Aug 03 2016

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation Review | Original vs. To Go


Apart from a small sample I’d acquired way back when with some order or another, I’ve never properly tried any of the Estee Lauder Double Wear foundations. I know, crazy right? It’s surprising to me as well considering that in addition to having oily combo skin for the majority of my life, I’ve mostly lived in hot, humid climates. And I was a teenager when Double Wear was launched. Anyway, I figured it was about time I give the formula a good go. Intrigued by the multitude of “Double Wear” variations, I decided it might be fun to compare the Estee Lauder Double Wear original foundation formula to one of Estee Lauder’s newer offerings, Double Wear To Go.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation Review Original vs. To Go


Both of the Original and To Go formulas are liquid foundations. The first obvious difference between the two products is in packaging and delivery. The original formula is housed in a classic glass bottle sans pump. Not the most convenient dispensing mechanism, however, I’ve heard the MAC pumps fit.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation Review Original vs. To Go

On the other hand, the To Go version, as the name may suggest, is contained in a compact and includes a small sponge. There is a button that you push to dispense the foundation.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation Review Original vs. To Go
Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation Review Original vs. To Go
Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation Review Original vs. To Go

I love how Estee Lauder breaks down the product details so well. They highlight the key benefits and performance of each foundation so you know exactly what you’re supposed to be getting.

The Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Foundation (Original) is described as “a long-wearing makeup with 15-hour staying power” that looks flawless and natural while feeling lightweight and comfortable. It promises to last through heat, humidity, and non-stop activity without changing color, smudging or coming off on clothes.

From the EL website:

BENEFITS: Long-wear: 15 hours. Medium coverage.

COVERAGE: Medium, Buildable

FINISH: Semi-matte

FORMULA FACTS: Oil-free, Dermatologist-tested, Non-acnegenic; won’t clog pores & Fragrance-free.

The Estee Lauder Double Wear To Go is described as Luminous liquid makeup in an innovative, spill-proof compact that gives 8 hours of wear. Estee Lauder says that it is enriched with an intense tri-moisture complex that makes it a different formula than the original Double Wear. Additionally, it promises to leave skin looking dewy, luminous, smooth and natural.


From the EL website:

BENEFITS: Dewy. luminous. hydrating. liquid compact makeup.

COVERAGE: Medium to Full, Buildable

FINISH: Luminous

FORMULA FACTS: Dermatologist-tested & Fragrance-free.


It should be very clear from the description that the Double Wear To Go is NOT meant to be a replica of the original. It is designed to give a dewy, luminous finish rather than a semi-matte finish like the original. This probably makes it a better choice for drier skin types. I have oily-combination, somewhat dehydrated skin with medium sized pores, mild rosacea and texture in some areas. For years I strictly used matte or semi-matte foundations. Recently, however, I’ve gravitated towards satin, more luminous and even semi-dewy finishes. Anyway, I thought I’d try both formulas and see which suited me best. My shade is 1W2 Sand which is  warm and light (I wear MAC NC 25).

Sometimes when a company makes a shade in several different formulas, there can be slight color differences in the same shade across formulas. With the Double Wears, however, I thought the two shades of 1W2 were pretty much identical. If I detect any difference at all, it’s that the To Go version is just a touch lighter.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation Review Original vs. To Go

My thoughts on the Original: For years I’d heard people described the Estee Lauder Double Wear as a full coverage foundation. In my opinion, that’s just not the case. I completely agree with the company’s assertion that it is a buildable medium. I prefer applying the Double Wear original with a brush, the Sephora Multitasker Brush to be specific, or a Beauty Blender.

Despite having a reputation for covering up everything, I find that the Double Wear has quite a natural looking finish. And this is the case whether I wear it with a neutral primer like the Hourglass Mineral Veil or a luminous/hydrating primer. That being said, I can see how the foundation might start to emphasize imperfections if layered on too thickly. I use the equivalent of 2 pumps or less for face and neck and this gives me healthy looking coverage that lasts all day. I’ve tested it on days when I was out and about running errands in our super warm weather with high humidity and it held up very well. Doesn’t melt off the face or break apart in weird ways.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation Review Original vs. To Go (7)

My thoughts on the To Go: I’ve heard people say that the To Go version doesn’t have the same level coverage as the regular double wear. But I have to disagree – and so does Estee Lauder. They describe the To Go formula as a Medium to Full coverage (versus to the original which is described as medium) and I agree with that. In the swatches below, I’ve applied the two foundations to the back of my hand and, hopefully, you’ll be able to tell that the To Go covers my little freckle just a little bit better.

