Monica Bellucci says lipstick is the ''most valuable weapon in a woman's make-up kit''.

The Italian actress was recently named as the new face of Dolce & Gabbana's lipstick range and she says the cosmetic item has always been an essential to her.

She said: ''Lipstick is the most valuable weapon in a woman's make-up kit.

''It has the power to transform the appearance and mood of the person wearing it, and, at the same time, arouses the admiration of everybody else.

''You can't imagine how excited I am about being Domenico and Stefano's Muse for this collection. The three of us have been friends for a long time.''

The limited edition collection consists of six lipsticks all inspired by her.

Dolce & Gabbana said in a statement: ''We adore Monica, and we've worked with her many times over the last twenty years. Her beauty is timeless and never ceases to inspire us.

''She represents the Dolce & Gabbana woman perfectly. She's dazzling - a true Italian icon.''

The designers named each of the lipsticks, which range from a creamy beige to an intense red, after the adjectives they commonly use to describe her: Magnetic; Only; Natural; Italian; Chic; and Attractive Monica.