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Rocking this look, #LikeABoss!

HOW IT WORKS: Newsflash! Rocking a strong lippie may make you appear more driven and decisive.

Say what? There’s a burgeoning body of research with one very interesting key takeaway: Cosmetics equals competence in the office. Indeed, some studies even suggest that there may be a “plainness penalty” in play; that is, fine-looking folks get promoted faster than their plainer peers.

Now, beauty bashers may choose to take all of this with a grain of (bath) salt, but hey, no complaints on my end if my makeup stash careens me forward in my career – after all, it is called warpaint for a reason!

So, how can we manipulate makeup to make more money? Here’s the pertinent quote from one of the study’s researchers, Procter & Gamble scientist Sarah Vickery: “There are times when you want to give a powerful ‘I’m in charge here’ kind of impression, and women shouldn’t be afraid to do that by, say, using a deeper lip colour.”

Bingo! Berry, burgundy or Bordeaux lippie may unlock the key to that big pay raise you’ve been eyeing this year – and we’re so down for that!

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HOW TO WEAR: Yes, we’re well aware that a purple pout can teeter all too easily into full-on goth, but the delightful Dollei Seah flirted right to the very edge of costume territory on our model Soon Young by skillfully balancing the murky mauve with the lustrous luminosity of her skin – in other words, this was more glowy go-getting girl than late-night vixen.

But we’re not going to lie: Pulling off a strong lip demands a certain amount of gut. You’re bound to attract stares, so make sure your look-at-me puckers are sending the right message. You don’t want attention to be drawn to creases and crinkles, so moisturise, moisturise, moisturise!

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When you’re all balm-ed up, make like our face painter and hew to the cosmetics equivalent of the legs-or-cleavage rule: Choose to play up your lips or your eyes, not both. For the pillowy protagonists of the show, Dollei ran with a rich ruby satin, so decadent and dark it fully deserves its monied moniker; ask for the Lip Cover in Ruby No.18 at your Burberry Beauty cabin.

To prevent your face from looking bottom-heavy (a pet peeve of ours when it comes to bold lips), make like Dollei and add dimension to your eyes by upping your brow game.

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Now, our model Soon Young’s Korean porcelain mug goes a great deal towards dialling up the drama of her lips, but you can get the same stripped-down skin effect by keeping your face beguilingly bare: Try mixing a drop or two of your favourite go-to serum into a light-lending BB cream-type product like Lancôme’s lovely Blanc Expert Cushion Compact, then buff well with a puff into skin.

If you need extra coverage on spots and such, use a stiff angled brush to pick up some in a shade that’s just a notch lighter that your base, for use as a targeted concealer. The idea here is to create a pleasingly intoxicating contrast between your seemingly nude skin and the plush pigments of your lipstick.

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BEAUTY BONUS: To get your performance-boosting puckers to last through a business lunch and beyond, here’s a personal tip. Try shellacking your entire mouth with a creamy pencil base in a complementary shade (Dollei used M.A.C’s Lip Pencil in Nightingale) before applying your lippie of choice. The pencil will “grab” your lipstick’s pigments much like a facial primer would. Now go out there and paint the boardroom berry!

Photography: Vernon Wong; Art direction: Michelle Tham; Styling: Hong Xinying; Hair and makeup: Dollei Seah of Makeup Entourage (9111 1919), using Lancôme; Model: Lee Soon Young/Nu Models; Dress: COS