website, Coverage Foundations are 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 texture is that of a lightweight, non-oily cream.” First of all, I waited like 3 months for my shade to go back in stock (1.0N Very Fair Neutral). Once I got the e-mail that it was back in stock is when I was all over it! This foundation feels very light-weight even though it is full-coverage. I would say it is similar in coverage to the Marc Jacobs Remarcable foundation – Where you only really need 2-3 dots on your face for full-coverage, which is insane to me considering the Marc Jacobs foundation is about $70 and this is $7. This was a perfect shade match for me, and helped to neutralize the dark circles under my eyes, as well as the small veins near my jawline (the price of being pale AF). This is definitely oily-gal friendly, I highly recommend!

Serum Foundation ($6.70 CAD)

Also from The Ordinary line, this claims to be a lightweight pigment suspension system with moderate coverage. According to the website, “Serum Foundations are 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. They are very low in viscosity and are dispensed with the supplied pump or with the optional glass dropper available for purchase separately if preferred.” This foundation is super watery, but this isn’t something I mind. I would compare it to the Make Up For Ever Aqua Blend foundation, but with 1000000x better coverage. Since I like using light coverage foundations in the summer (I’m a sweater!), this is definitely a winner in my books. It feels lightweight but adds just enough coverage for everyday looks. The only con is that it dries down quickly, so you need to work it into your skin fast before it oxidizes too much. It is super long-wearing and works for my oily skin! Even when I sweat, the foundation doesn’t separate or go patchy, which is a HUGE win in my books! Also recommend this for anyone who likes a light foundation in the summer months!

If you’ve made it this far into my review, congrats, you’re a trooper! The real winners here for me are the Salicylic Acid serum, the primer and both foundations. Do yourself a favour, and go to your nearest DECIEM (or buy online) and pick yourself up some of these products. They’re so high in quality yet extremely affordable, you can’t go wrong!

Have you tried anything from this brand yet? If so, let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading, and remember that you’re beautiful!

One thought on “Review: DECIEM / The Abnormal Beauty Company

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