How To Tell Mary-Kate And Ashley Olsen Apart

Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen looking alike at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City on March 24, 2011.
Photo: Getty Images

Maybe it's because I still set my DVR to record ANY and all reruns of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's Two of a Kind or So Little Time, or because there's a special shelf at my parents' house devoted to my collection of all 41 Full House: Michelle Tanner chapter books (and yes, I did read them all, thank you for asking). Or maybe it's because I hold a job that demands I know every step, hair flip, and eye twitch of the Olsen twins (AND Elizabeth Olsen). In any case, mistaking Mary-Kate for Ashley Olsen and vice versa is a grave, grave, absolutely punishable offense, if only by cold shoulders and even icier stares (Also, passive-aggressive avoidance because that's, like, the electric chair of social punishment, right??).

That said, it cuts pretty deep to hear that a national newspaper, the UK's Daily Mail, published a story with the headline, "Make-up free Ashley Olsen is unrecognisable in casual jeans and a shirt as she shares a smoke break with mystery man" and the photo was actually of Mary-Kate. *cue a chorus of earnest gasps and shrieking koalas and utter pandemonium* The headline has since been corrected, but the gash in our hearts is still very raw.

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen in New York City. At the opening night premiere of "The Union" at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 20, 2011, at the Thierry Mugler screening of "Midnight in Paris" on May 17, 2011, and at the 2011 CFDA Fashion Awards on June 6, 2011.
Photo: Getty Images

Sure, the girls are twins, and spent the majority of their childhood playing one person and wearing matching Osh Kosh B'Gosh overalls with backward baseball caps, but now they have undeniably individual sartorial tastes. Turns out the peeps at Fashionista share our pain and disbelief, but instead of sitting around and crying to their moms about it on their lunch break (something I definitely did NOT do...), they made a handy-dandy 12-page guide on how to tell the two apart based on their distinct styles.

• Mary-Kate is more fashion-forward, preferring edgier, statement-commanding pieces.

• Ashley favors a softer, classic, more romantic look.

• Mary-Kate opts for vibrant or rich-colored lipsticks with a matte finish.

• Ashley leans toward a more natural pout, often with just a quick swipe of gloss.

Peep their guide for the full dead-on rundown!

{via Fashionista}

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