Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation: Is It Really As Good As Everyone Says?

Here's our honest review of one of the most popular foundations on the market.

estee lauder

by Rachael Martin |
Updated on

The Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation is a bonafide beauty icon. Since its launch back in 1997, it's become a consistent favourite among celebrities and beauty editors alike. Touted as the number one prestige foundation in the UK, the brand describes it as a ‘buildable, medium-to-full-coverage matte foundation that lasts for up to 24 hours, feels comfortable and looks flawless.’ They're big claims, make no mistake. That said, with so many pioneering formulations created by exciting new brands on the market, does Double Wear still deserve its place in the beauty hall of fame in 2024?

What does Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation do?

Formulated to be waterproof, sweat and humidity-resistant, Estée Lauder’s Double Wear is best known for its longevity. It’s suited to all skin types but it’s particularly good for those with oily skin thanks to the oil-free formulation. Essentially, it’s touted as a full-coverage foundation that works to control excess sebum and covers blemishes - without the needs for any touch-ups during the day.

How to use Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation

How you use Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation is a matter of personal preference. You can, however, consider different application methods to achieve the kind of finish you prefer. For fuller coverage, the foundation can be applied with a damp beauty blender and pressed into the skin in rolling motions. For a lighter, more natural finish a stippling brush can be a good option for achieving less dense pigment pay-off. As the formulation is an incredibly pigmented one, it’s always safer to take a small amount of product and build it up as you go - remember, it’s easier to add than it is to take away.

Shop: Double Wear Stay-in-Place Foundation SPF 10

Best full-coverage, oil free foundation

Available in 60 shades, Estée Lauder’s Double wear is beloved the world over. One reviewer wrote, ‘I keep coming back, Best foundation for everyday use - easy to apply stays in place all day. Doesn't amplify pores and has great buildable coverage. I have 2 shades to mix between summer and winter.’


  • SPF 10 (although you'll still need a stand-alone SPF)
  • 60 shades
  • Excellent coverage


  • May cling to dry patches if not blended properly

Our Verdict

Rachael Martin, junior beauty editor:

'I first used Estée Lauder’s iconic Double Wear Foundation when I was around 15. The appeal then? The incredible high-coverage that lasted until the final bell of the day. Obviously, my application technique was terrible then. I’m now 30 and I finally appreciate that more is not always merrier - nor is applying foundation to my lips. Last year, I got married and I began the hunt for my wedding day base. Much to my surprise Double Wear came highly recommended by make-up artists. After putting my doubts aside, I started to dabble with the stuff once more - and was seriously impressed with the results. Just a small amount (for me, I’m talking a pea-sized drop) goes a long way to leave my skin looking more even in tone with minimised blemishes. While there’s obviously much more coverage going on than a Glossier Skin Tint, for example, I do think it’s a great option for a when you need to be assured that your make-up will stick around on a busy day. Trust me when I say it sits beautifully from dusk and dawn.’

How We Tested It

Rachael says: 'I tested the Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation several times in the run up to my wedding and I realised I was incredibly impressed by it – in fact, it quickly became my weekend foundation– the perfect option for when I wanted to feel a little bit more “done” when compared to my daily, more sheer finish. The key to beautiful skin was keeping the amount I applied to a minimum. The more delicate I was with the application, the happier I was with the finish. My skin appears more matte while a touch of my natural sheen is still able peek through.’

Overall rating

A great, medium to full-coverage foundation that plays well with all skin types, especially oilier complexions. While those who love a totally natural look might not find favour with this one, others will be delighted by the promise of longevity and flawless looking finish. It’s a 4 out of 5.

Rachael Martin is Grazia’s Junior Beauty Editor where she covers all things beauty, health and wellness.

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