05 January 2021

Mavala jewel of Swiss beauty, with Doris Maute Bobillier the story goes on

by Eugénie Rousak


An iconic Geneva brand, Mavala has proudly borne the name of its founder, Madeleine Van Landeghem, for more than half a century. Now led by another exceptional woman, Doris Maute Bobillier, she traces her history between the heritage of her legendary products and the avant-garde innovations of today’s ranges. Already attracting the third generation in more than 100 countries, the House remains firmly attached to its values as a family-owned cosmetics company. Almost all of the 700 beauty and skincare products are still manufactured at the Carouge factory, promoting the “Made in Switzerland” emblem on all five continents.

The story of the one that will revolutionize the nail polish industry, begins timidly in the kitchen of an apartment in downtown Geneva. A beautician, Madeleine Van Landeghem, noticed that one of the products she used to disinfect her instruments also had the ability to strengthen her nails. Entrepreneur at heart, she then joined forces with a chemist and engineer friend to finalize in 1959 the first formula of a nail hardener. The famous Scientific Mavala was born. A few years later, the Maute family took Mavala’s destiny into their own hands to lead the company through time. “I fell into it as a child, grew up with Mavala and lived Mavala at home, since both my parents worked in the company. And yet I decided to go in a different direction. After studying law, I practiced in a law firm as a lawyer for about ten years. I was used to carrying out a few legal projects for the family business and gladly participated in international exhibitions, but the question of joining the family business only really arose in 1999, when I became pregnant. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, I realized that I needed to create, to physically produce something. I told my father about it and he said I was welcome at Mavala, but I had to learn everything from scratch. That’s exactly the challenge I started to take on four months after giving birth! Twenty years later, I am still with the company! And it’s so much more fun and rewarding to work in cosmetics,” explained Doris Maute Bobillier, Managing Director of Mavala.

©Mavala, Mavala School 1967 Bond Street, UK

The success story celebrates its diamond wedding anniversary

If there is one product that has dethroned the popularity of the famous Scientific Mavala, it is surely Mini Color’s practical and economical. The small bottle of only 5ml allows to keep the quality of the varnish while giving the possibility to enlarge its collection thanks to its mini price. And this format still seduces, as it did on the first day… almost 60 years ago already! In the meantime it has had time to develop into 300 shades, to sell millions of copies and even to have its own wall in Geneva. This is no joke! “Over the years, we have collected a long list of anecdotes about this range, and if the kitchen and the motorcycle repainted with our varnish surprised us, the most spectacular remains the wall in the Geneva Caves district. We were contacted by an artist, whose idea was to cover with thousands of small brushstrokes of varnish a three meter high and ten meter long façade with one of our shades of pink. Two liters of varnish and only three brushes later, the project was born! “smiles Doris Maute Bobillier.

Taking care and then beautifying


The director emphasizes: “For us, the importance of care is obvious. We must first maintain and preserve our health, the quality and beauty of our nails, our hair and our eyelashes in their natural state and then make them up. Hiding a yellowed nail with nail polish is not the best strategy! ». That’s why Mavala’s history is marked by the launch of flagship products, such as the emblematic Nutrient Concentrate for Eyelashes in 1967, the Hyaluronic Acid Hand Repair Cream twenty years later and the Foot Beauty Line in the 1990s. The technological advances of the laboratories of the 21st century have broadened the possibilities of the House in the field of skin care and beauty, which recently presented its brand new line: MAVALA Swiss Skin Solution. “Women know perfectly well their skin problems, but do not know how to determine its type, which is fundamental in the choice of cosmetics.

For example, it is not possible to respond in the same way to dehydration, i.e. a lack of water, as it is to drought, i.e. an absence of lipids. For this line we have therefore decided to target visible symptoms or problems, such as pimples, itching, redness, etc., rather than using skin types or ages. “explains Doris Maute Bobillier. The other particularity of this range for both women and men – like all Mavala skin care products – is the use of Swiss alpine botanical resources. Apricot pulp, alpine willowherb, mallow flower and Alpine water enrich the multi-sensory textures of the different treatments.

The new formulas

Avant-garde in its compositions and regularly ahead of industry principles, Mavala promotes responsible cosmetics. The improvement of formulas and the use of ingredients more respectful of the environment is done through a battery of tests to maintain the performance of care and beauty products. “We started our activity when the industry was very free, but it was absolutely necessary to regulate it. Unfortunately, today’s constraints are often to the detriment of customer comfort and sometimes lead to new difficulties. For example, the introduction of many parabens a few years ago led to the concentration of the types authorized by all the brands, which resulted in a significant cumulative exposure of the same substance for the consumer causing allergies in numbers.

This replacement preservative has just been banned. At the same time, parabens were rehabilitated in cosmetics! The current trend of organic at all costs also has harmful consequences, since the natural can be very allergenic. For the safety but also the satisfaction of the consumer, it is necessary to privilege a balance between the new trends and the scientific bases. This is precisely our objective for the next 60 years! “concludes the director.

The five fetish products of Doris Maute Bobillier, general manager of Mavala :

Volume & Length Cream Mascara
Launched in 2011, this regenerating mascara with oat extract helps preserve the flexibility of lashes while giving them volume.

Mava+ Hand Cream
Specially designed for dry and damaged skin, this cream contains viperine, sunflower and wonder pea oils as well as shea butter.

Barrier-Base + Varnish + Top Coat Gel Finish
Winning trio to moisturize, beautify and protect nails, while giving them a gel effect without the use of a UV lamp.

Fatigue Relieving Emulsion for Legs
Developed to refresh heavy and tired legs, the Relaxing Emulsion is applied in light circular massages for immediate relaxation.

Khol-Soft pencil
Available in a variety of shades, the all-new Khol-Soft Pencil deposits color intensely, without weakening the delicate eye contour and eyelid area.

Follow Mavala on social media:
Instagram @mavala.suisse
Facebook Mavala Switzerland

Crayon Khol-Soft,

Relaxing Emulsion Legs, Mavala

Top Coat Gel Finish, Mavala

Mini varnish Edinburgh, Mavala


Mava+ Hand Cream, Mavala

Volume & Length Mascara, Mavala