I Swapped Beauty Routines With My Twin

by Courtney Leiva

If there was a song to perfectly describe the relationship I have with my twin sister Lauren, I’m pretty sure Berlin Irving's "Sisters" fits the bill quite nicely. Sure, we’re as inseparable as the Haynes sisters, but we couldn’t be more different when it comes to the beauty department.

But before you start throwing around Olsen comparisons, know that even with similar eye color and facial features, Lauren and I still manage to look very different, IMO. There’s me, the bottle-blonde makeup addict, who loves winged liner more than anything else. And then there’s Lauren, the natural brunette beauty, who can’t seem to get enough of the latest facial yoga tutorials.

Yes, we’re fraternal twins, but despite even sharing practically everything (including clothes and food preferences) Lauren and I manage keep our beauty regimens pretty separate. And because we’ve always mused about how different our preferences actually are, we decided to trade beauty routines for a week to see exactly how the other sister lives.

Swapping skincare, makeup, hairstyles, and all the beauty tools in between, Lauren and I switched beauty routines for seven complete days. And yes, maybe it does seem something like out of the Parent Trap , but don’t worry, we totally aren’t trying to fool our parents.

The Twin Breakdown

Taking a cue from Melodi’s brilliant sister beauty swap, I wanted to provide a detailed twin breakdown before Lauren and I started switching routines. You’ll probably find that most of our skin concerns are eerily similar. However, our makeup routines couldn't be more different.


Age: 26

Skin: Suffers from sensitive, acne-prone skin that can get dried out once the winter hits. Acne scarring and hormonal acne flare ups around the lips also tend to be an ongoing skincare issue too.

Makeup: Doesn’t always wear makeup on a daily basis, but will wear a full face when in the mood. Go-to products include primer, foundation, concealer, glow powder, blush, lipstick, mascara, eyeliner, liquid eyeliner, eye shadow, and some highlighter. Yep, I know. I’m as high maintenance as it comes.

Daily Beauty Routine: When I don’t want to wear makeup, I focus mostly on skincare. My skincare regimen is still pretty extensive, as I try to moisturize three times a day and use products such as facial serums, oils, eye creams, and lotions. At night, I’ll usually use a facial cleanser, and follow with either a facial mask, facial peel and an effective night cream. I also try to drink a lot of water and gulp down skin purifying teas throughout my day.


Age: 26

Skin: Like me, Lauren also has acne-prone skin that can get both oily and dry in certain areas. She also struggles with hormonal acne and acne scarring. .

Makeup: Similarly, Lauren does not wear makeup on a daily basis. But if feeling so inspired, she will wear a light foundation with SPF, mascara, pencil eyeliner on the lid, white eyeliner on the waterline, a light blush, and lipstick.

Daily Beauty Routine: Skincare is top priority for Lauren, as she loves to focus on a good regimen whenever she can. She uses lip balms, facial serums, eye creams and facial creams. At night she’ll use a facial mask, peel and a night cream. She also has a blue LED light she swears by for shrinking acne.

Day 1

Since neither one of us wear makeup every day, Lauren and I were more than eager to switch up both our skincare products and routines

Right now we still live together, so we often share a lot of skincare products. However, I have an affinity for thicker products, while Lauren's choices lean lightweight. Sure we both use a lot of the same products, but she's a big Boots Beauty fan and loves using facial treatments from Skin Inc.

On the other hand, I tend to go heavier with the creams, serums, and other skincare treatments. Don’t even get me started on how fabulous the Glossier Mega Greens Galaxy Pack is. You better believe I made Lauren give it a whirl.

Our slight product preferences aside, the regimen part of it all is what’s really interesting. We both usually only do a big wash at night, I’ll admit to going a bit overboard during the day, obsessively moisturizing at least three times. Lauren only applies her moisturizers in the morning and at night.

Lauren's routine is a lot more lightweight than mine, but, so far I am really enjoy getting reacquainted with Skin Inc. products, as I was so desperately heartbroken when mine ran out.

