Monica, The Beautiful
The name Dolce & Gabbana has long stood for a certain kind of femininity. Even when androgyny takes its periodic stronghold on the fashion industry, the Italian brand stays true to its roots, which celebrate curves, class, and good old-fashioned T&A, Sicilian style—an archetype that presumably has its origins in Monica Bellucci. The Italian model and actress has played muse to the house that Stefano and Domenico built for over 20 years, and to pay Bellucci due homage, the designers are launching a new makeup collection this month inspired by her. Six new shades of their Voluptuous lipstick have been named using attributes they associate with the raven-haired beauty: Magnetic Monica is a sophisticated glossy plum; Only Monica is a sweet candy pink-turned-sugared almond; Natural Monica is a creamy taupelike cappuccino; Italian Monica is a bright cherry red; Chic Monica is a soft velvety rose petal pink; and Attractive Monica—Bellucci’s personal favorite—is a seductive, dark crimson. “I wasn’t in the lab,” Bellucci admits about her part in the collaboration. “But we talked about the shades. Women choose colors depending on the mood of the day, how we feel, our state of mind—and that’s why we created each of the different shades”—so there’s a bullet for every woman, or every Monica, as the case may be. Here, the 47-year-old sounds off on the transformative power of lipstick, feeling sensual rather than sexy, and why “taking sun” isn’t something she’s willing to give up in the name of eternal youth.
After countless fashion shows, collaborations, campaigns and the like, can you remember when you first met Stefano and Domenico?
Easy. I was a young model, I was doing fittings and castings and I went to see them and I did my first fashion show [with them]. Can you imagine! For me it was great, because those two young people at the time, people were talking about them already, like “Oh, these two stylists are so great—have you heard about them?” So, they were brand-new and everybody was talking about them already. After 25 years—my God!—it’s incredible; we’ve done all these things together and after all these years, after all these campaigns, they came to me again and asked me to do their makeup.
Are you a big lipstick wearer in your “normal” life?
I do like to wear just a little lipstick, some mascara—simple things for myself. I like to please myself. I think to put even just a little lipstick is such a traditional attitude from our mothers and grandmothers, so it’s something that we see from when we are a child. When my two little girls see me put some makeup on they want some too.
Do you have a favorite shade from the new collection?
I like the red one [Attractive Monica]. But you can’t wear red every day. Because when you wear red everybody looks at you; you’re under the spotlight. You have to be prepared, because sometimes you don’t want to be the center of attention.
What about the rest of your beauty routine? Are there other products that you swear by?
Dolce & Gabbana mascara. Sometimes, even though you’re tired and you didn’t sleep during the night because of the kids doing something, you have just a bit of mascara and you look less tired. I don’t wear foundation every day, but I could have like a light cream—I like Dr. Hauschka because it’s so simple—or something to protect my face, even though I’m one of those people that sometimes takes sun.
You do? No one ever admits to that! Do you wear SPF?
Si, but I don’t stay [out] a long time, like 10 minutes. I know that’s not so great, but you get older anyways—even if you take sun! At this point it’s better to get older and be happy than be frustrated.
Were you surprised when Stefano and Domenico asked you to star in their new makeup campaign, as opposed to one of the younger models that frequently walks in their shows and appears in their ads?
I think that to choose an adult woman proves their love and respect of women, and says to women, “Even though you’re not young anymore, there’s another kind of beauty that comes later—something in your look that life can give to you.” You can be over 40 and you can feel sexy, even though the biological beauty sense of youth is not there anymore. I think I prefer [the word] sensual. I think sexy is a thing for a very young girl. I like to talk about sensuality and elegance, you know? I think it’s very interesting to move from one thing to the other.
What makes you feel sensual?
It’s a state of mind. It’s not about shape—it’s about attitude. It’s a completely other way to see things. It’s not you anymore at the center of attention; it’s your kids. To move from childhood to an adult state of mind is the most difficult thing for all of us. Maybe that’s why I wanted to have children when I was older, because I wasn’t ready for it; I was into myself.
But you have two beautiful daughters and are all the more gorgeous for it. How do you stay in shape?
After my second child, I realized that I had to take care of myself, and I’m so lazy about those kinds of things. So, that’s why now I try to be more careful with food and try to be really active when I can and go to the gym, but the thing is, I get really bored if I do the same things! I like yoga but I travel a lot so sometimes to be regular is very difficult for me.
Is there anything you do to pamper yourself when you get a little downtime?
[Laughs.] I just take a bath! To have those 45 minutes, or one hour, just for you and have time to give yourself love, it’s so important.
Dolce & Gabbana The Makeup Monica Lipstick, $32 each, available May 15 at www.saks.com.