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  • Writer's pictureAnnie

Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude Water Fresh Foundation

It claims to create real-skin flawlessness with great longevity. Let's see how true this is of the Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude Water Fresh Foundation. I'm going to give it a wear test in extreme conditions.

I like to wear a medium coverage matte foundation. Unfortunately, I have super dry skin so I'm always on the hunt for something that has buildable coverage which can cover most of my hyperpigmentation and post-Inflammatory erythema (PIE) redness without emphasising the dry patches. At the same time, I also want something that can be sheered out for days that I want a more no-makeup makeup look. Oh, and by the way, I want my foundation to also feel lightweight or weightless on the skin. Am I asking for too much? I don't think so.

Price, packaging, availability

The Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude Water Fresh Foundation retails for AUD$59. It is easily found at the major department stores at the Estee Lauder counter alongside being offered online at a number of stores. I purchased mine from Sephora during their biannual 20% off sale so I nabbed a bottle for AUD$47.20.

"For best results, do not pour makeup. Instead, cover the opening with your finger and carefully flip bottle upside down."

The packaging on all Estee Lauder foundations is absolutely awful. It's a terrible design. There's no other way to describe it. The Double Wear foundations come in a glass bottle with a golden screw top lid which means you have to pour foundation out onto the back of your hand. The advice to cover the opening with your finger and flip the bottle upside down is downright stupid. The person who wrote the 'how to' section of the Estee Lauder website has not used the foundation on a regular basis. You either don't get enough product or you get too much and it gets messy really quickly. On top of that, the product leaks down the sides of the neck. They sell a pump separately for $10. Buy it. I did and it took out the frustration of using the foundation. There's no guess work and it's cut down the mess. It's a runny formula so any residue from the pump will still leak from the small hole.

Double Wear Nude Water Fresh Foundation

"Waterlight. This fluid, long-wear makeup feels like you have nothing on. Moves comfortably with your skin. Looks fresh, natural, healthy, even-toned."

I wear the shade 1N2 Ecru which is a pretty decent match to my skin tone. The same shade in the original Double Wear foundation is a fraction more yellow but this one really pulls neutral which is fantastic for me. Estee Lauder claims that it creates a finish of real skin while remaining flawless. Let's put that to the test.

Below is a before and after photo. On the left, I'm fresh faced with just my skincare on. The second last step of my skincare routine is a facial oil and I finish with a SPF50+ sunscreen so my skin looks a tad more dewy than it actually is. On the right, I have 2 pumps of the Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude Water Fresh foundation on which was applied on top of a half pea-sized amount of the Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow Primer.

Not bad. I quickly neutralised a lot of surface area redness with the first pump which I swiped on my face with my finger. I spread most of it around with my index finger and buffed it in with my Koyudo fu-pa02 brush. The natural haired goat fibre brush didn't absorb too much product. A sponge will absorb this foundation completely. I went in with a second pump of foundation and patted it heavily over my darker pigmentation spots on the lower parts of my cheek and chin. It covered most of it but the hyperpigmentation is still visible.

"Instantly and continuously hydrates with a moisture complex of red fruit extracts, including watermelon, lychee seed and apple."

This foundation has a very liquidly and runny consistency to the degree that it's watery. It claims to be a light to medium coverage foundation which I concur with. The back of the bottle advises to shake well before use. You can hear it sloshing around when you do.

This is one pump of foundation. It immediately spreads once it's on the back of the hand and will spread very far. Below I've charted out how far that one pump goes beginning with my bare skin from the left to the right where I've covered my hand and the entirety of my forearm. I achieved decent coverage so this will be suitable for you if you're looking for a product that will neutralise redness or uneven skin tones. It covered the prominent blue and green veins on my hand quite well.

I also think the foundation lives up to the claim of being waterlight. It has a slight bit of a dry down period with the tiniest degree of the film-forming setting feeling that the original Double Wear foundation and the Double Wear Light foundations are known for. It's no where near that level of dry down though so it doesn't feel like you're wearing a mask or that your face is tightening. As for the hydrating claim, it's also true. My dry skin does really well with this formula which mostly sets and won't transfer if you touch your face but will transfer a bit onto glasses or if you wipe away a sweaty upper lip.

The picture below is what my makeup looks like in the morning after application. In all the photos in this blog post, I've used theYves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Radiant Touch pen in #2 under my eyes or none at all and I set my face the outer part of my face with Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder.

On days where I need extra coverage from this foundation to cover my spots, I mix a tiny amount of the setting powder into the foundation to give it extra coverage and staying power. In some photos, this looks a tad cakey on my lower cheek area. I also have textured acne scarring there so most foundations show that anyway.

Foundation Wear Test

At time of writing, it's summer in Australia. The temperature is 30°C to 40°C every day. Thats 86°F to 104°F for any Americans reading. It does get hotter on some days.

It's either muggy as all hell with high humidity or you get a blasting dry heat. I've photographed how this foundation wears in all extremes.

