Though she’s been in the spotlight for over 10 years, 24-year-old Lily Collins is often described as “fresh-faced”—and with good reason. Whether reporting from the red carpet for Nickelodeon or starring in her first lead role as Snow White in last year’s Mirror Mirror, Collins is a poster child for natural beauty. But now she’s touring the globe in celebration of her new film, Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, based on the best-selling young adult novels, and is switching up her look as often as she changes cities. From her blunt bob to her bold arches, Collins is clearly having fun with hair and makeup, so we asked the ingénue to fill us in on her sources of inspiration.
“Classic. One of Audrey’s most recognizable features are her striking brows—obviously something I notice! I love how they define and add such expression to her face. She was the epitome of a natural beauty—and proves you always have to take care of your skin!”
“She is so effortless all the time and just a stunning woman. Meryl has a natural feel about her: She embraces her age.”
“My mom always taught me that the quirky things that make you different make you beautiful. I always saw her as beautiful because she allows herself to be her age. Because of her, I embrace my eyebrows; I never thought they were a big deal—now they have their own Twitter account!”
Photographer Justin Coit shot Collins in L.A. last week, and the actress was having a ball on the press tour for Mortal Instruments: “I love changing my look so much,” she says, attributing her newfound love for a bold lip to makeup artist Kayleen McAdams. “That’s the point of photo shoots—I want to play dress-up!”
When hairstylist Mara Roszak threw Collins’s hair up into a loose bun, everyone on set thought she resembled Victoria Beckham. But Collins? One look at the monitor and she exclaimed, “I’m my mom!”
“Her punk V Magazine shoot was epic. She always has this utterly classic vibe about her, even when decked out in studs and chains with a mohawk. When Natalie shaved her head, she still looked feminine and beautiful.”
“Her Paper magazine cover with that blond wig was amazing to me because it changed her whole look so drastically. I loved that she was the blondest of blondes and yet still rocked her dark eyebrows.”
“Agyness is sometimes very doe-like and yet can be the definition of British punk. That mixture is so inspiring: feminine and also quite a masculine feel.”
“I’m 24 and I can have more fun,” Collins says of mixing up her look.
“Anne can look so ultra glamorous and yet can do grunge and pretty/dirty so well. I loved when she darkened up her look for Rachel Getting Married and then chopped her hair for Les Misérables. It proves you can do glamour in different ways.”
“I loved how Rooney started experimenting with minimal eye makeup and a bold lip on her The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo press tour. It was amazing to see her transformation; she kept her edge but also made it chic and sophisticated. I think the balance between bold and subtle makeup from look to look was gorgeous and extremely edgy too, reminiscent of Old Hollywood.”
“I’ll always remember Keira’s Chanel ads because she had just chopped her hair into this killer messy bob. She has a stunning face with defined features, and the cut made them stand out even more. She’s gone through lots of different hair transformations, and she seemed redefined with each one.”
After seeing her hair pulled back, we couldn’t let Collins leave without asking if she’d ever go short, like really short. “Yes. Totally,” she says. “When I got back from shooting Mortal Instruments in Dublin, I asked Mara to do something to my hair, and now it’s shorter, a little above my shoulders. I want it tousled and messy but cool and straight—she’s amazing like that. I would for sure cut my hair short.” She says, however, that it’d have to be for a role. Hear that, directors?