Estee Lauder Double Wear VS. Double Wear LIGHT

Over the past year, I’ve been wearing both Estee Lauder Double Wear and Double Wear Light as part of my make up routine.  There are some marked differences between the two products and both have their pros and cons.  After reviewing Double Wear here and more recently, Double Wear Light here, I have decided to do a post comparing the two foundations as I know that this would have been very helpful for me when I was initially deciding upon whether to buy DW or DW Light.

My personal favourite out of the two is Double Wear Light but I’ll leave you to make up your own mind…

Estee Lauder Double Wear

compared to

Estee Lauder Double Wear Light

Estee Lauder Double Wear and Double Wear Light


The outer packages of both foundations are both blue cardboard Estee Lauder designed boxes, nothing groundbreaking but lovely all the same.  I think it is worthwhile noting the packaging housing the actual product here too, the regular Double Wear is in a glass bottle which means that you have to pour it out so sometimes I end up wasting some or trying to scoop it back inside. If you buy a pump separately then you don’t have this problem but it would be much more handy if the bottle came with one in the first place. It’s also easy to waste a lot of the product this way once you start coming to the end of the bottle. Whilst I love the look of products in glass bottles, they aren’t very durable and I personally would be gutted if I dropped this or smashed it while travelling.  For that reason, I much prefer the packaging of Double Wear Light, as the plastic squeezy tube is slimline, durable and travel friendly.

Availability, Price and Selecting a Shade

Both are available widely online and from Estee Lauder counters for £26.50 each which I would say is an accurate price for the high quality of the foundations.  I have occasionally seen both DW and DW Light available for around £18 at a CCO although the shades are limited so if I see them in my shade then I stock up!  I usually buy Estee Lauder products direct from their website, from Boots or from many department stores like Debenhams and House of Fraser.

There is a much greater variation of shades in the Double Wear foundation than the Double Wear Light which tends to be in intensities rather than lots of individual shades.  This doesn’t hinder your chances of finding a Light foundation to suit you as the intensities are designed to suit a range of shades within a particular skin tone and it does adapt to some extent and blend very well on the skin.  Personally I prefer this as I can use Double Wear Light in one shade regardless of whether I am lightly tanned or not whereas I have to have two separate bottles of the regular Double Wear.

Application and Blending

DW is very fast drying and more difficult to blend than DW Light, particularly if you’re just starting out with makeup. I find that it is best applied using my fingertips as this warms up the foundation and gives me just that little bit more time to blend it. Although I hate washing the foundation off my hands afterwards, it takes a while to budge! I much prefer applying DW Light as I use my favourite foundation brush, the Sigma F80 Flat Top Kabuki brush which allows me to really buff the foundation into my skin. The finish it leaves is fantastic. I can blend DW Light and DW seamlessly however for those who aren’t used to DW, it is important to note that you do need to make sure you blend the foundation down your neck and be careful not to let it settle in your hair line, etc.

I find that I don’t always need to powder DW but I do out of habit for nights out, however I do powder DW Light… although this is probably again out of habit… and I do like a very matte looking face. At the moment I’m using Rimmel Stay Matte powder however my favourite is the Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection powder.

Coverage, Longevity, Finish and Skin Type Suitability

I do slightly disagree with the types of coverage that Estee Lauder target each foundation as.  DW Light is targeted as a sheer to medium coverage foundation, however I would say it is definitely a medium coverage and DW is described as medium coverage however, I would say it is a more full coverage foundation. 

Both Double Wear and Double Wear Light claim to have 15 hour wear, I would say that this is the case for both on a normal days wear (i.e. not doing anything too strenuous and sweaty!) however Double Wear does oxidise so I prefer wearing it only for nights out and Light for every other occasion.  DW leaves a very matte, oil free finish and DW Light leaves a natural matte finish.  They are very similar except that DW feels much heavier on the skin than the Light version and feels more powdery.  When wearing DW you can definitely feel that you are wearing makeup whereas depending on how much powder you use after applying DW Light, it can feel as though you’re wearing very little makeup, which I personally prefer.  I find that DW is best nights out as it is a little too heavy for your average daytime activities however DW Light is perfect for both daytime and night time wear so if you’re looking for an all rounder, DW Light is the foundation for you!

Both foundations contain powder but the DW has a much higher powder content than the DW Light and for that reason, I find that I need to apply moisturiser before I use DW whereas I don’t before I use DW Light (I just like to!).  DW is not suitable for those who have dry or very dry skins, in my opinion, because it contains so much powder and would cling to dry areas however it is perfect for oily skin.  Whilst I wouldn’t recommend Double Wear Light for those with extremely dry skin, I do think that it would be ok for those with dry skin and of course, normal, combination and oily skin.

