The ultimate test. The hunt for an Esteé Lauder double wear foundation dupe. 

So my obsession with Foundation is unwavering. If you are regular reader of Brazenrouge you will know that my favourite product is a beautiful base. With the power to unify colouring, masks redness, and correct the appearance of sunspots and skin damage it is the product I purchase most. 
For ages now I have been lusting over the cult favourite Estée Lauder double wear foundation. 
It is the number 1 foundation in the UK and boasts up to a 15 hour staying power. It can last through heat, humidity and non stop activity according to Estée Lauder. 
I’ve been super tempted to buy it but at nearly £30 the super scrimping coupon clipping, cheapskate in me felt reluctant. 
I needed to know that it would live up to its mind boggling claims and not just be another fleeting fling, leaving me to collect dust in my drawer with only traces clinging to my dry nostrils to remind me of another sordid affair. 
I went to get colour matched and was given a small tester size to try out. One of the huge advantages that high end brands have over the Drugstore. 
My obsession grew and I had fallen in love. 
The real size comes in a frosted glass bottle which screams Luxe. With the Gold screw top lid it can take pride of place sitting on any dressing table. 
There is a distinct lack of pump, which is an irritant as it means that you do have to purchase one, but there are plenty in boots that fit. However as 30 pound a bottle, I kinda expect a lady to come with it to apply it for me let alone a flippin’ pump. 
The DW is really rather thick and although hailed as a medium coverage I feel it definitely belongs in the land of full coverage. The product on the back of my hands left tiny peaks when the brush left. Almost like when making meringue, you know those peaks Mary Berry bags on about? 

It applied beautifully to the face with a foundation brush and there appeared to be no requirement for my beauty blender to make an appearance. 
It required very little need for concealer on those pesky blemishes and left in my opinion, a semi matte finish. 
I know, I know, proper fangirling. 
It didn’t cake on my skin and looked beautiful with or without a primer. 10 hour days at work couldn’t budge it. It is like a protester, camping on my face demanding to be be noticed. 
I was totes in love with this product and was just about to purchase until…
The enabler of all apps. I buy more products and waste hours of my life pinning items on this virtual mood board. 
I was casually browsing at best drugstore foundations, seeing if any of mine were in the running when I saw that many were hailing Revlon color stay as a dupe.
At £12.49 its not exactly what I describe as cheap (others may, but I often wear a foundation that costs the same as a McFlurry) 
It was cheap enough though. 
I’m always wary of reviews brandishing the word dupe. Don’t get me wrong, I will use the term and often do but I do find some use it as an attention grabbing way to trick you onto their site or channel. 
I learnt early on in blogging, to only believe the word Dupe from the bloggers or vloggers that you trust. 
Too many times I’ve been let down after rushing out to purchase something that has been utterly cak when I got it home. 
However, you all know curiosity got the better of me so I completely caved and its now added to my expanding collection. 
The packaging is a bit plain, you could easily walk past this in the aisles, a clear glass cylindrical bottle, nearly 10cm long and 3cm wide it doesn’t take up to much room in my daily make up bag. 
Hating that I sound so negative right now, but again another product without a frickin’ pump. 
Is there a ration on? Can anyone let me know why we are being deprived such a basic mechanism from our beauty supplies. I hate to think its a huge con, trying to get us to waste product so we can spend more? Since when did beauty get ugly?
Anywho, not a problem, I’ll buy a pump. Can I find one that will fit? Nope,
Serious rage at this fact, just sayin’. 
The actual formula is really quite runny, instad of peaks you’re left with dribble, trying to balance your hand so it doesn’t drip.

I was cursing the anonymous pinner for fooling me once more. 
I applied and this happened to be the day after my primer had run out. I had serious PMS and eating six bags of crisps couldn’t even cool my temper. 
It looked appalling. I applied it with my Real techniques triangle foundation brush and it kept bunching and migrating every where. Instead of gliding onto my skin it grouped up like hooded youths outside your local co-op. 
I was fume. My pores looked like craters and I looked like a mess. 
I grissed it out and wore it to work and it was a mistake, I felt compelled to repeatedly apologise for my face and explain I was testing a new product for the blog, whilst being told nervously “it looks fine”. Bless them girls, they’re like mums and sisters to me and they could tell I was having a bad day. Confirming that I looked like a patchy patsy may have pushed me over the edge. 
I couldn’t wait to get home and remove the rubbish from my face. 6 cotton pads it took! I was in shock, so not only had I wasted 13 squid on this shush, my precious micellar water had to take a battering for my sins too. 
I tested another product the next day and felt better about life in general. I had been make up shopping, life was good. 
But I couldn’t get this revlon out of my head. I was so annoyed that I had wasted my cash that I braved it another time, however this time armed with a Make up revolution primer. 
Only a cheapie, but I love that brand and have never been let down by anything I have bought from them, 
I sat at my desk and sneered at the foundation, adamant that after that night, I would have had tried everything I could with Revlon and it would be destined for the bin. I tentatively put on my primer, horrified at what I was prepared to do for this blog. 
Then something amazing happened. 
The foundation went on flawlessly, making my skin as smooth as an egg shell, not like a satsuma peel. I couldn’t believe it. It glided like torvill and dean on ice and covered my redness. My blemishes were concealed and the dry patches were hidden not highlighted. I was in shock. Convinced that this was a fluke, I decided that I was going to really put this to the test, I applied contour, liquid highlighter, blush lacquers, all the items that were destined to cause it to split. 
I ran into work, (late, one must never contour on a schedule) and was greeted by oohs and ahhs and sweeping approval. 
I felt confident, my skin looked flawless and it stayed put all night. 
I couldn’t believe how a primer had made all the difference. 
It is definitely a medium coverage foundation but it is easily buildable. 
Here’s a shot of how it looked. 

