Can you believe that up until a few weeks ago, I hadn’t ever tried Estée Lauder Double Wear foundation? I KNOW.
I mean, ‘Shell’ is pretty much a pale-girl right of passage, isn’t it? And, regardless of your skin tone, if you’re into makeup, chances are this was one of the first high-end foundations you bought: it gets amazing reviews from just about everyone who ever tries it (Several of my “real life” friends included), and almost always turns up on lists of the best foundation for pale skin… and yet STILL I hadn’t ever tried it. I honestly have no idea why : I’d try to blame the price (at £30, it’s not exactly cheap), but I’ve bought plenty of other foundations for that price, so… yeah, I really don’t know.
Today, however, I’m correcting that oversight, because Debenhams very kindly sent me a bottle to try, which I’ve been using for a few weeks now. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, Double Wear bills itself as “stay in place makeup”, and one of the things it’s most famous for is its long-wearing formula, which the brand claim will last for 15 hours without smudging, wearing off, or generally ending up anywhere other than on your face. It’s also pretty well known for coming in a few colours suitable for people with pale skin: I chose the shade ‘Shell’ (1CO), which is pale, with pinkish undertones – but we’ll get to that in a second. First, the foundation itself…
Double Wear comes in a gold-topped glass bottle, which feels re-assuringly expensive, given the price. My personal preference is for liquid foundations to have some kind of pump dispenser, just so I don’t end up wasting any (I mean, God knows I should be old enough by now to be able to pour out exactly the right amount of foundation, but nope, I ALWAYS get it wrong…), but that’s a minor quibble, all things considered.
The formula offers fairly thick coverage, and I was a little bit apprehensive about this, because I’ve had some disappointing experiences with this kind of coverage before. All too often I find it can be hard to blend, or very visible on the skin, so I was relieved to find this wasn’t the thick, gloopy formula I was expecting: yes, it’s thick, and it dries pretty quickly, but it’s not at all hard to blend, and nor does it leave me with that “pancake makeup” effect I was dreading. Actually, it’s pretty great: the coverage is thick enough to cover most imperfections, but not so thick that you can’t tell there’s human skin underneath it. Depending on how much sleep I’ve had, I can sometimes get away without concealer when I wear this, but I still normally add a touch of powder to my forehead, to stop shine. For reference, I have combination skin, with the typical oily t-zone, and drier cheeks. I don’t need to use as much powder with this as I do with some of my other foundations, and some days I can get away without it, but I actually don’t mind a tiny bit of shine – it looks a bit more natural than a totally matte finish to me.
I apply this with a foundation brush, and have had no adverse reactions to it at all, although it’s worth noting here that my skin is a tough as old boots, and there’s not much it DOES react to! I rarely get breakouts, and haven’t had any since I’ve been wearing this either, so I’m happy with that. As for the ’15 hour’ claim … well, I haven’t exactly been setting a stopwatch on it or anything (because, WEIRD), but yeah, it does last well, and I haven’t noticed any slippage or wear. One thing I HAVE noticed is that it’ll sometimes crease a little on my forehead by the end of the day – I can’t say I’ve seen that happen with any other foundations I’ve tried, but I don’t know, maybe I just have a very expressive forehead? Or something?
So, it’s all good with the coverage and application: now on to the colour, which, as I said, is very pale, with pink undertones, which is my preference in foundation:
Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation – swatches
When I saw this in the bottle, I was worried it was going to be too dark, but once it’s on the skin, I think it’s pretty much perfect: it’s worth noting here that I’ve just been on holiday, so my skin’s a little darker than usual because of all of the freckles that have come out, but I’ve swatched it here on the underside of my arm, to give you a better idea of the colour!
Here it is compared to some of the usual suspects in the ‘foundation for pale skin’ lineup:
So this is pinker than the NARS and Illamasqua products, but very similar to the Rimmel Match Perfection, so if you’re a fan of that, I’d say this is a good – albeit much pricier – alternative, if you’re looking for something with thicker coverage, but a similar colour.
Finally, I’ve never managed to master the “before and after” foundation photos that “real” beauty bloggers always do (for some reason the ‘before’ and ‘afters’ always look exactly the same, even although I know the foundation does make a difference!), but here’s what it looks like on, just to give you an idea of the type of skin tone this will work for: