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Review: Estee Lauder Double Wear Light

Anything that makes your skin look good, I love! If I could only use one type of product (makeup) for the rest of my life, it would be foundation. Maybe it’s because I used to have quite problematic acne (which still rears its ugly head from time to time) so even, spot free skin is my dream. It boosts my self-confidence like nothing else!  The magic formula of finding a foundation, sunscreen/primer and powder that makes your skin look like a million bucks is worth searching high and low for – plus, I think it’s fun 🙂 Today I wanted to review a classic foundation which is a favourite of many Beauties – Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Light. While it’s not new by any means, it might actually become discontinued soon, so I wanted to get this review in before that happens, so a) more Beauties can discover the joy of this foundation and b) you can stock up on it while it is available!

15-hour wear, light as air: long-wear makeup is now lightweight makeup. It’s makeup that keeps up. Fresh, natural, comfortable. Goes on sheer, leaves skin free to breathe all day. Controls oil. Resists smudging and won’t “melt” off through heat and humidity.  For a look that stays vibrant and fresh whether it’s a workday, a workout or a weekend. Smooth it on once and don’t think twice about it.

EL Double Wear Light is part of the ‘Double Wear’ family. The first foundation in the line is the classic foundation ‘Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup’. It’s a very long wearing foundation (24 hours) and has medium to full coverage. It’s perfect for oily skin or those with acne, as it sets like nothing else, provides oil control and won’t budge or make you shiny. It can be a little heavy though – and that’s where Double Wear Light comes in! Its meant to be a sheer to medium coverage foundation, which I would agree with and has a satin finish. Some people say it’s dewey, but I don’t find it to be dewey (and I loooove dewey foundations – give me the ‘Korean look’ of hydrated, shiny and bouncy skin any day!) but more of a natural satin finish. I can see why it would be dewey for oily skin though – as it doesn’t provide the same oil control that the original Double Wear Foundation provides. The description says it controls oil but because it is so light, it’s not very mattifying. The finish is very natural looking and that’s its secret! You don’t often find long-wearing foundations to be natural looking and skin like in texture. It is also buildable and it doesn’t cake. I can get it very close to a medium coverage. I don’t need it to cover all of my spots or acne since that’s the concealers job (otherwise it would need to be mask like to work). I don’t find it to settle into my pores either, probably because it is so lightweight – it feels like you are wearing nothing on your skin. It does indeed last all day on me, whether I have an 8 hour work day ahead or a 12 hour work day. It doesn’t fail me! You don’t get the usual wear and tear you can experience with some foundations (rubbing off your nose or chin). Once it ‘sets’ it’s there for good!

Double Wear Light has an interesting texture. It’s almost a little gel like (say Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum) but it sets. It doesn’t set in the usual mask like way, it’s almost like it creates this flexible shield and because it’s flexible, it’s comfortable to wear (maybe ‘bendy’ is a good way to describe it?). Upon application it’s almost a little sticky but this feeling/texture disappears once the foundation sets. I don’t find that I need powder when wearing this foundation, because its longevity is that good. I wear powder not for the purpose of setting EL Double Wear Light, but to add radiance or more coverage to the foundation. I found that it’s claim to resist melting off due to humidity or heat to also ring true – I wore it as my base makeup when I was on a work trip in Darwin (the humidity is a killer just as much as the crocodiles!) and it did not move or fade or transfer, for close to 18 hours.

Above: No makeup. 

Above: Wearing EL Double Wear Light. Freckles still show through, but the redness in my skin is gone. Photo taken in natural light, indoors, without retouching in order to not distort colour! The colour 2.0 may be a *touch* too dark for me atm, but generally, it’s a perfect match! 

Above: Wearing EL Double Wear Light outside in Darwin. This was taken after finishing work for the day. It’s not the best quality photo as it was taken on my phone. I *think* I was wearing an illuminating YSL powder on top of the foundation. 

