Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen can never really avoid the spotlight—thanks to relentless paparazzi—but after a conscious break from the red carpet, they’re back in the limelight with dueling perfumes, a beautiful new The Row flagship in Los Angeles, and plenty of press to match—including a sit-down interview with us. Today we’re wrapping up our third feature with the famous twins with all things inspiration.
Click through our slideshow for how the Olsens feel about being beauty icons to a generation of girls, why they’ll always break their red carpet hibernation for the Met Ball, and the actress who inspires them the most.
How do the Olsens feel about being beauty icons to countless girls? “I don’t think that we see it that way exactly,” Ashley says. “But I think that at the end of the day, they appreciate how natural we are. For us, it’s about what makes you feel good. We don’t overdo it, and maybe that’s where it stems from.”
“I definitely don’t think Ashley and I think of ourselves as beauty icons,” Mary-Kate added. “But you know, our mother is very down-to-earth, and such a chic woman. It really starts on the inside, and I think that’s translated into us as well. I think that’s where the beauty comes from, it’s sort of inside out.”
Who do the twins look to for inspiration? “My beauty icon has always been Lauren Hutton,” Ashley told us. “It’s just everything that she represents as a woman. It’s her beauty, inside and out. She’s an incredible woman who’s lived an amazing life, and I think it really shows in her spirit and the way in which she presents herself.” And Mary-Kate? “She took my answer!” she told us. “It also goes back to our parents. They’re very natural, and we find that very chic.”
The twins’ love for light makeup means they must stay on top of their skincare routine, so we had to ask, what products do they use? “Ashley’s [routine] is much better than mine, so I’ll let her go through it first,” Mary-Kate says.
“I just use Biologique products,” Ashley told us. “I’m a die-hard fan. It’s really helped my skin.” And Mary-Kate? “I try really hard—actually, I don’t try hard,” she says with a chuckle. “I need to start a better routine for myself. I use Biologique too, but not as often as I should.”
Mary-Kate and Ashley took a break from the spotlight last year. “I think the only red carpet that I really did last year was the Met Ball,” Ashley says. “I didn’t touch my hair and did very little makeup. It was all about the dress.”
Mary-Kate also took a night off from her hiatus last year for the Mat Gala. “It’s the one event we go to every year that I can really say I have a proper beauty moment,” she told us.
“I look at the Met as a time to, not wear a costume, but really find the beauty in couture and search through the fabulous old gowns,” Mary-Kate says. “We have this one woman in Los Angeles [who helps us], and it’s such a fun process because her collection is beyond anything else that I’ve ever seen.”
This year Mary-Kate wore a vintage Ferre dress; Ashley wore a vintage Chanel dress with Sidney Garber South Sea pearl earrings, above.
“We have people who help us execute exactly the look we want,” Ashley says when asked how they come up with their red carpet beauty looks. “If I could do it myself I would, but that’s why you work with amazing people, to collaborate and get to the best end result.”
“Hair and makeup just sort of brings everything together,” Mary-Kate told us. “It can make the outfit go any which way.”