On style, she rules
My husband and I have been searching for a navy pea coat. We aren't interested in designer brands and want the real deal. Please tell us we have more than a snowball's chance in Hong Kong.
Shivering, Tin Shui Wai
The Dictator rules: The sailors who wear the real pea coats (originally 'p' after the textile used to make it) wouldn't whine and certainly wouldn't shiver in these temperatures. US Surplus Store (shop 4, Yan On Building, 1 Kwong Wah Street, Mongkok, tel: 2780 7803), one of several military supply shops in the area, carries a few black pea coats for men ($1,680). Larger sizes are kept at the warehouse, so call first. Zara (shop 1065, IFC Mall, Central, tel: 2234 7305) also carries some reasonably priced pea coats inspired by the original in velvet with zipped pockets ($1,699) and others in wool viscose mix ($1,299 to $1,649). For a more climate-appropriate version, check out the black cotton coat with quilted lining at Agnes B ($3,680; shop 2088, IFC Mall, tel: 2805 0678). At Lane Crawford (IFC Mall, tel: 2118 3388), try on pseudo pea coats in various lengths and styles, such as a black one with fleece lining by Theory ($3,880), Gazzarrini's black faux suede jacket ($5,600) and the floppy flannel one by Optics in blue or black ($2,300).
I've started wearing red lipstick. It looks sexy, but it stains my lips and looks cheap and nasty in the morning. How can I avoid this?
Stain Alive, Wan Chai
The Dictator: No, no, no. I'm sure you look cheap at night, too. We want long-lasting lipstick but complain when it won't come off. Moisture is your friend, dryness your enemy. Condition your lips before applying lipstick. Dip cotton wool in Baby Oil ($26.90; Manning's, 208 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, tel: 2575 6614) or olive oil and remove the lipstick. Some eye make-up removers with oil may also be used on lips. Try the make-up remover by Stephane Marais ($170) or Eve Lom's Cleanser ($560) from Joyce (shop G106, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2367 8128).
I was recently on a beach holiday and my scalp is flakey. What can I do so people don't think I have dandruff?
Flaking Out, Yung Shue Wan
The Dictator: What's the difference? Flakes of skin are falling out of your hair. Find out what's going on with fancy hair specialists JF Lazartigue (El Beaute, 2B Kingston Street, Causeway Bay, tel: 2890 2601). They'll recommend some of their products like Anti-Dandruff Cream ($215) and the Scalp Revitalizer ($310). Fix it with the fragrant Sage and Cedar Scalp Treatment ($225) by Aesop from Joyce. Looking for a cheap fix? Head & Shoulders now comes with a variety of scents and solutions ($39.90; Watson's, shop B210, Times Square, Causeway Bay, tel: 2506 3081).
A good home remedy for mild cases: gently massage the scalp with a mixture of sea salt and conditioner.