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Chinese Face Reading
By P. Sze | Last updated: December 11, 2022

Chinese Face Reading

Face reading, or physiognomy, is an ancient Chinese practice believed to help you understand your predestined fortune in life. The person who performs face readings is known as a ngo heng, and feng shui masters will also commonly participate in this practice. 

What Is The History Of Chinese Face Reading?

More than 1,000 years ago 

What Do The Areas Of The Face Mean?

Photo by Zoran Borojevic on Unsplash

From the top of the forehead down to the eyebrows is said to correspond to the first part of your life, from birth until the age of 30. Eyebrows are a key feature in this region. Thick and pointy brows indicate prestige. 

The central portion of the face, from the eyebrows to the nose, is linked to the ages 30 to 60. Eyes are the key feature here. They should appear clean with an even distribution of white space on all sides of the iris. This indicates a winning personality. 

You should also pay attention to the alignment of the ears and eyebrows. The top region of your ear should be in line with the brows, and ideally, you will have thick and plump earlobes.

The perfect nose is not too wide and has a high bridge region. This is sometimes referred to as a lion nose, suggesting that you have the leadership qualities and power of a lion. 

The area from the nose down tells you about life from the age of 60 until you die. The key feature here is the lips. Big lips indicate financial success late in life. 


As well as representing the earlier stages of life, your forehead also has a multitude of other meanings. It can represent your mother, father, husband, career prospects, husband, luck, career, and analytic ability. 

The optimal forehead is mellow and full with no lines across it. It should ideally be free from moles and scars. Your hairline also plays a role in the meaning – it should not be drooping, protruding, narrow, or dark. 


These are sometimes referred to as the organ of longevity. They are closely linked to health, fame, status, and luck with family and friends. The looser the eyebrows, the worse your character judgement is likely to be. If your eyebrow hair is facing backwards, this indicates a propensity for criminality and a short temper. 


Your eyes are called the organ of monitoring. They are closely related to financial stability and social status. The clearer and more contrasting your eyes are, the better this bodes for you.


This is called the organ of discernment and is strongly linked to financial ease. An upturned nose suggests that financial difficulties lie ahead for you. The ideal nose shape is like a garlic bulb, with 2 even-sized sides representing the treasury. This is particularly significant between the ages of 41 and 50. 

A sharp, thin, or mole-covered nose does not suggest good things for your financial status. The nose is also closely linked to health and if you experience a bridge collapse this suggests illness. 


This is called the organ of entrance and is linked to innate talents. The ideal mouth shape has slightly upturned corners. 


The ears are the organ of hearing. They are intrinsically linked to your luck. The best kinds of ears are positioned slightly higher than the eyebrows and have large, plump earlobes. 


Cheeks are particularly important between the ages of 46 and 47 and tend to reflect your fortune. The ideal cheeks are plump and round, but not raised. 


This is said to represent your luck between the ages of 61 and 75, particularly regarding children and those beneath you at work. A plump, round, and broad chin symbolize richness. 


This is the little dip underneath your nose and above your upper lip. This is said to represent the luck you will have between the ages of 51 and 55. You want this area to be deep and free from scars or moles. 


In face reading, the face is split into 3 horizontal sections, as per the image above. The first section is called the shàng tíng and represents youth. In particular, it focuses on fortune, wisdom, learning, and the strength of elders.

The second section is known as zhōng tíng. This represents your job, marriage, and personal efforts throughout the period of middle age.

The final region is xià tíng. This is linked to later life and is said to represent the peace of your life and the relationship with your children.


Each region of the face is linked to a specific number. These represent different ages in life. For women, you will begin these numbers from the right side, and for men, the left. The image above shows specifically where the ages correspond to areas of the face. 

The 12 houses

The face is further divided into 12 sections to correspond to the 12 houses. These houses are life, wealth, sibling, marriage, children, health, traveling, assistant, career, property, fortune & emotion, and parents’ house. 

