Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Powder Foundation (4W4 and 5W1)

This is by no means a new product from Estee Lauder, but it is one of their best sellers that I don’t hear much about. As far as I can tell, this version of the Double Wear Powder was reformulated sometime around the beginning of 2019. I remember the Estee Lauder counter had the previous version on clearance shortly before I bought this version for the first time. Every counter doesn’t always get the newest releases right on schedule, so please correct me if that timing is wrong.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Matte Powder Foundation Review 4W4 Hazel and 5W1 Bronze
Estee Lauder Double Wear Matte Powder Foundation – 4W4 Hazel (left) and 5W1 Bronze (right)

Estee Lauder claims that this powder is soft and weightless, and I definitely agree. It feels like I have nothing on when I wear it alone as a powder foundation. That does translate to less coverage than some people might be looking for given the Double Wear name. This powder was designed to be a buildable multi-use powder, so it does start off as light coverage. Not a lot of powder picks up on the brush, which helps it function well as a setting powder. Getting into the buildable claim, it does build on itself with no issue. You can achieve a medium coverage if you apply it with a brush and apply two layers. If you use the included sponge you can get more coverage, but I don’t think it ever quite gets to the full coverage that the brand claims. The sponge also applies the product heavier, so just one layer gives me medium coverage. A second layer with the sponge does improve the coverage a little, but some of my scars still peak through. But again, it looks heavy applied with the sponge and accentuates texture on me.

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Does Really Work? (Foundation Shade Matching Website) is a website that uses science, technology, and engineering math to determine foundation shade matches. But does it work? Let’s talk about it.

UPDATE, October 1, 2022: I no longer know how to feel about this website. Every time I’ve visited over the last several months my matches have been different. It seems that they may be having trouble ironing out the scientific method they are using.
Estee Lauder Double Wear 4W4 Hazel vs MAC Studio Fix Fluid C8 Swatches on medium deep skin warm olive skin
Estee Lauder 4W4 Hazel vs MAC C8
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The Wanderlust List #4 (Sonia G Cheek Pro Brush)

The wanderlust list is my way of enjoying and using items I already own. I hope to encourage myself and others to use some of the products we have rather than being so quick to buy something new. If this concept interests you, you can check out the other versions of the Wanderlust List below.

I put off writing this post for a while because I wasn’t entirely sure I was going to be strong enough to pass on this purchase. I didn’t want to say I was passing on a purchase and end up buying it anyway. Fortunately for me, I did resist and instead of buying the Sonia G Cheek Pro Brush, I decided to revisit my severely neglected Bobbi Brown blush brush.

Bobbi Brown Blush Brush Natural Hair
Bobbi Brown Blush Brush, $62

I’ve been pushing the Bobbi Brown Blush Brush** around my collection for years now. It is a beautiful brush and it works well, I just don’t like using it as much as my other brushes. It is somewhat of a paddle style, but it manages to simultaneously be fluffier and denser than other brushes. I do find it useful for hard to blend blushes, it can somehow really push the pigment around and blend it out without disturbing my foundation. Although that is impressive, I would just rather get rid of hard to blend blushes.

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Palette: The Beauty Bible for Women of Colour

Don’t let the title scare you away; regardless of skin tone, the information in this book can be helpful. The publishing of this book is a necessary addition to the few makeup guides still available in print. I found out about The Beauty Bible for Women of Colour by Funmi Fetto from Vikeejeah on Youtube. Vikeejeah and four other YouTube Creators collaborated to each cover three products mentioned in the book. You can find all the videos from the collaboration linked in the list below.

Palette The Beauty Bible for Women of Colour Book Review and Swatches

I do want to mention that some of the write-ups in the book are more helpful than others. Some anecdotal parts aren’t that helpful in terms of how a product works, but I haven’t noticed any items that I felt wouldn’t be workable for deep skin tones. Overall, I have enjoyed reading through this book and am excited to check out some products I haven’t tried before.

I thought it would be fun to showcase some of the products covered in the book that I have tried. The book does cover skincare and hair care, but I’ll only be focusing on the makeup portion.

Palette: The Beauty Bible for Women of Colour Book Review and swatches of featured products

This blog uses affiliate links (marked with **).  When you purchase through links on my site, I may earn a small commission.  Learn more here.


Two of the foundations in the book that I have used are the Estee Lauder Doublewear** and Nars Natural Radiant Longwear** foundations. I already have a review of the Estee Lauder doublewear foundation, so if you want more details from a dry skin perspective, you can check that review out.