On day one of trying my products, Lauren was still getting used to the thicker consistency of my creams and lotions, but is really loving how the SaintPeau Boabob Soft Peeling Gel exfoliated her skin without the painful tingling caused by some peels. Moisturizing three times a day felt a bit much to her, but she was optimistic that her skin would get used to it by the end of the experiment.

Day 2

Aside from investing in great skincare products, Lauren and I both believe that real beauty starts from the inside. So naturally, we’re both suckers for beautifying teas (green juices are a close second!) that can hydrate your skin. We both already guzzle down a lot of water throughout the the day, so we figured tea was an easy swap we could both make.

And even though we both have a taste for herbal tea, the blends that we drink are pretty different. I usually gravitate towards herbal yet sweeter blends, while Lauren opts for a more DIY approach and makes her own grated ginger tea at home.

I’ve had Lauren’s ginger remedy once or twice, and while it’s not something I would drink everyday, it’s a nice alternative to some of the more pricey detox teas on the market. And besides the digestion benefits she gets out of drinking it daily, sometimes she even places ginger on her skin to give her a radiant glow (feel free to steal this hack!) you can’t get with creams and serums.

Trying this out was a lot of fun. Grating the ginger was a pain in the neck, but it felt great to drink something extremely natural. I can really see why she places the leftover ginger bits on her skin, as just a few dabs of the grated ginger gave my skin a luminous shine I normally can’t get with my favorite highlighters.

Upon trying my favorite MIYU Beauty Hydrate Mi Beauty Tea, Lauren really liked the light and fruity taste. Plus, she really digs rooibos teas, so she said this is something she’d definitely drink again. While she didn’t get any skin glowing benefits from drinking one cup, she's still excited to add this tea to her daily regimen.

Day 3

While we were enjoying trading skincare (my skin was loving all her serums by this point!) and skin boosting teas so far, nails are another part of beauty Lauren and I were eager to swap.

Like our hair and makeup looks, Lauren and I have pretty different tastes when it comes to polish. I usually find myself drawn to fun and funky nail art, while Lauren loves a sleek and polished look, that’s totally elegant.

To make the necessary switch up, I passed along some NCLA nail wraps along for my sis to try. Unlike me, Lauren has longer (and probably stronger) nails, so I knew the trendy prints and colors would look much better on her, than they usually do on me.

She liked how easy they were to apply but, despite the many compliments she got at work, she didn’t like how these wraps fell off too easily.

When I tried taking a page out of my sister’s beauty book, I opted for a simple glossy manicure she would totally approve of. And while I’m pretty lazy when it comes to nails, I’ll admit that actually painting them myself for a change proved to be fun and relaxing. Although I really didn’t get too many compliments on the color, my nails didn’t chip as much I’m used to have happen when I use my trusty wraps.

Day 4

Probably the most exciting day of the swap came day four, when we tried each other's makeup essentials.

Like basically everything else, I tend to love a bolder look (I’m sensing a pattern here) featuring a bright pout and a striking cat eye. More on the classic side, Lauren loves the look of clean and glowing skin, a coral-pink lip, a neutral eye, and lots of mascara.

To this properly, Lauren and I both helped each other apply on each others makeup step-by-step.

Focusing on glowing skin, mascara, peachy blush, a neutral eye shadow and a soft lip, I loved how Lauren's go-to look gave my complexion a clean and soft glow. And not bad on time: It only took me 15 minutes to put the whole thing together.

On the other hand, taking Lauren through my look was not as bad I thought it would be. Even though I use a lot more products that she does, Lauren found that putting the whole thing together wasn't that hard.

Yes, she had trouble doing some cat-eye flicks, but she really liked how my makeup look gave her a glam finish. She said she’d definitely wear something like this to work, and that it didn’t feel that any products overwhelmed her sensitive skin.