The life house represents the fortune that follows you throughout life. Ideally, you will have no scars, moles, or lines in this region.

The wealth house represents your career and finances. If you have dark or bloodshot discoloration in this area it suggests you have experienced unexpected personal financial losses.

The sibling house represents the relationships you have with your friends and siblings. The right eyebrow is linked to sisters, while the left is linked to brothers. If your eyebrows are smooth and luxurious this suggests that you have lots of friends.

The marriage house represents love and relationships. On men, a dark left side of this region suggests personal issues holding him back in relationships while a dark right side suggests that his wife is unfaithful. The opposite is true for women. 

The children house represents your children. If this region is sunken it suggests you will not have children. If you notice wrinkles or moles here then it is likely you will worry profusely about your kids. 

The health house represents physical health. 

The traveling house represents your luck on your travels. If this area is dark, travel is not advised.

The assistant house represents help from people in your life. If it is sunken then it suggests that your subordinates are being unfaithful or disobedient. 

The career house represents your job and career aspirations. 

The property house represents your home, inheritance, and familial ties. You ideally want an upper eyelid that is slightly raised toward the eyebrow. 

The fortune and emotion house represents your mental fortune. If this region is plump you are likely optimistic. If this is sunken then you probably suffer from a lack of self-confidence or depression. 

The parents’ house represents your parents. The left side is representative of your father and the right side is for your mother. 


There are moles that are considered to be both lucky and unlucky. Lucky mole placements involve the hair, on the eyebrow, at the end of the eyebrow, ear lobes, temple, cheeks, the corner of your mouth, upper lip, and chin. 

Unlucky moles are on the forehead, eyelashes, between the eyebrows, between the eyebrow and eye, on the white of your eye, on pouches, on the bridge, wings, or tip of your nose, lips, philtrum, and in the center of your chin. 

Lines and wrinkles

Depending on the location of the wrinkles, they will correspond to different meanings. Visit a physiognomist for more information. 

Do men and women have different faces?

Photo by Carly Rae Hobbins on Unsplash

The way that physiognomy is performed varies according to whether the person being read is male or female. There are a number of different indicators of success on the face.

For men, these features are the forehead, mouth, voice, and chin. Males with high foreheads are believed to be successful and intelligent. The lips should be thick, with the lower lip thicker than the upper one.

This suggests that they will attract financial success. If the man has a round chin, this is believed to indicate they will become a rich entrepreneur (or tao gae). The deeper and louder the voice, the more likely the man is to become a leader. 

Women’s important features are the forehead, face shape, eyes, nose, mouth, and eyebrows. As with men, the forehead is used to signify intelligence. It is often recommended that women keep their forehead clear of hair.

This allows the area to stay open to receiving positive energies. The ideal female face shape is said to be healthy and rounded, suggesting wealth and the ability to find the perfect husband in the future. 

The eyes should be slightly pointed at the edges. This is said to reflect an inability to be tricked easily. The nose should have a high bridge, meaning that you will attract romance and finance.

The ideal female lips are equally thick. The eyebrows should be aligned perfectly with the eyes. This is said to determine the amount of property she will own in the future. 

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P. Sze

P. Sze

P. Sze is the founder of TCM Tips and Dragon Acupuncture®. She graduated from the National University of Singapore with a first-class honor in Civil Engineering. She also holds a master’s degree in Engineering and is the brain behind the innovative TCM products of Dragon Acupuncture®. She is the author of The Beginner's Guide to Auricular Therapy: Application of Ear Seeds (ISBN 978-1520451398) and Facial Gua Sha - Fight the Signs of Aging Naturally and Inexpensively (ISBN 978-1980678922). She has dedicated her life to ensuring that the complex theories behind oriental medicine and the seemingly dangerous techniques that involve needles and fire do not scare you from trying oriental medicine. This is why she writes endlessly about acupressure and its countless health and wellness benefits.

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