Estée Lauder Double Wear vs Double Matte

As a graduate student who is sadly all too familiar with counting pennies, I usually steer clear of high end products unless I am treating myself to something special. However, when it comes to base products like foundation, sometimes I wonder if it is better to splurge on high end products or opt for drug store alternatives in order to achieve the flawless skin we all seek. Aside from some redness and the occasional blemish I don't require too much coverage, but I do need a matte finish and long lasting formula. I have been relatively content with my Revlon ColorStay, but recently I have been reading a lot of positive reviews about Estée Lauder Double Wear being a long lasting, matte foundation ideal for those with oily prone skin.

So I went to my local Estée Lauder counter and walked away with not only a sample of Double Wear but also one of Double Matte. In today's post I will discuss my thoughts on both foundations, and consider how they compare to one another.

The sales associate matched me in the shade Dusk for Double Wear and in the shade Cool Dusk in Double Matte.

Top: Double Matte in Cool Dusk
Bottom: Double Wear in Dusk

Both of these foundations are thicker in consistency than my Revlon ColorStay, but it is still definitely a liquid formula.  There is no noticeable or offensive scent to either, which I like. I experimented with application a bit, and found that a damp beauty sponge (I used a Sonia Kushuk one) was the best method. While trying out these foundation, I didn't mix them with any other products. I only applied them over face primer in order to evaluate how they performed on their own.

Double Wear
Photo taken 3 hours after application.

What we have heard is true: Double Wear delivers nearly impeccable skin. I have never achieved such full coverage with any other foundation. However, this foundation looked a bit mask-like to me, especially right after application. Even when I apply a little amount with a damp blending sponge, the foundation looks thick on my face. I tried to fade the foundation down on to my neck, but this somehow made it even more obvious that I was slathered in make up. My goal is to try to fool the world into thinking I have naturally flawless skin, but if you prefer to look made up the heaviness of this foundation may not bother you. I found that my skin finally started to look like skin and not flat cardboard around hour three of wear, which is when the above photo was snapped. On a more positive note, I was really impressed with how it controlled oil- I didn't need to powder throughout the day like I usually would. Lastly, while it may not be so obvious in this photo, this foundation leaves a slight white cast to your face in flash photography. This is likely because there are SPF ingredients in this foundation, which in general is a good thing, but not if you anticipate having your picture taken.

Double Matte
Photo taken 3 hours after application.

After telling the sales associate at the Estée Lauder counter my foundation needs, she also sent me home with a sample of Double Matte. She explained that the Double Matte formula is supposed to disperse oil in your T zone to other areas of your face, thus making it ideal for combination skin. Don't ask me how this foundation is supposed to magically fulfill this claim (although Tarte's Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Illuminating Serum seems to). Not surprisingly, there wasn't much doubly matte about this formula for me. As you can see in the above picture, around hour three I had a fair amount of oil cropping up on my nose. Despite this fault, I did find Cool Dusk to be a better shade match for me that Double Wear's Dusk. Also, while this is still full coverage, Double Matte applied sightly less mask-like than Double Wear. However, like Double Wear, flash photography left me a bit washed out.

The take home message...
  • Both Double Wear and Double Matte provide some seriously full coverage, although they definitely can leave your face looking mask-like. Mixing these with an illuminating serum may help with this.

  • Double Wear controls oil insanely well, while Double Matte, despite its name, does not. 

  • Flash photography will leave you a bit white cast while wearing both of these.

I didn't absolutely hate these foundations, but neither feel like HG material like they are for some other gals. For now, it looks like I will have to stick it out a bit longer with Revlon ColorStay. 
I am still on the hunt for a high quality, medium to full coverage foundation that is both phenomenal at oil control and doesn't leave me looking like I am wearing a mask.  High end or low end- any suggestions?

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