Although it has been nearly seven years since Jean Ann Ford and her sister, Jane, left the helm of the company they founded in 1976, the twins’ names and faces are forever associated with the beloved Benefit Cosmetics. And today, the brand announced that the seemingly always-smiling Jean has passed away at age 71 after a battle with cancer.
“It is with great sadness we share that our beloved co-founder, Jean Ann Ford, has passed away,” the brand posted in a caption on Instagram. “Jean leaves behind a makeup dynasty, a legacy of creativity, and the belief that ‘Laughter is the Best Cosmetic!’ Jean’s daughters @maggiefd and @anniefd, know that their mother’s sharp creativity and bad ass spirit will live on in Benefit customers around the world.” The caption accompanied eight photos that captured Jean’s spirit, including a beautiful headshot and several pictures with Jane spanning several decades.
Benefit’s head makeup artist, Lisa Potter-Dixon, left a heartfelt comment that surely captures the sentiment of so many who knew Jean. “What an unbelievable woman,” she wrote, “Along with Jane, she created the best beauty company in the world. No other has empowered as many woman as Benefit, the original company to create a ‘feeling’ in stead of just a ‘look,’ For that I will be forever grateful.”
The Ford sisters sold a controlling stake in Benefit Cosmetics to LVMH 20 years ago, WWD reports, ultimately exiting the brand in 2012.
The Allure team sends our warmest thoughts and condolensces to Jane, Maggie, Annie, and all who loved Jean Ann Ford.