Day 5

We both knew that we couldn't go all Hitchcock’s Vertigo and switch hair colors, so instead, Lauren and I opted to trade hairstyles for this experiment.

We both prove to be pretty low maintenance when it comes to the hair department, so this day of the switch wouldn’t be too hard. Lauren usually is the clip-and-go of girl, and much like her, I usually do a small side twist, and pull everything else back into a ponytail or bun.

Despite being extremely challenged when it comes to braids and up-dos, somehow the beauty gods have allowed me to master a small side twist, which dresses up my basic ponytails in a flash. Lauren couldn’t really master this on her own, so I didn’t mind creating the style on her hair to keep up with the experiment for the day.

Overall, Lauren really liked this style. It definitely paired well with her small bun, and since her hair was off her face, she didn’t have to worry about constantly fixing it at work throughout the day.

Similarly, Lauren’s easy-peasy hairstyle didn’t give me any worries, as the clip simply took all my hair off my face, and didn't go astray when typing away at desk. Honestly, I pretty much wear styles like this (or a messy bun) daily, so it wasn't hard to incorporate into my daily look.

Day 6

Sipping tea, throwing my hair up in the clip, and using Boots serums has proved to be pretty fun so far. So as our experiment was coming to an end, I really wanted to touch on every part of Lauren's routine.

Lauren’s really into facial yoga, but it's not really something I get down with. So instead we agreed that I would try her blue LED light, which apparently shrinks down acne. I have some zits forming beneath my skin, so any extra help is most appreciated. I didn't see any results in just one use, so this is something I plan on using after the experiment to see if it actually works.

To properly copy my habits, not only has Lauren used my products (she actually tried and loved those Glossier masks BTW) but she's also been trying to up her moisturizing game too.

As previously stated, Lauren usually moisturizes during the morning and night, so moisturizing three times a day was something she wasn't exactly used to. However, she's really liking using the Glossier Priming Moisturizer throughout the workday, as it fits nice in her purse and allows her to moisturize without the unwanted greasiness. She thinks her skin is definitely feeling a lot softer now.

Day 7

On the final day of the swap, Lauren and I were in the thick of trying each others products and regimens. And while we haven't noticed any huge differences, it's been super fun trading places per say, and learning some things about beauty from each other.

To end our swap on a high note, we decided that trading lipsticks for the day would be simple way to highlight our differences. And yes, we totally took a bite out of one another's makeup routine's already, but we both are firm believers that lipstick can be a big game changer even if you don't have a full face on.

In trying her full makeup routine, I found that Lauren typically goes for lip shades of peaches, nudes, and corals. So, grabbing her creamiest Lipstick Queen shade possible, I rocked a coral lip when heading out to do some errands. Being that this color wasn't at all ostentatious, I didn't get any comments while I was out. However, I loved how the lipstick went on creamy, without any dryness or irritation.

Lauren picked out one of my wine colored WinkyLux lipsticks to wear before heading off to work. But despite the bold and strong finish this color usually gives off, Lauren didn't really get too many comments throughout her day. However, despite loving the striking plum hue, she wasn't too crazy about the drying feeling that came with this matte lipstick.

Should You Switch With Your Twin?

We both may be Breaking Bad diehards who prefer nights in with Netflix to whole the club scene, but Lauren and I are practically night and day when it comes to beauty routines. Yes, using her products and mastering her overall routine taught me some helpful hacks (totally stealing that ginger one!) along the way, but I think it's safe to say that we probably won't be trading places for a week straight again. Like everyone else on this planet, people tend to have their own product preferences, and that's something I learned when trading places with Lauren.

In trying this experiment,I really liked my sister's low-maintenance approach to beauty. And in return, she really liked intensifying her skincare routine and trying new products she'd never really give a chance. So with that said, swapping routines with siblings can be a fun way to get to know each other better. But if you happen to be a twin like me, swapping routines will only prove that even the closest of twins (that's us!) can still have their own individual beauty identities.

Images: Courtney Leiva (23)