Five years ago, I had just received news that I had landed a new job. To celebrate, I made the hour and a half trip to our nearest Sephora to stock up on a few essentials. Mascara, check. Bronzer, check. But what of foundation? I was always on the lookout for a better foundation. At the time I was using Tarte Amazonian Clay, which offered great full coverage and seemed to be working well for my oily skin. However, it tended to look cakey and worst of all it was only available in a handful of shades back then.
I scanned the store for the sales associate with the nicest looking skin, which wasn’t even necessary as each one seemed to have a perfect complexion. I approached a nearby associate and informed her that I was looking for a nice, full coverage foundation. Her face lit up and she insisted that I had to try what she was wearing, “Estee Lauder Double Wear. We are all wearing it actually.” Whaaat? Estee Lauder? All I could think of was heavy perfume and wrinkle cream. “We just started carrying it. It is the best!” she gushed. I was skeptical, to say the least, but I allowed her to paint a few swatches on my face and determine a shade: 1N1 Ivory Nude.
As I left the store, buyer’s remorse immediately set in. I felt duped. How could I have let this sales lady convince me to buy a foundation that was probably designed for someone twice my age? I was sure it would smell like powdery flowers too. At some point during the following weeks I had finally opened the frosted glass bottle. I applied the notably fluid formula with a dry triangle sponge (shameful, I know) as I had always done with foundation and went about my day. When I checked in later I was horrified. My face looked like what I can only describe as mottled. The formula had sunk into fine lines that I didn’t even know that I had and had somehow managed to find dry patches on my eternally oily skin. “I knew it,” I said, almost satisfied in how badly the Double Wear had performed. I stashed it in the back of my makeup drawer, with the intention of using it as my emergency backup, in case I ever ran out of the good stuff.
I don’t remember why or when, but the day came when I decided to dust off the Double Wear. This time, I skipped the triangle sponge and used a densely packed makeup brush to apply. To my shock and amazement my face actually looked pretty good. The real magic of the Double Wear, though, lies not just in the coverage, but in its lasting power. By this point I was working full time and had come to terms with the fact that my makeup had generally worn off by lunch time. To my delight, the Double Wear was still holding strong when I returned home that night. Five years, and easily a dozen bottles later, I am still in love with my Double Wear. Of course, every once in a while, I am lured by the siren song of a new or newly trending foundation reported to do all sorts of amazing things. And each time I try them, I am disappointed by their lasting power and generally end up looking as shiny as a disco ball by the second hour.
Needless to say, I have picked up a few tricks to applying Double Wear over the years that help the foundation to go on flawlessly and stay that way.
1. The MAC Foundation Pump fits Double Wear’s (pumpless) bottle perfectly. So worth the investment if you plan on using DW regularly.
2. Use a good foundation brush. Currently, I am using the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush.
3. Double Wear goes on super easily with a damp Beauty Blender and even looks more natural, while still providing plenty of coverage. I alternate between a brush and a Beauty Blender depending on my mood.
4. Primers can help the formula of Double Wear glide on more easily and keep you looking flawless. Right now, I am using NYX Studio Perfect Primer, an exceptional dupe for the celebrated Smashbox Photo Finish Primer.
5. With Double Wear you have to Double Wash your face at night. I wash twice with Philosophy Purity Made Simple, or once with PPMS and go back and pick up the excess with a cotton pad soaked in micellar water.
6. When applying the foundation with a brush, do NOT dip your brush straight into the puddle of foundation. Instead, apply the foundation in stripes on each section of your face and then use the brush (or Beauty Blender) to smooth and blend. Double Wear is very hard to wash out of a brush if dunked directly into the long wearing formula.
The only downside, I have found with Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Foundation is that it can be a bit clingy around dry patches and facial hair, but so are most other foundations that I have tried. Honestly, I don’t think I could find a better long-wearing, full coverage foundation. Unless it was cheaper. There is always room for an affordable alternative on my beauty shelf.
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