I'm always on the lookout for those sexy stockings with the line up the back. Now I want something different. Is it possible I recently spotted some with a coloured line instead of the usual black?
Toeing the Line, Bowen Road

The Dictator rules: Anything's possible. I'm not being sarcastic. I really mean that you have more choice than ever, especially since leggings pulled "pantyhose" out of the embarrassing bin a few years ago. Back seams are everywhere, from The Lanes to Marks & Spencer. Agent Provocateur trades almost exclusively in seamed stockings and hold-up thigh-highs (HK$390 to HK$465; Lane Crawford, IFC Mall, Central, tel: 2118 7658). You'll love its red seams on navy or black, and might just love their snake seams, or the words "whip me" trailing up the back of each leg. The more conservative will be reassured to know that even luxury French brand Fogal advocates coloured seams. Its new Provocation line comes in black with a red seam, nude with a black seam and the bestselling teal with a purple seam (HK$420; The Landmark, Central, tel: 2526 1751). For variations on the theme, there is Wolford's Marlene beige and black seam stocking modified by a hand design at each heel (HK$490; Prince's Building, Central, tel: 2526 8078) and the opaque black Brilliant with ribbon lacing up each seam (HK$1,690). See also: imaginative House of Holland (HK$249) and Pretty Polly (HK$129) designs at Private Shop (The Landmark, tel: 2877 5655).


I heard of a good brand called Jane Iredale and I'd like to try natural mineral make-up for my sensitive skin. Can I try it and buy it in Hong Kong?
Mineral Spirit, Mid-Levels

The Dictator: Jane Iredale is a great brand, but hold on a second. In many countries, the regulations on calling make-up "mineral" are as murky as labelling food "organic". It's actually about what you're NOT getting, so read the fine print to avoid chemical dyes, fragrances, parabens and mineral oils. What's more, make-up marketed as mineral is not necessarily (read: rarely) 100 per cent natural. Common ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are synthesised in a lab. This category shares a commitment to pure pigments applied in ultra-fine particles (also debated). But to answer your question, we discovered the excellent Jane Iredale line when it was launched at the Mandarin Salon (Mandarin Oriental, 5 Connaught Road, Central, tel: 2825 4800). For the full list of stockists in town, visit www.janeiredale.com.hk We've heard it described as low-maintenance cosmetics for high-maintenance skin. In addition to its mineral ingredients, the range is vegan, gluten-free, and certified as cruelty-free by Peta. And prices are surprisingly fair. The collection includes make-up for lips (HK$100 to HK$320), eyes (HK$100 to HK$650), complexion (HK$300 to HK$490) and much more. Other mineral cosmetics brands available in Hong Kong include: BareMinerals by Bare Escentuals and MIMC.



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