By Nicole Fuge, Mama Disrupt® Managing Editor
Denise Vasi was made for motherhood. Or should I say, Maed for motherhood?
Having forged a successful career as a model and actress, everything changed when she became a mama. It was as if her body, mind and soul were reborn. Everything realigned.
Now, this gorge beauty mama-of-two is not only raising healthy children and leading by example, but she is following her own mother’s advice. Which we just love.
“My mother raised me by herself until I was 12 years old,” she says. “So she ingrained in me the importance of being independent.
“I learned to be a self-starter, to go out and get what I wanted, and to look for love within myself first.”
As a woman of colour and a clean beauty lover, Denise has built a brand focused on diversity, inclusivity and accessibility to people of all ages, sizes and colours through her increds beauty + wellness platform, Maed, which is inspiring women to be their best selves.
MD® chatted to Denise from her home in Venice, Los Angeles, where she lives with her hubby Anthony, their six-year-old daughter Lennox Mae and two-year-old son Dries.
Before becoming a mama Denise says she was “travelling and drinking a lot of tequila”, featuring in skincare and make-up campaigns for major beauty brands [which was a big game changer!], and starring in prime time television series Single Ladies.
Life was great. Denise was in her element. Or so she thought… turns out, her true life’s calling was just around the corner.
I took six pregnancy tests! Four of which were taken in a local restaurant because I could not believe I was truly pregnant.
When I called my OB/GYN’s office and asked to come in for some blood work, she asked me for the first day of my last cycle. After calculating the dates, she said “Oh honey, you’re not coming for your blood work, you’re coming for your first prenatal exam. You’re five weeks pregnant!”
I’ve never been regular and so I was pretty shocked. It definitely explained why I was exhausted every day by 11AM.
Revealing the news
With my first pregnancy, I was on hiatus from the TV show, so I didn’t have to tell anyone and I basically stayed home until I made it past the first trimester.
With my second pregnancy, I was running Maed, so I didn’t have to necessarily hide it from anyone I worked with, but I did keep it under wraps for four months! Which wasn’t easy because my bump got big quickly. No one noticed that I was always in the same two black sweaters and a leather jacket all day long, regardless of the weather.
I was very nervous about my second pregnancy. I think I was so worried because in the span of time between the two pregnancies. I had seen a lot of tragedy. Girlfriends who couldn’t conceive, friends who miscarried, and my best friends who lost their baby about two months after she was born.
Telling them I was pregnant was definitely one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life.
Preparing for birth
I did it all! I had two home births, so I did every and anything available.
Meditation, hypnobirthing, kundalini yoga, birthing classes, breastfeeding classes, reflexology, prenatal acupuncture, prenatal chiropractic massage, vision boards, blessingways, mantra writing… you name it, I did it.
The most helpful was my mediation practice.
But my husband would probably say that the “Roadside/Emergency Birth” portion of the new parent class was most helpful. My midwives were stuck in traffic while I gave birth to my daughter on my bathroom floor.
Motherhood: expectation vs. reality
I honestly had zero expectations. I was never the girl who thought about being married and having kids.
In fact, I will never forget looking up from my three day old daughter and wondering… “Who’s going to watch this kid when I go back to set?”
I never did go back to set! I guess you could say I didn’t expect to fall in love with motherhood.
Biggest challenges in motherhood
Finding the time to do it all. I want to be with my kids all the time. I want to be there for every first; I don’t want to miss a thing, but I also love working. I love creating, I love time to myself, and I love one-on-one time with my partner.
The moment that changed it all…
Was when I realised that I didn’t want to raise my daughter on a TV show set.
I knew I had to find something to fill my desire to create but I wanted it to be on my own terms so that I could still spend time with my family.
At the time everything I was sharing about my life, beauty routines, and wellness was purely out of my desire to continue creating.
As my community organically grew, they encouraged me to launch my own platform and that’s how I ventured in the digital space and founded Maed.
What would you tell yourself back when you were a new mama:
Trust your instincts!
What’s been the biggest ‘aha’ moment for you lately?
Work-life balance is an illusion.
Denise’s Fav 5
1 // Healthy habit from acting and modelling: Healthy eating for healthy skin.
2 // Habit you’ve discovered as a mama: Practising self-care.
3 // Clean beauty go-tos: Kora Organics Turmeric 2-in-1 Brightening and Exfoliating Mask, Biossance’s Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen, Wildling’s Empress Gua Sha Stone, Kosas Revealer Concealer, and Saie’s Dew Blush.
4 // Way to move your body: Dance!
5 // Form of self-care: Without a doubt my skincare and beauty routines.