Actress, Writer and Founder of the Vie En Rose Luxury Skincare Line. Malea shares her story of growing up a “Bragg Baby” and how that influenced her decision to start her own natural, cruelty-free skin care line:
“I was born and raised on the north shore of Kauai, it has a pure soul. Growing up there was like living in the spirit of the 70’s! Between the landscape and my mom and her “hippie-goddess” girlfriends, I was in awe of it. My mom came from NYC; she wanted to live in nature with like-minded men and women in an open-hearted community. When my mom got to Kauai, she realized there was no organic food. We didn’t have boutique health food stores; everything had to be shipped in. People were not so awake about what they were putting in their bodies, as they are today.
My mom started the first co-op on Kauai, and it was all Bragg products, everything was Bragg! It’s been engraved in me, seeing Patricia’s face on the bottle of all the foods I ate as a child. When I told my mom that you asked me to be part of this, she said, “Yaay me!” Yes, Mom, you did it! You raised a ‘Bragg Baby’ and here I am, taking that message out into the world.
I grew up as a vegan; I thought carob was chocolate. My mom would make me mac and cheese with soy cheese. In those days, there were no natural skin care products, and my mom was washing her face with Dr. Bronner’s and putting coconut oil on her skin. I grew up on Bragg and still put Bragg’s aminos on everything, whether it’s Chinese or Italian!
Bragg was a part of my life, we bought all the products! I had no idea how much extra love and nourishment I was getting and how ahead of her time she was. That’s why I get so starstruck by Patricia Bragg, because I know what she built and what she represent. I get it!
Clean beauty is so important. I idolize the attention to detail that Bragg has always used. There’s a video of Patricia online talking about olive oil and how she puts olive oil on her skin; she has so much passion, elegance, grace, strength and power.”
“Young people are now willing to spend more for their health and organic products. People must have thought Paul Bragg was crazy! He and Patricia Bragg were so far ahead of their time. How incredible of Patricia Bragg to leave the legacy she is. It’s all about joy and it emanates out of her! I think she’s so good and she’s so infectious and so powerful because she’s so passionate. She lives and breathes it. She’s real. That’s why I get so starstruck by Patricia Bragg, because I know what she built and what she represents. I get it!”
“I was a competitive surfer and yet, growing up on Kauai, I didn’t feel beautiful. I wasn’t the ideal. There, at that time, beauty meant dark skin and light eyes. It was about being a local girl and I wasn’t. I am still that same freckly insecure little girl.”
Embued with her mother’s work ethic, although she looks like a super-model, Malea is down-to-earth, warm and generous; she makes everyone feel like her best friend. When asked what beauty means to her, she lit up like the sun:
“Now, I feel beauty is when there is something that emanates from you that catches someones’s eye. Beauty is an essence. I think growing up where my life was not centered around material things to make me happy, made me who I am. The values were about being very grounded asa person, making genuine friends and being real. Kauai still humbles me, my mother humbles me. I have learned life is about being willing to put in the work, to finish things you begin. I like to work hard, I like to see things come to fruition; I am so passionate that when I care about it I have tunnel vision!! And hard work doesn’t scare me.”
I feel the most beautiful with no makeup, slathered in face oil and being me. I feel beautiful done up on set, but I feel more insecure on a red carpet dolled up than going into an audition with no makeup. If I’m uncomfortable, if my jeans are too tight, or I wore an outfit that’s a terrible choice; I don’t feel beautiful.
I have been mixing my own skin care products forever, using rich, organic oils and essential oils, trying to figure out what would work for my skin. At the end of the day, all of our chemistry is different. I have never been able to find a skin care line that makes up for dehydration. When I began acting, I discovered that I would get break-outs from the skin care and make up.
When I moved to Los Angeles from Kauai, i was used to clean, fresh air. All of a sudden, I was working on sets with nonstop makeup and powder, and they cake it on again and again, and it was absorbing right into my face! I began making my own potions and lotions. I had terrible rashes from allergies and I couldn’t find anything. I love acting, but I hated waiting on other people. That was so hard! I have never been able to sit around and wait for something to happen! I don’t want my source of happiness to be in other people’s hands…
The women I was playing in films were stereotyped, they were not empowered women; they weren’t as smart as I’d like to portray women. I want to have something that I am passionate about, that is my baby! Every color, smell, ingredient, artwork, every element is mine, and it’s so exciting to see it come to fruition. The trials and tribulations of one’s own product!
I began making potions for my friends, and when it comes to beauty from within, what is better than seeing your best friends feel beautiful? Now I can do that on a macro level. It’s beauty, health, wellness, along with the benefits of CBD, and I can share that with the world. This is grass roots, I am the janitor, designer, formulator (with my lab) I designed every piece, choosing this shade of pink…
It represents so much, especially during times like this. I want say to women, it’s OK to live life through rose colored glasses, to see life more beautiful! Most Anti-aging products are not cute or pretty. I want pink and pretty and the best of nature and science on my skin. The butterflies on the boxes represent the process we all go through, the metamorphosis. They represent growth and power.
My company has been formed by women entirely. I have outsourced to women from Serbia, Berlin, and made friends in the process. The women who work in packaging, now they are women I’ve called to consult. Everyone has been gracious and wonderful, but the bottom line is it’s me.
I am so happy to bring hemp to the world. Not only are these products anti-aging, they make you happy. I think stress, sadness, pain rob us of our beauty. I wake up and I take 10 minutes to myself, to think of what I’m grateful for. I say positive affirmations and visualize having a fabulous day. A lot of my self care is caring for my body and mind. If I’m going to eat that bag of cookies, you’re going to see it on my face as a break out! Stress eating is a disaster. My beauty ritual is Self Love. Smiling is wonderful.
And, I am in business that I genuinely love. My goal is to bring clean beauty to the world, beauty from the inside out. Isn’t that what it’s really about?”
Yes, Malea, that is what it’s all about. And, by the way, LaVieEnRose Skin Products are incredible! My skin is softer and smoother after just two weeks. It’s an honor to share a natural beauty product made with consciousness and care. We love you, Malea, and we wish you all the success in the world!