Millions of people stand by the Estee Lauder Double Wear foundations but personally I’ve always been struggling to make them work on my dry skin. I’ve tried the original and the light versions and they just seemed to sit on top of my complexion, emphasize dry areas and make me look older.

Enters the Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude Water Fresh Foundation (what a long name!) – a product designed to hydrate the skin and wear for up to 24 hours. Those two features don’t often go together and I was very excited to give this product a go. The description on the brand’s website also talks about the foundation being extremely lightweight and being able to move with the skin. Plus, you’re also getting an SPF of 30.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude Water Fresh Foundation

The foundation comes in an elegant, frosted glass bottle, but doesn’t include a pump. You can purchase it separately, but it would hike up the price of the product by $10 (although you would be able to re-use it in the future). Personally, I much prefer having the pump with my foundation, but I can make it work either way. All you need to do is cover the opening of the bottle with your finger and tilt it upside down to get the product out.

The consistency

The Double Wear Nude Water Fresh foundation has an interesting consistency. It’s watery and thin but also has a bit of “oiliness” to it. I use this term very loosely because the product is advertised as oil-free. However, it often creates a bubble around the opening that simply just feels a tad greasy (check the photo below). I don’t think it’s a factor that affects the blendability or the performance of the product, more like an interesting observation…

Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude Water Fresh Foundation

The foundation is definitely light, but has a decent amount of pigment. I feel like it’s a current trend and it’s a very beneficial one for those of us with dry skin types.

The application

My favorite way to apply the Double Wear Nude Water Fresh foundation is with a blending sponge. I like to dot it all over the face (it seems like the easiest way since there is no pump) and then blend it out. The sponge may soak up a tiny bit of product because the formula is so thin, but it does that with creamier products as well. The blendability of this foundation is superb though. It takes a while to dry, so you can really take your time and make sure to press the product into the skin.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude Water Fresh Foundation review

At the same time, the slow dry down time means that the foundation does stay tacky for a good few minutes if you don’t set it with a powder. But, once the product finally sets, it stays in place for hours.

The look

Now let’s talk about the coverage and the finish on the skin. It’s definitely a light to medium coverage foundation that’s capable of evening out the skin and covering minor redness, but it won’t completely hide freckles or imperfections. It looks quite natural on the skin and doesn’t seem to cling onto drier areas. When I was taking photos for this post, the skin on my cheeks had a bit of texture due to allergies and the foundation did not emphasize that.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude Water Fresh Foundation

Here’s how the foundation looks after one layer. The amount of coverage is enough for my needs, you can even see that it reduced the appearance of my under eye circles as well as the redness on the cheeks. It looks fresh and dewy (the photo was taken pretty much instantly after the application), but not greasy.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude Water Fresh Foundation review

After another layer the coverage looks more medium, but the finish on the skin is still natural. The only area I would like to add concealer to is the under eye section, just to brighten it up a little. Again, the finish on the skin is dewy, but personally I wouldn’t feel the need to add powder all over. On oilier skin types this step would probably be required though.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude Water Fresh Foundation

The Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude Water Fresh foundation wears well throughout the day, but I don’t find it to be extremely moisturizing. Towards the end of the day it does seem to settle into the lines and sometimes breaks down a bit (if not set with powder). The issue can be prevented by using a good moisturizing or pore filling primer underneath.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude Water Fresh vs. MAC Waterweight vs. MUFE Water Blend

There are currently other foundations featuring the word “water” in the name available on the market. I happen to own two of them – from MAC and Make Up For Ever. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you probably know that the MUFE foundation is hands down my all time favorite. After the first few uses of the EL product I thought I liked it better, but as I was comparing the two further, it ended up being a close second.

The MUFE Water Blend foundation has more gel like consistency and requires an application with a brush. I like it better because it looks barely detectable on the skin, never sinks into the lines and pores, provides a similar amount of coverage and lasts almost just as good as the EL product. It’s also more moisturizing.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude Water Fresh Foundation review

Now the MAC Waterweight foundation apparently has pretty much the same ingredients as the Double Wear Nude Water Fresh, but it comes with a dropper and is less expensive. However, and you may call me crazy, I like it a bit less than the EL foundation because it seems to sink into my lines much quicker. As soon as it dries down it starts emphasizing imperfections, while the Double Wear lasts about half a day before going downhill. I may have to put them on my fae side by side to investigate further. However, if you want to try the Estee Lauder formula and save a few dollars, you can give MAC Waterweight a go.

Are you a fan of the Double Wear formula?

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