#TuesdaysWithLarry: The Strangest Beauty Requests I’ve Received

And what we can all learn from them

After almost 16 years of experience in the beauty industry (with the first six on the retail floor), I’ve seriously heard a lot of BS and strange requests coming from different people.

Some are jaw-dropping, some make you go WTF, and some will make you wonder if the person has launched their brain into space and is never getting it back.

Yes, #BitchyOverlyHonestLarry is back again after taking a few weeks off because I was trying to be #NiceEducationalLarry. 

This is going to look like a Reddit post, so hold on to your panties and enjoy the ride!  

A fair-skinned Chinese customer walked to the counter I was at and said: “I’m inspired by this look and I want to look like this for my dinner party later tonight.”

She showed me a picture of J.Lo – that iconic one from the Grammys in 2000 where the star flaunted glowing, bronzed skin in an emerald green, plunging Versace dress.

Then she added: "But I don’t want to look too tanned, just bronzed." 

My reply? “Madam, I can’t do that. I’m not a spray-tanning machine, nor a plastic surgeon.” 

Let’s get this right: If you want to look bronzed but don’t want to appear tanned, you’re basically asking a sundried tomato to look light beige. 

A lady with thin lips wanted a strong red lip to look “fresher”. 

I worked on her for an hour to even out her skin tone and give her a light glow, with naturally filled in brows and balmed lips for a soft pout.

After which she said: “Oh I love the makeup. But can you give me strong red lips? It will give my face a fresher feel…”

My reply? “Madam, I would love to. But the red lips will make you look like there was an accidental cut on your mouth, and it was left as a scab.” 

Let’s get this right: There’s a limit to how much you can make thin lips look thicker. Makeup artists tend to avoid strong colours on thin lips because they bring all attention to the mouth, which will end up appearing like we used a red marker to draw a subtract sign on the face.

Miss Full Brows came to me and said: “I want my brows fuller and filled in like KimK, because I think that will bring more focus to my face.”

My reply? “Sweetie, your brows already almost meet each other in the middle. Do you really want to build another Singapore-Johor causeway to connect them?”


Let’s get this right: There is a difference between full brows and tragic ones. We shouldn’t just blindly follow some IG celebrity. Plus remember, what you see has probably been heavily MeiTuXiuXiu’d or Facetuned to make everything look fake-smooth and smaller. 

Your brows must always be worked according to your face shape. Overly drawn ones will take attention away from your beautiful features and cut your facial proportion into halves. #HumanNotHumptyDumpty

“I want K-brows because they make me look younger,” said a customer with a heart-shaped face.

 Then she sat down for her makeover.

My reply? “Is that why you look like you’re constantly frowning and your eyes look listless?” 

Let’s get this right: Like I’ve mentioned a zillion times, these so-called K-brows aren’t suited for all face shapes. If you don’t have an oval face, they probably don’t suit you. Those with heart, round and square facial structures who insist on drawing K-brows will find that their face ends up looking bigger than a flatscreen TV - and those with a broader jawline might even end up like Oscar the Grouch.

Once again, we must draw our brows according to our face shape. Not beat the face into shape to suit the brows. 

“I want bright, shimmery eyes and thick lashes to open them up, said one customer with puffy eyes.

My reply? “Do you want me to make you look like you belong in outer space so you can go home and join E.T.?

Let’s get this right: Shimmering shadows bring light to the applied areas. Adding shine to puffy eyes will create an even more obvious dimension around the eye area, and make it look even more puffy.

But this doesn’t mean you can’t brighten puffy eyes. Simply use a pencil liner in the shade of your skin tone to line your waterline and highlight your inner eye. Using a taupe eyeshadow on the moving lid will also help to tone down the puffiness.

Fake lashes with a thicker base (lash spine) will give a better definition to the eyes only where the solid base deepens into the lash line. Piling on too many lashes can result in smaller-looking eyes as this blankets the eye whites. 

“Can you make my skin look brighter?” asked a lady with amazing skin.

The only thing visibly wrong with her skin was that it had “sun spots” on the higher planes of the face, created by excessive sun exposure from afternoons spent golfing. 

When people from our region say they want to look “brighter”, they usually mean they want to look fairer, which I understand is a cultural thing. However, when there is too much contrast between your face, neck and body, you should know that it just makes you look totally washed out.

Let’s get this right: In this lady’s case, what could be done was simply even out her skin tone (that is, tone down the pigmentation) and use a lighter coloured foundation on the higher planes of the face to give it a "brighter" look without compromising the natural skin colour. 

“Doesn’t this make my eyes look bigger? Besides, it looks so natural!” said someone from the beauty industry.

She had single eyelids, but had used a pencil or liquid eyeliner to DRAW in her “double eyelids”.


My reply? Bewildered total silence - as I controlled my urge to wet my fingers with saliva and swipe off that horror from her eyelids. 

Let’s get this right: It’s just mind-boggling to see someone from the beauty industry using stage makeup methods to create something that isn’t there while claiming the look is natural.

Oh... I could go on forever, but then this might become a book. Those in the makeup or beauty retail business, haven’t you faced the same situations that I’ve experienced? 

Till next week! Cheerio!

For more from Larry Yeo, check out #TuesdaysWithLarry: Horrors From The Gym Floor and #TuesdaysWithLarry: Do We Really Need Toners? 

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