I’ve heard bakuchiol is the new retinol, but better. Could it be! Where can I buy it?
Baku in Time, Causeway Bay

The Dictator rules: You seem ready to smear cow dung on your face if it means reversing the ageing process. So be it, but first I want you to know what you’re using.

Bakuchiol is neither bovine nor fecal. It is a plant-derived terpenophenol that allegedly has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. For the really obtuse out there, we’re talking about getting rid of wrinkles. And while retinol can cause redness or irritation for some, bakuchiol supposedly does not. Unless you have sensitivity to the plants from which it comes. Which you might, so go ask a doctor already. Vegetarians and vegans will be happy to know that it is purely plant-derived, unlike some retinols. Thankfully, you don’t have to go down a dodgy back alley to get some. Your fountain of youth is already formulated into the following products.

Danish cosmetician Ole Henriksen uses it in his Transform Plus line, including the Goodnight Glow Retin-ALT Sleeping Creme (HK$430). Ren Skin­care has an incre­dible Bio Retinoid Anti-Ageing Cream (HK$460). Omorovicza, inspired by the thermal baths in Budapest, Hungary, makes a Miracle Facial Oil that blends bakuchiol, oil of sea buckthorn berry, rosehip and sweet almond, plus winged kelp extract (HK$950; Joyce Beauty, Hysan Place, Causeway Bay). Lancer has an Advanced Retinol Treatment, with a double whammy of 1.25 per cent retinol plus bakuchiol (HK$694).


I have this crazy idea that I need a leopard print coat for winter. Insane or what?
Trend Spotting, Central

The Dictator: What winter? It is indeed mad to think you’ll need a proper coat in Hong Kong for more than a few weeks. But leopard print is also wildly fun, so let’s have a look shall we? I’m sure there are those of you who wish you could get your hands on a real leopard pelt, à la Jacqueline Kennedy’s Oleg Cassini coat in the 1960s. First, you’re monsters. Second, your bloodthirst might be temporarily quenched by Yves Salomon’s leopard-print shearling with goatskin lining (HK$39,400; lanecrawford.com).

Utzon also prints beautifully on shear­ling, including on a silk-lined, knee-length coat with a removable collar (HK$21,950; Net-a-Porter). J. Crew creates the look in a richer, darker brown tone with a black-spotted faux-fur coat (HK$3,055). Max Mara uses wool and alpaca for that fur effect on its oversized, double-breasted “teddy bear” coat in light beige with extra-large leopard spots (HK$31,280). The brand has quite a few animal-print items, including a virgin wool and alpaca trench coat (HK$27,780).

If a trench seems more sensible, you might also want to see Stella McCartney’s long one in a dark leopard-print nylon (HK$16,100; Net-a-Porter). She also has a full-length coat in a mix of animal-inspired faux furs (HK$16,100). You don’t have to wear a coat to make a big impact with leopard print. B+ab has done beige or red oversized leopard-print knits, including a round-neck jumper and mini skirt set (HK$899; Hysan One, Causeway Bay; bplusab.com), a wool dress (HK$699) and long cardigan (HK$899). And you can bet the fashion tribute brands have something afford­­able on the high street, too.