The sisters, who founded Benefit in the late 1970s, were in the UK for the premiere of their short film Glamouriety. It tells the story of their career and brings to life some of our favourite ‘characters’ – Dr Feelgood (the complexion balm, who in Glamouriety is portrayed as a hot but unconventional doctor); Gabbi, (who appears on one of the brand’s make-up bags), and their most devoted customer Ralph. Jam-packed with singing, dancing, illustration and special effects it’s a joy to watch and funny to boot.
As you’ve probably realised, the Ford sisters are real characters which is exactly why the global brand is such a success; the first time ELLE met them was at a launch a few years back, where they sang and danced to a song they had penned. It’s that blend of humour, creativity and the brilliantly-crafted products that has made Benefit what it is today.
The twins were brought up on a farm in Indiana, left for New York to pursue a modelling career before settling in San Francisco. Knowing they wanted to do something other than modelling they realised they were great at two things – making casseroles and make-up. They flipped a coin and lucky for us it landed on make-up.
In the late 1970s they opened Face Place a beauty parlour where women could go and socialise while having their make-up done. Before long they were creating products – the first Benetint, was made for an exotic dancer who needed a nipple tint (we kid you not), and before long the brand was up and running.
Below you can watch ELLE’s exclusive interview with Jean and Jane Ford...