Okay, Mary-Kate and Ashley's Beauty Evolution Is Actually Insane

There are the Olsens, and then there are the Olsens 2.0, and I love them both.

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen as young girls in 1998.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ready to feel extremely old? Today is Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's 32nd birthday. Yes, they are thirty-freaking-two, which means we've been blessed with over three decades of the ultimate twin content.

And since the Olsens have served as A-1 beauty inspiration throughout their entire career, I've decided that there's no better way to honor the duo than by rounding up their best hair and makeup moments of all time. Ahead, the epic beauty evolution of Mary-Kate and Ashley.


Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen as young girls in 1991.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

When the twins were just a couple of little nuggets, their hair game was defined by a signature high ponytail with straight-across bangs. And since this was the '90s, that meant scrunchies and ribbons were always in tow.


Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen wearing matching nautical themed outfits as young girls in 1993.

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If updos weren’t on the table, Mary-Kate and Ashley relied on their all-time favorite beauty accessory: hats on hats on hats. Here they are showing off a pair of nautical bows, because why not?


The Olsen sisters wear braided pigtails as young girls in 1994.

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What’s cuter than the Olsen twins in pigtail braids and messy bangs? Nothing.


The Olsen twins sporting bob haircuts in 1997.

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The late '90s marked the beginning of Mary-Kate and Ashley’s "serious" phase. The twins chopped their hair into a couple of chin-grazing bobs, saying goodbye to the high-ponytails of their past.


Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen wear their hair up in fountain ponytails as young girls in 1998.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Psyche! The twins showed up to the Spice World premiere (#tbt) with their hair pulled into fountain ponytails. Their look was completed with a pair of black-velvet headbands and a few loose, wispy, face-framing layers.


Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen with their hair styled in middle parted lobs in 1999.

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The girls opted for the ultimate '90s style towards the end of the decade: middle-parted lobs (with flipped-up ends, of course) and barely there black eyeliner. If you look closely, you’ll notice a slight variation in their lengths—this marked the onset of their departure from identical-ness.


Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen with long, straight, blonde hair in 2001.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In the early aughts, the Olsens channeled Avril Lavigne with long, stick-straight hair with ashy highlights. Their look was topped off with black eyeliner (rimming their waterlines, no less) and a few coats of shiny, clear lipgloss.


The Olsen twins with long, lightly curled, blonde hair.

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After a couple years of going hard on the flat iron, the twins were introduced to the world of curling irons, showing up to the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards with beachy waves. At this point, the twins had graduated from Makeup 101 and started experimenting with smoky eyes.


The Olsen twins with tighter curls in their hair at an event in 2005.

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Coming off hot from their introduction to loose curls, the twins embraced volume and body at their first Met Gala red carpet. Although Ashley showed up with her signature blonde hair, Mary-Kate took a leap into independence with a warmer, chestnut shade.


The Olsen twins with differing hairstyles.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

At the 2007 CFDA Fashion Awards, new style icons Mary-Kate and Ashley walked the red carpet with totally different hairstyles—Mary-Kate chose mermaid-length extensions, while Ashley went for a sleek, center-parted bun. But never fear—their thick, inky-black smoky eyes were a near-identical match.


The Olsen twins with matching wavy blonde hair.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The twins went back to their matching ways at the Nine premiere in 2009: yellow-blonde waves falling over their grungy makeup.


Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen with differing hairstyles.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In 2011, Mary-Kate paid homage to the twin’s pigtail phase with a single, side-parted braid. Ashley, on the other hand, swept her hair into a slow bun with a few loose pieces framing her face. Crimson eyeshadow lined both of their eyes, giving them an other-worldly look.


The Olsen sisters, both with their hair tied back in a bun.

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At the 2014 CFDA Fashion Awards, the duo walked the red carpet in matching buns—their signature I-woke-up-like-this texture on display against fresh, no-makeup makeup.


The Olsen twins with long wavy hair.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Three years later, Mary-Kate and Ashley went even more minimal with their CFDA Awards beauty. Mary-Kate, again, experimented with a different hue—this time a strawberry blonde shade with amber lowlights.


Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen with long wavy hair.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

And now, behold the Olsen twins as we know and love them today, with long, textured waves, neutral makeup, and thick brows.

Ruby Buddemeyer

Ruby was the beauty editor at Cosmopolitan, where she covered beauty across print and digital. Her work has appeared on The Zoe Report, Fashionista, and StyleCaster. Follow her on Instagram.