It’s official: Sugarland. Is. Back. The country duo has a new album (out June 8), Bigger, and a new tour this summer after taking a hiatus in 2012, and singer Jennifer Nettles couldn’t be more excited.
“Getting to perform these songs that we haven’t performed in a while together has been so thrilling, but moreover the new music,” Nettles told PEOPLE as she prepped for the video above. “It is absolutely delightful and so joyful to put that new music out there.”
And another thing the star is excited about? Her costumes, designed for her by Christian Siriano. “He has designed some beautiful, beautiful pieces for me,” Nettles said. So naturally, the singer tapped her longtime makeup artist Kristofer Buckle for a beauty look worthy of her wardrobe.
“I wanted the makeup to be that level but I wanted to still be able to do it myself,” Nettles explains. “I’ve done my own makeup on tour since I started. It’s definitely like a transformational part for me, going from the rest of the day into show mode.”
So in preparation for her time on the road, we put Nettles up to the ultimate challenge to see if she’s really ready for the “Still the Same” tour.
The singer and Buckle came to PEOPLE HQ for a game we call “Celeb Beauty School,” and Buckle completed each component of her makeup look, but only on one side of her face (see where we’re going with this?). Then, Nettles had to recreate the look on the other side, in the hopes that, in the end, no one would be able to tell the difference. Watch the video above to see how she fared! (Spoiler: With a couple of exceptions, she passed with flying colors.)
Buckle’s creation, which is inspired by both the Siriano-designed wardrobe and the show’s “vintage circus” theme, is glamorous and shimmery — and even features a few delicate rhinestones. But there are takeaways for those of us who won’t be onstage anytime soon as well.
The look — which the makeup artist created mostly using products from his own Kristofer Buckle collection — begins with contour and highlight — both of which help give the cheekbones and nose structure. (Note: Nettles was prepped with foundation and concealer beforehand.) Contour goes below the cheekbone, while highlighter goes above it to chisel out a strong line. And on the nose, Buckle notes that a bit of highlighter on the tip gives the illusion of a more lifted appearance.
And although Nettles’ eye makeup is on the dramatic side, you can copy many of Buckle’s tips for your next night on the town. For example, a base eyeshadow the same shade as your skin tone helps colors on top pop. And a little white eyeliner in the inner corner of your bottom lid will make you look instantly more vibrant and awake.
But the most stressful part of the process for Nettles comes with the false eyelashes. (They’re using Ardell 600 Wispies.) And she says it was the same back when she starred as Roxie Hart in Chicago on Broadway too.
“People ask me, ‘What’s the most anxious part of doing Broadway?’ and I’m like ‘Girl, putting on my eyelashes!’ I was terrified every night I had to do it.”
The secrets? Put on mascara first, and use either black or clear lash glue — then let it set for a second before you apply the lashes so the glue isn’t too goopy, and sticks right away.
For all of Buckle’s genius tips, watch the video above. And see Nettles’ makeup in-person at Sugarland’s “Still the Same” tour this summer, which runs through Labor Day.
—Reporting by Jackie Fields