Meet Benefit Cosmetics’ Chief Beauty Ambassadors Maggie and Annie Ford Danielson. In 2008, the twin sisters joined the company that was founded by their mother and aunt; Jean and Jane Ford in the seventies. Born in San Francisco, Benefit was created by the sisters to take on a new approach to beauty and that’s how it has continued to function ever since!
Tell us your story! Did you always know you were going to join the Benefit team?
Annie: Wildly no! There was never a push or a discussion or even a thought about joining the family business. I always thought after college that I would go to school for interior design. Maggie called me one day and said, “hey I think I want to go work for Benefit…and I think you should too.” I was shocked. At the time I figured it would be a great way for me to start in the working world, then I would make some money and go back to school. Little did I know 14 years later here I would be. It’s true what they say… once you work in the family business you never really go back, Benefit is home.
Maggie: As crazy as it sounds, no. I didn’t think I’d join Benefit. I had plans to become a doctor..until I had to take organic chemistry at 8:30am and then things changed ;) I graduated with a double major in economics and French and promptly moved to NYC where I used neither of those majors and went to work at a marketing firm. I was there for 5 years before realising I was dodging fate and soon after, I joined Benefit, managing our HSN shopping business and doing special events on the East Coast. The rest is history 14 years later!
What does a typical day look like for you?
Annie: I am a single mom of two amazing boys soooo my days are a little crazy:) If I’m not travelling for work I am up at 5:30 reading stories, or building legos. From 6-7 it’s breakfast, lunch, teeth, get dressed then we are off to school. Usually from 830-12:00 are the hours I have fully to myself to get work done then my youngest is ready for pickup.
I try to work out daily, and meditate a few times per week to keep my head on straight
By 3:00 we are on to sports practices, reading, dinner bath and bed.
I’m in bed by 9 at the latest.
Maggie: I’m a morning person so I get up early (I'm currently writing these answers at 5:30am before my family wakes up). It’s my only time to have a quiet moment and drink a cup of coffee before the chaos starts. I have 3 young kids so between 6:30-8 it’s wild, getting them up, dressed and ready for school. Then I’m working all day until around 4 when I take a pause and shift back into Mom mode to do after school pick ups/sports/dinner/homework and bedtime. After that my husband and I either collapse on the couch and watch a show or we both go back to work and finish up things we couldn’t get done during the day. I try to go to bed by 10pm and rinse and repeat all over again the next day.
If you weren't working with Benefit, what would you be doing?
Annie: Oh man I think I would be building houses. It’s something I got the opportunity to do last year when I rebuilt my mothers home, that I now live in with my boys and it was the greatest most creative project I have ever done!
Maggie: I love food, cooking, being on farms etc. In my next life I’d love to have a big house with a huge garden and cook casual meals for friends, family and maybe even have a small farmstand/cafe.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given and by who?
Annie: From my Auntie.. In life you may not get what you deserve, but you do often get what you ask for and negotiate, know your worth and ask for it.
Maggie: You can’t have it all..but you can have what you choose. And those priorities can shift as you go through life.
Quote to live by?
Annie: “do the next right thing” - our mom said this to us daily and lived this way, it is so ingrained in my everyday life and it’s how I raise my kids.
Maggie: “do the next right thing”
Being based in SF, what kind of influence has the city had on conceptualizing our “beach” inspired collaboration candle?
Annie: Refreshing! I would say if there is one word to describe the air in SF especially at the beaches it’s cool, crisp, refreshing, most importantly it fills you up in the best possible way.
Maggie: SF beaches aren’t the ones you think about when you think about California. SF beaches can be cold and blustery. The water is freezing but they are SO beautiful. Full of marine life, rocky shores and beautiful mountains that lead right down to the water. They are very dramatic.
What’s your favourite beauty hack?
Annie: BROWS! A full fluffy brow and a tight ponytail, no one will know I was up all night with a sick kid! GAMECHANGER
Maggie: What she said. ^
Current netflix binge?
Annie: The Diplomat, Succession (HBO), and my most guilty pleasure VPR
Maggie: The Diplomat and F1 Drive to Survive
What are you looking forward to most with Benefit?
Annie: Our brand, just like our fans, is ever changing. We are constantly holding ourselves to the highest standards and while keeping true to our DNA we are not afraid to evolve and grow. There is a lot to be out on the lookout in the near future!
Maggie: Our brand is constantly growing and evolving. I’m really excited for the next few years here at Benefit. We are currently the #1 brow brand and have #1 products in mascara, bronzer and primer categories. Being an industry leader you have to be sharp and always thinking about what’s next. It’s a very exciting and dynamic time to be here.
Where can our community find you?
Maggie: IG/ TT: @maggiefd
Stay tuned for our limited edition summer collaboration with Benefit, launching this coming Monday at 10am PST exclusively on our online store.