November 16, 2011 03:30 PM

Considering we didn’t know there was such thing as glow-in-the-dark makeup, we obviously had no idea how to apply it. But makeup artist Scott Barnes did so expertly in the video for Kelly Rowland’s new single, “Down for Whatever,” which features a scene shot using black lights.

“It’s fluorescent, it looks like paint,” Barnes tells PEOPLE of the Make Up For Ever Fluo Night Black Light Pigment. “Remember finger paint? That’s what it looks like.” But even the expert had a hard time at first. “Trying to apply it is not easy,” he warns. “I’d never done it before. If I were to do it again I’d use an airbrusher, to make it softer.”

The application was made even harder by the lighting; Barnes had to make Rowland up using the black light since fluorescent makeup isn’t perfectly visible to the naked eye. But with just 45 minutes to do her eyes, lips, cheeks and nails, he needed to move quickly. “Kelly was like, ‘Just do you, make me look sick.’ She’s great to work with,” Barnes says. “So professional — she gets it done, no complaining.”

Barnes, who’s done video makeup for Jennifer Lopez, Mary J. Blige, Eve and Celine Dion — not to mention red-carpet looks for dozens of other stars — says he enjoys getting girls glam for their videos. “You can just go for it — it’s more open,” he shares. “It’s a little bit of fantasy involved with a little bit of reality, and that’s what I love about it.”


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