On style, she rules

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 27 June, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 27 June, 2004, 12:00am

I want to get an inexpensive birthday present, maybe a necklace, for a Christian friend. What would you recommend other than the usual silver crosses?

Cross To Bare, Pokfulam

The Dictator rules: So it's only Stars of David for Jewish friends, Buddha figurines for Buddhists, and, what, red strings for Kabbalists? And did you stop to consider which of the different forms of Christianity your friend practises? For a Catholic friend, visit the Catholic Centre Bookshop (2/F, 15 Connaught Road Central, tel: 2522 1071), which has rosaries, figurines, plaques, books and more. Crosses come in many forms, from enamelled metal items ($18 to $20) to elaborate gold pieces from Europe ($110 to $1,995). Otherwise, how about a medal depicting Jesus, Mary and/or a saint in silver ($75 to $130) or yellow gold ($390 to $1,030)? The bookshop at St. John's Anglican Cathedral (4 Garden Road, Central, tel: 2868 2848) sells lotus-leaf crosses ($30 to $70) carved from jade as well as simple wooden crosses ($3 to $5). It also carries handicrafts made in China such as tapestries ($330), hand-carved wooden figures ($50 to 950) and Chinese paper cuts ($16) of religious scenes.

Does anyone in Hong Kong do Shanghainese pedicures?

Foot First, Tin Hau

The Dictator: Ouch! For those who don't know a Shang-hainese pedicure involves cutting off dead skin and corns. The result is fantastic-looking feet, but you have to be careful about hygiene and the practitioner's skill if you want to walk out of the spa. Hong Kong's most famous practitioner is Shanghai-trained Mr So at the Mandarin Oriental's beauty salon (5 Connaught Road, Central, tel: 2522 0111). For $600 So will spend an hour making your feet presentable. Otherwise visit Happy Foot (11/F, 98 Wellington Street, Central, tel: 2544 1010). You'll have smooth feet in 30 minutes for only $160.

I have been looking for Urban Decay cosmetics but no store seems to carry this brand any more. Any ideas?

Geologist, Mong Kok

The Dictator: This is what Urban Decay had to say: 'I am sorry to inform you there aren't any Urban Decay vendors in Hong Kong at this time. Hopefully, things will change in the future.' What more can I tell you? I'm sure there are good substitutes for whatever you want (and if you'd told me what it was I could have made some suggestions). For now, order at www.strawberrynet.com. Although the site is difficult to navigate (Urban Decay is not listed on the brand page), delivery is free and items should arrive on your doorstep in 10 to 21 days.

Are there any products that will give me a tan for a night?

Temporary Beauty, Wan Chai

The Dictator: Sure, and while I'm at it I'll tell you about a tonic that makes you exercise in your sleep and a face cream that takes off 10 years in two hours. Get real. There are products that will give you a healthy glow, but nothing is as effective (and treacherous) as the sun. Nars Body Glow ($530; Lane Crawford, 70 Queen's Road Central, tel: 2118 3388) with its bronze colour and distinct coconut oil smell, is a favourite, which means it's rarely in stock. Clarins makes an easy spray-on After Sun Shimmer Oil ($170; shop 210, 1 Pedder Street, Central, tel: 2810 9938) with ingredients such as aloe and that ever-flattering golden sparkle.