|Type||Wholly owned subsidiary|
|Founded||San Francisco, California, 1976|
|Headquarters||San Francisco, United States|
|Area served||United States|
|Key people||Jean Ford
Benefit Cosmetics was founded in 1976 by twins Jean and Jane Ford. Initially founded as a beauty boutique, the shop specialized in quick-fix products for beauty dilemmas. The decision of having their own beauty boutique was merely based on a coin toss, heads for a casserole cafe and tails for beauty boutique. Tails it was and now the Ford Sisters have built Benefit Cosmetics into a global beauty brand now selling at over 2,000 counters in more than 30 countries. In addition to their product expansion they have also opened up "brow bars" worldwide. Benefit Cosmetics LLC is now a subsidiary of LVMH.
Benefit make up is unique compared to its competitors and draws in the customer due to its quirky packaging. Different products each have their own individual humorous design which makes the product stand out. The approach which Benefit have gone for is to appeal to the female market hypnotising its customers into such a “pretty and cute” design; the numerous range of fonts, images and colours break all rules of a consistent house style yet Benefit manage to pull this off incredibly well.
Jean and Jane Ford were born in Indiana, but later moved west to pursue a modeling career (most notably the Calgon bath products advertisements). After modeling for a brief time, the Fords opted to move into a career in cosmetics. Jean is “invariably described as the company’s creative visionary, and Jane, unfailingly characterized as the savvy business expert”. Today they still operate as co-founders within the business.
In 1976, Jean and Jane Ford opened up a small makeup shop called The Face Place, in San Francisco’s Mission District. Their first product was a blush and lip tint called “Rose tint” (now renamed "benetint"). Jean & Jane Ford originally created the rose flushed tint for an exotic dancer who was in need of a nipple tint. Benetint is most famously known by this story, but it has become popular for a much wider clientele. It remains the company's best-selling product, with 10 million bottles sold. The Face Place later moved to Kearny St. in downtown San Francisco in the 80’s, and with the move came the debut of the original lip-plumping product, lip plump.
In 1989, the catalog was developed. Next, Jean and Jane Ford focused on department store distribution, and soon after the original Face Place was renamed Benefit Cosmetics. In 1991 Benefit opened up in its first U.S. department store - Henri Bendel, in New York City. With significant success in the U.S., Benefit went international in 1997 with their expansion into Harrods in London. Soon after, the Benefit Cosmetics product website was launched.
LVMH acquired Benefit Cosmetics on September 14, 1999. In 2001, Benefit launched their first bath and boudoir line, Bathina. Benefit opened its first "Brow Bar" (a boutique specializing in brow shaping) in 2003, at Macy's Union Square, San Francisco.
- Ellenburg, Celia (2009). "Benefit's Jean and Jane Ford". Retrieved July 1, 2011.
- Hendrix, Anastasia (24 July 2005). "Five Questions for... Jean and Jane Ford". San Francisco Chronicle.
- Millea, Holly (June 2011). "She's Come Undone". Elle Magazine: 170–178.
- "Benefit Cosmetics Brows". Retrieved July 1, 2011.