On style, she rules

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 18 July, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 18 July, 2004, 12:00am

I am a big fan of Peter Thomas Roth's skin lightener for my brown spots and don't really want to change brands, because it works! Can I buy it in Hong Kong?

Pale And Interested, Kowloon Bay

The Dictator rules: For such a big fan you don't seem to know much. Peter Thomas Roth makes a few skin-lightening products, including Potent Skin Lightening Gel Complex, Potent Skin Lightening Lotion Complex and Ultra-Gentle Skin Lightening Gel Complex. The brand also makes a few brighteners: Aha/Kojic Under Eye Brightener, Potent Botanical Skin Brightening Gel Complex, Potent Botanical Skin Brightening Lotion Complex, Power K Eye Rescue and Ultra-gentle Botanical Skin Brightening Gel Complex. I suggest you consult an aesthetician at Frederique Spa (4/F, Wilson House, 19 Wyndham Street, Central, tel: 2522 3054), which carries part of the line, including the Potent Skin Lightening Gel Complex ($560). The lighteners have hydroquinone, a topical agent that decreases melanin production, and comes with a long list of warnings. They include some scary stuff about avoiding sunlight and not knowing its effects on unborn children.

I would love one of those ultra-thin hair straighteners but I haven't been able to find one. Please tell me where I can get one.

In A Tizz, Sheung Wan

The Dictator: I don't know in which century you bought your last hair straightener but there are a few 'thin' ones around. Negative ions are a popular way to straighten hair, often using ceramic instead of metal plates. The Vidal Sassoon Ceramic Slim with ceramic plates and a heat-control dial sounds ideal for you ($299; Sogo, 555 Hennessey Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 2833 8338). The Panasonic Ionic Straightener works based on the same principle but is slightly larger ($278; Wing On, Cityplaza, 18 Taikoo Shing Road, tel: 2885 7588). It's a revolutionary idea but you could visit one of the many Fortress shops (for locations visit www.fortress.com.hk or call the customer service hotline: 2555 5788). You will find some that use steam - the Braun Independent Steam and Straight ($348); the Vidal Sasson Steam Straightener ($188) - and a teeny-bopper version in sparkly purple, the Conair Print & Crimp ($149). A word of advice: skip the crimping.

I'd like one of those sexy one-piece swimsuits with the low neckline and cut-out holes. Where can I get one?

A Cut Below, Repulse Bay

The Dictator: Wow, you obviously know about tanning because those cut-outs are going to make great tan lines. The pleated Gucci ones that were featured everywhere are out of stock. If you want to turn heads, check out Missoni (shop 214, The Landmark, Central, tel: 2845 7632), which has a pink one-piece with a low neck (originally $3,500, now $2,100). There is also a halter, low V-neck, bare-back look at Dior in logo print blue or burgundy ($1,800; shop G01, 1 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2269 5000) and at Louis Vuitton in chocolate brown with faux tortoiseshell details ($3,500; shop 351A, Pacific Place, Admiralty, tel: 2736 6100). Jilian (31C Wyndham Street, Central, tel: 2826 9295) has the sassiest selection of cut-out swimsuits: a black Eres number with a high strap across the neck and decollete ($2,070); a python-print suit ($3,120) by Rosa Cha and a salmon-pink one-piece by Poisson d'Amour ($1,300). There are budget versions by Gottex at Attitudes ($200;

5/F, 73 Wyndham Street, Central, tel: 2525 9296).