The most drastic local celeb makeovers

These stars were rendered unrecognisable by their new looks 

Kewei goes pink
Kewei goes pink
29 Feb 2016

Kewei goes pink

Last week, Tay Kewei lightened her hair from blackish-red to something that looks like it came straight out of My Little Pony, courtesy of Shunji Matsuo.  While it's taken us awhile to get used to this new look, we can’t say this is the most we’ve ever been surprised by a makeover.

Whether they were in costume, were posing for a magazine cover, were shooting an ad, or were simply trying something new, here are the times our stars deviated the most from their usual style. 

Instagram: @keweitay

Ya Hui tips the scale
Ya Hui tips the scale
29 Feb 2016

Ya Hui tips the scale

In 2015, Ya Hui pulled a Shallow Hal by donning a fat suit for Life is Beautiful, where she played an overweight property agent prone to binge eating. With her bowl cut and nerdy specs, the naturally slim and usually stylish actress looked almost nothing like her usual self.

Instagram: @yahuiyh

Joshua Tan, Hong Huifang, and Rui En age overnight for their TV dramas
Joshua Tan, Hong Huifang, and Rui En age overnight for their TV dramas
29 Feb 2016

Joshua Tan, Hong Huifang, and Rui En age overnight for their TV dramas

If you are Joshua, Hui Fang, or Rui En, then you’ll know that getting a makeover can mean aging overnight. Joshua’s was done to comedic effect in A Selfie’s Tale, where his himbotic character imagined what it would be like growing old and narcissistic, while Rui En played an old lady for a scene in The Dream Makers. Meanwhile, Hui Fang endured the process of applying and removing old lady makeup over 40 times just to portray a 100-year-old matriarch in Good Luck. Now that’s dedication.

(Extra shoutout to Joshua for his perfectly bobbed white mane.) 

Instagram: @joshuatwe13; Other photos: Toggle

Desmond Tan, style chameleon
Desmond Tan, style chameleon
29 Feb 2016

Desmond Tan, style chameleon

If there’s one thing we can say about Desmond’s personal style, it’s that he isn’t afraid to experiment – nor does he shy away from looking a little unglam onscreen. In real life, he switches between a manbun, an undercut, a nineties-middle part, and boring ‘ol Caesar as if he were changing shoes. He’s also been covered in dirt for The Journey, has been a hipster gentleman for Men’s Folio, and has tried his hand at old man makeup.

Instagram: @thedesmondtan

Benjamin Kheng, Sonia Chew, Chua Enlai, and Ian Fang cross-dress
Benjamin Kheng, Sonia Chew, Chua Enlai, and Ian Fang cross-dress
29 Feb 2016

Benjamin Kheng, Sonia Chew, Chua Enlai, and Ian Fang cross-dress

One thing’s for sure: Benjamin and Ian are almost too pretty. Benjamin and Sonia swapped outfits for a forfeit, leaving Sonia aghast that he could fit into a UK size 6, while Ian explained on Instagram that this photo was taken during his early days on Rescue 995.

As for Enlai – well, we’d know that face anywhere, but that body looks disturbingly curvaceous.  

Instagram: @ian_ianization, @soniachew; Chua Enlai photo: Toggle

George Young as a nerd
George Young as a nerd
29 Feb 2016

George Young as a nerd

Ugh, ‘90s centre parting, we meet again. George’s look for 2013’s Shy Guys was so convincing, we almost forgot how cute and debonair he is in real life. 

Screenshot: YouTube

Auntified Hayley Woo
Auntified Hayley Woo
29 Feb 2016

Auntified Hayley Woo

Had it not been for her heads-up over Instagram, we never would have recognised Hayley as the kiasu aunty in an NTUC FairPrice’s Chinese New Year commercial.

Screenshot: YouTube

Jeffrey Xu’s adorkable turn in Gonna Make It
Jeffrey Xu’s adorkable turn in Gonna Make It
29 Feb 2016

Jeffrey Xu’s adorkable turn in Gonna Make It

We nearly burst out laughing when we saw Jeffrey step out with mushroom hair and granny glasses for 2013’s Gonna Make It – but it looks like the otherwise stylish young star got the last laugh, having scored an Asian Television Award nomination for the role. 


Bald Bryan Wong
Bald Bryan Wong
29 Feb 2016

Bald Bryan Wong


In that same show, Bryan Wong plays a hair stylist who shaves his head after getting diagnosed with cancer. Sure, hair grows back, but we have to give him credit for going through with it rather than opting for a bald wig. 

Joanne Peh dyes her hair blue
Joanne Peh dyes her hair blue
29 Feb 2016

Joanne Peh dyes her hair blue

Well, colour us surprised: Joanne, who usually sticks to conservative hairstyles, got people talking when she debuted a spiky blue and yellow bob at a Vidal Sassoon event in 2014.  As Singapore’s first Vidal Sassoon ambassador, Joanne entrusted her locks to Hairloom’s Calvin Gan, who chose a look that Joanne has yet to repeat (we can’t imagine that the new mum has time to maintain that kind of dye job.) 

Report a problem