Let's face it: While finding the perfect foundation for your skin might not be actual rocket science, when it comes to beauty, there are few tasks that test our mettle (and our patience) quite the same way. And if the endless array of formulas, brands, and shades doesn't have you convinced you need a PhD in makeup application to actually get the equation right, you're hardly alone. There's a reason countless articles have been devoted entirely to the task. So when we find a foundation formula that works every single time—and isn't sliding down our faces by lunchtime—you can bet we're going to be spreading the word (and stocking up). And for Byrdie editors, the one that ticks off all the boxes is Estée Lauder's classic Double Wear Stay-in-Place Foundation. Below, we're reporting our findings from years of wearing the cult-favorite foundation and really putting it to the test.
It offers up shades for almost every skin tone. From the deepest mahogany to medium beige to the lightest ivory, and a spectrum of undertones in the neutral, cool, and warm families, Estée Lauder Double Wear has an option for you. It comes in 55 shades, so you're sure to find an ideal match (no more "close enough" imitators).
It actually lasts until the end of your workday. This foundation looks fresh from the moment you put it on to the end of the day. While we can't quite attest to the claim that it stays flawless for up to 24 hours, we can confirm it'll last through the work day (and dinner afterward). The oil-free, sebum-controlling formula stays put through through heat and humidity, so you can get away with hitting that spin class after work and not having to worry about makeup slip and slide.
It won't change color on you. While some foundations are known to oxidize (i.e. magically morph into a darker orange-y color after being applied), Estée Lauder Double Wear stays true to the shade in the bottle. This will also help you avoid those telltale demarcation lines where your face looks darker than your neck—we've all been there.
It gives medium to full coverage that looks natural. With a lightweight formula, the stay-in-place foundation gives great coverage that lets you build to your desired level without ever looking cakey or heavy. It leaves a smooth, matte finish. With its impressive staying power, you won't need to touch up your flawless canvas in your car before you head off to happy hour.
Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Foundation, $43, esteelauder.com