I was so shocked by this comeback kid, I wanted to test it once more. 
I know, slightly sadistic of me but if I’m going to sit here tapping away like a keyboard warrior proclaiming a drugstore brand is equivalent to a high end cosmetic company, number 1 foundation in the country, has Kendall Jenner as their poster girl then I needed to be sure. 
Sunday March 15th.
Mother’s Day. 

A niece who is as honest as the day is long. She’ll tell me the truth but in a kind way. 
2 sisters, honest, truthful, but can be scathing in their delivery. Hey, thats what sisters are for. 
The true test, Mum. 
The woman who can shatter all beauty purchases by one look. She has your best intentions at heart. She loves you the way you are. She has seen trend after trend on you and knows what suits you best. 
When my mum likes something, I know its a quality product and it suits me. When my mum doesn’t like something, I used to ignore her, believing I knew best. Only to be now haunted by my timehop where I was sporting a lot of acid yellow eyeshadow. Eww. 
Basically my mums opinion matters. 
I cleansed and moisturised, I had the foundations side by side. 
First half of my face was sporting DW. Again, blended beautifully and looked amazing on. I used the beauty blender around the neck area and made sure it was the best it could be. 
Here’s a few snaps, one before blending, one after blending. 

Taking a new foundation brush I applied the the colorstay to my face. I did notice there was slight brush marks from this as you can see here.

 I took the beauty blender and buffed away until I was happy with the finish. I couldn’t tell the two apart.
Here’s how it looked. 

 I was pretty happy so applied the rest of my face before sealing with my stay matte powder. 

I decided to say nothing at first, Mum will let me know if it looks naff. But my sister caught me first. I explained one was drugstore, one was Estée Lauder. The foundation she wears. 
She thought the Revlon was high end! Get in, I was elated. Feeling rather more confident with my challenge. 
Mum came down the stairs and I gave her her gifts.
No funny looks, no sighs, no telling me I had a tide line. 
This Revlon stuff is kicking arse I thought, 
I was so excited I had to tell her. 
This was about 2 hours after application, she got real close and squinted one eye. Mum examined my face with such concentration I felt like I was at school again, trying to hide whatever random piercing I decided to inflict my body with, from her knowing gaze. 
She took a step back and leant back in for another look, this time squinting the other eye. 
Rather quickly she sprang back and with certainty in her voice answered the question “which side is high end” 
She chose…
Drum roll please.
I jumped and squealed in delight proclaiming “thats the cheapie, thats the cheapie”  
My dad stood confused in the background, hoping we would all leave so he could have a secret nap. 
We went for lunch and I kept an eye on my face.
Here’s how it looked 3 hours later. Very little difference as you can tell. Apart from a stray mascara fleck. ‘barrassing. 

6 hours on, still little difference and I asked my mum and sister for an update. Mum couldn’t tell the difference again and I heard my niece ask in the back ground “wait, what, you’ve got 2 different foundations on?” 
Too right, I have girl, with one being about 16 quid cheaper. 
Here’s how it looked. 

So as I sit here now at nearly 8 o clock, the lighting is very poor. It is pitch black outside and I’m sat here staring at my face. 
10 hours on and my blemishes are starting to emerge. My bags are looking heavy and my lips have all but faded.

Not quite the 15 and 24 hour staying power offered by the respective brands. However the majority of my face still looks pretty damn good considering the time. 
I reckon a quick coat of concealer and a swipe of lipstick I would look pretty fresh.
So I am happy to announce that yes, Revlon color stay for normal to dry skin under the right conditions, is a dupe for Estée Lauder Double wear foundation. 
And just in case you were wondering my right side is the double wear. 
Enter the fanfare.
I’m out!
Lots of love
revlon Colorstay  

Normal dry skin 
SPF 20 £12.49 30 ml 
Estée Lauder Double wear
 £29.50 30ml 
SPF 10

3 thoughts on “The ultimate test. The hunt for an Esteé Lauder double wear foundation dupe. 

  1. You’re so brave! I have never attended such a test and think wouldn’t have found the courage. But it helps I think, to fully understand if one is a ‘real’ dupe of the other. So in the end, do you think Revlon offers more or less ‘the same’ quality?


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