Is Estee Lauder Double Wear Water-Based?

As someone who loves makeup but also struggles with acne-prone skin, finding the right foundation has always been tricky for me. I want flawless coverage and a natural look—without clogging my pores or causing new breakouts. And I’m definitely not alone! So when I first heard the buzz around Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation, I was instantly curious.

This long-wearing, high-coverage formula has earned rave reviews across the beauty community. It promises 24 hours of perfect coverage with a lightweight, comfortable feel. But the question I kept coming back to was: is Estee Lauder Double Wear water-based or not? As we’ll explore here, the answer has big implications for how this foundation actually performs.

Breaking Down The Formula: Water and Silicone Galore

First, let’s take a closer look at what actually makes up Double Wear. Scanning the ingredients list, two things jump out right away:

  • Water is the very first ingredient. This indicates that water likely makes up the highest percentage of the formula.
  • Several types of silicone (like dimethicone and cyclopentasiloxane) also feature prominently. These silicon-based ingredients can provide a smooth, even finish when applied.

So at first glance, the Estee Lauder foundation seems to combine water-based and silicone-based ingredients. This explains both the lightweight feel upon application and the flawless coverage that develops as it sets.

But what do these two types of ingredients actually do? And what does this combination mean for whether the formula is ultimately water-based or not?

Inside A Combo Formula: The Roles of Water vs. Silicone

To understand Double Wear’s formula better, let’s break down the distinct roles of its water-based and silicone-based components:

Hydration Station: What Water Brings to the Table

  • As a foundation’s base, water thins out the consistency so it glides smoothly onto skin without drag or tugging.
  • Water also hydrates while wearing, helping prevent the formula from clinging to dry patches or settling into fine lines.
  • As the main solvent, water allows other nourishing ingredients to penetrate deeper for better absorption.

So in essence, the high water content makes this full-coverage formula feel lighter, more comfortable, and easier to blend.

Smooth Operators: The Silicone Effect

Meanwhile, those silicone ingredients offer benefits like:

  • An ultra-smooth, silky texture for flawless application and seamless layering
  • A protective barrier that blocks transfer, sweat, and oils while locking the coverage in place
  • A refined matte finish that controls shine breakthrough for longer
  • Enhanced spreadability for an airbrushed second-skin look

So while the water hydrates and allows better blending, the silicone ensures all-day perfect coverage that stays put exactly where you applied it.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Water Based

Spotting Water-Based Foundations vs. Silicone Formulas

Understanding the unique roles of these two types of ingredients helps shed light on Double Wear’s combo formula. But how can you identify whether any foundation is water-based or silicone-based?

Here are some tips:

Check the Labeling

  • Water-based formulas are typically labeled as such. Keep an eye out for descriptive terms like “aqua foundation.”
  • Silicone-based formulas often advertise smoothing benefits or perfecting coverage. Think “photo finish foundation” or “airbrush effect.”

Read the Ingredient List

  • Water-based foundations list water/aqua as the first and main ingredient, followed by humectants like glycerin.
  • Silicone-based formulas feature chemical names like dimethicone, cyclopentasiloxane, or trimethylsiloxysilicate near the top of their ingredient list.

Assess the Texture

  • Water-based foundations have a thinner, more liquidy consistency that blends in easily. They tend to feel lightweight after setting.
  • Silicone-based formulas have a thicker, almost mousse-like texture. They leave behind a smooth, silky finish with no transfer or slip after setting.

By checking labeling claims, ingredients lists, and textures, you can gauge whether a foundation formula skews more water- or silicone-based.

The Special Sauce: Key Ingredients in Estee Lauder Double Wear

Now that we know the telltale signs of water-based and silicone foundations, let’s revisit the Estee Lauder formula:


  • As we covered earlier, water is the number-one ingredient. This indicates a mostly water-based formula designed to hydrate while allowing fuller coverage.

