Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen need no introduction. They’ve proven themselves as legitimate fashion designers in every circle imaginable with their lines The Row and Elizabeth and James, their risk-taking fashion sense has been well documented by relentless paparazzi photos, and we all know they landed roles on Full House long before they could walk. But it’s their beauty routine that’s been kept relatively quiet.
Earlier this month, we had the opportunity to sit down with Mary-Kate and Ashley to talk about all things beauty, from their just-launched Nirvana Black and Nirvana White fragrances, to their best beauty moments. How does one prepare for an interview with the Olsens? After geeking out for longer than we’d like to admit, a few of our editors gathered and came up with our most-burning beauty questions for the pair. These queries were, of course, mostly about their perfectly textured hair, beauty inspirations, and favourite cosmetics.
We hate to drag out our findings. But, the twins shared so many juicy tidbits with us that we’ll be serving it up in three stories! The first, above, centres on their favourite cosmetics, from their always smudged eyeliner to their matte pouts.
Click through our slideshow for Mary-Kate and Ashley’s must-have cosmetics.
“We know exactly what we like,” Ashley told us about their signature dewy skin, beige lips, and smudged eyeliner. “We’re very specific, detailed people.”
When asked about that beige matte lip, the twins smile at each other. “It’s not a lipstick—it’s a waterproof lip liner!” Ashley says about Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Lip Waterproof Lipliner Pencil ($19) in 3C. “Our makeup artist [Erik Soto] sends them to us.”
If Mary-Kate and Ashley are in the mood for a little sheen, like they have been lately, that liner is topped with Clinique’s Chubby Stick ($17) in Heaping Hazelnut.
“On a day off, we don’t really wear much makeup,” Ashley says. The one product they don’t leave home without? Brave Soldier Lip Defender ($9). “It’s more like skincare for your lips than a lip balm,” Mary-Kate says.
Before the return of the bold brow, Mary-Kate and Ashley were already brushing their full arches up and out to make them look even more dramatic. What keeps them in place?
“First, you need a flat toothbrush,” Ashley says. “It’s bigger than a brow brush, so it works better, then we just use Anastasia Clear Brow Gel ($22).”
The trick to Mary-Kate and Ashley’s signature smoky eye? It’s done with matte brown shadow instead of shimmery black. Soto, also a Sephora Pro Lead Artist, often uses a few hues from Kat Von D’s Ladybird True Romance Eyeshadow Palette ($36) on the twins.
Mary-Kate and Ashley are no strangers to the world of perfume—they put their name on scents as tweens—but it’s the launch of their two scents for Elizabeth and James that was cause for celebration this month.
“It all started by our desire to bring together sandalwood and vanilla, to create a very sensual, and almost masculine, scent,” Mary-Kate says, referring to Nirvana Black ($75). “The two scents are a play on duality,” Ashley adds, describing it as lived-in and androgynous.
“Black took about a year and half to create,” Mary-Kate says. Then the twins moved on to create what would be Nirvana White ($75), a lighter, more feminine floral.
Which do they prefer? “It just depends on just how you’re feeling,” Ashley says. “They also smell really nice together. I’ll put one on during the day, and then add the other one later.” Mary-Kate adds, “They’re both sensual in different ways; we want to give women options.”
“Hair and makeup just sort of brings everything together,” Ashley says. “The right hair and makeup brings the look together, and can make the outfit go any which way.”
The trick to the Olsen’s complexion? They keep their skin dewy and their eyes and lips matte. “That’s what they like,” Soto told us. That dewy skin often comes courtesy of Benefit’s Erase Paste ($26) in Medium and Make Up For Ever’s Face & Body Liquid Makeup ($40).
Then, for contour, Mary-Kate and Ashley keep the dewy texture going with Bobbi Brown’s Skin Foundation Stick ($44) and Stila’s Convertible Color ($25) in Lillium. “Just a touch,” Soto told us about the latter.
Of course, we had to ask Mary-Kate and Ashley about their signature smudged eyeliner. “The trick is to use brown,” Ashley says.
That brown liner, it turns out, is also matte, providing a contrast to their always radiant skin. Soto uses Sephora Collection Retractable Waterproof Eyeliner ($13) in Matte Brown Black along both of their lashlines, and smudges it with Nars’ Smudge Brush ($26). “The oil in your skin will break down a matte shade like this and make it look more lived-in,” he told us.
When asked about their favorite mascara, Mary-Kate was quick to reply. “YSL!” she says about the brand’s Volume Effet Faux Cils Mascara ($30). Then, on the red carpet they amp it up with Guerlain’s Cils d’Enfer Maxi Lash Mascara ($30). “It gives that full lash they love,” Soto told us.
Stay tuned for the next story, where we’ll dive into everything you ever wanted to know about the twins’ hair!