If you’re looking for some photos to compare the two, check out my Double Wear Review and my Double Wear Light Review.

Both foundations can be bought from Debenhams, Estee Lauder and Boots.

If you have any questions that I haven’t covered here or in my reviews, then feel free to ask me.

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  1. izzyfalloni
    April 6, 2012 / 5:01 pm

    Great review Laura! Have tried Double Wear from a sample and found it too heavy for me and a bit cakey – I might give DW Light a go though as it sounds like it would fit what I'm looking for better. I have combination skin, usually pretty clear though there are blemishes maybe twice a month depending on hormones, so heavy coverage just feels like overkill. I do like foundation to last though, as who has the time to reapply during a long workday?! DW Light sounds like my next purchase/trial!

    • WhatLauraLoves
      April 7, 2012 / 9:18 pm

      I completely agree, when I apply my make up on a morning I like it to be there when I get home, it needs to last! DW Light def sounds like its the foundation for you, very long lasting and not too heavy! xxx

  2. Caroline
    April 6, 2012 / 11:42 pm

    Great to read a comparison between the two, I think I'd go for double wear light :)Caroline xCaroline's Catwalk

    • WhatLauraLoves
      April 7, 2012 / 9:11 pm

      Pleased you enjoyed reading it Caroline, i think comparison posts really help you to decide! xxx

  3. Anonymous
    April 7, 2012 / 2:23 pm

    what cco do you go to? I live in the same area and can't think of any xx

    • WhatLauraLoves
      April 7, 2012 / 9:01 pm

      I go to the York Designer Outlet. Buy all my Ralph Lauren from there too, its brilliant xxx

  4. Anonymous
    May 9, 2012 / 12:36 pm

    What colour of double wear would you use and then what colour of double wear light would you use in comparison?

  5. Anonymous
    July 16, 2012 / 10:02 am

    Thanks for the review Laura 🙂 Absolutely good one. I tried DW Light in the shade of Intensity 2.5. I am Asian by the way. I love the foundation and when finished with loose powder, it looks really great on my face. Great coverage and I love how natural it looked considering my face is full of pre adolescent acne marks and imperfection.Only thing is, I am always in a rush to leave house for work in the morning and being a person who seldom applies make up, using a brush or even fingers take time to get used to. The friendly Beauty Advisor gave me some samples of DW Light and primer to try. I shall practise on the weekends 🙂

  6. Anonymous
    March 24, 2013 / 2:21 pm

    exactly the review and comparison I was looking for…thanks!

    • WhatLauraLoves
      April 4, 2013 / 9:33 pm

      Thanks you're very welcome xxx

    April 4, 2013 / 8:38 pm

    Great review! I am wondering which of them is better to bride makeup?

    • WhatLauraLoves
      April 4, 2013 / 9:33 pm

      Double Wear Light, its what ill probably be wearing on my wedding day xxx

  8. Anonymous
    May 10, 2013 / 4:24 am

    Hi Laura. I read the article you wrote. Thanks for the information. Last question, I have really oily face (It starts shining after 2 hours since I apply my make up and continues all day, for my is disgusting) and I've bought many brands to solve my problem. For instance:Clinique, Revlon which promise the same results, but now that I've tried them I can say they' re as good as double wear comments. For my specific case, which is the most useful: Dw or Dw light? Can you please give me your recommendation? Thanks… Note: I'm not English native speaker, my native language is Spanish… so sorry about mistakes in my writing.

    • WhatLauraLoves
      May 10, 2013 / 10:59 am

      Hola!The difference between DW and DW Light is the coverage rather than the staying power. They will both stay on your skin for around about the same amount of time. Id personally recommend DW Light as it will stay on your skin all day but it is a medium coverage so it is light on the skin whereas the DW is full coverage and may be heavy, particularly if you live in a hotter country.Hope this helps.xxxxxx

  9. May Blessing Oo
    April 28, 2015 / 7:47 am

    For very oily skin which will be more useful..? DW or DW light.?

    • Laura Ferry
      April 28, 2015 / 2:40 pm

      Double Wear but I have incredibly oily skin and DW Light is still good for me xxx

  10. Anonymous
    May 31, 2017 / 12:09 am

    Hi laura please suggest me if I can go with DW or DW Light as my skin is dry and I live in hot and sweating weather.

  11. Anonymous
    May 31, 2017 / 12:09 am

    Hi laura please suggest me if I can go with DW or DW Light as my skin is dry and I live in hot and sweating weather.

    • Laura Ferry
      May 31, 2017 / 6:26 am

      I'd opt for Double Wear Light xxx

  12. Allie
    July 31, 2019 / 8:14 am

    Thank you for the review!! Helped me here in 2019 🙂

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