Here’s How The Olsen Twins Have Changed Since They Came Into Our Lives

By Psquared - May 29, 2019

Remember Michelle Tanner from Full House? Of course you do! That show was a huge part of many of our childhoods, and the adorable, hilarious youngest Tanner daughter was a big part of what made that show so amazing. Of course, she wasn’t played by just one person, but by two. We’re of course referring to the Olsen twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley. It’s hard to believe that Full House first hit the airwaves over 30 years ago.

That means the Olsen twins have been in our lives for three plus decades. Considering how Mary-Kate and Ashley were born just the year prior to Full House’s debut, that means we’ve literally watched them grow up from the time they were infants on our television and then movie screens. Let’s take a delightful romp down memory lane and see the evolution of the twins and just how much they’ve changed over the years.

The Baby Olsen Twins


Aw, look how adorable they were. No wonder why not just one but both were cast as Michelle on Full House.

Fun fact: although they often looked identical as children and young teens due to the same hairstyle and hair color as well as matching outfits, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen aren’t identical twins.

One easy way to spot the difference is that Mary Kate’s eyes are rounder in shape. Throughout this gallery, see if you can start spotting the difference!

Two Girls, One Role To Play On 'Full House'


As we’ve mentioned, the Olsen twins were a hit sharing the role of Michelle Tanner on the popular sitcom, Full House (1987-1995).

Many viewers felt like they watched Michelle Tanner grow up on the show since her character appeared first as an infant then stayed on through the years.

We watched her (and the actual twins in real life) from beginning learn to talk to being a toddler to going to school. Growing up in front of millions must have been a unique experience.



Full House came to an end when they were only eight years old, but their careers were long from over.

In fact, they’re still active to this day, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s take a look at this particular period in their eyes shortly after the sitcom that made them famous ended.

Even when their Full House years were long behind them, Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen still dressed alike. They were adorable kids in any outfit they wore at any age!

The Teenaged Olsen Twins


All the way up until they were teenagers, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were no only inseparable, but nearly indistinguishable.

Remember… only nearly. Look at the shape of their eyes to tell them apart. But they still dressed and stylized themselves identically.

Although some kids turning 13 may dress rather independently, we didn’t see that from either Mary-Kate or Ashley Olsen. They continued wearing the same hairstyle and typically had matching outfits on, usually just in different colors.

Can You Tell Them Apart?


The Olsens began branching out into movies in their teenage years, and they had a list of films that will bring back some serious memories for you.

Here are the Olsen twins on the set of Our Lips Are Sealed (a true classic!). They are so similar that it’s hard to tell them apart.

Side note: Does anyone know where we can watch Our Lips Are Sealed? This photo is stirring up some hardcore nostalgia…

The Twins At 16


Once they turned 16, telling them apart became a bit easier as they became more independent.

But don’t worry, they were still close as can be. Here’s a photo of the Olsen twins at the 2002 Vanity Fair Oscar Party.

The only difference noticeable difference between the two here is their hairstyle. They even wore the same dress! And this was pretty much the norm for the most famous twins in entertainment at the time.

Same Dress, Different Hair


See? Same dress and same shoes here. At this point they were still dressing the same. But their styles began to change slightly.

If you look, you can see they’re each sporting a slightly different hairstyle. So now we could tell them apart by not only their eyes, but their hair as well.

But if they had decided to sport the same hairstyle here, they would have been nearly indistinguishable. But all that would change very soon…

In Their 20s


The twins would stop trying to dress and look identically in the early 2000s once they took a step back from onscreen work.

Here’s a photo from their film, New York Minute (2004), which was the last movie the Olsen twins appeared in together.

We’re still crying about this, tbh. They still dressed quite similarly offscreen as well. But once looking identical was no longer necessary for their roles (since they weren’t taking any more), this is where you can start seeing real differences.

Where Things Got Interesting


Whoa! In all the pictures we’ve seen so far, this is the first one in which they each wore a different outfit.

Around the time they were 18 and 19 years old, Mary-Kate and Ashley started to change things up (which made telling them apart infinitely easier).

Mary-Kate opted for dark auburn locks, and suddenly people for the first time in her life she didn’t have to constantly say, “Ashley is over there. I’m the other one.”

Individual Style Statement


Changing up their hair was only the beginning. Once down that road of having different hair, Mary-Kate and Ashley never seemed to look back.

The color differences and textures only became more pronounced as they got older.

They still would often wear a similar color of clothing, but each twin gave it her own style. They were still each other’s best friend, but after nearly 20 years of being doppelgangers, it must have felt good to have a more individual look.