Silicone All-Stars

  • Dimethicone promotes an even finish and keeps sebum and sweat from breaking through.
  • Trimethylsiloxysilicate helps perfect smoothness while adding shine control.
  • Cyclopentasilxane allows weightless, comfortable wear with a blurring effect.

Supporting Star: Titanium Dioxide

  • This mineral sunscreen active provides SPF protection while adding opacity for flawless coverage.

By combining hydrating water with smoothing and perfecting silicones, Estee Lauder achieves comfort and full coverage in one formula. The addition of SPF allows this foundation to truly multitask.

Double Wear By The Numbers: Key Characteristics

Now that we’ve explored the special sauce that makes Double Wear tick, let’s zoom out and review some of its beloved characteristics:

  • 24-hour wear with waterproof, sweat and humidity resistance
  • Lightweight feel that avoids heaviness or thickness
  • Oil-free matte finish without feeling or looking cakey
  • Over 60 versatile shades with cool, warm, and neutral undertones
  • Buildable medium-to-full coverage with a natural skin look
  • SPF 10 for protection from UV damage without white cast
  • Glass bottle packaging for a luxury experience, but heavy for travel

This 24-hour foundation promises flawless wear that can carry you from work to workouts and beyond. The extensive shade range helps more skin tones find that perfect velvet matte match.

Double Wear Pros and Cons: Should This Foundation Be Your New BFF?

With such impressive capabilities, it’s no wonder Double Wear earns such universal praise. But no product is entirely perfect for every skin type and need. Before wholeheartedly declaring this your new Holy Grail foundation, consider a few pros and cons:

Major Perks

  • Serious staying power that resists sweat, humidity, masks, you name it
  • Buildable coverage customizable from medium to full
  • Weightless feel that avoids cakiness or thickness
  • Smoothing, perfecting finish that looks like your skin (but better)

Potential Pitfalls

  • Hefty price tag at $43 for one fluid ounce
  • Glass packaging makes the bottle prone to breaking
  • Drying or emphasizing on dry skin types, especially without proper prep and hydration

If you crave flawless full coverage and unlimited wear time in any condition, Double Wear delivers. Dry skin types may prefer a more intensely hydrating formula, however. And take care not to drop that glass bottle!


What other foundations are similar to Double Wear?

For intense longevity, CoverGirl Outlast 3-in-1 is budget-friendly alternative. Makeup Forever Matte Velvet Skin and Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear provide a similar 24-hour, full-coverage matte finish.

Is Double Wear OK for dry or mature skin types?

With its oil-free formula and cling-resistant silicones, Double Wear can emphasize dryness or accentuate fine lines if you have very dry or mature skin. Proper exfoliation and hydration can help combat this. Opt for the Double Wear LIGHT version for a more moisturizing formulation.

What finish and coverage does Double Wear provide?

This foundation offers buildable medium-to-full coverage with a smooth, refined matte finish. It leaves skin looking flawless while controlling shine breakthrough for up to 24 hours.

Does Double Wear work well for oily and acne-prone skin?

Yes! Its sweat-, water-, and transfer-resistant formula makes Double Wear a great choice for oily and acneic skin. The oil-free composition helps control excess sebum. Just be sure to prep with proper cleansing and moisturizing first.

The Final Verdict

If you love full coverage foundations as much as I do, Estee Lauder Double Wear is definitely worth trying. This high-performance formula truly delivers super-long wear and a refined matte finish.

By combining hydrating water with smoothing and perfecting silicones, it applies comfortably while achieving photo-ready flawlessness that lasts over 24 hours. Just take care with the glass packaging!

Overall, Estee Lauder Double Wear makes good on its promise of waterproof, humidity-resistant perfection that withstands work, play, workouts and anything else you throw at it. I’d recommend it to anyone seeking bulletproof full coverage. This iconic long-wear foundation has secured its spot in the foundation hall of fame—and probably in my everyday makeup routine too!

Similar Posts