There’s a certain novelty that comes with buying high-end cosmetics – every shopping trip is like a little splurge, and (most of the time) you know that you’re going to get what you pay for. In all honesty, I’m pretty new to the world of high-end makeup, being that I made my first splurge in February of last year. Even now, after dropping a boatload of cash on designer cosmetics over the course of the past year, I still feel a bit intimidated when going to the brand counters at the likes of Nordstrom and Macy’s. That said, I’m so glad I got over my fear, because my most recent visit to the Estee Lauder counter at Nordstrom was one of the most valuable beauty experiences I’ve had in a while, in that the beautician working with me helped me discover the EL Double-Wear Light Foundation.
To be completely frank, I’ve always pegged Estee Lauder as being a brand that’s fairly inaccessible to anyone under the age of 30. You hardly ever see people my age (late teens/early twenties) rushing to the EL counter to try their newest products, probably because most of them claim to reduce signs of aging and the like. Given the stigma that surrounds this brand, even I was surprised with myself for going out of my way to try one of their foundations. I had just run out of my Dr. Jart WaterFuse BB Cream (which I use as my foundation only on natural look days as opposed to full-face), which meant the time was ripe for finding a new spring/summer replacement. I also had become a bit dismayed by the fact that the WaterFuse, which claims to be a cure-all for fair skin, seemed to oxidize something fierce after prolonged use. That meant I was also in the market for a base that had options for skin that’s the palest of the pale. After a bit of thorough research on luminous-finish foundations that catered to pale skin, the Double-Wear Light came out guns blazing above the rest.
If you’ve used Estee Lauder products before, you’re probably familiar with the original Double Wear foundation, which is known for being the longest-wearing, heavily matte, and most dramatically full-face coverage product out there. That is the exact opposite of what I wanted, and the exact opposite of what Double-Wear Light does. Since Estee Lauder is only sold at licensed counters (and occasionally Sephora), buying and testing this product demanded a trip to the beautician at the Nordstrom counter. I had actually been debating between the DWL and another EL foundation called Futurist, and after finding out Futurist had been discontinued and was only available on the EL website, DWL was my final choice. The beautician only had to give me a casual glance to determine I was Intensity 1.0 in DWL. Intensity 1.0 is the palest shade in the range as far as cool-undertoned skin goes, and Intensity 0.5 is the corresponding pale shade for warm-undertoned skin. I went in with a bare face with the intention of applying a sample of the DWL to wear around for about an hour or so just to check for oxidation issues and longevity of wear/the amount of time it took for the foundation to go from dewy to shiny, which is typically an issue with luminous-finish foundations.
After my hour was up, I checked for oxidation and shine – to my surprise, I found neither! Those results inspired me to purchase it immediately, and as such I continued to wear the product around for the rest of the day. This foundation has ridiculously impressive lasting power, which, for a foundation with a luminous-finish, is a hard feat to muster. Intensity 1.0 was a perfect match for me when first applied, and was still a perfect match even 8 hours later. This stuff literally looked exactly the same way after a full day as it did when first applied. It’s a bit sheer when you first apply it, but can easily be built to a medium, or even full-face coverage if you were so inclined. I find it impossible to overdo it with this product – it has an incredibly silky feel to it, and gives the skin an almost lit-from-within glow. There is nothing cakey or overly made-up about it. That said, it covers up virtually every imperfection – not that I have many, but I think the ability to cover blemishes is extremely important. It feels very light when worn but still manages to pack the same coverage punch as a foundation that would result in a mask-like feel.
The DWL runs about $37 for an ounce regardless of where you buy it, which, for a high-end brand like Estee Lauder, is actually pretty reasonable given how little you have to use.
I actually find this to be a suitable replacement for either a BB cream or a standard foundation, so if you are looking to replace either, head on over to the Estee Lauder counter (particularly at Nordstrom, since the CS is always phenomenal) and check out Double Wear Light.