Morning Routine: How Benefit’s Annie Ford Danielson Starts Her Day

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Annie Ford Danielson Benefit
Photo: Courtesy of Benefit

Successful people around the world have their morning routines down to a fine art. So just how does Annie Ford Danielson, one half of the sister duo at the helm of Benefit Cosmetics (their mom and aunt founded the brand), start her day? Savoir Flair gets a peek into her morning rituals, from her go-to beauty products to how she squeezes in some essential “me time”.


My son wakes me up every day at 6 a.m. Babies are the best alarm clock! I’d say I definitely am a morning person as that’s when I like to spend quiet time on my own. Before I had my baby, I used to wake up at around 6 a.m. feeling like I was ready to conquer the world! And I’d walk to work so I could be there by 7:30 a.m. For me, it’s the best time of the day as I’m not distracted by anyone and I can really focus on what I have to get done.

Annie Ford Danielson
Photo: Courtesy of @AnnieFD

I’m always on the run, so I need to make sure that I start the day with enough food to keep me going. Breakfast is simple and quick: a double-shot latte and hard-boiled eggs. It gets me buzzing and chirping for the day.

As a mom, mornings are when I have those precious family moments. We all wake up at the same time thanks to the baby alarm clock and start our days together. My husband and I jumpstart with our coffee, and I feed our son as we map out our day.

Annie Ford Danielson
Photo: Courtesy of @AnnieFD

To be really honest, I rarely check my phone. I like to be present in the moment, especially when I’m with my family in the mornings. The only apps I check on my phone are the clock, messages, and my camera – I keep it simple! I do love social media and I’m always trying to catch up on e-mails, but I have a motto: Be where you are. If you are at home, be at home! So during those precious hours when I’m home with the baby and my husband, or in the early morning before I head to work, I put my phone away until the moment I leave the house!

Annie Ford Danielson
Photo: Courtesy of @AnnieFD

The mommy in me likes to keep things as quick and easy as possible when it comes to my beauty routine, and it usually takes no more than five to ten minutes. This especially counts when I’m getting ready in the morning. I always prefer to keep things light and natural.

My beauty routine includes lots of moisturizer and, as my skin is so dry, I try not to wash my face using products. Instead, I splash cold water on my skin to tighten up my pores and then apply the Benefit ‘It’s Potent! Eye Cream’ before anything else. After that, I put on La Mer’s ‘The Moisturizing Soft Cream’ and the Benefit ‘Dream Screen’ for SPF protection.

I use the Benefit ‘POREfessional Face Primer’ to give me a fresh face and, as eyelashes help energize the eyes, I use our ‘Roller Lash Mascara’ to keep mine looking awake, light, and flirty. If I’m feeling fancy, I’ll jazz up my brows with ‘Gimme Brow’.

When it comes to my hair, I let it air-dry and wear it either down or in a ponytail if it’s just a normal day at the office – this is my only opportunity to be low maintenance as it’s always full-on hair and makeup when I’m away for business, in photoshoots, or on TV! My go-to favorite fragrance brands are Dior, Creed, and Jo Malone.

Annie Ford Danielson San Francisco
Photo: Courtesy of @AnnieFD

These days, I’m usually out the door by 8 a.m., and I always walk to work. San Francisco is full of scenic sidewalks, challenging hills, and lots of fresh air, so I use this time to really breathe while catching up on my phone calls.

I always get to the office before everyone else. I need at least a good hour to catch up on urgent e-mails, and then I spend about 20 minutes creating a completely daunting list of things that need to be done by the end of the week for both my work and personal life! The Outlook calendar is extremely helpful for me to get organized and see the meeting schedules ahead of time so that I can be prepared. Normally, by this point in my morning, I need to get another coffee! I usually spend the rest of my day in meetings filled with fun, inspirational conversations with very creative people.

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