At Age 30


Hair styles and outfit pieces began becoming even more different when the Olsen twins turned 30 in June of 2016.

First of all, turning 30 makes anyone feel old individually. But watching others you remember as babies turn the big three-zero? Hello, existential crisis.

They are both still so gorgeous, but it’s so much easier to tell them apart these days. They each have their own distinct look and style, unlike when they were children.

Didn't Even Look Like Twins Anymore


Sometimes, perhaps due to drastically different hair colors and makeup shades, even the Olsen twins’ skin colors appeared very different.

It also seemed that very often if one twin wore understated jewelry, the other wore a bolder piece.

Did they communicate about appearing different? It’s nice that even though they are dressed and groomed so differently, their individual looks compliment each other’s. That’s even better than having a copy standing next to you at all times.

Similar, But Not The Same


Of course, there are still occasions where for old times’ sake they will show up to an event dressed similarly.

But even when they’re dressed in a near identical fashion, it seems that the differences in how they look are getting more pronounced as they get older.

Remember, they’re sororal twins (the female version of fraternal), not identical. Yet somehow they always looked identical. It seems with age the differences between them are becoming more noticeable.

Now You Can See The Difference


Mary Kate’s eyes being rounder in shape, it’s now much easier to recognize than it was when they were toddlers.

Even though their hair is similarly styled here, it’s much easier to tell them apart.

Remember how much difficulty you were having at the beginning? Now we don’t even need to point it out to you. You’ve become an expert at distinguishing Mary-Kate from Ashley. What a difference from when they were infants on our television screens playing the same person.

Will The Differences Only Increase Over Time?


They still look similar to each other, but it’s very obvious they’re two completely separate individuals.

If you look at a picture of them now, it is almost impossible to believe that they were once mistaken for identical twins.

Hair, clothing and makeup went a long way in helping the two look alike, but it could just be that aging is emphasizing the features that makes them look dissimilar. Time will tell if they keep becoming more visually distinct.

Different Looks For The Grown-Up Olsen Twins


Although they do, as 30-something grown women, look very different from one another, they both dress tastefully.

That stands to reason as the Olsen twins work together in their fashion design business. That’s right: they’re both award-winning fashion designers these days.

It seems they like to express that although they are twins and business partners, they also have two separate minds. As adult professionals, they can think for themselves, even if they are always a team.

The Olsen Twins 2017


So what exactly are the Olsen twins up to these days? As you can imagine, growing up in front of cameras, they’re relieved to be behind them these days.

They try to have a much lower profile. The Olsen twins have certainly retreated from the spotlight in their adult lives.

We don’t see as much of them as we used to. Here’s a rare red carpet photo of the twins at the 2017 Met Gala.

Their Different Lives


Both Mary-Kate and Ashley have grown up to lead different lives than you might have imagined when you watched them in movies like Holiday in the Sun and Passport to Paris.

Mary-Kate has been married to Olivier Sarkozy, who is 17 years her senior, since 2015. When she’s not working, her life seems pretty normal.

“I have a husband, two stepkids and a life. I have to go home and cook dinner,” she told The Edit.

What About Ashley?


Ashley is laying pretty low these days as well. She made headlines in March of 2017 for breaking up with her 58-year-old financier boyfriend, Richard Sachs.

But her personal life is her own business. Speaking of her own business, she’s quite successful and prolific in that realm.

She has several businesses running at once, and she’s also a believer in giving back, as she’s a huge philanthropist. Oh, and in case you’re worried, even though the twins live separately, sources say they’re still as close as ever.

Their Sister


So the Olsen twins are staying out of the spotlight (for the most part), but what about the other Olsen…you know, the one that you’ve been seeing in movies and TV shows. Maybe at first you wondered if Mary-Kate and Ashley had made their return to acting, but nope, that’s not it.

The Olsen twins’ younger sister, Elizabeth Olsen, is taking Hollywood by storm. Elizabeth is pretty lucky that she had two mega-famous and super successful sisters to show her the ropes in Hollywood. She explained to Elle the impact her sisters had on her growing up:

“The cool thing about watching my sisters is to me they’ve always handled everything with so much class. When you meet them in a work environment you know how capable they are, and how well their minds work, because you can’t miss it. It’s because of how disciplined they are, how interested they are, and how committed they are. So, to me, no one can take anything away from you or try and devalue you, if you know that you’re capable, and you know that you deserve to be there because you did put in the work, and you did put in the time.”