The Dreaded Double Wear Flashback

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation


Let’s just get one thing straight – not all Foundations with SPF cause flash back, otherwise known as the ghost face look.


There are two types of SPF’s you need to know about:

– Physical, and

– Chemical.


Most Physical SPF’s contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide (these are opaque, white, finely powdered minerals) that blocks UV radiation by reflecting the sunrays and camera flash. Chemical SPF’s with ingredients such as Octinoxate, absorb the UV radiation rather than reflecting it; hence minimal flash back. Some foundations will even contain both Physical and Chemical SPF which can help counteract the flash back depending on the volumes Physical vs Chemical.

Unfortunately Estee Lauder Double Wear does have a Physical SPF which contains Titanium Dioxide. Hence why so many have fallen victim to the dreaded ghost face look. I for one have been guilty of this, as seen below in a photo taken at my husband’s 21st in 2010.


Estee Lauder Double Wear Backflash


I am naturally super pale so the contrast isn’t major but you can notice a difference between my face vs neck/chest area. At the time I couldn’t understand why despite my efforts of fake tanning and applying extra bronzer on top of my foundation (no judging please, this was before my Makeup Artist day’s haha) I still had the white ghost face look.

For loyal Double Wear fans it is important to note this side effect is only emphasized when a photo is taken using a flash and when there is low lighting. Don’t sweat it if you are attending a day event where there is plenty of natural lighting. (Just be prepared to tackle the photographer if they decide to shoot inside with the flash on!).


So what to do if you are attending an evening event you might ask?

I’ve found adding a drop or two of another foundation that either doesn’t contain SPF, or has an SPF without zinc oxide or titanium dioxide seems to do the trick.

 M.A.C Face and Body

 Lancome Foundation

Depending on the foundation you add it may slightly change the finish (whether it is matte or dewy), but it thankfully doesn’t affect that fantastic Double Wear staying power. My personal preference of foundations to mix with Double Wear is Lancôme Teint Miracle Foundation or M.A.C. Face and Body. I absolutely love adding Lancôme’s Teint Miracle Foundation. You will too, especially if you suffer from the dried-up prune look thanks to Double Wear’s extremely matte finish.

Comment below on your experiences with Double Wear and if you’re brave enough I’d love to see a photo where you have fallen victim to the dreaded ghost face look.


Much love


Janet xoxo




  • Sarina October 18, 2017   Reply →

    Awesome article! 🙂 Will Lancome Teint idole ultra 24h also work?x

  • Diane July 27, 2017   Reply →

    There is a Double Wear not labeled as having SPF. Does it cause flashbacks?

  • Rubi Olvera January 25, 2017   Reply →

    I LOVE my DW foundation in the shade Tawny but unfortunately I do get flashback and I use the newer formula without the SPF. I actually have both MAC Body and Face and the Lacome foundation. Going to mix it in a little and see if that works. Thanks for the tips! #lifesaver

  • cynthia December 28, 2016   Reply →

    What color do you wear in the MAC face and body and Teint Miracle? I am blessed to have your skin tone and LOVE your site! Thanks much!

  • Jo'Maree May 23, 2016   Reply →

    This is what I do! But I done as I liked the finish better and double wear doesn’t feel drying thus way. Those are the two foundations I mix with! Even better reason to mix them now!!!

    • Janet Rowe June 5, 2016   Reply →

      Yup my fav combo!! keep telling myself this is ridiculous using two different foundations every day but I still haven’t been able to find that magic bottle that has it all! especially with how pale I am.

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