I used to be a MAC Studio Fix Fluid advocate for 2 years before I considered using anything else. I loved the coverage and it was the first non-drugstore foundation I liked enough to repurchase. I don’t have problem skin, though still like a medium coverage, matte-finish foundation so I thought it was perfect. However, after using it for so long I started to notice I wasn’t happy with the staying power anymore. I would say I have normal skin, though can get a slightly oily t-zone throughout the day and found that Studio Fix would rub off around my mouth and t-zone (hello, patchy). I would use a water-based primer and set it with powder but it didn’t make enough of a difference to keep me happy (I also found that over-powdering easily made it look cakey).


Estée Lauder Double Wear caught my eye as it was a favourite mentioned frequently on MakeupSocial. People raved about the staying power and matte-finish which are two things I want in a foundation. So I made my way to my nearest David Jones counter with my Studio Fix so I could get the best colour match. Unfortunately, I went quite late in the day and the counter was unmanned, so I matched myself and bought it without asking for a sample (I don’t recommend doing this though as it’s good to test a foundation in natural light before you spend AUD $50!). I’ve done a direct comparison of the foundation features listed on the MAC and Estée Lauder websites below.

Image credit: foundation images taken from MAC and Estée Lauder

With Double Wear almost doubling the wear time of Studio Fix (the name really does say it all), I’m surprised I didn’t jump on it sooner! I must admit I didn’t know Studio Fix only had a wear time of 8 hours, but I would say that is accurate. Perhaps I might find MAC Pro Longwear better, I’m not sure (that only has sheer to medium coverage). I’m also someone who doesn’t have a special occasion foundation, as the foundation I have is the one I’m using every time. Which is one of the main reasons I’m so interested in staying power.

I’m an NC20 in Studio Fix and found 2C1 Pure Beige in Double Wear to be the best match. It may not be what other sites or people say, but I always found the Studio Fix shades not quite right for me. To help decode the Studio Fix and Double Wear undertones, check out my chart below.

  • C = Cool
  • N = Neutral
  • W = Warm


MAC considers yellow tones to be cool and pink tones to be warm, whereas Estée Lauder is the opposite and considers yellow tones to be warm and pink tones to be cool.

Now here’s a picture comparing the two shades I use (in natural light). Note: I always think it’s best to go in store and look at foundation shades in real life, rather than buy straight from the internet after choosing from an online colour matrix.


I don’t find 2C1 too pink but I do find NC20 a little too orange. I fake tan so that’s probably why NC20 is the closest match to me, as I remember NW20 not being right. When I looked at other Double Wear shades such as 2N1 it looked too pale and 2W1 looked too orange. However, just because I go for 2C1 as an NC20 doesn’t mean you will, so I really recommend getting matched in store so you are happy – especially when you are forking out $50 for a foundation! I am happy to use these shades interchangeably – as you can see from the pictures below, they both work for me (these photos were taken on different days in different lighting).


In terms of ease of blending and finish I find them comparable. Though I don’t agree that Double Wear has a semi-matte finish – I find it matte. I find they are both foundations that should be applied reasonably quickly – they are thick and dry reasonably fast! I apply with either a synthetic kabuki or my fingers, which helps keep the foundation warm and blendable. Double Wear really does last from wake to sleep and I think Studio Fix would be better for a night out (when you don’t need it to last all day as well as night). I do find that since Double Wear doesn’t budge, it can clog my pores and give me a few pimples if I don’t take it off properly before bed (has only happened once or twice, I swear!). So make sure you really focus on your skincare routine and remove it all before bed.

In terms of smell I find Double Wear much more favourable. Studio Fix smells like paint and although it doesn’t smell once it’s dried, it does bother me – I am reminded each time I use it that I really am painting my face!

Both foundations come in glass bottles, which may be a worry for some (I haven’t dropped one just yet) and although neither foundation comes with a pump, this doesn’t bother me. I bought the pump for Studio Fix and didn’t like it – I prefer to get a controlled pour of foundation rather than be restricted by pumps. The MAC foundation pump does fit the Double Wear bottle.

Overall, I prefer the staying power of Double Wear so that’s why I prefer it. Are they actually comparable? Not entirely – in every aspect other than staying power I would say they are. After using Studio Fix I’ve decided a longer wearing foundation is more important to me. Do you use a foundation you think is comparable to Double Wear? I am interested to know what else is out there!

13 comments on “Comparable? MAC Studio Fix Fluid vs Estée Lauder Double Wear”

  1. Great break down! The Mac store in my area has temporarily closed, so I couldnt purchase my regular Studio Fix (which in all honesty, I havent been thrilled with it either, for the last while, and have been using it for four years), so i shot across the road to a dept store and remembered id read about Double Wear. The chicka at the counter matched me instantly, and i was impressed. Im on day five of wearing it now, and to be honest, Mac has lost a customer. Not to mention the lip pencil i got from mac a couple of months ago! It cost NZD$50!!!! and is crap! Lovely colour, but you have to press so hard to line your lips, and it says on for such a short time, i really feel ripped off on that one. x0x

    • You’ve been converted! It’s funny how you can get so used to something you don’t think of trying anything new. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t tried Double Wear sooner. Glad to hear you love it too!

  2. Great article. I’m a NW25 in Mac but really struggle to find a match in Double wear so I always go for N as its neutral. I didn’t realise the shares were opposite! I might have to try one of the C shades xx

    • Yes, it’s confusing isn’t it! I’m pretty sure Estee Lauder do a free 10 day trial sample for Double Wear so I would recommend getting colour matched and testing it out that way. I hope you find your perfect shade!

  3. I personally liked mac in the beginning but then i felt as if my face looked so pink in a certain lighting, i use the C 4.5 at mac, so im willing to try double wear, but idk what shade

  4. Did you go for the Pure Beige NC1 or the Pale Almond? I’m the same colour in mac and the one you have chosen looks like a good match so would like to know which one!

    • Sorry, I didn’t get notification of your comment until now.
      I did use 2C1 Pure Beige for about a year until I decided it was just that little bit too pink after all. I now use shade 2N1 Desert Beige (neutral undertone), except as it’s a bit light (I feel like it’s lighter than 2C1 for some reason) I mix it with a darker Chanel foundation (another silicone-based foundation). It’s a shame they don’t make a 2W1 as I feel like that would be the perfect shade, instead the shade is 2W2 Rattan which is just too dark and yellow for me!
      I really should update this post haha, did you find a match??

  5. Thanks for the helpful article, i have pimples all around my face , which one can cover my face better? i donno what to with it it’s very ugly 🙁

  6. Hello, I use mac studio fix fluid foundation and I would like to find out what the double wear shade E Lauder I can bought as I have not time to go shop

    • Hi, I can only help if you’re an NC20 in Mac. I don’t work for Estee Lauder so I won’t be able to recommend shades to you, sorry!

  7. I worked for Estee Lauder for a short time and was given a huge bottle of doublewear- what they refill samples with. I didn’t admit to many, but I used the same bottle of foundation for 10 years. I never noticed the color changing so why not. The past year I’ve been shopping foundations as I figured time for a change. What a struggle! I wanted to look more natural glowing. I like Armani but it’s so expensive and I feel I turn oily quickly. My skin is clear but I do have a few scars/texture issues. I’m aging (almost 40 but am often told I look late 20s early 30s) and think makeup sometimes makes me look older- settling in fine lines around eyes and accentuating them. I’m about to think maybe I should stick with EL. I have 2 jobs and doublewear does last well from morn-night. I’ve not used mac but am curious.

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