The To Go feels lighter in texture than the original but also gives a very natural finish. That being said, it is undoubtedly more luminous and dewy looking. Though not as long lasting (my oils break through after about 6 hours) I can layer it without worrying about emphasizing any of my problem areas. To Go is more hydrating than the original as well, obviously. For the sake of the review, I did try the foundation a few times with the sponge in the compact. I did not like the result at all. Somehow, when I use the sponge, I felt like the foundation never set and slide all around my face. This applies much better with a brush or beauty blender. A fact which, I suppose, defeats the purpose of whole “To Go” aspect.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation Review Original vs. To Go
Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation Review Original vs. To Go
Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation Review Original vs. To Go

Although I’m enjoying both foundation formulas, the original edges ahead. The formula sits better on my skin and I like that it lasts a little longer. And you get more of the original (1 oz) than the To Go (.41 oz) for less money.

The Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Foundation retails for $39.50 USD/£31.00 and the To Go formulation retails for $45.00 USD/£33.00. You can find them at Sephora, Neiman Marcus (tempting GWPNordstrom, Boots, Selfridges, Estée Lauder’s website and pretty much everywhere.



Have you tried any of the Estee Lauder Double Wear formulas? Do you have a favorite?





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  1. My mum swears by Double Wear but I stayed away from it as I dislike anything that is medium-full coverage so I never tried it. I do like the new version though, I love the way it’s dispense.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

    1. The dispenser definitely keeps things tidy, I like it too, hehe.

  2. You’re not alone – I’ve never tried any of the EL DW foundations either! I really should since it gets recommended all the time.
    I really like the To Go compact! Genius! I’m so glad it’s not a cushion sponge compact (ugh don’t get me started!)
    Huh, you’re probably the first person to say DW is not FULL coverage. I always thought it was the case! That sways me more into try this now – I’m definitely going to check out the To Go compact. I like the sounds of that.

    1. Maybe it’s because I’ve been using it with a Beauty Blender and the Multitasker brush (which is not super dense)? I dunno, I really don’t think its full coverage. But I do have a bit more to cover up than the average person so what I expect of full coverage might be different than someone else. 🙂 I think that Nars Luminous Foundation has more coverage.

  3. I’ve never tried this but it’s been on my wish list for awhile. I’m surprised to have read u say it’s not full coverage though since everyone swears it is. But by your pictures, I think your right! Great review!!!!

    1. I suppose full coverage is relative to ones expectations and what they need covered. Someone with less imperfections than myself may have a different perspective but for me its definitely medium (a high medium). 🙂 Thank you for your kind comment as well, Julie.

    • Lulle.Beaumiroir on August 4, 2016 at 1:02 am
    • Reply

    I tried the original Double Wear thinking it would be a full coverage foundation – because that’s what everyone says about it. So I was disappointed that it didn’t cover my redness and problem areas well, and when I tried to build it looked very cakey. I should give it another try with the right expectations.


  4. I didn’t get on with the original, but I like the Light version. I actually prefer the sound of the “To Go” version because I prefer a dewy/luminous finish. Great post! xx

    Beautylymin| Abercrombie & Fitch First Instinct Giveaway

    1. Thanks Sweetie. I may try the light version as well as the maximum coverage at some point. 🙂

  5. I still haven’t tried the DW foundation! There’s always something new on the market that I’m more excited to try 🙂 But I think I need to get it, it’s such a cult foundation, I need to see how it will work for my skin! x

    Mummy’s Beauty Corner

  6. I don’t use much Estee Lauder products as I find they have a certain smell to them that I have been unable to ignore. This means I have yet to try these two products as well. However they look amazing. My sister is looking for a foundation, I will have to tell her to give these a try.

  7. I have the compact version and I love it! I like the packaging so much, but now I kind of want to try the original one too 🙂


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