How Maia Alejandro Is Creating Clean Nail Polish for Your Wellbeing

November 03, 2021
Caitlyn Martyn
By: Caitlyn Martyn | Makeup.com by L'Oréal
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Simple rituals like applying a hair mask or painting your nails might not feel monumental, but these acts of self-care can help shape your mindset in a big way. And for Maia Alejandro, founder of clean nail polish brand For Tmrw, sharing the idea that you can improve your life by indulging in small moments of peace has become her life’s mission. Ahead, the former social worker explains how nail polish and mental health are connected, why self-care is essential and how to embark on your own self-love journey. 

What inspired you to start For Tmrw?

In 2018, I was experiencing a high-risk pregnancy and at that same time, my cousin was diagnosed with breast cancer. Together, we learned about the toxic ingredients in the products we’d been taught to use as children, especially as part of the Afro-Latin community. It blew my mind. This was the catalyst that made me break into the clean living world. I was a clinical social worker in New York for about 10 years, so it’s in my nature to want to help other people live a better life. I kept wondering how I could share what I learned with the community and so I decided to start a clean beauty business. For me, nail polish reminded me of the beautiful moments I spent painting my nails on the weekends with my aunt. It made sense to start with what I knew — nail polish. 

You pivoted from social work to interior design to a clean beauty brand. Were the transitions difficult?

It was so hard. But, I was never afraid, although maybe I should have been. When I want to do something, I just go for it and don’t let anyone stop me. I’ve jumped around a lot but I believe that each career change made sense for me. Through my mental wellness knowledge, interest in design and my love of color, the ultimate goal has always been to help others live their best lives.

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Do you have a favorite shade of For Tmrw nail polish? 

We just won Allure’s Best of Beauty Award for the For Later nail polish shade. It’s my favorite. It’s a super creamy pink with a bit of beige and it looks good on everyone. It was very important to me that all of the shades look great on every skin tone, specifically shades like red that can get tricky with different skin tones. We recently launched three sheer shades to accentuate the natural shade of your nail bed. I like to think of these sheer polishes as athleisure for your nails and as a way for you to appreciate yourself and your natural beauty. It’s all about self-love.

Can you tell me about your work with the Sad Girls Club? 

Right now, we donate 5% of our net sales to the Sad Girls Club, which is a mental health organization for young women. The money we provide goes directly to Soul Sessions, which are virtual one on one or group therapy sessions for women that can’t afford it.

Do you have a self- care routine? How do you promote wellness throughout your everyday life?

I take a lot of baths. Sometimes I light candles and play calming music. I love binaural beats — they really help my brain relax. Also, meditation has changed my life. My advice for anyone trying to get into meditation is to find a time to do it each day. It doesn’t have to be a strict routine and you don’t have to beat yourself up about it, but try to set aside some time for yourself. I also like to journal. These practices help me stay grounded and give me a release so that I can go into each day with a clear mind.  

Do you have any advice — beauty or non beauty — for your younger self?

I would tell my younger self that it’s all going to be okay. And that you should trust your gut, it’ll never lead you wrong. Sometimes you don’t know it right away, but the answers are already within you. Even in moments when you don’t think you’re going to be okay, know that you always will be.

Photo: Courtesy of Maia Alejandro

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