Here's an iPhone check-in after an hour of wear. It was stupidly hot that day. It was the kind of heat where you stepped outside and began sweating in under 5 minutes so of course we throw an outdoor barbeque. It was Australia Day and a good friend's birthday. I'll show update photos of how this foundation wore on this day later on.

The Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude Fresh Water foundation definitely has a light-weight formula but the best thing is that it becomes really weightless throughout the day. This is one that looks better a few hours after application.

I don't have perfect skin but I'm going to take you up and close with high resolution images shot indoors but with natural lighting to give a fair depiction of how this foundation looks.

This is what my makeup looks like 5 hours in. I mostly stayed indoors in both air-conditioned and non airconditioned areas but I had about a 40 minute period outdoors in 33°C weather. I wear large sunglasses so it tends to rub off a bit on sides of my nose. I don't usually blot or touch up when I'm out. I also finish my makeup application with the All Nighter Setting Spray from Urban Decay after powdering the concealed areas of my lower cheek to chin using Hourglass translucent powder. Ignoring the lower parts of my face which I've heavily concealed and powdered, the foundation looks great.

"Real-skin flawless. Real protection. 24-hour staying power."

I'm going to quash the real skin claim just because of the way I wear this foundation. I build it up to at least a medium coverage and I don't think any medium coverage product looks like real skin. It will look more skin like if you use one pump of foundation or less. As you can see from the hyperpigmentation and my beauty marks on my face, it does allow for your real skin to peek through. As for flawless? I think it's good enough. You be the judge.

Let's look at how the foundation holds up after 8 hours of wear spent mostly indoors but with a 15 minute walking commute home. It's summer so it's hard to tell what's oil production and what's sweat. In all likelihood, it's mostly sweat. Pictured here is a reasonably mild weather day for summer at 30°C (86°F) with not a lot of humidity so I feel this is a fair representation of the foundation.

It's starting to break up around my nose and upper lip area. The foundation is also gone from the sides of my nose where my glasses sit. Below is a side view of what the foundation looks like. If there's one flaw to this product, it's that it progressively starts to show texture in the skin as it wears throughout the day.

Another hour later and I see the textural issues worsen. It would have been easily fixed if I had touched up at a 6 to 7 hour mark. I didn't think I had texture issues with my skin until the end-of-day photographs showed up the bits on my forehead and between my brows. Also, my pores on my cheek look pretty pronounced from this angle. I rarely see pore issues with my skin when I apply makeup but lo and behold, here it is.

Okay, now let's look at how the Double Wear Nude Fresh foundation fared in extreme weather conditions. The next two photos are the result of 8 hours wear with 5 hours spent outdoors in 37°C (99°F) heat with 70% humidity. Since you're up close to my face, I feel comfortable sharing that I sweated in places I had no idea you could sweat. It was so hot that you could stand up and turn around slowly like a rotisserie chicken and by the time you had completed a full rotation, the sweat had dried. I also remember standing up and feeling a trickle of sweat drip all the way down my neck, travel the length of my spine, detour down my left leg and land on the heel of my foot. That's how hot it was.

I find this level of wear and tear very acceptable. I reapplied sunscreen on top of my makeup twice. I just got two heaped teaspoon amounts of sunscreen and patted it directly on top of my face. I didn't rub it in at all but I patted until it was all in. I didn't get any transfer onto my fingers.

Between the sunscreen and the excessive sweating, I'd say I lost about 65% of the foundation. Additionally, I did use a tissue to blot off sweat a few times. Only very small amount of foundation came off. I did however wipe my undereyes because my eyeshadow and mascara became a bit panda-like. I'm surprised that there was foundation to be removed at the end of the day to be honest. If you scroll all the way to the top, you can compare it to how it looked at the beginning of the day.


The Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude Fresh Water Foundation is a great foundation for those who want a light to medium coverage product. Don't go into it expecting great coverage unlike the original Double Wear or even Double Wear Light which has way more coverage. You'll need to work to conceal any remaining pigmentation or spots but this is a foundation that will quickly neutralise any surface redness or uneven skin tone. It's fantastic in how lightweight it is on the skin and great for dry skinned people. If you've got oily skin, this is not going to work at all for you.

The longevity of the product is quite decent too. The 24 hour claim is beyond ridiculous. You can easily get 8 hours of wear as I pictured but touch up a bit with blotting papers or a bit of powder to extend it for an additional few hours.

The packaging is this foundation's major downfall. You need to buy the pump to use this runny formula. There's no ifs or buts. There is no way to dispense the correct amount by inverting the bottle or pouring. Also, if you have textured skin, I don't think this foundation will be kind to you.

I've been wearing the Double Wear Nude for a few months now and it's my go to foundation, particularly on good skin days. On my not so good skin days, I find myself mixing this with some higher coverage products because of it's lightweight and hydrating properties. I definitely see myself using the whole thing up and there's barely any wastage now that I have the pump installed into the bottle.

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