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The Sisters Behind The Benefit Empire

Laughter is the best cosmetic.

And Maggie & Annie Ford Danielson are the best personalities to show for it.

Best known for providing brow transformations, Benefit was founded by twin sisters Jean and Jane Ford in the 1970s. Since then, the brand has won over a community of women with its products and of course, bold and quirky packaging.

When they first joined Benefit in 2008, Maggie and Annie quickly became the living embodiment of the San Francisco-based company. With their playful personalities and contagious laughter, the daughters of co-founder Jean Ford quickly rose to became the Benebabes.

Today, we speak to Maggie and Annie to find out their personal beauty tips and their thoughts on style and fashion.

1. Hello ladies, do tell us a little about yourselves!

MAGGIE: Hi there! I’m Maggie. I’m one of the Global Beauty Authorities at Benefit and I love it! I’ve got two young daughters, Ruby and Violet. The two girls and Benefit are basically my whole life!

ANNIE: Hey! I’m Annie. I’m also one of the Global Beauty Authorities at Benefit. I’m 31 years-old, live in San Francisco with my husband, 1-year old son and our French bulldog, Oscar-man! I grew up watching my mom and aunt make and sell products all day long! It’s in our blood if you will. Today, Maggie and I have a hand in all of the Benefit magic, working with employees around the globe to share the Benefit brand DNA.

2. We all know the importance of shaping eyebrows, but do you think they are crucial to making or breaking one’s look?

MAGGIE: I really do think brows set the tone for your whole face. Think of it as grooming instead of makeup – just like a good haircut can boost your style and confidence!

ANNIE: YES! The thing about brows is that when you have your brows filled in you can wear WAY less makeup. Well-groomed brows can bring the most glam or the most laid back look together!

3. Can you share some of your personal fashion rules that you abide by?

MAGGIE: A few good pairs of jeans are essential: white, dark blue, black. That’s all you really need. I’d rather invest in expensive pants and save money on fun, bright patterned seasonal tops.

ANNIE: My biggest rule is no matter what look you are going for, know your best assets and flaunt them!  You know your body best, it’s all about finding the right fit – that’s when you will look and feel most confident!

4. What is the best beauty advice you have received?

MAGGIE: From my aunt – “less is more” and also do your brows first, so that you can see how much eye makeup you really need!

ANNIE: From my mom – “just play” because there are no rules in beauty. You don’t have to do an eight-step program every day, just play with color and textures and see what you love! That’s the best way to learn what works for you.

5. Now that Fashion Week for London, Paris and New York are underway, what outfits would you recommend fashionistas attending the events?

MAGGIE: I love casual looks and how they seem appropriate for almost any event nowadays! Casual doesn’t mean sloppy though – my idea of casual is mixing and matching. For example, something baggy on top and fitted on the bottom or vice versa.  Good quality fabric always elevates a casual look while bold jewelry and a bright lip enhances any look.

ANNIE: Fashion events are a great opportunity to be incredibly playful and creative with your style. I love seeing women that aren’t afraid to stand out in the crowd and who are there to see and be seen… work it, girls!

Photo: Pinterest

6. Which product(s) from Benefit would you recommend to girls for the street-style look?

MAGGIE: Full brows are essential. With a full brow, you can go lighter on your makeup. Precisely, My Brow eyebrow pencil paired with Gimme Brow gives a full, youthful looking brow. Skin that glows is always on trend and I love our Hello Flawless foundation for that. Pair that with a bit of bronzer and blush (Hoola and Galifornia are my faves) and you’re set!

ANNIE: For a street-style look, I love to pair Gimme Brow with our 24-hour Brow Setter. You can create any style you want while looking effortless. I also love Porefessional for simple, smooth and perfected skin. Boing Airbrush Concealer is insane for covering any imperfections you have and it lasts all day. Last but definitely not least are Hoola and Roller Lash. If you wear these products, you can look super pulled together but also natural and carefree… the best look really!

7. Which luxury brand do you think most complements the Benefit brand?

MAGGIE: In terms of luxury fashion, I think brands that use a lot of color like Marni and Prada are great.

ANNIE: I would say Gucci. They have had a resurgence of energy into their brand in the past year. I feel like this fresh playfulness is really in-line with our brand.

8. If you had to match specific Benefit products with the five luxury brands Chanel, Hermès, Prada, Fendi and Salvatore Ferragamo, what would they be?

ANNIE

Chanel – Roller Lash … it’s feminine and flirty

Hermes  – Gimme Brow … it’s very traditional and clean

Prada – They’re Real!   … super sexy and sleek

Fendi – Benetint  … a sense of personality and sophistication

Ferragamo  – Hoola  … all about that carefree state of mind

9. What are the most bizzare fashion and beauty trends you want to erase from history?

MAGGIE: I think shoulder pads are pretty weird. Also, can we talk about the skort? (Or maybe not)

ANNIE: Those high heel shoes without heels give me anxiety.

10. Describe Benefit in one word.

MAGGIE: Playful!

ANNIE: Instant!

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