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Face Reading at Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong

Renowned face reader Eric Standop employs his skills to reveal our innermost truths. Want to know more? Book a one-to-one consultation or workshop with him

Sitting across from me on a plush sofa in Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, Eric Standop leans forward, a slight smile playfully turning into a toothy grin as he studies my face, interpreting my reaction to a story he has just told me.

Eric Standop (pictured above) reads people’s facial expressions

Eric Standop (pictured above) reads people’s facial expressions

A moment earlier Eric shared with me an encounter he had at a South African bar more than a decade ago. His friends had talked him into sitting across from an elderly man, a face reader. At the time, Eric believed the study of the face was nonsense, but several minutes into the reading the man started hitting on some truths. Not Eric's future and not his past, but rather the parts of his life that had created the burned-out thirtysomething businessman travelling the world for answers. That was the moment Eric decided to seriously consider face reading as a tool to negotiate better in his job. 

When Eric recounts this story, he has a certain demeanour, a confidence, held in his shoulders, and speaks with a surety very few possess. It is 12 years since he met that first face reader and Eric has thrown himself into the art with gusto, becoming a face reader himself. He has studied techniques from masters the world over, applying lessons thousands of years old from the Chinese, the Greeks and the Romans.


Eric has helped business leaders, police officers, married couples and even poker players to become better at what they do. By teaching how to read faces, he has enabled clients to close a deal, catch a suspect in a lie and read the tells from behind a deck of cards. I ask him to give me some examples of the telltale signs he looks for.

The size of a person’s pupil, he says, can reveal if they are more open to analytical conversation or visual descriptions – a seemingly inconsequential piece of knowledge, but one that could mean the difference between engaging someone in conversation or pushing them away. I find out that business clients who burn the candle at both ends have dark circles under their eyes, a sign of mineral deficiency that could lead to a sidelining illness. And depending which side of the mouth a person speaks from means they are either analytical or creative. 


The more Eric divulges, the more it becomes clear that he holds a key to understanding what people hold most dear – themselves. As he stares at their faces – like some living, breathing mirror of truth that strips them of their pretensions – he tells his clients who they are. Reading them like an open book, he can be asked to study a certain chapter, such as health, wealth or love life, but he only shares what the face already knows. After all, he adds, he is a reader, not a creator.

Later, as I sit opposite Eric, his eyes scanning my face, he gives me a quick reading, a brief overview of who I am, in that moment. He shares his findings like bullet points in a presentation, without emotion, telling me about my personality, my health and my approach to life.


Then he asks me about a specific year in my life when I became open to new possibilities and hope. I search back through my memories and discover that the year he has just described is one I attribute to becoming who I am through a repositioning in my career and my personal life. But Eric already knows that. It is as clear to him as the look on my face. 


Until 3 March, Eric Standop is offering race-reading consultations at Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, with in-depth readings on the following themes: Health, Nutrition, Personality and Character, Job and Love Life, as well as Destiny and Life Purpose.

To book a consultation, please contact The Spa on +852 2825 4888 or email

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