For a long time, covering Joaquin Castro or Julián Castro on Remezcla has made me feel a little uneasy. What if, after all our hard work, I managed to bungle the image because I couldn’t tell them apart? While we pull images from reputable photo services, I couldn’t shake the feeling that somebody has mislabeled the photos and inadvertently gotten the politician brothers mixed up.

My fear isn’t unfounded. The media has definitely confused the siblings for each other on more than one occasion. Just the other day, Julián called out CNN for using a pic of the wrong bro. (CNN has since deleted the tweet.)

Since we’ll likely continue covering Julián – the presidential candidate who was previously the mayor of San Antonio and secretary for housing and urban development – and Joaquin – a member of the House of Representatives since 2013, I did a little research (looked at lots of photos) to parse out the differences. I learned that when they stand side-by-side, it’s not difficult to spot the variances. But if you’re staring at just one twin, you may run into a little trouble – that is, until now.

Below, check out a few ways to tell the Castro brothers apart.


Go by their looks

Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro (R) and his twin brother U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) sit at a campaign appearance at Bell Gardens High School, in Los Angeles county, on March 4, 2019 in Bell Gardens, California. Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

If you ask Joaquin, the differences between him and his brother are their looks. In 2013, he offered the same explanation – though worded differently – to the media.

In January 2013, Joaquin, who was not married then, said, “If you look close, there’s at least two ways to tell us apart. The quick way is that Julián has been incredibly blessed and he’s got a wonderful wife, Erica, who’s a public school teacher, and a 3-year-old daughter, Carina. But, as hard as my mom has tried, she has not been able to marry me off yet, so he’s got the wedding ring and I don’t. But, if you’re looking for an easier way to tell us apart, the easy way is I’m just a lot better looking than my brother.”

Closer to the end of that same year, he joked, “I do have a twin brother, Julián, the mayor of San Antonio, and it should be noted the way you tell us apart is my brother is a little uglier than I am.”

Of course, now both are married and beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so this one might not be the most reliable method.


Look at their face shapes

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) (L) holds his daughter Andrea Elena Castro as he and his twin brother, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, attend the opening session of the 114th Congress in the House of Representatives chamber at the U.S. Capitol January 6, 2015 in Washington, DC. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joaquin and Julián do not have the same face shape. Julián has a more oval face, and Joaquin has a rounder one.


Spot the lunar

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) speaks during a news conference about the resolution he has sponsored to terminate President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration February 25, 2019 in Washington, DC. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

If Joaquin is facing the right way, you can tell that he has un lunar near his mouth. It’s not always possible to use this method, but IMO, it’s the most fail-proof one.