Say what you will about the Olsen twins—they may have a penchant for ridiculous shoes and jewellery, wear clothes that are easily five sizes too big and sometimes look a tad creepy when they pose together on the red carpet—but you have to admit they kind of nail it in the beauty department.
How old are they, 25? (Actually yes—and do you know what's crazy? I randomly decided to do this post and it's actually their birthday today. Happy birthday, Olsens!) Anyway, 25 is quite a young age to have already nailed your signature beauty look, which for them has long been wavy, textured hair, glowy but non-tanned skin, peachy blush and smoky, smoky eyes.
And that brings me to today's reader question, which is all about how to steal said look. Haley writes: I'm a huge Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen fan and would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on their hair and makeup. Maybe you could tell me how they pull off that great smoky eye and get their hair to look so effortlessly perfect all the time. Love reading your blog! Thank you!
Let's check out some pics and break this down, shall we? Because while I can't endorse spending thousands of dollars on "homeless chic" fashions, I CAN support Olsen-style hair and makeup.
I don't know which twin this is (I think Mary-Kate? CORRECTION: Ashley), but whoever it is, she is demonstrating absolutely perfect beach hair. Or bedhead hair. Either way, despite the effortless appearance, it does take some effort to achieve this, depending on your natural hair texture. Here are four ways:
1. EASIEST: Apply a salt spray (any beach hair texturizing spray should do the trick) to damp hair and scrunch.
Marc Anthony (the hairdresser, not Mr. J. Lo) just came out with this, which is lovely and smells like coconut:
This works best if you have any sort of natural wave in your hair—it should encourage the curl. Otherwise...
2. SLIGHTLY MORE INVOLVED: Apply a texturizing product to damp hair and then wear it in braids overnight.
This technique works well for those of us with straight hair. The more braids you do, the tighter the waves will be, so don't be afraid to go to bed looking like Medusa.
3. EASY, BUT REQUIRES INVESTMENT IN A TOOL: What you need is a ceramic hair waver.
I believe I have one of these multi-barrelled irons kicking around my beauty "archives," but shamefully, I haven't tried it out yet. This one is from Chi (makers of my favourite flat iron), and I hear they are awesome—just like a crimper, except you get insta-Olsen waves.
4. MOST DIFFICULT: Dewit with a small-barreled flat iron.
I've had hairdressers do this on me, so I know it's certainly POSSIBLE... I'm just not so proficient at it myself, because you need to do it in small sections all over you head and who has the time? Or patience? If you do, keep in mind that the smaller the barrel, the tighter the wave, and you should also leave the ends out for the most modern look.
And no matter which method you use, don't forget that you can never use enough texturizing prodz! In addition to the beach sprays, check out this post on Good Frizz for more texture-lending product suggestions.
Let's take a closer look at Miss Mary-Kate again (I think? I just can't find any good close-ups of Ashley!):
There are a few key things to note about this look:
1. IT'S VERY MUCH ABOUT THE BROWS. I'm a longtime encourager of thicker, fuller, eyebrows, so if you haven't hopped on board that train yet, Greg Wencel is happy to help you in this post. Across the board, a full, natural-but-ever-so-slightly-groomed brow is going to make you look younger. And cooler. Très important when you're channeling an Olsen.
2. AN OLSEN ALWAYS EMPHASIZES HER EYES. Usually with a warm, taupey, brownish, bronzey, non-shimmery shadow that's swept all the way around the eye—both on the upper eyelid, up to the crease, and underneath the lower lashes. Smudge, smudge, smudge so that there are no harsh lines. And then, equally important, is loads of black mascara along the upper and lower lashes.
That, and some lip gloss and peach blush, are pretty much all you need to do to go Olsen for daytime... but if you want to dial it up for evening, let's talk about dialling it up:
I just love this look—the eyes are heavy and sooty and not-too-perfect, which means they're totally achievable by mere non-makeup artist mortals like us!
What you want to do after you apply your shadow is line all the way around the eyes with a black waterproof pencil (I'm loving the new ones from YSL). Make sure to do it both along the lash lines as well as in the inner lids (waterlines), which is the secret to making this REALLY pop. Don't be afraid to be heavy-handed—we're going to smudge it all out in a second. For extra drama, you can go over the line (not the waterlines mind you) with a black liquid liner.... although note that the Olsens nevah do the '60s outer-eye flicky thing.
If you can make one investment to get this look, I'd suggest this smudger brush from Urban Decay, which is going to help blend it all out and give it that cool, not-trying-too-hard look.
Note also how just changing up the eyeshadow colour creates a different twist on the basic look. This purple-ish, wine-coloured shadow is reminiscent of the Valentino show back in January, except with a ton more black liner.
And here, the girls are looking a little more polished—it's the same colours in the shadow and the liner, just with a finer application and no smudging:
For the lips, the sisters don't seem to ever do fuchsias or oranges... it's more about soft pink glosses or (in lipsticks) browny-pinks and rarely, reds.
Are you an Olsen twin fan?
How do you feel about their hair and makeup?
How badly do you want to get your hands on that ceramic waver tool!?! If you've tried it, we want to hear the deets in the comments.