The Ordinary is an affordable skincare brand that uses quality ingredients to innovate the beauty industry. In their own words,‘The Ordinary is “Clinical formulations with integrity”’. The Ordinary is an affordable skincare brand with most serums ranging from $5 – $15. 

The brand itself varies from the status quo of beauty brands that use cheap artificial ingredients and fragrances and sell them for $50+ a pop. As a financial enthusiast, I simply cannot justify spending such a large amount of money for a product that may or may not work. Self-care for me is also caring for my bank account! 

So when I came across the  No Brainer Set by The Ordinary for only $29.00 I was excited for an affordable self-care option. For $29.00 you get 1x 1 oz Buffet serum, 1x 1 oz Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA, and lastly 1x 1 oz Granactive Retinoid* 2% Emulsion. 

The Ordinary No Brainer Set Review 1.JPGThe Buffet serum is extremely light and water-based. It has a thin consistency and is slightly off white. Using it all over left my face feeling refreshed but wanting more. 

This Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA  is GOD SENT – she’s thick, she’s creamy, and she will leave you wanting more. If The Ordinary turned this in body lotion I will be the FIRST in line! 

Last (but certainly not least!) is the Granactive Retinoid* 2% Emulsion I was surprised to find she was a cute shade of pistachio green. The serum itself was water-like and a little went a long way. Don’t use to much of this stuff or you’ll start to feel a burning sensation on your face. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! 


The Moisturizer and Buffet serum are to be used in the morning and at night while the Retinoid is to be used only at night. I maintained this AM/PM skincare regimen for 2 weeks – TMI this was the first time I had a dedicated morning and night routine so I felt grown AF. 

In the morning I would apply the Buffet serum first followed by the Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA cream. My skin would feel SO moisturized! 

…until about noon then I would turn into an oily mess in the face. I figured it may take some time for my skin to get used to this new routine. So I resisted the urge to reach for my tried and true Trader Joe’s Rose Facial Oil and blotted the excess oil from my face with a smile. 

At night, I’m kinda lazy so sometimes I would whip out the Clarisonic and give my face a proper cleanse and other nights I would just use a facial wipe and dive straight into the skincare regimen. First, I would apply the Buffet serum, followed by the Granactive Retinoid* 2% Emulsion (just a pea-sized amount), and finish off with the Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA cream.

I’m not going to lie I slept like a baby after this moisturizing routine. It really does FEEL good but look at my skin after two weeks y’all…The Ordinary No Brainer Set Review 2.JPG


CAN WE SAY ACNE??? I have NO idea why this set broke my skin out like this! I felt like I was in high school again, I mean seriously these zits were angry. Being that I gave it the good ol’ 2 week try I ended up returning the No Brainer Set to Sephora and getting my shmoney back. 

Truth be told, the No Brain Set isn’t all bad. I really think the Granactive Retinoid* 2% Emulsion helped clear some of my acne spots so I will be repurchasing it separately. So hey, not a total loss! 

Have you guys tried the No Brainer Set by The Ordinary? If so, what did you think? Feel free to leave a comment down below and sign up to follow me on this journey to perfect skin, perfect credit, and the perfect bookshelf. Until next time!

Posted by:High Black Girl

2 replies on “No Brainer Set by The Ordinary Review

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