We love Benefit Cosmetics for its killer brow products, but what makes the family-run brand a serious winner in our beauty books is its dedication to making a difference. Because what better way to make women feel bold and beautiful than getting your brow game on fleek? As part of its global philanthropy programme Bold Is Beautiful, Benefit Cosmetics will be donating all of its brow wax proceeds to charity during the month of May. Getting your brows in shape while contributing to an awesome cause? Count us in!
Not sure what Bold Is Beautiful is all about? We spoke to Maggie Ford Danielson – resident #GirlBoss, beauty change-maker and daughter of Benefit Cosmetics’ founder Jane Ford – to find out more about the goodwill campaign, her passion for advocacy, her honest thoughts on female empowerment and more.
The Bold Is Beautiful campaign has been a huge success over the last few years. How do you feel now that it has truly taken off?
It’s emotional for me because I remember when it was just an idea in our heads and we knew that it had potential but we weren’t sure how much we were going to raise, whether it was something we could execute across all our markets, or if the staff members were going to be supportive of it – there were a lot of unknowns. And now, we have 19 countries participating and have raised 11 million since starting the programme back in 2015. I just know we can help so many women. The future is endless and we’re just getting started.
Having worked with so many charities, are there any interesting stories you would like to share?
I was recently in Thailand where they were working with Habitat for Humanity, and I was so honoured to be able to go and actually built a house for a family who has three generations of women living under one roof. They live in the countryside and never had electricity before, and the fact that Benefit can be a small part of their lives is super incredible.
What’s a cause you would personally support?
I do actually volunteer for one of the charities we work with. It’s an organisation that provides after-school programming for at-risk girls in dangerous communities where there’s a lot of violence, so these centres are a safe space for the girls to seek comfort at after school. I’m involved in helping the younger girls learn how to read, especially if English isn’t their first language. I’ve got two daughters at home so I think it’s important for me to spend time with the younger girls so I can help them.
What are your thoughts about the female empowerment movements that are gaining traction right now?
In every country, there’s always a feminist movement going on but I think it’s also really important that we do not forget about the men. The future is female is something I absolutely 100 per cent support, but I also think we need to keep our minds open because the future is about positivity for all people, men included. We can’t alienate like half of the population just because they’re men. Not all men are bad!
Between not wearing makeup to embrace your natural beauty and using makeup to empower oneself, where do you stand?
I love talking about this because people assume that you’re trying to cover something up when you wear makeup, but I actually like to wear makeup because I want to enhance my features. I also think it’s a way of self-expression; some people just want to use makeup as art and to try different things. So I would like to change that kind of conversation – makeup is not just about wearing a mask, it’s about self-empowerment.
When is a time you feel the most beautiful?
I feel the most beautiful when I’m feeling good inside. It’s funny, I looked at myself this morning and I was like “Ugh, I don’t look my best but I actually feel really good inside”. It’s the last day of this trip and I’m really far from home, but I love talking about Bold is Beautiful. I feel beautiful today not just because of my makeup, but because I’m doing what I think is really important work with Bold Is Beautiful.
What advice would you give to women who are struggling with their self-confidence?
I think you have to look inside and see what’s causing what struggle. There’s always a factor that is causing you to feel uncomfortable and you need to have that conversation with yourself in order to pinpoint the source. And it’s also the courage to turn to someone for help – it’s really important to just get it out, whether it’s sharing it with your friend, girlfriend or mother. If you speak out about your struggles, they become less of a burden.
Lastly, what does beauty mean to you?
Beauty’s a feeling. You can have beautiful makeup and look good on the outside, but I’ve always believed that happiness is beauty. And if it means you’ll get laugh lines, that’s even better because that’s more beautiful, you know?
If Maggie’s words of wisdom doesn’t inspire you to give back, we don’t know what will. Starting in May, Benefit Cosmetics will be donating 100 per cent of its brow waxing proceeds to Girls2Pioneers and Aidha. Book your brow wax appointment now!