[REVIEW] Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup

As mentioned in my customer service post a few days ago, I have been on the hunt for a good warm weather foundation to work in partnership with my cool weather one, which I love dearly but which simply doesn’t hold up when faced with my oil slick of a complexion combined with heat and humidity. A review on that one is coming up, by the way.

Well – call off the search. Ladies and Gentlemen, please be upstanding for the winner, Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup! It’s a mouthful, but a very worthy one.

Before I get into my review proper, I need to show you something. Yesterday was a warm, sticky and generally ghastly day at work, environmentally speaking. It’s a very old building and we don’t have air conditioning so it doesn’t take much at all for the offices to get warm, humid and generally unpleasant. Yesterday was one of those days.

As I always do, I had to degrease and powder at lunchtime to bring my face to heel, but by the end of the day it was looking really not at all bad. I meant to look at it properly and take a photo, but the siren call of beans on toast for dinner was such that I forgot.

Here’s the thing though. When washing my hands before starting dinner, I noticed something.

That, right there, is the area on the back of my left hand that I use as a palette when applying make up. I put the makeup on the back of my hand and then use the brush to pick it up from there, instead of squidging it straight onto my face. It means I get a very carefully measured amount at a time and don’t run the risk of using too much. When I finish applying my makeup I usually wipe the back of my hand with a wet wipe to get rid of the leftovers, but on this occasion for whatever reason I forgot.

From applying my makeup to getting home at night, my conservative estimate for how many times I wash my hands is: before leaving the house, after having a wee in the morning, before lunch, after lunch, after having a wee in the afternoon and after having a last pre-tram wee before leaving the office. So let’s say 6 ish.

That splodge of makeup on the back of my hand survived heat, humidity, sweat, my jacket being put on and off over it 3 times, and no fewer than SIX encounters with soap and water. I grant you, it may not look fantastic, but it’s still there! It wasn’t put on over my usual skincare and primer and set with powder with the expectation of it staying put either! Once I had taken the above photo, I took a makeup wipe to it and it was gone in two swipes.

I don’t know whether there’s an equivalent of the Oscars for makeup, but there should be!

Anyway – that said, on to the review proper.

I was put on to this one by one of my bosses. A mutual friend of ours always manages to look completely flawless and gorgeous whatever the weather, and boss asked the friend what foundation she uses – Estée Lauder Double Wear was the answer. I thought this bore further investigation.

After more thoroughly excellent customer service at the Estée Lauder counter in our local branch of Boots, including some high tech witchcraft in which a beepy device is pressed against your skin in various different areas of your face and it tells you what shade you are, I came away clutching a bottle of this stuff in “Fresco”.

In a world where new foundations are released pretty much every single day of every single week, Estée Lauder Double Wear is a veteran. First released in 1997, depending on who you talk to and whose opinion you take, it changed the world of foundation overnight. I don’t doubt that the formulation has been changed and improved over the years, but the name (and the reputation) remains.

In terms of formulation, this is a fluid/liquid foundation. the texture is smooth and silky and it spreads very easily.

I find it very easy to pick up on my brush in tiny amounts and dot around on my face before blending it all together. I have a stupidly oversensitive sense of smell, and in the quantities needed for good coverage, I don’t find that this smells of anything very much.

It’s impossible to not be impressed by the sheer range of colours available in this foundation. There are no fewer than fifty shades available, from 1C0 Shell to 8N1 Espresso. To my untrained eye, it seems that almost anybody should be able to find, if not a perfect match, a very very close one. It’s also an absolute pleasure to see a brand offering a full and comprehensive range of shades for women of colour, instead of the one or two shades offered by so many brands.

The packaging on this one is very elegant. A frosted glass bottle with a gold cap, which feels cool and weighty to the touch. It may be one of my peculiarities, but if I’m digging deeply into my bank account for a product, I like it to feel that way when I get my hands on it!

The bottle has a screw cap, but parting with an additional £5.50 gets you a reusable pump which you can transfer from bottle to bottle as you go – as seen in the picture at the top of this review. Initially I wasn’t sure what I thought about this, it seemed as though a sealed pump for each bottle would be cleaner and more hygienic. Now I’ve thought about it further, having one pump and moving it to each new bottle is, aside from anything else, infinitely more environmentally friendly. It reduces the landfill waste on each bottle to just the small gold cap, as the bottle is glass and can therefore be recycled. It also has the advantage that if you want to pour a little of the foundation out into a tiny travel container rather than taking the whole bottle with you on a trip away, you can very easily do so. The pump is easily washed between bottles, or even mid-bottle if it starts to get messy, and hygiene isn’t an issue since the pump doesn’t actually touch your skin at any point.

One of my initial worries about this product was that it might be too heavy on my skin. I loathe the feeling of wearing a mask, which I have found to be a problem with some higher coverage foundations in the past. It is simply not a problem, I can’t feel that it’s there at all. I’ve worn some in the past where I’ve been absolutely desperate to get home at night so I can get it off, but I’ve had days where I have simply forgotten that this one was there. Perfect.

Another really nice thing is that the level of coverage is buildable, meaning quite simply that you can apply as much or as little as you want to in order to get the desired effect. If most of your face is in a good mood but you have a nightmare spot from hell on your chin, or a patch of redness, or whatever, you can apply it lightly for the most part and then build it up a little in the trouble area. You don’t need to apply the same amount all over in order to get an even finish.

It’s probably pretty evident by now what I think of this foundation so I’ll spare you my usual summing up! Suffice to say, I shall be buying it again. And again. And again.

Available here – RRP £33.50

DISCLAIMER: This review is not sponsored by Estée Lauder Incorporated and I have no affiliation with the company. I have not been paid or otherwise compensated for this review, and I (or my very generous husband) pay for every product I review. All opinions are my own unless otherwise stated.

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