Image consultants believe Mrs Ip may be taking lessons from her rival, who remains, according to political analysts, "100 times more popular with the public". "What colours you choose matters. Think about why Donald Trump wears dark suits but pastel ties. It shows he is powerful but still friendly. Richard Branson chooses beige and khaki to say he is one of the people," said Eve Roth Lindsay of Hong Kong makeup and style consultancy Savvy Style and Colour Me Beautiful HK. "Women always make the mistake of thinking they have to dress like a man to be respected. But if Regina needs to catch up to Anson she has to do more. She doesn't have to choose muted colours like beige and khaki. Men like women to look like women - wear pink."
She added that Mrs Ip should study how Mrs Chan has managed to look tough and approachable at the same time. "Anson Chan has a very feminine look about her that makes her seem very approachable. She chooses soft colours but tailored suits to show control," said Ms Lindsay. Knowing when to tone it down - like wearing a polo shirt, slacks and runners on the July 1 march - also helps. "When Anson speaks it always sounds like she is making a suggestion. If you close your eyes it sounds like she is smiling. Regina sounds like she is ordering you to do something."
Image consultant Tina Liu Tin-lan said that Mrs Chan's consistent style implied that she was someone who paid attention to detail and knew what she wanted. On the other hand Mrs Ip, who goes from sexy low-cut tops to tailored jackets, confused the public as to how she wanted to be seen. "From the variety of looks, one can say [Mrs Ip] does invest attention, time and money into her wardrobe but unfortunately the effort does not produce a coherent flow or positive impact. Her forte does not lie in colour and style co-ordination and she seems to lack attention to fitting," said Ms Liu, who has worked with big names such as Jackie Chan and Gong Li. Gaining public trust, however, is a complicated issue that wearing a different lipstick alone cannot fix. In most cases the person with the better product wins, but when both parties are touting the same line - in this case democracy - communication techniques and personality go a long way. According to Suzanne Watkinson of Connect Communications - their experts worked with US president Ronald Reagan - people who get their personality across easily seem much more trustworthy.
"Anson Chan gets her personality across and seems trustworthy so the public wants to listen to her. But Mrs Ip focuses on the message and seems quite authoritative. You can get your message out to the audience easier if they like you. " Regina needs to learn to smile from the inside when she speaks. She is still playing the bad cop. She has to exude warmth and make the people she is speaking to feel important. She needs to come up with friendly and interesting sound bites." Trustworthiness is a combination of credibility, consistency, emotional connection and how interested the speaker seems in what the audience has to say.
Ms Watkinson explained that people always watch how someone reacts to and answers tough questions, so Mrs Ip should anticipate questions and practise answers ahead of time. In addition, to help herself relax, she should compare how she behaves on home videos to how she appears on television during the evening news. "Show concern and acknowledge that it is a tough situation. Then take action by offering to see what you can do to help. Finally bring in perspective by saying you had never come across that opinion or accusation before," Ms Watkinson said. Mrs Chan used this technique when a protester accused her, on the day of the July 1 march, of trying to destroy Hong Kong and the chief executive purely out of jealousy. Mrs Chan responded by telling the protester she was concerned about her opinion, offered to explain and finally expressed surprise and regret for being unable to settle the misunderstanding. "Anson is always very collected. Regina is very reactive. If she was better prepared she would not have to put her foot in her mouth," Ms Watkinson said.