The foundation doesn’t cover all my spots since it provides sheer coverage and all, but it does cover any redness in my skin and makes my skin tone look unified. Oily to normal skin tones should love this foundation. If you have dry to very dry skin, it probably wouldn’t be your every day foundation but for special events. When I was using Epiduo for my acne, and my skin was flaky, super dry & dehydrated, I found it difficult to get Double Wear Light to sit ‘right’ on my skin and set. It would seperate and look really patchy (like the foundation had ‘gone off’ on my skin). I think this is due to dehydration as the foundation can suck moisture out of your skin.

Most of the time now days, I mix Double Wear Light with MAC’s Strobe Cream (in the original ‘red light’ shade). I don’t find that the illuminating cream reduces the pigmentation in the foundation to much and it still sets, but it’s less tacky this way and binds with the skin more easily. The illumination you get is really subtle, so I think this could work for oily skin that is dry or patchy in some areas. I find it difficult to get to work on dehydrated skin though, as creating an occlusive barrier on the skin, even with the addition of the Strobe Cream, isn’t adding moisture back into the epidermis via humectants, so it looks cake regardless.

I like to apply the foundation using either my fingers or a brush. I’ve tried using a Beauty Blender, but it just sucks in to much of the foundation (so you need to use twice as much, which is a waste). Tip What you can do though, especially if you have dry skin, is to ‘stipple’ your skin with  a damp Beauty Blender with no product on it, after you have finished applying your foundation. What that will do is remove any excess foundation and give your skin a little more moisture for a more dewey finish.

I use the colour 2.0 which is a perfect neutral light beige. Online the shade name is 2N, while on the product it’s ‘Intensity 2.0’. I love neutral shades of foundation most of all, and this colour is perfect for me.

Above: EL Double Wear Light in the colour Intensity 2.0.

Left to Right: YSL’s Touche Eclat Le Teint in B20, Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum in #52 Vanilla and EL Double Wear Light in Intensity 2.0. You can see that Double Wear Light looks the most neutral, the YSL foundation looks more peachy, while Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum leans  yellow. 

I love that the foundation comes in a squeezy tube, so easy to control how much product you want to dispense and handy (i.e. light weight!) especially for travelling. For a department store foundation, I don’t believe it’s very expensive. I picked up two backup tubes of the foundation on Adore Beauty, where Double Wear Light retails for $58 Aus dollars. It’s also still available on the Australian EL website. Apparently the foundation has disappeared from some European counters already and I’ve read on US sites that it will be discontinued shortly (or maybe it already has?). I’m sure the rest of the world will follow shortly 🙁 Perhaps the new EL Double Wear Nude is its replacement, because it’s meant to give light to medium coverage also. It makes sense that EL wouldn’t have two foundations in the same line, which are meant to be sheer to medium coverage. What I don’t understand however, is why they would get rid of Double Wear Light when it is a favourite of sooooo many consumers and makeup artists. It boggles my mind. For that reason, if you haven’t tried it yet and would like to, get your hands on it STAT! If it’s already a favourite of yours, pick it up from an Australian counter or website before it disappears forever 🙁

Summary: This is a light to medium coverage foundation, that sets and will last on your skin ALL day. It has a skin like finish, which for most people means a satin finish. It is suitable for dry to oily skin, but not dehydrated skin. Mix in an illuminating cream for added flexibility and moisture. Does not fade or transfer, including in humid climates.

Is this a favourite foundation of yours Beauties? Is it still available in your part of the world? If it is, let me and other Beauties know in the comments below!

It seems the long-wear foundations have become all the rage these days, so we are definitely seeing a trend appear in this area. I certainly don’t mind, as we needed more natural looking but long wearing foundation options. Back in the day it meant the foundation would be cake and drying, but that’s certainly not the case anymore! If you have any recommendations for me in this category, do let me know!

UPDATE EL have reached out to me to let me know that Double Wear Light is NOT being discontinued in Australia at least! Hooray! It seems however, that it will disappear from some markets and won’t be widely available like it has been to date. So it seems that I stocked up for nothing lol Beauty Bee problem no. 46 😉

Catch ya next time,

Beauty Bee

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