Makeup, unlike shoes, has never been described as “sensible.” And yet, most women want nothing more than to learn how to put on sensible makeup— products that sit comfortably on one’s face, while making one look radiant, refreshed and more gorgeous.
It was truly refreshing to meet Benefit Cosmetics’ global beauty authorities, Maggie and Annie Ford Danielson, whose beauty advice is straightforward, practical and most important, doable (what’s the use of a makeup routine if it’s too complicated or time-consuming?)
They grew up surrounded by makeup, thanks to mom and aunt Jean and Jane Ford’s Benefit boutique in San Francisco, and recognized early on the power great makeup has on a woman.
Maggie and Annie were here in Manila this week, the first leg of their Asian tour, to open Benefit’s store at Greenbelt 5, Makati. Inquirer Lifestyle sat down with them, and came away with tips, tricks and even what makeup to wear to get the guys to pucker up.
What emergency fixes would you give a girl who wakes up on date night with a giant zit?
Annie Ford Danielson (Annie): That’s the worst, right? Honestly, Boi-ing. Boi-ing is what we call our industrial strength concealer. That’s the thing about blemishes, they don’t make you feel confident. If you have Boi-ing and you just pat it on your complexion, cover it and you can feel confident, that’s all you need. And don’t pick at it.
Maggie Ford Danielson (Maggie): Or, worst case scenario, put a bright lipstick or gloss on to distract them.
Annie: Yeah, draw attention somewhere else. Wear a low-cut top!
Maggie: That’s true.
‘Just shoot us’
What about puffy eyes?
Maggie: That is the worst. I always have puffy eyes.
Annie: Just shoot us.
Maggie: It’s Potent! Eye Cream.
Annie: We love to put it in the fridge and when you wake up in the morning, it’s nice and cold and you put it on—honestly, it just makes your eyes go completely back to normal.
Maggie: I would put eye cream on it; if it’s safe for your eyes, it’s safe for your lips.
Annie: Our Benetint lip balm has SPF and is super super moisturizing, and it gives your lips a nice tint, kind of like a foundation where it helps your skin and gives you a nice little color.
What should a girl pack in her tiny evening bag for emergency touchups?
Annie: Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Foundation and Porefessional. It looks big but it fits in any kind of clutch and you usually don’t think to walk around with a foundation, but I touch up with this under my eyes, on my blemishes, and then you have Porefessional to kinda minimize that shine. These two things are key.
Better than powder?
Annie and Maggie: Yes.
Maggie: Because the thing with powder is that you put it on and it settles, and two hours later you put more on and all of a sudden you have a thick powdery face, you’re scraping it off, it’s not cute. If you need powder if you have a little shine problem, put a primer first, like Porefessional, and you won’t need powder at all. It will give your skin a more realistic effect, it won’t be dry-looking.
How do you two get ready for date night?
Maggie: I’m married, I don’t have dates anymore, date night, what’s that? I’m kidding. For me this is the most makeup I’ll ever wear, and I don’t even wear this much on date night.
Annie: Yeah, same with me.
Maggie: Mascara, a really pretty lip, right now I’m into like a really bright lip, mascara, just really pretty skin. I’m obsessed with the Hello Flawless and just a really nice lip, like we said before, especially for guys, they don’t wanna see you wear a ton of makeup, so just keep it natural.
Annie: And, if you’re single and on dates, don’t wear red lipstick.
Maggie: No, never.
Annie: That was the first thing our mom taught us is that if a boy wants to kiss you he’s not going to do it with you wearing red lipstick, no.
Really? Why not?
Annie: Because they’re gonna get lipstick all over them. It’s gross!
Maggie: They don’t like that. It might be nice to look at in pictures, but they don’t wanna kiss it.
Annie: If you really want to have red, wear Benetint. It’s kiss-proof, it won’t come off.
A little flirty
Which of your products can guys give to their girlfriends or wives for Valentine’s Day?
Maggie: That can be a little tricky, right? You don’t wanna be like “Oh, you need a concealer, you need a foundation, girlfriend.” You wanna do something that’s just really feminine, so I would say maybe one of our fragrances, or maybe Bathina, ’cause this is a little flirty, a little sexy, you know, what guy wouldn’t wanna buy this? Let’s be honest, something that’s universal, that won’t make her mad. And maybe one of our pretty Box O’ Powders, just really fun and pretty looking.
Annie: I agree with the Bathina. I gave this to my boyfriend’s mom once and her husband came in and he was like, “What is this?” and she was like “Oh, it’s for my legs,” and he was like “Wooohoooo.” He was joking around but it’s a fun kind of thing that you can wear and feel really sexy and pretty, and that’s what Valentine’s is all about. Or a gift certificate. Worst case scenario, just give me money.
You just launched Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow. What sets it apart from other foundations in the market?
Maggie: I think that a lot of women don’t wanna wear foundation, they think it’s old-fashioned, and they’re like “Nah, it’s not for me.” We really want to bring foundation back, and I really think we can do it with this. This is a modern formula, sort of like if tinted moisturizer and your traditional foundation had a baby, this is what this would be. It’s oil-free, fragrance-free and it’s not gonna clog your pores. And it has all the powerful stuff like vitamins, peptides, really high SPF. It’s also really easy to use, you don’t need a ton of brushes, you can put it on with your hands.
Annie: I apply this with my fingers every morning. It’s really versatile.
Maggie: And I think that foundation is something that a lot of women get nervous about, it’s like a chore.
Annie: And just like Maggie said, there are two things a woman hates to do, and that’s shop for bikinis and shop for foundation.
Maggie: We wanna make life easy with this foundation. I think it’s really a modern formula with all the great things a foundation should be. It also can fit into your lifestyle of looking just really natural fast.
Any makeup and skincare pet peeves?
Maggie: That line of foundation along the jaw.
Annie: Yeah. Blend. Tell them to blend.
Maggie: When women think that they have to wear too much. There’s no rules with makeup—you don’t have to wear foundation all over your face, you don’t have to wear tons of eyeliner. Do what makes you look best.
Benefit Cosmetics Boutique is at G/F, Greenbelt 5.