Willow Shields has been playing the role of Primrose Everdeen in The Hunger Games series since she was just 10 years old. So it was a big deal for the now 15-year-old star to hit the red carpet (in Naeem Khan) at last night's Los Angeles premiere for the final film, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 2. "It was very bittersweet," Shields told InStyle when we caught up with her earlier today. "There was so much excitement and we were really lucky to have so many fans there with us for the final premiere—because, really, this was for them."
But it was also a major moment for the cast. "Almost everyone was there, and we were all so excited to be there for the film," said Shields. She ran into her co-star and onscreen big sis, Jennifer Lawrence, on the red carpet—but the two didn't have a chance to chat for long. "I love seeing her at every event, because she's the sweetest thing," said Shields. "I saw her briefly on the carpet but we were both freezing cold, so we ran inside together!"
For Shields, the highlight of the night took place before she event took her seat. "We did a presentation at the beginning where the cast goes on stage and we get to share a moment with the fans," she said. "It doesn't happen very often that you get to go on stage and express your gratitude towards the fans, so to thank them that way was very thrilling."
Shields offered InStyle a behind-the-scenes look at her day before hitting the premiere, and of course we just had to know every detail that went into her primping process. Scroll down to read her exclusive diary.
1. A bolder beauty look
"I never wear much makeup, but I was talking to my makeup artist, Cooper, and I asked him if he thought we should we go with a little more makeup this time. He said to do it, and it was such a different look for me. It still wasn’t that much makeup, but we added a little bit of black liner, which I don't usually wear."
2. A smoky eye
"I felt like this was kind of a 'growing up' moment with my makeup, because it was so much darker than usual."
3. Brow Game on Point
"I’m not very picky about much when it comes to hair and makeup, but the one thing that I'm sensitve about is my eyebrows. I love them to be thick and bold, so usually I just brush them a lot and let them run wild and free. But once in a while, we’ll try to tame them down a bit. Some clear mascara does the trick."
4. Going Natural
"I put on the dress while my hair and makeup team was here, and I asked them what they thought we should do. Ryan [Richman, for Kérastase Paris] does my hair, and he told me to let my hair down because it was in a bun. He said, 'Basically, I want to do that with just a few more waves in it.' I said, 'OK, perfect!'"
5. But First, A Blowout
"When it came to my hair, it was just an instinct thing. It was so perfect that I ended up wearing my hair down and wavy, because it was so windy out at night."
6. Adding some texture
"I just messed with my hair the whole night, because it was very natural for me. I wanted to it to represent me and not be too done-up or glamorous, and I loved that the final look was so close to my natural texture. It was a pretty simple hair situation."
7. Waves Ahead
"Ryan wanted to make the texture even more prominent, and he's a genius with that straightening iron. I’ve never learned how to curl my hair with one, but he’s so legit at it. It’s something that I still need to learn how to do."
8. A Quick Mani
"While he was finishing up my hair, I was busy painting my own nails. I hadn’t seen my family in a few weeks because I’ve been filming a movie, so when I flew in to L.A., I wanted to hang out with them. I didn't want to go sit in a nail salon for an hour and a half, so I decided to do my own nails while I was sitting in the chair. I didn’t do a very good job, but the plum color was very fall-like and went well with the dress."
9. Final Touches
"It got dark really fast in the room, so we were trying to turn on all the lights so that we had good lighting for makeup. We ended up in the bathroom for about 15 minutes at the end to do some last minute touches in good light."
10. The Ultimate Gown
"For every premiere that I’ve gone to for these films, I’ve kind of just known what dress I wanted to wear each time. But this year, I had two dresses that I was going back and forth. But I put the Naeem Khan dress on one more time in the hotel room, and I just knew it was perfect. There aren’t many opportunities where you get to wear a dress like that, so I decided to take the opportunity to have my princess moment. It was just a dress that you felt really good in—and to me, that was the biggest thing."
11. An Elevator Photoshoot
"Before heading out to the premiere, we took the hotel's freight elevator down to the lobby. I love a good photo shoot in an elevator, and this one had a lot of room so I couldn't resist. Then we headed out through a back exit, got in the car, and drove up to the red carpet. It was intense—there were even people playing the drums. In true Hunger Games fashion, it felt like you were in the movie right when you got there."
12. A Nod to Prim
"I always picked these sweet looks for the past premieres, and so at first, I thought that I would wear something really edgy and out of the box for the final one. But I loved the vintage look of this Naeem Khan dress, which I paired with Bavna earrings. And not only did I love it, but I also wanted it to be partially Prim’s choice, too, in a way. I wanted it to be inspired by her, which I thought was very fitting."