I heard there's something called BB cream that's all the rage. Or is it just another name for anti-ageing cream that was made to sound like the way my Canto-English family says "baby"?
BB Doll, Kowloon


The Dictator rules: BB cream? Talk about old. These days, it's all about CC cream. Good guess, but I don't think many global brands would market a product based on "Canto-English" phonetics. There may be something Asian to your theory, though, as most of my sources claim it originated in Korea. BB is commonly understood to mean blemish balm or beauty balm. Products so named are touted as having all-in-one benefits, such as anti-ageing properties, anti-oxidants, SPF coverage and the ability to even and/or whiten skin tone. Korean brand Sulwhasoo sells Snowise Whitening BB Base SPF 50 in two tints (HK$420; for locations, go to www.sulwhasoo.com.hk). From Japan, Hada Labo's Air BB Cream, with its 10 promised results, is available at Watsons (HK$128; tel: 2608 8383). While there, look for other affordable versions such as Garnier's "instant fairness" BB Cream (HK$129). Or go luxe at Joyce Beauty with Omorovicza's anti-ageing moisturiser, foundation and sunscreen Complexion Perfector BB SPF 20 (HK$980; Gateway Arcade, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2367 0860). Other brands: Clinique (HK$280), Estée Lauder (HK$380), Origins (HK$270), etc. Now, if you ever want to graduate to CC creams, e-mail me.


I know I'm a little late, but I want a snake-shaped piece of jewellery to celebrate the Year of the Snake, which just so happens to be my sign!
Snake in the Grass, Central


The Dictator: Oh, how original of you. Every year, I get the same question varying only by the zodiac animal. As you might imagine, designers were more excited by last year's dragon, but there are still lots of serpents around. The first fine jeweller that should come to mind is Bulgari, which adorned Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra in 1963 and released the exquisite Serpenti collection last year with a Rachel Weisz ad campaign (prices on request; Chater House, Central, tel: 2523 8057). Not a millionaire? How about a sexy snake bracelet by Tom Ford, from the large gold-plated one (HK$39,000; IFC Mall, Central, tel: 2234 7802) to the delicate little 18-carat-gold bangle (HK$42,000)? Yeah, yeah, I know not everyone wants to spend that much. For only HK$1,229, you could procure a fab Nefer Bangle, a handmade, carved wrap bracelet in antiqued gold plate with lapis lazuli from the 9th Muse (12/F, 1 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, tel: 2537 7598). Prefer earrings? Check out the hanging sterling silver or gold-plated snake earrings by Mercurious Designs via prettydangerous.com.hk (HK$610 to HK$710). For rings, see the colourful CZ and silver rings at Dreams (HK$1,990 and up; Harvey Nichols, Pacific Place, Admiralty, tel: 3968 2668). Sure, you can go online for lots more, but please don't do the snake eye thing. It's creepy, cheesy and cheap.



Got a question for The Dictator? E-mail her with your name, or alias, and address at: dictator@scmp.com