As for the Nars Natural Radiant Longwear**, it is still fairly new to me, so I’m still getting a feel for it. You can tell in the swatches below how matte the Estee Lauder is in comparison to the NARS’ Radiant finish. The one issue I have had with the NARS formula was that it accentuated texture really badly until I got my shade right. It looks much better on me now that I’ve switched to the shade Tahoe instead of Huahine and Syracuse. You can see me wearing the NARS Natural Radiant Longwear in the shade Tahoe in my profile picture (on the sidebar, at the bottom of the page on mobile, and on my about me page).

Estee Lauder double wear shade 5w2 rich caramel and nars natural radiant longwear shade tahoe swatches on medium dark skin
L to R: Estee Lauder Double Wear 5W2 and NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Tahoe
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The Summer of the Bronzer

Estee Lauder Hot Spell Bronzer, Bobbi Brown Elvis Duran Bronzing Powder, NARS Punta Cana Bronzing Powder, Becca Ipanema Sun, Mac Totally Taupeless Bronzing Powder, Mac Sun Soaked Strip, Mac Your Wish Is My Command

Every time I turn around I swear there is another new bronzer being released.  Out of the new bronzer releases that have caught my eye I have purchased one limited edition and one permanent release.  I already did a full swatch post of my purchases from the limited edition Mac 2020 Summer Bronzing Collection if you want to check that out.  But in this post, you will get to see how the shade Totally Taupeless from that release compares to some others.

I also purchased the newly released NARS Bronzing Powder in the shade Punta Cana**, if you have been wondering how that shade compares to other bronzers on the market.

NARS Punta Cana and Mac Totally Taupeless Bronzing Powder

Since Mac’s Bronzing Powder is the newest bronzer to the market that I’ve personally purchased that is the shade I used in every comparison grouping.  I included limited edition (LE) products that I own just in case anyone might be wondering how these new bronzers compare to items they may already have.  For foundation shade reference I am Mac C8 in studio fix fluid and Estee Lauder 4W4 in double wear (click this link to see them applied).

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Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation Review

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation 5W1 Bronze 5W1.5 Cinnamon 5W2 Rich Caramel Review and Swatches on medium deep skin warm olive undertone
Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation (5W1 Bronze)

I’ve been wearing this foundation since 2014 and I have always found it challenging to find information specific to dry/sensitive skin and see swatches of the shades.  So I wanted to update my thoughts on the Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation here on this blog.


Update September 4, 2021: I’ve started to wear the shade 4W4 Hazel, you can see it applied (and a swatch) by clicking this link.

Depending on the time of year I go back and forth between shades 5W1 Bronze and 5W2 Rich Caramel.  Sometime in 2019, Estee Lauder began releasing new shades and they created 5W1.5 Cinnamon.  Since it seemed to fall in between my shades I was hoping I’d be able to use that shade and get away with it all year long. I was disappointed to find out that 5W1.5 cinnamon actually reads darker on me than shade 5W2 Rich Caramel, but it also looks less orange.  I am pretty sure that means the undertone of 5W1.5 is better for me, but I have to use 5W1 in the center of my face otherwise I look darker than my body.  I think I can get away with it alone, but I feel like I look more like myself only using 5W1.5 on the perimeter of my face.  The brand has since added even more shades bringing the total number of shades to 56.  So it will still be challenging, but it is a great shade range that likely has something for most people.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation swatches on medium deep skin warm olive undertone (5W1 Bronze, 5W1.5 Cinnamon, 5W2 Rich Caramel)
Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation (5W1 Bronze, 5W1.5 Cinnamon, 5W2 Rich Caramel)


This foundation has a matte finish and is very long-wearing on me.  It does have a reputation for being long-wearing across skin types, but there are always exceptions so keep that I have dry skin.  I do not believe that it is suitable for my dry skin without some manipulation.  Despite the matte finish, the minimal if any transfer is unmatched in my experience.  The only other foundation I’ve used that I felt was transfer-proof was the now discontinued Covergirl Queen 3 in 1 foundation.  I personally prefer to prep my skin as needed in order to benefit from the transfer proof nature of the foundation. This starts off looking a little dry, but after about an hour it starts to look better (still matte, but not dry) and it keeps looking that way until I remove it.

Estee Lauder Double Wear is a medium coverage foundation that can be built up to full coverage. If you apply 1 light layer, you will get medium coverage. Even if you want full coverage, I would still suggest applying this in light layers and only building coverage where you need it. Since the formula is matte it dries quicker than a luminous or satin foundation so you want to work quickly or in sections. You can mix this formula with moisturizer or a primer to make it a sheer to light coverage, but this can darken the color of the foundation so I would test it out before you decide to use it that way.

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