Last year, we hired a face-painting make-up artist for my granddaughter’s birthday. This year, we are doing it ourselves to save money. I’ve been to a few party shops looking for safe face glitter. I cannot believe none of them had any! Could you tell me where to buy some?
Fairy Grandmother, Sandy Bay

The Dictator rules: Well, that was dumb, wasn’t it? A make-up artist is worth every penny considering the grief you will endure at the party. Oh, how I wish this were a ruse and you were secretly a party-animal grandmother. If the party stores are failing you, try the toy stores instead.

Toys Club (go to for locations) sells Klutz’s Glitter Face Painting set (US$35) of six shimmery, water-based colours plus cosmetic-grade glitter, stick-on gems and an instructional book. The cosmetic-grade part is important. Don’t use normal craft glue from the stationer’s because it may contain heavy metals and other toxic substances. Read the latest on safe micron size of cosmetics particles, and double check with a paediatrician.

An environmentally friendly birthday party even Mother Earth will want to celebrate

Mothercare carries the brand Snazaroo, whose Ultimate Party Pack (US$29) includes 10 face paints, two sparkly face paints and glitter gel in silver and gold, in addition to brushes, sponges and a face-painting guide book.

You might also try loose glitters from established cosmetics brands such as Make Up For Ever’s Diamond Powder (US$33). It’s made in 10 colours for eyes, lips, cheeks or body, and needs to be blended with liquidy products such as face make-up or skin lotion. The Pigments range by NYX Cosmetics offers 24 shades of sparkly, coloured make-up powder in individual pots.

You can also try perform­ance make-up brands such as Kryolan and Mehron.

Where can I buy those retro dangly earrings with three or four balls hanging down them that seem to be so in fashion at the moment? I can’t even begin to think about fall clothes in a climate like Hong Kong’s, but I am always ready for new accessories!
Ball Game, Clear Water Bay

The Dictator: Oh, good for you. A spring-summer earring just in time for autumn-winter. Talk about dropping the ball. Though you’re not too far off with the idea of a statement earring for the new season, and I’d rather see you dressing for summer than lugging around a fur coat in 25-degree weather. (You know who you are.) The most featured of these earrings we’ve seen are by Rebecca de Ravenel, whose silk corded Les Bonbons (pictured below on Jennifer Lopez) come in rows of three, four or more beads in either solid colours or graduated hues (US$315 and up;

Kenneth Jay Lane offers the similar Carnival with rows of four threaded spheres in solid turquoise, red, metallic mauve, gold, navy and more (US$114 and up; Lane Crawford). Baublebar also does the ball drop style in various iterations using thread-wrapped beads in colours such as lavender, pink and yellow (US$128; Harvey Nichols).

For those shopping for less, there is always Zara, where the balls have been flattened or lobbed off at the back of the earring, and are available in either the season’s favourite colour, red, or favourite pattern, Prince of Wales check.

OK now, Twiggy, a quick question: do you have a long neck? I find the state­ment earrings prescribed for autumn can look straight out of the dress-up box for women of a diminutive stature. Finally, anyone looking for fine jewellery should consider Tiffany’s HardWear Collection, which features balls, balls, balls.

Got a question for the Dictator? Email her with your name, or alias, and address at: [email protected]