After two decades in the esthetics industry, Viktor Michael founders Nadya Kozlova and Shay Sim saw first hand the need for topical products that prepare, heal, and reduce downtime for their clients - particularly ones that receive injections. Their solution? A proprietary Injection Care Complex that includes Arnica, an ingredient well known for its ability to reduce the appearance of bruising, and Bromelain, which reduces pain and swelling. The resulting serum and mask are simple but so effective. Read more about the pair and all of the surprising uses for their hero products below.
What are the words you live by?
“Never forget why we started.”
Who first taught you about beauty?
Shay: From a young age, my mother taught me that caring for yourself was a gift, something to never take for granted. This applied to make up, skin care and overall hygiene. As an immigrant, she did not always have access to that growing up, so when she was able to care of herself, she did it well. We would have beauty nights where she would walk me through her skin care routine and show me new makeup tricks. I had liquid eyeliner down by the time I was 5.
What attracted you to the beauty industry?
Shay & Nadia: The beauty industry was attractive because it is both fulfilling and rewarding. By owning medical spas we get the opportunity to help people beyond the surface. The gratification we feel when providing services and solutions to our client’s concerns is what fuels our passion for innovation.
What was the inspiration for the line? And where does your brand name originate?
Shay & Nadia: The inspiration for Viktor Michael came out of necessity. There was no skincare specifically formulated for pre- and post-injection care, even though cosmetic injections are not new to the market and their popularity is far from slowing down.
Our brand name is a nod to Shay’s late father and Nadya’s late grandfather. Two very special people who we owe our success to.
What is one surprising thing people might not know about the brand?
Shay & Nadia: The use of Viktor Michael expands far beyond the downtime associated with cosmetic injections - it is truly revolutionary for your skin health in between injections or even if you don’t inject at all.
Every day we learn of the new ways people are using our line, from treating sun burns, skin irritation and dry skin to use as a makeup primer and so much more.
What was one of the biggest challenges you faced when you launched?
Shay & Nadia: Our biggest challenge faced when launching was formulation. We had a big idea and even larger expectations. We needed our formula to exceed our own assumptions. Efficacy was everything.
What’s the worst advice you’ve ever received? The best?
Nadya: The worst was to forgo originality and follow the path of previously successful brands, thankfully we didn't follow that advice. The best was to stick to our guns and to see our vision come through precisely as we have imagined it.
What was the first product you developed and why did you create it? What was the most important thing you wanted it to have?
Ready: Pretreat the skin before injections for optimal skin function.
Recover: Help skin recover from post-needle side effects.
Regenerate: Optimize the skin’s recovery and provide skin health benefits during that time.
Radiate: Nourish the skin in phytoactives and antioxidants for optimal hydration and radiance
When creating our formula, we thought of our ingredients first and sourced them with a conscious, clinical focus. We used the EWG scale to evaluate every ingredient we approved.
What is your best selling product and why do you think that is?
Shay & Nadia: Our duo of course! The Serum and Mask. Our duo is sold as one SKU because of their effectiveness when used together. They have been proven to reduce downtime side effects associated with cosmetic injections by 50% or more.
Working in aesthetics, is there a treatment that has been life changing for you?
Shay & Nadia: Hydrafacials and Botox - both instant gratification.
Do you have any tips or tricks you can share for those interested in trying an injectable for the first time?
Shay & Nadia: The best advice we can give anyone considering injections for the first time is: make sure to meet with your injector first and look into their experience - not the abbreviation behind their name. Some of the best injectors are nurses and physician assistants. Find an injector who injects regularly and has a passion and eye for esthetics. And don’t judge your injection for at least a week!
A great trick we love to share is putting the serum on your wrist before injections - the proprietary scent will calm your nerves.
What would you say is the greatest benefit in using Viktor Michael products?
Other than the obvious, such as skin health, radiance and incredible ingredients proven to reduce recovery time, Viktor Michael allows people to take control of their downtime. No more hiding or worrying about your schedule. Viktor Michael provides comfort and peace of mind for a painful treatment that almost always leaves its mark.
It also helps injectors ease their patients' worries knowing they have something new in their toolbox to provide that they haven’t had before.
Who do you look up to in the beauty world?
One that will always come to mind is Estée Lauder, whose success we all strive to achieve. She was a pioneer who broke barriers and created tools we still use today.
What can we expect from the brand in the future? Any exciting news you can share?
We are launching our lip collection this fall! It is geared toward all your lip injection needs and beyond.