The on-demand tailoring of the properties of light, such as phase, polarization or spatial shape, has completely changed the landscape of photonic-based applications. In this way, complex light fields have become an ubiquitous tool in areas of research such as classical and quantum communications, optical tweezers and super-resolution microscopy, among many others. Here we will present some novel applications to optical metrology. First we will show how appropriate tailoring of the properties of light interacting with chiral molecules can enhance their chiral response by two orders of magnitude compared to circularly polarized light. As a second application, we will present a highly sensitive digital technique capable to measure layer thickness in the nanometer regime. This technique is interferometric in nature and contrary to others based on the same principle does not require the highly engineered construction of holders. Finally, we will describe a novel laser remote sensing technique that enables the direct measurement of the transverse component of velocity, a measure that up to now has relied in complicated techniques based on measurements of the longitudinal component of the velocity. This technique offers the possibility to also measure in a direct way the vorticity in fluids, a measure that is commonly measured through the curl of the fluid velocity.