Costume drama I'd really like to wow my friends with a spectacular Halloween costume. Where can I get one? Not Dressed Up With Somewhere To Go, North Point The Dictator rules: Whether you mean to buy, rent or custom-order a costume, you're late. Hong Kong's few costume specialists are inundated with requests about this time of year and some are no longer accepting Halloween business. Of course, House of Siren Productions (G/F, 23 Staunton Street, Central, tel: 2530-2371; www.siren.com.hk ) offers a wide selection of costumes for rent and accepts custom orders, all by appointment only. Its selection of elaborate, ready-made costumes covers disco, futuristic, drag-queen, Twenties, Renaissance and turn-of-the-century themes. Hired costumes come with accessories and are yours for three days. Rentals start at $2,000 but do not include styling, hair or make-up. Poseurs with smaller budgets can accessorise fabulously by renting Siren Venetian masks, fancy hats and so on from $600. For a less expensive get-up, try Masquerade (Shop 30, Lower Basement, Luk Hoi Tong, 31 Queens Road Central, tel: 2529-5921), whose costumes come at lower prices: $250 to $500 for two days and a night. Stock gear includes superhero garb, Halloween and period costumes. You can also pick up accessories for doing tricks and masquerade-ball props such as masks, make-up and hats. Or you can contact A-Two Costume Workshop (Room C, 7/F, Adolfo Mansion, 114 to 116 Austin Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2314-1451; e-mail email@example.com ). With no stock costumes, A-Two makes adults' and children's items to order in five to seven days. Now let's just hope your friends will be dressed up too. Driving me nuts I really like Vans shoes, but can't find a pair I saw in a magazine. Who sells them in Hong Kong? Jenn, Jardine's Lookout The Dictator: I can't get out of my head the image of Spicoli, played by Sean Penn, tapping his head with his Vans in Fast Times At Ridgemont High. Please refrain from such behaviour when you come into contact with these shoes. Though not as prominent as other sneakers brands, a small selection of Vans can be found everywhere from Mongkok to mainstream sports shops. Among the best sources are Walker Shops (Shop 627, 6/F, Times Square, Causeway Bay, tel: 2506-1611; Shop 2232, Level 2, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2314-2783; see www.walkershop . com.hk). They carry popular Vans models such as Old Skool and Classic, as well as newer styles (all from $359 to $599). To find the specific Vans you saw, go to www.vans.com , then click on 'Shop' and 'Shoes'. Having found the name of the model check availability with the shops. On golden Ponds I'm in my 40s and make-up has started to make me look older rather than younger. Any tips on turning back the clock with cosmetics? Grace Fully, The Peak The Dictator: Oh sure, and while you're at it, why not demand a map to the fountain of youth? Reality check: ageing is irreversible, even with the best make-up. Instead of trying to look younger, use make-up to look beautiful whatever your age. One common problem with ageing skin is that eyeshadow tends to crease. Try priming your eyelids with a waxy concealer or flesh-toned pencil, such as Shu Uemura's two-tone Cover Crayon, priced $180 (Shop 204, Ocean Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2735 1767) before applying the eyeshadow. Are you finding lipstick now bleeds outside your lip line? Avoid the Ronald McDonald look by lightly dusting around your lips with a small, tapered brush to set the colour. Try Sisley's translucent powder (about $360) available in four shades from Lane Crawford (1 Matheson Street, Times Square, Causeway Bay, tel: 2118-3638). Some make-up artists even recommend giving your face a lift by making your natural shadows lighter. Head to Dior for its Anticerne Perfecteur Hydrating Concealer or Anticerne Diorlift Smoothing Anti-Fatigue Concealer ($153 each from Sogo, 555 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 2893-9020). Then in the privacy of your home, carefully blend a creamy concealer and apply where your mouth creases and just below your nose. This is tricky, so don't step out of the house unless it's convincing. A hairy situation My friends and I are looking for good wigs. Can you recommend anywhere? Hair Today, Mid-Levels The Dictator: Halloween? Hen night? Bank heist? Whatever the reason for this mass wigging, the gear is all within reach locally. For purely silly and cheap wigs, make a beeline for Pottinger Street, Central. Although you'll find lots of interesting stalls, Jolly Wig Shop (G/F, 32 Pottinger Street, Central, tel: 2525-1884) has the best selection of wigs, all for only $130 each. Take your pick of short, long, Rasta and judge styles in natural to outrageous colours. We suggest picking up a curly, rainbow-coloured fleece in true Afro style. To complete the outfit, check out the bunny ears, tiaras, fake teeth, wings, masks and boas ($15 to $300). More serious shoppers might try ABC Wigs Retail Centre (M/F, 440 Chak Fung House, Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2362-1566). It sells everything from synthetic wigs in flashy colours to more believable 'rugs' made from human hair. Choose from stock or place a customised order if you have seven to 10 days to spare. Women's wigs cost from $100, and men's from $1,000. Other outlets worth trying: Belrita Manufacturing (Room 1224, Ting Ying Building, 100 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2366-7731); Everhair Weaving (11/F, Wardly Court, 9011 Prat Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2312-1988); and Lily Wigs (Room 702, 7/F, Carnarvon Plaza, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2367-4727). Got a question for The Dictator? E-mail her with your name, or alias, and address at: firstname.lastname@example.org .